Exclusive: Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz Debut New World Punx at MSG

Photo: VIBE's senior editor Sarah Polonsky interviewing Ferry Corsten (left) and Markus Schulz (right) at Dream Downtown.

Madison Square Garden almost burst at the seams with spastic light shows and thumping beats, as people of all ages and colors joined together at the storied NYC arena on Saturday (March 30). If you missed our pre-show interview with the evening’s headliner, Armin van Buuren, check it out now; and here’s a photo history of Armin’s life, as well, for the uber fans.

Trance music mainstays Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz brought their callabo project, New World Punx, along to MSG for the big performance. The duo’s tripped-out set sent fans into a dizzy ‘state of trance’. Corsten and Schulz has much news to share with VIBE just before the spectacle.

VIBE: Tonight you two perform as New World Punx at Madison Square Garden. How does that feel? Not everyone gets to debut a new project at MSG.
Markus Schulz: The chemistry is already there. I think that part, we’ve got under control, but the crazy thing is we were just at Winter Music Conference and that’s where you do a lot of business, and a lot of labels that were down there. We’d be chatting with them about the New World Punx project and they’d ask, “Where can we see the show?” and it’s like, “Madison Square Garden.”
Ferry Corsten: It’s a nice venue to name as your debut venue. Luckily, we’ve done this already a couple of times before we decided to call it “New World Punx”. I think we’ve played back-to-back four times and we’ve done a couple of tracks together in the studio, so we’re pretty much used to the way the other one is playing.

How do you feel about DJs spinning at MSG in general? Do you feel like it’s a little bit strange?
FC: We definitely cater the set, because also in the venue like that—not just our set but the whole event—it’s a lot shorter than a whole daytime festival. Tonight we’re on 10pm ‘til 11:30, only 90 minutes. Normally we’re used to doing these five, six, seven hour-long stretches, and we’ve just sort of put everything together in 90 minutes.

So, you’re going to have to after-party it?
MS: Yeah. The after-party. The thing about the Madison Square Garden show is that it’s not the biggest show that we’ve ever played. We’ve played in front of 50,000, a hundred thousand people. The cool thing is that it’s such a legendary venue, growing up and seeing all of these amazing things that have happened at Madison Square Garden, and being able to debut this project there is what makes it really special. It’s Madison Square Garden, it doesn’t get any more famous than that.

How did you guys decide to pair up?
FC: We had a show in Birmingham and were both on the line up and it was just after Ibiza, where we were talking about doing stuff together. Then we came up with this first production that we did, and then we played in Birmingham, and it was sort of a toss-up between: “you play first, or I play first?” and “how are we going to go about it?” and then all of a sudden he said “we’ll just do doors open to close, the whole thing just back to back.”
MS: We’ve played lot of festivals and venues over the years but as separate acts. We’re both in a place where we just wanna have some fun and that’s where the whole “back-to-back concept” came from. We had so much fun and it was such a success that promoters started booking us specifically for this. So we decided to put an official project name to this.

Are you guys going to work on an album together? It’s a singles industry, but albums are popping up a lot in EDM.
MS: The thing is that working on an album—and we’ve separately done many albums—is really stressful, and the reason we launched this whole project is to have fun. I don’t think we’re ready to get into a whole album and the stress of it, but we’re definitely having fun in the studio, just having the freedom to make a track and then play it in the sets.

What can we expect from the new tracks? You have both the German and American influences between the two of you. How does that work?
MS: The funny thing is that it has some Belgian influences.
FC: The New World Punx sound, as you will hear tonight is very driving, very in your face. The regular trance genre is really long and stretched out, and the way we go about it is more catered to the attention span of today’s kids.
MS: We want to go from epic moment to epic moment without any let ups, without people standing still on the dance floor; people just going, going, going…. the whole set, all the tracks we make, will be a big crescendo.

How has trance music changed over the years? What do you do to keep up with it?
FC: That’s why we started this. We basically took the attitude of what the house guys do with the ‘one after the other’ constant bombardment of excitement in your face. We’ve adapted that into what we’re doing. Instead of trance, which becomes really holy almost at a certain point, with these long breaks, and everybody as if on command stands with their hands up in the air on a breakdown with no beats. For us, “it’s like skip all that and straight back to the party.”

So, are you guys going on a Tiësto route?
FC: No. That’s a very different sound.
MS: Let me tell you, no question, we are 100% trance. But I think it’s a different attitude, rather than the rainbows and unicorns attitude we’re a little bit punkish.

What rapper would you guys collaborate with?
MS: It’s something that with the right vibe it’s possible, but I always say this: every time a pop artist wants to work with me, what we would do is bring them in to our world as opposed to us going into their world. So, whoever the artist would be, they would have to come and hang out at Space or somewhere like that with us, and then go to the studio with us at seven or eight in the morning.

What about Lil Wayne?
MS: Probably not, that’s a bit of a stretch.
FC: I’m very open-minded but there’s a limit.

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Black Out Tuesday: A Letter From VIBE

These unprecedented times are insightful, intense, infuriating, and inspiring. As Black editors, writers, and creatives, we have the privilege of telling our stories from those within the entertainment industry and to those who consume the Black art that has influenced generations.

Since before the days of Rodney King, this is nothing new. We’ve been here before, one too many times in Black history. Yet, we’ll continue to tell our often overlooked and untold stories within Black culture through the lens of facts and feelings. Although we’ve always made this our mission for nearly three decades, we’ll continue to stand in the fact that Black Lives Matter.

Today, we join #TheShowMustBePaused movement in honor of the one too many sisters and brothers lost to police brutality and systemic racism. Our support includes ceasing the production of content for #BlackOutTuesday. Please take a moment to practice self-care, and find ways to lend your voice and power to make “justice for all” ring true.

Registering to vote is a start. ✊🏾✊🏿✊🏽✊🏼

#BlackOutTuesday. #TheShowMustBePaused. pic.twitter.com/JcuT23la5Q

— Vibe Magazine (@VibeMagazine) June 2, 2020

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Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd Died From Homicide By Asphyxiation, Independent Autopsy Finds

George Floyd was asphyxiated to death from “sustained forceful pressure” that cut off blood flow to his brain, according to an independent autopsy performed by medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson.

The 46-year-old father died from “homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain,” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump announced on Monday (June 1).

“Sustained pressure on the right side of Mr. Floyd’s carotid artery impeded blood flow to the brain and weight on his back impeded his ability to breathe,” reads a statement posted to Crump’s Twitter account. “The independent examiners found that weight on the back, handcuffs, and positioning, were contributory factors because they impeded the ability of Mr. Floyd’s diaphragm to function.”

The autopsy also found that Floyd “died at the scene” and not at a hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Fired Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed jamming his knee into Floyd’s neck ass he lay handcuffed on the ground, pleading for air. Two additional officers were helping to apply pressure to Floyd's body, while a fourth officer stood and watched. Chauvin was arrested on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges last week. The other officers, Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kuen and Tou Thao, have not been arrested.

“For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse. Beyond question, he would be alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by fired officer Derek Chauvin and the strain on his body from two additional officers kneeling on him,” Crump said. “Mr Floyd’s death was a homicide by officers who taunted him while holding him down for more than eight minutes. And the officer who stood by doing nothing was a physical blue shield — a living symbol of the code of silence.”

Floyd’s family ordered the private autopsy after the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office claimed that his death was caused by pre-existing health conditions.

“What we found is consistent with what people saw. There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death,” said Dr. Baden. “Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breath. That’s not true.”

Global protests continued to call for justice in the murders of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other victims of police brutality and racial violence.

Read the full autopsy statement below.


Independent medical examiners determined #GeorgeFloyd’s death was due to asphyxia from sustained forceful pressure. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/cIbWu8ssWX

— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) June 1, 2020

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Prince Williams/Wireimage

Killer Mike Gives Emotional Speech Urging Peaceful Protests Amid Unrest In Atlanta

Killer Mike joined T.I., and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in delivering emotional pleas to discourage ATLiens from burning the city as protests broke out on Friday (May 29) in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless victims of police brutality.

“I don’t want to be here,” began Killer Mike. “I’m the son of an Atlanta city police officer, my cousin is a police officer…I got a lot of love and respect for police officers down to the original eight [Black] police officers in Atlanta that, even after becoming police, had to dress in a YMCA because white officers didn’t want to get dressed with ni**ers. And here we are, 80 years later and I watched a white officer assassinate a Black man and I know that tore your heart out. I know it’s crippling and I have nothing positive to say in this moment because I don’t want to be here.”

The Atlanta native went on to share background on his family’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and other social justice issues. “I’m duty-bound to be here to simply say, 'It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with the enemy.’”

In what turned out to be another viral moment, Tip called Atlanta “Wakanda” while imploring demonstrators not to destroy the city. “Atlanta has been here for us, this city don’t deserve that. I understand that a lot of others do, but we can’t do this here, this is Wakanda. It’s sacred. It must be protected,” said the 39-year-old rapper.

Mayor Bottoms simply told protestors to simply “go home.”

“Above everything else, I am a mother to four Black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old,” she said. “When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt. Yesterday, when I heard there was a rumor about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do: I called my son and I said ‘where are you?’ I said ‘I cannot protect you and Black boys shouldn’t be out today.’ So you’re not going to out-concern me, and out care about where we are in America.

“I wear this each and every day and I pray over my children each and every day. What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos.”

WATCH: "If you love this city, go home!" https://t.co/c8cPBZLATJ pic.twitter.com/v9IEBVoXpB

— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) May 30, 2020

At the request of Mayor Bottoms, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency in Fulton County, and deployed 500 troops from the state's national guard.

They will deploy immediately to assist @ga_dps, @GaDNRLE, @GA_Corrections & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace. We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation. (2/2)

— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020

See Killer Mike's full statement below as well as photos and video of the protests.

A powerful scene in Atlanta right now, this gives me chills. pic.twitter.com/SK7oOvzs8g

— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) May 29, 2020

More shots from Atlanta tonight pic.twitter.com/TmUmW5nXxZ

— kieron (@kieroncg) May 30, 2020

The chief of police in Atlanta talking and listening to everyone that has something to say#ATLFORUS #AtlantaProtest pic.twitter.com/qirbQRgViU

— Lilly - BLACK LIVES MATTER (@joonhopekook) May 29, 2020

It’s not just Minneapolis, we are now seeing protests in cities across the country over the death of George Floyd. This is in Atlanta as some smash the glass at our downtown CNN headquarters. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/iwJxFaUfxW

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 30, 2020

Police cars getting literally destroyed in Atlanta outside the CNN Center pic.twitter.com/x5zRxZVQpb

— Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso) May 29, 2020

Downtown Atlanta right now.... PEACEFUL PROTEST ! #BlackLivesMatter ! pic.twitter.com/6nejzqccVE

— KP 🦋. (@kailynnlee) May 29, 2020

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