Thomas Schumacher on sampling

Thomas Schumacher on sampling in an interview on

I still believe though that in our industry people should just go for it, do it. If it turns out that something you have done becomes commercially successful and someone approaches you then hopefully you can find an agreement where both parties are happy.

Schumacher talking about an unspecified track, probably Ficken?, where he sampled Frankie Knuckles – Baby Wants To Ride

I was approached by an artist I sampled on one of my earliest tracks from 1995, which in all fairness became commercially successful here in Germany. This happened six years after it had been in the charts saying ‘by the way, you sampled me’ and I was like ‘yeah, I did’. I was hoping we could sort it out in a gentlemanly manner but it wasn’t so. So instead of allowing me to be reasonable, we had to fight about it. My feeling was that he just wanted to get as much cash as he could. I explained the whole story to him. He got a big check and he was happy.

Another story on the Rahzel & The Roots samples he used for When I Rock

I sampled some vocals from a hip hop radio guy called Tony Touchtapes and again one of these situations popped up. We sold 25,000 vinyls at the time and licensed it later to Warners in Germany. Again, years later, my publisher called me and said ‘we’ve had a call from another publisher about that sample from Tony Touchtape’. They said ‘on that tape you sampled from Tony Touchtape’s Radio Show was the Roots playing live in the studio’.

I was thinking they’d definitely sue me and I was given a phone number to call. I called them up, and one of them, I’m not sure who, picked it up and I discovered they’d never listened to techno music. They were like ‘what is it?’ I said ‘we call it techno’ and they said ‘it’s really cool what you did with the vocal’ – because originally it was a reggae style rap’, we really like that. They said ‘just send us the files and the track itself and they put it as a hidden extra track on one of their albums; Phrenology. Which sold 800,000 albums. That was it. How cool.