Hey Sander, let’s start from the top; what started your interest in becoming a DJ?
For as long as i can remember, electronic music has been important in my life. First record i bought was Turn Up The Bass 1, in Holland one of the first dance albums to be released. Back in the days when things like facebook and other social media platforms didn’t exist yet, me and some friends were running an online dance magazine called Love2party (kinda corny name, i know..). Sort of a Dutch Resident Advisor avant la lettre. Covering party previews and reviews, pictures, cd reviews, interviews with artists and such. That’s how i got introduced to the whole electronic music scene. At the time i had record players at home and was already collecting music, but never had the intention of becoming a dj. Untill several clubs in Rotterdam and Utrecht started asking us if our magazine would like to host their second area on a monthly base. We did and in the following few years i started djing in clubs, just for fun, and from there on it gradually flowed into a dj carreer.
For me, a lot of your music hits so many levels. Not just the hard hitting beats but I think there is also an emotional side to the tracks that you mix together. A great example of this is your mix “dark side of the moon II”. Where does your inspiration come from to get this atmospheric feeling to your music?
My inspiration comes from within myself. It’s usually a reflection of my personal emotion at the time that i make a new mix. It always starts with a certain feeling. It can be warm and happy which reflects in my deephouse mixes, or more emotional which reflects in my deep techno mixes. But in all cases i love a certain melodramatic undertone and a little deepness in all of music. A mix to me is not just a bunch of tracks in a row, but i try to make a coherent story which tickels your emotions on several levels. And from the feedback i usually get i think that works out quite well.
Do you find you get a more intimate reaction to your sets when you play smaller venues? Looking at your gig list .. you tend to stay away from big festivals?
Absolutely. A smaller club tends to bring a more intimate vibe and it’s the perfect place to take people on a trip. Also due to the fact that i’m are usually much closer to the audience and can really feel and go along with their energy, and vice versa. But i can just as much enjoy playing a festival or a bigger venue. Every year i do a few festivals, but i’m not the “i get booked at every festival every weekend’ kind of dj. Probably also because my sound is a little too specific for some organisers.
What festivals do you tend to go to through the year when you want to chill with your friends? I’m heading to Sonar in Barcelona this year - it’s going to be great!
It differs every year actually. Summer is usually a busy time and gigs always come first, so it all depends on which days i’m free and what festivals there are for me to visit. And the ones i visit are usually in Holland. There are now so many festivals here that you have so much choice every weekend that i havent been to foreign festivals in a few years. This year especially my own city, Rotterdam, is getting a lot of new festivals. So i will mostly try to visit those. And being a dj it’s always good to visit festivals with a lot of friends, as my schedule most times is different than theirs in the summer.
You played a lot throughout December 2014 in your home town, Rotterdam. How did these shows go - did you get a good reception?
Playing in Rotterdam always feels like playing at your own house. I tend to do 2 shows a month here and i’m always very happy with the reception i get here. And i’m lucky to have my own clubnight in Toffler, one of Rotterdam premier clubs. I get to invite my own personal favourite dj’s and in december i had Eelke Kleijn, which turned out to be a very intimate and good night.
When are you going to come play in the UK!?
I hope soon :). The fact that i’m not a producer does make it more difficult for me to get noticed outside of my own country. I do have some foreign bookings every year, but England hasn’t been one of them as yet. But i would certainly love to play there, as i hear great stories about the english party people!
Fabric in London recently came under serious fire for a drug related death in the club late last year. They were very close to having close their doors for good. Did you see the campaign to keep it open? What were your thoughts?
I used to live on and off in London for a while years ago and at that time Fabric and the End where my favourite clubs to go out. I always kept following Fabric as i had some magical nights there so i did follow the news around what happened there. Drug related incidents and clubs having to (almost) close are of all times. I have seen it a few times here in Holland as well. If something like that happens, the media love to jump on it. Drug related stuff in clubs scores and then the politics jump on it as well. It’s easy scoring points by yelling it has to close or license shouldn’t be renewed. But i’m very happy that Fabric remains as is, because if i see the line-ups they book there, it would be a shame for London to miss out on all those fantastic dj’s.
What are your plans for DJing in 2015?
Honestly, i don’t have much of a plan. I like to take things as they come. I have my own nights and a residency at Toffler, a summer residency at Whoosah Beachclub (which is one of the biggest in Holland) and a lot of interesting club and festival gigs in the works for this year. Thus so far it looks very promising.