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Saturday 08th, March 2003
Armin Van Buuren

Armin van buuren took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with trance.nu members Helen and Cameron for an intimate interview about music, people and life..READ ON!

12.30am @ Gas Nightclub Sydney.....


Cameron: What can we expect for your forthcoming artist album?....
Armin: Uhmmmm....(pauses)
Cameron: We have heard your collaboration with Ferry Corsten..
Armin: Oh, did you? I didnít actually play that yet (laughs......)I played Slipstream, the track i did with Airwave (Laurent Veronez)
(pause) Well.....There are artists who all of a sudden start to make cool musicand i thought well, i can do two things. I can go in the studio and try to reinvent the wheel, if you want to say that...and i know that you guys are not waiting for that and i know a lot of people are not waiting for that.

It will will be...just like you can expect of an Armin trance Cd, but in the way, you know, in the line of productions that ive had...over the past 3 years, but of course there is some down tempo stuff on it , there are some vocal tracks on it and definitely some instrumental,just straightforward trance..but not with a JP8080 riff just really well thought trance tracks. I mean ive done alot of production over the last year, and there are alot of tracks that wont even make the album. It will be a journey...you know a nice intro....and nice stuff like that.

Helen: So there are going to some melodic down tempo tracks..
Armin: Yeah, but more the Chicane'ish kinda style.

Cameron: Will it be a continuous mixed cd?
Armin: It will be singles. But uhmm, virtually no stops in the album.

Helen: Have you ever considered producing a movie soundtrack?
Armin: Yeah! oh funny that you say that. We are actually working with it... I was in LA the other week and there was this guy who was approaching me.....(long pause)
Hmmm.i donít know how that went, cause ive got my whole management team now, 2 people working for me fulltime, so its not uhm...I dont know how that went you know. There is so much happening at the moment for me.Ive also got a fever and the flu right now (laughs)

Cameron: How are you finding the Australian audience?
Armin: Its really close to the UK crowd, but more 'fresher'.Its more fresh. I donít know, its just that you guys are.....

Helen: More open to new sounds?
Armin: Yeah...trance isnt that big here in Australia, but it is building...

Helen: So how would you best describe your sound?
Armin: Electronic Dance Music (EDM)!!

Cameron: So you donít like being labelled 'Trance'
Armin: No....no...Ill tell you why. Because i made trance before it was called
trance, and back then it was called 'energetic club' or a huge amount of other names for it. I always say if you would name Sydney, the city...say if you would name it Amsterdam next year and the year after you would name it New York. Nobody would be able to find your city again...So i think the discussion about what genre we like is pretty useless. I think you can say its Electronic Dance Music, drivenby melodies and euphoric elements.....

Helen: ...So how would you compare your own sound with other djs.?
Armin: Well i dont watch alot of other djs. To be honest, i havenít heard another
dj set in its entirety over the past 3 years. I mean, ive heard the beginning of a Tiesto
set and the end of a Ferry set.....Ive never stayed on stage. I mean, ive heard half of Tenaglia's set at Space, Miami. I think that was 5hrs....and that is the longest ive heard Dj's, and other dj sets.You know, its just......I try to stay as uninfluenced as possible....and sometimes its really hard. One thing that strikes me the most is that my fans and the trance genre in general. Such as Trance.nu and Tranceaddict.com...the are nice people in general. Where as you go over to the GlobalUnderground website....Those guys....
They are all slapping you in the face. Its unbelievable!! (laughs and raises voice)

You should know that we Dj's talk amongst each other and i know i have the benefit of the doubt of the audience at the moment....but Tiesto has been hit in the face over the past few years..so hard ... and i think it is totally undeserved you know. Its the same for us djs....Its just like you guys. We are constantly trying to involve and trying to surprise you guys....and the audience, and with the message boards. You sometimes hear from others that they are not really fond of your productions. So your an asshole (laughs) That you made dust.wav and so on. So sometimes for us its really hard to cope with that,cause you know, when im in the studio its really hard you know....

If you go....you probably...like say both of you probably have produced yourselves, or try
to produce ..

Helen: hehe, yeah some soft synths like fruity and Reason.
Armin: yeah...
Helen / Cameron (laughing) ...we have 'tried' yeah

Armin: ..Yeah....well there you see. You know how difficult it is to produce a record and it can take 2 months for one track to be completely finished.

Helen: .... Or 2 days?...
Armin: heh yeah or two days, but sometimes its just so hard to think of somthing new and then you know you work 2 months on a track and then there is someone on a message
board saying....I hate that track! (laughter)

Helen: So what about 'Blue Fear' and 'Communication'.How long did it take for you to finish them?
Armin: They were made in 4 hrs! (laughter)
My Rapture remix of Iio..uhm i think that took about 2 months to finish.So as you can hear.... its very complicated....

Cameron: Just a question off the subject. What do you do when you are not Djing?
Armin: (laughs)

Cameron: Do you play on your playstation, or play any sports?
Armin: Well i think im spending 120hrs a week preparing for the radio show, and so on.
Preparing what tracks to play for the radioshow takes me a day or even 2 days a week.
It takes alot of effort. I call alot of producers myself, so i have to be sure i get all of the
upfront stuff. There are more CD-R's in my case than records! Its unbelievable.
But when im off..Its just like you guys u think. I like going to the gym sometimes,
but as you can see it doesnít look like it (laughs and touches his chest) and i watch
DVD's ...so yeah nothing special...Hanging out with my friends etc..

Cameron: So does the travelling and touring ever get too much for you?
Armin: Well i just took 2 aspirins not long ago (laughs) and i cancelled dinner tonight
cause im not feeling to well. This tour has been one of the hardest to be honest.
Dont forget that each gig is very emotional for me as a person as well and like alot
of other dj's, so it takes alot....A dj set for me is very personal.. so yes, it does take alot of energy out of me. If you have to...I mean we went to club Glow in Washington DC Saturday, came back on Monday and then had to leave again on Tuesday, then from Tuesday i went to Auckland, we had one day to relax but you'll
find that its a 12hr time difference, so its like a slap on your face, you know ''there you go!" But i must admit they where good flights and stuff, but im still knackered so yeah, we arrived on Thursday morning, we planned to visit Hobbiton to see the Lord of the Rings set, but we couldnít , we were exhausted and then we did the gig and flew Auckland to Sydney for TwoTribes and after flew to Perth and thatís like 6-5hrs away! You know and your time zones are completely....you know...all over the place.

...But still......its the Best job in the World!!!! Sometimes it can be rough, especially
at this level , because you have to travel so much.

Helen: You must get alot of material sent out to you (CD-Rs and 12")
Do you have time to go through all that yourself?

Armin: I have people that look after my records, but there are still like 90% of the records that go straight to me. Alot of people still send me housey stuff! (laughs)
I opened a housey envelope last week. Well one on Credence Records that i really really liked
(pause) But i cant remember the nameÖ.but I do I play house, i play techno and i play trance.
Helen: Do you usually start your sets with some progressive house and 'build' it up slowly?

Armin: It depends on the crowd really and it depends on whos playing on before me.
I dont know about tonight to be honest cause these guys are ramming it out so...
Building a 4 hr set will be difficult... I really like to play with progressive guys..

Helen: So are there any favourites?
Armin: Yeah i have loads. I mean the Dutch guys of course.

Helen: like Sander?
Armin: Yeah, and Junkie XL, but hes not djing of course..uhmmm Lemon8.. he might be big next year...very big....!

Helen: yeah, hes a very good remixer and producer..
Armin: Yeah, and hes also a brilliant DJ as well, and hes joining the team now so....

Helen: and what about Lucien Foort?
Armin: Yeah...hes a bit more techy but still really good. Dj Remy and those guys
im really fond of playing with....

Cameron: Have you ever considered playing a 'LIVE' set?
Armin: Funny you say that actually. Since the success if Yet Another Day its going really Öreally well in a number of countries. Its doing very well.

There have been tV interviews and so on, but i donít see myself standing behind a keyboard
going.. (does air piano- hands in air) I donít think thatís really me ....

Helen: Do you have a current top 5?
Armin: hmmm top 5...Im terrible with Charts! There are alot im good with names but there are alot of tracks that i like from the progressive genre. Take for example my recent Essential Mix.

Helen: yeah, you played James Holdenís - 'Nothing' (93 returning remix)
Armin: Yeah!...Ive had that record for quiet some time but i never had the chance
to play it.

Helen: What about Midtone - Pearl
Armin: Yeah....thats actually done by the guy that used to play with me @ Eden, Ibiza.

I had this song already, it was in one of my ASOT radio shows. I had this last summer
on CD-R back then. That was still unsigned! .. Shit! .. I should of signed that record. (laughs)

Cameron: What about Rob Lidstroem - Recitation
Armin: oh yeah, i know that. Thatís a great track. I'll start with that track tonight.
Ive asked for 2 CDJ 1000's...

Helen: So...will we be hearing you drop any new tracks tonight?
Armin: Well, i have 40 tracks from my album here, as bits and pieces.
But there is never a track that i think.... "..Alright....thatís the track i want to play" Sometimes i donít even know the first track. Its just like i know 10 seconds before
i start!

Cameron: Do you prefer playing at large festivals or your intimate club gigs?
Armin: Hmmm...Well of course i like a combination of both. Not too much, i mean it sounds really stupid, but if you play in front of 40 000 people it gets....i donít know...you donít get the contact, you know...but what i absolutely love still is one of my favourite clubs, The "O" at the Hague in Holland.

Helen: oh yes, i was there last summer for Paul van Dyks set.
Armin: Yeah? cool...Well thatís one of my favourite clubs. Not so much because of the
sound or the club itself, but more for the atmosphere and the people.

Cameron: Thatís where you did your 12 hour "Armin Only" set...
Armin: Yeah thats right...

Cameron: So how was that?
Armin: oh excellent!. But she wanted to go home (laughs and points to girlfriend)

Erika (Armins Girlfriend): Yeah!...i had to drive him home. I was also sober all night you know
(laughter)


Cameron / Helen: Thank you Armin for having a word with us....

Armin: Thank you!


Trance.nu would like to thank Armin van Buuren for taking the time to talk to us - thank you Armin...


Written by:
Helen

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