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Wednesday 26th, April 2006
Armin van Buuren (April 2006)

Born in Leiden, Holland on December 25th, 1976 Armin was no stranger to music. Between his father's diverse tastes ranging from punk to electronica to his guitar playing brother, it was in his blood. Armin has come a long way since his genre-defining release of Blue Fear at the age of 19. Now holding steady at #3 on the DJ Mag Top 100 list, he is at the fore-front of the scene playing gigs all around the world. With a few awards under his belt such as Best Radio Show, Best Compilation for his ASOT 2004 mix CD, and even winning one of Holland's oldest awards; the Edison award for 'Dance' things will only get better. 2006 has also brought us another A State of Trance mix cd with the release party this Friday April 28th at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam as well as Armada and Seat's Queensday party night at Garenmarkt, Leiden coming up this Saturday. Entry is free for the Queensday party! Trance.nu has caught up with Armin to hear what he's up to lately, read on...

Trance.nu: Hey Armin, how are you?

Armin: Iím feeling good thank you.

Trance.nu: Unfortunately we didnít get to meet up last Thursday at Kool Haus in Toronto, but I did stay for the party and it was absolutely incredible. At one point I saw you wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Jersey with AVB on the back and I couldnít believe my eyes. Do you like hockey? Canadians are pretty obsessed with it!

Armin: I got the shirt right before my show from a fan and I couldnít resist wearing it. I gave him one of the first copies of ASOT 2006 and decided to wear the shirt. To be really honest I donít really know much about hockey but I watched some of the games in the hotelroom and I thought it was pretty cool. Some of the madness we get in Holland with soccer, Canadians get with Hockey I guess.

Trance.nu: How do you compare the party scene in Canada compared to other areas around the world youíve played? Itís no secret Ė Toronto loves AVB!

Armin: I think Canada is in my top 3 favorite countries in the world to play in. Iíve often named Guvernment as the best club in the world. I canít believe the amount of dance music lovers that live in Toronto. One of the most important EDM websites next to trance.nu, tranceaddict.com, is also based in Toronto. That must mean something. Iíve been playing Toronto since 2001 almost every 4 months and never had a slow night. The crowd is simply amazing.

Trance.nu: I think I finally called it a night around 6:30am, but had friends texting me later saying you were still playing after 9 in the morning! What sparked this marathon set?

Armin: Simply the atmosphere. I know we live in a world of DJ lists, but when you connect with a crowd I just want to have a great time and all that matters is simply the music & the fun.

Trance.nu: So people will stop askingÖ You played Communication Part 4 at Trance Energy, which received amazing feedback. When will this see a release?

Armin: I recently bought all the rights back of my old productions. A lot of people are requesting me to release older tracks and unreleased versions which I basically did for for my DJ sets only. Iím still thinking about it. On the one hand I think itís cool to have a few tracks only for my sets, but on the other hand a lot of people want to have these tracks. The version I played was a remix of Communication part 3, thereís no part 4!

Trance.nu: Who is the hottest new trance producer of the moment in your opinion?

Armin: I really like the recent work of Arksun aka Luminary, Orjan aka DJ Govenor, Aira Force aka Jon O Bir, Flashbrothers & Mike Foyle. Plus everything that John O Callaghan does works really well for me.

Trance.nu: The success of your State of Trance radio show is unbelievable. Every time I turn around itís being played on more and more radio stations around the world. With years of DJíing professionally, loads of solid releases under your belt and a widely popular radio show, what is next?

Armin: Thank you J I think the Armin Only event we did last year in Ahoy Rotterdam could be the start of something big and weíre already working on it. DJ-ing and Trance will always be my roots because itís simply what I love the most. Thereíre still loads of ideaís and dreams to accomplish. I try to take every day as it comes.

Trance.nu: Iíve been listening to your work since around the time of Communication and your Boundaries of Imagination mix cd. A great deal has changed since then, including becoming a figurehead for the trance scene. With this comes the good and the bad, as there are always people out there who donít like the direction youíre headed in. How do you handle both the praise and the criticism? Fans can be tough to please!

Armin: You can never please everybody. Iím just trying to do my thing and follow the sound I believe in. My fans are very important for me. I try to listen to any reasonable criticism and take it into account. Sometimes itís hard to deal with, especially if you know how much time goes into, for example, a regular A State of Trance episode but I think Iíve developed a thick skin. I have to and want to take risks and play out of the ordinary sometimes, just to see if people like it or not.

Trance.nu: With a strong presence as both DJ and Producer, what do you think is the most important: Promoting the music others make with your DJ sets or directly influencing the trance sound with your own productions?

Armin: I think itís very important to do both. You HAVE to make music nowadays to get bookings. The experience of playing live and hearing other peopleís music is very important for your development as a producer I think. In fact, thereís not much difference anymore between DJ-ing and producing. Look at a software program like Ableton Live. You can produce and DJ with it. Itís one of the best things that has happened for EDM in the last few years in my opinion (next to the CDJ1000ís). Ableton is extremely tight, very creative, sounds great and the capabilities are endless, even with Midi.

Trance.nu: I always love this question: If your studio was burning down and you could save only three things; what would you save?

Armin: My G5, my TR909 and my harddrives.

Trance.nu: With a constant stream of international gigs bringing you to all corners of the Earth, where do you go to get away from it all? What do you do to relax?

Armin: Thereís not much time but I did plan two weekends off this year. In January I went diving in Australia and Iíve rented a little villa in France with a pool and Iíll be driving to France since Iíve seen enough planes this year. Iím looking forward to, sleeping, sit by the pool, reading books, listening to my iPod and barbecue with my family.

Trance.nu: Thanks Armin!

Armin: Thank you trance.nu. Thanks for your continuing support for ASOT and trance music in general.

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