One-on-one: MaRLo meets ShockOne

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It’s 7pm at Creamfields in Sydney, and two of Australia’s busiest dance music exports are sitting in a backstage dressing room. The bass from the mainstage is shaking the tin walls. At one end of the couch sits Marlo, who played his set in the early afternoon in the heaving trance room. Next to him is ShockOne, who’s set to close out the bass stage in a couple of hours. The guys first crossed paths on the 2011 Stereosonic tour, and they’ve developed an easy rapport since.

They might travel on festivals together, but you’re unlikely to see this pair share a stage. The Dutch-born, Melbourne-based Marlo specialises in trance and progressive built for main-rooms and festival tents. The Perth-bred, London-settled ShockOne makes rattling drum & bass and dubstep – or in his own words, ‘impact music’. Both have an ever-widening following and a steadfast ear for what works on dancefloors and in the studio.

So, what do two producers at seemingly opposite ends of the dance music spectrum have in common? Well, inthemix has got them together in this boomy dressing room to find out exactly that. Here’s their freewheeling conversation.

ShockOne: We met on a Learjet from Melbourne to Adelaide Stereosonic. I also got a helicopter from Sydney Stereosonic to the airport and got a little prop plane to Canberra for Fore Shore, with Avicii. I had no idea who he was.

Marlo: We were like infants in that Learjet though. Like, “Woo, this chair swivels all the way around!” Since then, I did a tour to London for The Gallery at Ministry Of Sound, then the next day A State Of Trance 550 in Holland, which Armin van Buuren asked me to play at.

ShockOne: Is that like the Mecca for trance?

Marlo: I’d say so, yeah. It’s probably the biggest all-trance event. 30 million listeners worldwide and 40,000 people at the actual show. But the main thing is that it's broadcast, even from the smaller stages.

ShockOne: You must just watch your Facebook likes go through the roof. The exposure from that kind of thing is so good. Every time I have a tune on UKF Radio, my likes go up by the thousands. Since I moved to London, I’ve been doing club shows every weekend in Europe, but now I’m back here again. I don’t really feel like I’ve moved. I’m back there for a couple of months, then I have to leave again and my girlfriend gets angry.

Marlo: People ask where you live and it’s like, “Well, my house is in Melbourne, but I haven’t seen it for a few weeks.”

ShockOne: I moved to London with my girlfriend and my sister. They’ve kind of got their lives happening in London – they’ve got social networks and they’re going out. I haven’t had one weekend to hang out there. I come back and they’ve got new friends. I feel like this weird, transient person. My Australian friends in London just don’t bother calling me now on the weekends. But keeping up those friendships is so important; otherwise you’re really fucking lonely.

Marlo: For me I’ve got a bunch of friends from before the music stuff started. I have to make a conscious effort to see them, and when we do, we don’t talk about music at all.