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Scooter - Clubbing All Over The World

Author: Rezo
Friday, 9 November 2007
Hans Peter Geerdes, Hendrick Stadler and Michael Simon make up the German trio Scooter, renowned as the most high profile dance act in the world. But internationally massive or not, they’ve yet to visit Australia. That is, until now. Words by 3D’s Rezo.

The first fragments of Scooter formed in 1986 when Stadler and Geerdes started playing together in a band called Celebrate The Man.

“It was this synth-pop thing in some ways like Depeche Mode,” Geerdes says. “To be honest, we didn’t have a lot of success and when acid house came out and the first techno and trance sounds came with them, we decided to do nothing else. We started producing more dance type stuff and formed Scooter in 1994 and had our first big hit. From that point on, we moved into the direction of playing live and giving concerts, which in the end got bigger and bigger. We are now touring around with big trucks and stuff. But we never wanted to get off the club scene and we’ve had club tours in Europe where we’ve played as DJs and MCs. Because it would be too much trouble to bring all that stuff to Australia, we have decided to do the club tour first to see if people like our show and if they do, we can look at doing something live later on.”

The trio are also credited with playing a significant role in the evolution of the Jumpstyle phenomenon. The mention of this results in an outbreak of laughter on the other end of the phone.

“This is really funny,” he begins. “We are from northern Germany and we are close to Holland and Belgium and we are in touch with the scene there; it’s really alive. We heard about the Jumpstyle thing and watched YouTube, where the guys were filming themselves doing this dance. We quite liked it and thought the sound was really fresh; it reminded me of the early raves. It was simple and direct and we decided to produce it and now we are producing another album which is called Jumping All Over the World and we hope to play a couple of tracks when we come over there!”

There is also a fair bit of new material coming too; as well as a whole bunch of videos the boys have been shooting in Rotterdam. The single and video is dubbed And No Matches, and will be released as a single late November.

Indeed, my curiosity did of course lead me to the very YouTube video that Geerdes was referring to. Two guys – origins unknown – perform a dance that is reminiscent of the Melbourne shuffle although it possesses a more predetermined or rehearsed vibe, if you will. It goes on for quite some time and if nothing else, is impressive. The music and the sound is a mixture of trance and NRG – it chugs along at around 150 beats per minute, every kick of the bass drum met with a perfect shuffle from the feet and arms. At worst, it is an amazingly well prepared routine-looking type of dance that might one day make its way to a show like So You Think You Can Dance. At best it’s bloody precision – an art form.

The single has been a smashing success and the millions of albums they’ve sold is testament to their popularity.

“The question,” Geerdes explains, with a level of critique in his voice, “is the old melodies from the early 1970s that we are using really fit into this kind of sound. We would never have chosen this type of melody, but people like it and it has been a big success over here. The actual single has been in the Top 10 for eight weeks and right now we’re working on our album, which will be quite different from the last album. Of course the next one will be completely different again – even dance schools are now teaching this style of music…it’s crazy!

“As I mentioned, we are going to do a club show [in Australia], which isn’t a big live performance but we have a DJ on the decks; an excellent DJ. I will be on the microphone and Rick is taking care of all the sound. We will play a mixture of our early stuff and really a variety of tracks and biggest hits, combined with stuff from our favourite producers and DJs.”

WHO: Scooter
WHAT: Play Scattered at Whitlam Leisure Centre
WHEN: Saturday 17 November