Your new single: Grace’s Secret/ Skies Are Crying is due out in May on Manual Music. What is the inspiration behind the titles?
The track name for ‘Skies Are Crying’ is based on my experience on a flight I took to Berlin last summer. When the plane took off it rained pretty hard, so in a literal sense it felt as though the sky was crying and it was a strangely beautiful sight. When I came home I took this as inspiration to finish the track and so named it after this experience. The other track, ‘Grace’s Secret’ doesn’t quite have the same sort of thoughtful story behind its name. It’s named after a racehorse in the Peaky Blinders TV series!
Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks, including any favourite pieces of studio gear you like to use?
I really like to use my guitar, because playing on the guitar always calms me down and the combining of electronic parts with acoustic elements is one I really enjoy. It can lead to some very interesting and unexpected results! Also, I like to record all kinds of common sounds and noises in everyday life. Everything can be used in music and I really like the versatility of things. In terms of favourite pieces of electronic kit, I’m very impressed by the Roland TR-8 – it’s such a nice machine, especially for its cost! I really love that piece of equipment.
How did you become involved with Paul Hazendonk’s Manual Music?
When I released my first tracks on Eelke Kleijn’s Outside the Box Music label, he advised me to spread my releases on different labels and introduced me to Paul. From that moment we have had a really good thing going on. Paul is a cool and friendly guy, realistic and knows what he is doing. Therefore I wanted to release my album on Manual (‘Grace’s Secret’/ ‘Skies Are Crying’ is a first taste of what’s to come) because it feels trusted and natural to do it on his label.
You played guitar in a Punk band before immersing yourself in Electronic music. What ideas/attitude did you bring from Punk into Dance music?
Probably the attitude of being really, really stubborn and not willing to let go of your ‘own thing’. Besides that I also like to use a lot of distortion, something that is also really common in the punk scene. But the most important thing, I guess, is the no-nonsense attitude, just being myself and enjoying making music, like it or not.
What DJ’s/ Clubs first inspired you?
The list is endless, but to name just a few… Awakenings Festival was the first Techno festival I went to and it had such a big influence on me. Before that day I actually didn’t like electronic music that much. At least that was what I thought! The atmosphere, so many friendly people, and interesting and complex music made me want to be a part of this straight away. After that day I bought my first turntables and learned how to make music – that was 10 years ago and I still have that same passion and enthusiasm I had back then.
If I mention musicians that have inspired me, I always have to name Extrawelt and Dominik Eulberg in my list. Their sound is still the ultimate for me and I was so proud that I could make a release on Traum, just like these guys. Right at this moment I’m also really liking guys like Ame & Dixon. That’s maybe not a very surprising or original answer but, everywhere these guys play, it’s always so good and I’m really impressed by that. But there are so many very good artists at the moment, I could fill a whole page telling you about what DJs I would recommend that you should listen too.
What can we expect from your debut artist album ‘Figments Of My Imagination’? And how long did it take to put together?
This album is a translation of the last three years of my life. So the good things I experienced, the bad things, the pain I felt, the highs, the lows… So I think it incorporates a very versatile character. For example, the track ‘Standing On My Feet’ is about the infection I had in my foot. The doctors were fearful that I would lose a couple of toes or a part of my foot, but after being in the hospital for a month and then 3 months of antibiotics, the infection was gone and I could keep my foot. Thank god! But the pain and despair I felt at that moment is very easy to recognize in that track in my opinion. Then, on the other hand, a track like ‘You Put A Smile On My Face’ is about a girl I met and who made me very happy at that time…
How is life in Breda? What clubs/bars would you recommend?
Things there a really quiet and burgundy… The scene in Breda is in upswing with some nice projects such as Ploegendienst and Broeikas. For the more known parties, such as DGTL and Awakenings, you have to make the one-hour trip to Amsterdam and its surroundings.
Please tell us about your forthcoming tour of Holland? Plus any other plans for 2017?
For this moment we have three shows planned in Amsterdam, Breda and Groningen, and I hope to do a little private party with a live stream of the show. Maybe we will add some other cities to the tour, but at the moment this is it. Further plans I have for 2017 or the distant future are setting up a label. My brother and I are playing with the idea of starting an electronic music label and are exploring the possibilities right now. It’s still in its infancy but we are working on it.