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Monday 08th, October 2007
JOOP Interview

Trance.nu caught up with another talented and crazy Dutchman, Joop, ahead of the release of his new mix album on High Contrast. We discuss amoung other things his massive Trance Energy 2007 anthem 'The Future', the deeper things in life and playing on Sied van Riel's Wii. Read on...

Hi Joop, how are you today? Is the weather as miserable where you are as it is here?

Hey! At the moment it is very sunny here were I live. And I’m very good thank you.

Now is your chance to introduce yourself to the trance.nu community – tell us, who is Joop?

Well let me try to say something about myself then… not my strongest point haha!

I’m from the Netherlands and live way up North in a place called Leeuwarden. Spend all my life here actually, and for me is it the best place to be whenever I come home from wherever. Started out fooling around with music when I was 13 years old and began to DJ on my 14th in a local community centre. From there on learning how to mix records on the famous Technics turntables and playing every Saturday evening till there was no music left…

Along with this I started out making some first dance stuff on the Amiga back in 93’, ‘94. And yes people I also played hardcore in the early days… that was fun only 4-8 channels open and the Amiga was like… dude your wearing me out, nowadays you can’t imagine this anymore.

After doing this and DJing here and there, things went pretty fast after doing a talent thing. From there on I suddenly was on the biggest festivals and parties playing along side other DJs I bought records from and they were an inspiration for me for years! So I started to have contact with some mighty names in the Trance industry and produced a couple of tracks with Benno de Goeij (Rank-1) and the guys from Orange Studios and signed it to Dick de Groot, A&R at that time for the ID&T label. From here on things became better and bigger. So that’s a little story about me running around in this beautiful world of electronic music.

What is your favourite games console?

I’m not that big of a gamer but once in a while if I play then I’m hooked pretty fast. Last time I played, we spent the weekend with Sied van Riel and we had so much fun on the Nintendo Wii! Let me tell you, things were getting pretty ugly over there, us knocking things over and shouting to a machine… almost smashed the controller trough Sied’s big ass TV screen, his girl running around trying to catch things falling off, and the dog was looking like: guys come on act like humans not like me!

Haha Sied’s Wii gets everywhere! Ok, onto the serious stuff. You have a new mix album out on High Contrast, tell us about that. What kind of sounds can we expect to hear on there?

Yeah I am very pleased with this release. This double CD compilation will feature some of the finest dance music that’s around at the moment. Not only real trance but I have put various styles of dance music onto these CDs, because I don’t only play ‘that’ style of music when I play a DJ set. I like to think more beyond one particular style… for instance when I go to a party myself, I love to hear more things than just one sound, this is what I have been doing for over five years now, combining styles into one set. Also as a producer I love to fool around with different types of sounds and atmospheres that do not particularly fit into one box. So this is what you can also expect on the CD, my feeling towards an universal language, in this case: dance music… CD 1 has a deeper meaning and feeling, but on the other hand also some real club bangers will fly by. CD 2 has a more Trance/Progressive kinda feel, that will sound stronger and head into some harder beats and sounds towards the end.

What was your aim when mixing it and are you happy with the results?

I’m a guy of the oldskool! I mix all my sets here in my studio without using any Ableton Live or whatever, the only thing I use is my recording program of course. Not that I’m against programs that will make it easier to make mixes… but I wanted to put a real live element into these CDs. So what I usually do is cut all the tracks up, edit them or put some more FX in here and there and after that I mix every track by using my CDJs here. And this is the result.

My aim for doing this is quite simple, I was asked to do this High Contrast Presents Joop CD and I was very happy with that, and hope that the people will like it and will have lots of listening pleasure!

Do you have any particular favourite tracks on there?

Yes I do…

Paul Kalkbrennner – Keule (Intro Mix)
Gilbert Renoir pres. Dyor ft. Ken Spector - Follow me (Imadlak Mix)
Cosmic Gate – Body of Conflict
Sied van Riel – What You Want
Anton Sonin & Amx – Undone
Redroche - No More Sunrise
Daso - Sam ‘N’ Max
Leon Bolier - Further Instructions

And more! Actually most of the tracks are my favorites at the moment! I also put my new tracks On Top Of Things and Prominent on this compilation.

On that subject, ‘On Top Of Things/Prominent’ is out on High Contrast. How has DJ support been and what are your own feelings about that track?

The support on this track I get is very cool… because there were a lot of people in the beginning when they heard it for the first time, saying something about the break and the sound of the lead there… kinda strange they thought… but after listening to it several times they all got the same feeling I had when we made it… BANGER! I’ve been playing it for almost 6 months now and let me tell you it really works on the floor big time! Sure you deal with different tastes in music, but it works for me and wherever I play it the roof comes off!

Prominent is also included in this release and is played out already by some big guns now… so DJ support all over.

Of course, most of us know you for your massive track, ‘The Future’. Were you asked to write a Trance Energy Anthem before composing that track or was it chosen? How did you feel soundtracking one of your countries biggest trance events?

Yeah, we were very honored when we got the first SMS messages from the ID&T headquarters. We didn’t expect this because we didn’t make this track with that intention.

That it was big, well we heard that too when we finished the track and also the anthem kinda feeling was there. After the track was done we sent it to Dick de Groot and later on we heard some rumours that this perhaps might be the official anthem of Trance Energy 2007! So you can imagine how high we jumped after hearing this. I played a couple of times before at Trance Energy but never in my wildest dreams that my name would be on the official anthem of this event.

You work closely with Leon Bolier, who has really grown this year into one of the most promising trance artists on the scene. How did you get to know each other and what is he like to work with?

Leon is my homie! We almost think alike when it comes to making music and I’m glad we ran into each other at an event were we both played. Leon is a guy that knows his skills and how to use them to make something good. We know each other really well since The Future, and after this we spend a lot of time in the studio. The World / Another World was born after doing some craziness with Benno de Goeij from Rank-1, this guy is a genius. I thought I knew a lot… but what he knows... that beats almost everything !I always looked up to these guys from Rank-1 and to be with them in one room several times was incredible and a good school for me too!

What is your studio set-up like?

I have a PC running Cubase, a good set of monitors with a mixer between this and also one CDJ on the desktop for checking CDRs at any time. A Virus TI as well and I have my DJ set up complete here two CDJ’s 1000MK3 and a 800 Pioneer mixer and the Technics turntables.

What other single releases do you have coming up?

After this CD release there will be the release of On Top Of Things/Prominent on High Contrast and now as we speak we’ve finished another great track which has no title yet… but we will keep on working ahead of time because it’s important nowadays to have some flow in your release schedule, but I try not to release too much in a very short period of time… I think it’s better to have one really good release in 6 months then four “ok” ones in the same period of time. So after OTOT/Prominent I will try to release another track.

As well as Trance Energy, what were your DJing highlights of 2007?

2007 for me was a very good year, I had very cool gigs in the U.S. in Denver (The Church), that place is amazing, the sound and atmosphere is truly great, after this we drove from Colorado through the desert to Los Angeles to play in Hollywood Avalon. For me this was the second time I was there and let me tell you this place also has some magic going on, really big stage and also here on the main stage a good sound system, last time I was there with Sasha and he blew the roof off there! After this we drove to Las Vegas on the way back and had three of the most incredible days of my life there!

Dancetination in Poland was also a good gig… I was there set up as last DJ and announced as a special guest, it was very cool to see that the people stayed around for me because this was very late scheduled. Kiev in The Ukraine, is in my memory too, these guys had it all figured out, really professional set up with press conferences and all things to go along with that. Of course the Love Parade this year again in Essen, for me this event is very important because this event is in my heart for years, I played many times in Berlin and last year in 2006 I rocked E-Werk with the man himself Tiesto and the next day on his float during the parade. So this year was also very exiting again, it was so much fun with my friends Leon and Sied playing as well so we had a crazy day!

Say Tijs! Joop and Tiesto at this year's Love Parade.

The Street Parade in Zurich this year was also very good, I played with Christopher Lawrence on the float as well, as on the big stage as well that night. And definitely together with Leon on the main stage this year at Trance Energy because this was different than what I’m used to… we did a special live act of 15 minutes and this was really great thanks to my friend Jeroen Vos for making the visuals and the guys from ID&T making this complete with fireworks and craziness all around!

You always seem to make it onto the line-ups of your countries biggest trance festivals. Do you prefer playing to a festival crowd or a club crowd?

Both! I can really enjoy the very big parties because it is so cool to watch the crowd move and react on your tunes during playing on such big stage performing. Another aspect of playing on the very large events is that from there on you’ll get a lot of exposure and that also helps getting your club gigs around the world. That’s the marketing side of the DJ business...

Club nights are also perfect for me… you can play different then doing a set on the big stage, deeper and grab some tracks you perhaps skip when playing at a big event. Of course there is a difference in which country your doing a club gig, sometimes I go somewhere and are amazed by what tunes people go crazy on.

Where can we see you playing in the coming months?

The coming months I will be in Mexico, Tijuana and doing a couple of gigs in Australia, I’m very happy to go there because for me this is the first time going down under… I will perform there main stage on a big festival just outside Melbourne with a view over the skyline from that city… how cool is that! After this I have some club gigs in the following weeks in Melbourne. And China, Shanghai is also coming again ...here we will do 2 club nights.I was there before and fell in love with this city big time!....They have Starbucks there too! Had a really good time there.

Many of the tracks on your website have deep and meaningful descriptions for them. Are you a philosophical person and does this influence your music?

I always define my titles because for me it’s important to see what’s behind the meaning of words… some words or titles have some really cool definitions like Act Of God does… a natural event, not preventable by any human agency, such as a flood, storms, or lightning. Forces of nature that no one has control over, and therefore cannot be held accountable for. Or with Sonsuz, this title I used for my second release on the ID&T label. This is Turkish and I spent a lot of time there in Istanbul and other places… so for me it was natural to do a record that contained Turkish vocals. Sonsuz means Infinity or borderless, you can also say:

Sonsuz – “People who try to do something and fail are better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.”

The Future was a thing I came up with because this was really a good title for my new release. The fun thing about it was that is was already titled before we knew that it would be the anthem of Trance Energy. For me “The Future” means every step I will make from now will have effect on the coming years from now on…

So yes I definitely think about my titles before I stick them on a sleeve!

As well as yourself, what other DJs and producers do you see as the future (no pun intended) of trance?


Sied van Riel
Leon Bolier
Jonas Steur
Marcus Schossow
Cliff Coenraad
Sander van Doorn

Just to name a few… there is a lot going on with some new and fresh names. All these guys I mentioned above will only get stronger in a very short period of time, as well as producing but also DJ-wise… mark my words!

If you could see into the future (poor pun intended) what would you like to see for Joop?

The only thing I hope for is that what is going on right now… if I can play two to three times a week as a DJ then I am happy. Keep on trying to make good tunes and hopefully do this for another 10 years. Travel the world some more and have a lot of cool stories to tell to my kids when I am old… just make people happy with my performances and music… that’s all!

Many thanks for your time, best of luck for the future (oh no I did it again...)!

Hahaha… we will see what ‘The Future” brings wink Thanks for interviewing me!



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