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Monday 04th, June 2007
Benjamin Bates
Updated: Thursday 28th, May 2009

Benjamin Kuyten a.k.a. Benjamin Bates is active in the music industry for many years already. He produced many hit records already, together with his studio partner Marco Verkuylen a.k.a. Marco V. In they year 2004 the first Benjamin Bates album ‘Never Let Anything Kill The Pleasure’ saw its release. And now, 3 years later the brand new Benjamin Bates album ‘Recyclomania’ will be released on the Dutch ‘Big & Dirty’ label. In the first week of April Benjamin Bates was special guest in the radioshow ‘Dancemania’ on Siris Radio in The Netherlands. This interview has been translated from Dutch especially for Trance.nu:

Trance.nu: Benjamin, your new artist album ‘Recyclomania’ will be released soon. When can we expect the album exactly?
Benjamin: The album will be available in stores on May 14!


Trance.nu: And can you tell us something more about the album? How many tracks can we expect on it, are there any special collaborations with other producers and stuff like that?
Benjamin: Well, the whole album from the beginning till the end is done by myself and with Marco V of course. We did all tracks on the album together as usual. There are 11 tracks on the album and all 11 tracks are brand new. We wanted to released an album with only new material, so no old tracks, or tracks that had been released already.


Trance.nu: So there are no tracks on the album from the last 3 EP’s that you released? Like ‘The Manimal’ and the other ones?
Benjamin: No, those releases were made especially for the DJ’s in the clubs and it was also for the people to let them all know that we were still making music, hahaha! But those tracks will not be released on the album. So everything on the album is brand new!


Trance.nu: What is your personal favourite track on the album?
Benjamin: Hmmm, that’s a difficult question... There are always a few tracks that are more special for myself as other ones. But when I have to make a choice, it will definitely be the track ‘Forever Running’.


Trance.nu: And why is that your favourite track?
Benjamin: Well, because when we started to write this track, we had a sort of a feeling with it. And I think that when I listen to the final result, it is very close and we are really happy with it, so that is the reason.


Trance.nu: Is this also a vocal track?
Benjamin: Yes, this is a vocal track. I have to say almost all tracks on ‘Recyclomania’ are vocal tracks.


Trance.nu: You’re doing almost all vocals on your productions yourself. Why is that?
Benjamin: In the past Marco and I worked a lot with session singers, which is really cool. We always explained what we want to have, but at the end of the day it is always a bit different, from what you wanted to have. Before Marco and I started to make dance music, I was performing in a bands, so I had some experience. So on a certain moment, we decided that I would try it myself. On my first album there were also some vocal tracks that I did myself and on Marco’s ‘200V’ album you can also hear me in some vocal tracks, so since we are pretty happy with those tracks, we decided that it would be good to do on my new album as well.


Trance.nu: So you are doing the vocals on all Marco V tracks as well?
Benjamin: Sometimes, I don’t do all vocal tracks, like ‘Second Bite’ for example, was done by an English singer named Ned Bigham. I think I did the vocals on 3 or 4 tracks of the ‘200V’ album myself, like ‘False Light’. You can hear me do the vocals on that one for example.


Trance.nu: How long have you been working on the ‘Recyclomania’ album?
Benjamin: Some tracks are maybe 1,5 years old already, but of course we have updated them before the new release, so I think it took us at least 1,5 years to finish the entire album.


Trance.nu: Your last album ‘Never Let Anything Kill The Pleasure” was released in 2004. What is the big difference between that one and ‘Recyclomania’?
Benjamin: I think it’s the way we approached this album. When we did the ‘Never Let Anything Kill The Pleasure’ album, we tried to make dance tracks, while we imagined that we had pop tracks, that had to be remixed in a danceable way. This was something we came up with ourselves, haha! We wanted to make dance music, but also with some pop influences. When we do a remix for somebody, we start with the parts that we like ourselves, so we take something catchy and all elements we like. We put a nice beat under it and we work it out after that. So for the ‘NLAKTP’ album, we first wrote all songs and after that, we decided to ‘remix’ our own tracks. For the ‘Recyclomania’ album, we did it in a totally different, so now we really produced the songs instead of the ‘remixing’ idea. This really worked nice for me and also for Marco, so I think that was the big difference.


Trance.nu: You recently played at Sensation White in Belgium and before your gig, you got announced as the new ambassador for Dance4Life. In 2006 Tiësto was the ambassador, so I guess it’s an honour for you to be the next one! What can you tell us about it?
Benjamin: Well, I’m not the only ambassador to be honest, so basically a lot of people are ambassador for Dance4Life now. So it’s not that Tiësto was THE ambassador in 2006 and that I am THE ambassador for 2007. There is a whole list of international ambassadors, so for example Jesse Voorn and Don Diablo are ambassador as well now. You can check http://www.dance4life.nl for more info by the way. I did things with them before in the past already, but the last year we lost contact a bit to be honest. But on a certain moment they were visiting my record company and they heard my track ‘On My Feet’ and they absolutely loved it! So they asked if it was possible to use the track as official Dance4Life theme and at the same moment they said that it would be nice if I would be ambassador for Dance4Life as well. So that is how it happened!


Trance.nu: And when can we expect the release of ‘On My Feet’ exactly?
Benjamin: That well be at the end of April.


Trance.nu: So that is also the first release of the album?
Benjamin: Yes, but we had decided that already before we knew that it was going to be used for Dance4Life. And I’m really happy with that, since that is really good for me regarding promotion and extra attention in the press. And for them it’s also nice, especially since they were looking already for a while for a track that they wanted to have as new Dance4Life theme. So everybody is happy at the end, haha!


Trance.nu: On the ‘Big & Dirty’ label you had 3 releases already. Can we expect new releases on that label soon?
Benjamin: ‘On My Feet’ is the first one and the album will see a release on ‘Big & Dirty’ as well.


Trance.nu: You did a lot of productions already, but what do you think that is your best production ever?
Benjamin: Wow, that is a really hard question! But when I have to choose just one track, it will be ‘Marco V - Simulated’. I’m still very proud on that track!


Trance.nu: We’re going back a few years, in the time that you were working in the city of Eindhoven in a club called ‘De DansSalon’. You met Marco Verkuijlen (Marco V.) there for the first time. Can you tell us how that all happened?
Benjamin: Well, I started there in the wardrobe, hanging coats. During that period I was DJ-ing already at school parties and stuff like that. When I started working in ‘De DansSalon’, I was so overwhelmed by the amazing atmosphere in the club! House music the entire night long and a lot of unknown music combined with the whole drive and atmosphere, that was just great! When I did my job apply, I lied a bit and there I said that I could do the lights as well. On a certain moment, the light jockey got fired, because he was selling ‘vitamins’ to the visitors and so they asked me to become the new light jockey. Well, now there was no way back for me, so I had to do it. So from that moment, was doing the lights and Marco was playing the music. And after 3 or 4 weeks we decided to go work on some stuff in the studio already. I was busy myself already with producing music, but that was more in small bands, not really dance music.


Trance.nu: So after those 3 weeks, you both started working together already?
Benjamin: Well, in the beginning, I did gave Marco a cassette tape with a track that I’ve made myself. At that time I was already playing in bands and I had no idea that Marco was already busy for a while with producing tracks, so on one of the first nights he was busy in ‘De DansSalon’ with spinning some tracks and on a certain moment he had this cassette tape and then he said to me “I’m going to play something new, I have made it myself”, so I was thinking “Oh no! This is going to crap!”. And then he started playing the tape, which was one of the first “Phoney Fables” tracks and the whole club went nuts! And I was like “Wow! What is happening here???”, so I said to him “That is really cool! You have to try to release this track!” and he replied “Well, I released 40 tracks already”, so I was like “Oops!”, hahaha! So on that moment I had to idea that it would be cool to try to work on something together with Marco in the studio, so after listening to my tape Marco said that he wanted to work on something with me, so that is how it all happened! And after 6 months, I decided to quit school and Marco stopped with his job, so we could concentrate more on the music we were making.


Trance.nu: Fedde Le Grand also started his career in ‘De DansSalon’, isn’t it?
Benjamin: Haha! Yes! I had to help him in the club on his first nights. On a certain moment the club owner came to me and he said that he had a young guy who wanted to start DJ-ing in ‘De DansSalon’ as well, so he asked Marco and me to show Fedde how everything worked in the club etc. In that time Fedde was already busy with producing music as well. I think I have a nice story about that, haha! During those days I was playing this track in ‘De DansSalon’ which was called ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’ and when I played that one, the crowd went mental! Everybody absolutely loved that track! And Fedde kept on asking me which track it was every time I played it. When I found the track in the record store, I noticed 3 copies of it, so I got them all myself, so no one else could play it, haha! One copy I gave to Marco because he also noticed the success of the track and he wanted to play it too. So after a while I gave the last copy to Fedde. On the vinyl there was this acapella with the ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit, A Lovely City’ part in it. So a few months ago I heard the track that was done by Fedde and I was like “No way! He used that sample!”, haha! Even Marco and I were busy with the same sample for a new ‘Southside Spinners’ track, but at the end we decided not to use it, so maybe we had to do something more with it at the end, haha!


Trance.nu: Haha, awesome story! Fedde even got a nice award for that track during the Winter Music Concerence in Miami, isn’t it?
Benjamin: Well, not with the same sample, because the voice is not used from the original acappella, but he made a great hit for sure! I was really surprised when I heard it for the first time I must say, haha!


Trance.nu: You and Marco do all tracks and remixes together. How often are you working in the studio?
Benjamin: We work there together every Monday till Friday, so almost every day!


Trance.nu: When you are DJ-ing, how would you describe the style from your music you’re playing?
Benjamin: When I come in a record store, I’m buying everything what I like myself. So when I check on in the stores, it is labelled over there as ‘progressive’, ‘electro’, ‘club’, ‘house’, so I think it’s a mixture of all those styles.


Trance.nu: Since when are you DJ-ing already?
Benjamin: That is a long time ago already! That must be 14 years ago, I was 17 years old when I started to DJ professional, I mean, to make a living.


Trance.nu: Are there clubs or festivals that you really would love to play at and why?
Benjamin: Hmmm, not really, but that is because when I am DJ-ing, I don’t get to other places that often of course. And I did a lot of big festivals already such as ‘Innercity’, ‘Sensation’ and ‘Mysteryland’ for example, so much bigger is almost impossible. But I have heard some very good stories about the ‘Zouk’ in Singapore, so I would love to play there for sure in the future! It seems to be an amazing club, so that would be nice for sure!


Trance.nu: You did quit a few DJ gigs together with Marco V in the past. Are these sets always back 2 back?
Benjamin: Not always, but sometimes people book us together and then I’m playing 2 hours and Marco is normally after me with his set. So what we do then from time to time is that we play back 2 back the last 15 minutes from my set and the first 15 minutes of his.


Trance.nu: Where can we expect you in the near future with DJ-ing?
Benjamin: Good question, haha! You can best check my website for that, since that is always up to date with all gigs.


Trance.nu: Are there plans already for a Benjamin Bates mixcompilation?
Benjamin: Well, there were some plans for that in the past, but I was busy finishing my new album at that time. But as far as I know now, there are plans to release a mixcompilation next year!


Trance.nu: Besides DJ-ing and producing, you also do some remixes as well. In the summer of 2006 you did a remix of ‘Phunk-A-Delic - Rockin’ and in January 2007 the track ‘Remix’ from ‘The Psychological Poets’ was released with a Benjamin Bates remix. Can we expect some new remixes soon?
Benjamin: A few months ago I finished a remix for Funkerman and I have to say that I was really happy with the result of that! And they told me that they were very happy as well, but they postpone the release date every time, I think mainly because of the things that happen now with Fedde (Trance.nu: Fedde Le Grand and Funkerman just released the track ‘Wheels In Motion’ together) so they had some other stuff going on. I did a remix for the Funkerman track ‘So Many Miles’, but I don’t know when they want to release it.


Trance.nu: Are there any tracks that you would like to remix? A classic? Or are there tracks that you want to make a bootleg from?
Benjamin: When Marco and I make a bootleg, it’s most of the time a new track. Or it is an older track that we think that is still great and that it would be funny to do something new with it. For example, the bootleg that we did from ‘Coldplay - Clocks’, that was on the moment their album was released. When we heard that track we agreed that this track “asked” for a dance version, so when I went to a Coldplay concert in Ahoy, Rotterdam, I saw them play ‘Clocks’ live and that was so amazing! I was really impressed and after that we did the bootleg.


Trance.nu: You were pretty early with that bootleg I think, since a lot of other people made their own bootleg version of it afterwards as well?
Benjamin: True! Well, so we had a good idea I think, haha!


Trance.nu: And as well with the bootleg version of Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’, or not?
Benjamin: True! A few months after our bootleg we heard this track ‘Madhouse - Like A Prayer’ and there was even a whole album with Madonna dance covers released afterwards!


Trance.nu: One year ago you got an accident during a soccer game, what was the exact story with that?
Benjamin: Well, I was playing in a soccer game and now I know why it’s not allowed to make a sliding with a stretched leg, haha! One of my bones was split and I have to say that it did hurt, but when I was checking, it noticed that it did not looked good at all, so we went to the hospital straight away!


Trance.nu: So you had to cancel some gigs as well?
Benjamin: I only had to cancel my bookings for 1 weekend, but the weekend after, I had to play at a real cool party in Russia for over 15.000 people, I was there the year before as well, so I definitely didn’t want to cancel that one. I was lucky, since Marcel Woods had to play there as well and we live in the same area, so after a phonecall to him, he picked me up in his car and he took care of me the entire weekend, which was really cool of him! And after that weekend I had somebody to drive me for a while, since I still couldn’t walk normally or drive myself, so there was always who took care of that.


Trance.nu: What is the highlight in your career so far?
Benjamin: With DJ-ing it must be the time that I had to play at ‘Innercity’ in 2003, when they had Brazil as theme. I had to play before Tiësto and a lot of people came earlier to that stage to see him. So when I was playing, the place was packed already and everybody was ready to party! And everybody went mental! That was so amazing! And the highlight when it comes to releases, I think that must be the release of ‘Southside Spinners - Luvstruck’. Not even because of the production, but more the things that happen when you find out that you have a hit and that it is in the charts everywhere! We had to play in clubs and places where we never had heard about before, so that was really amazing as well.


Trance.nu: What can we expect from you in the near future?
Benjamin: First of all the ‘Recyclomania’ album of course, I’m really curious to hear the reactions about it, since it’s a lot more poppy then the last album. So yeah, I’ll see what happens!


Trance.nu: Thank you very much for your time and good luck in the future!
Benjamin: Thank you too!


Written by:
Twan van Loon

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