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Monday 16th, October 2006
Kuffdam & Plant

Kuffdam & Plant burst onto the trance scene a couple of years back with the massive summer anthem, Summer Dream. A Scotsman and a Cypriot were responsible for one of the most sublime trance melodies of recent years and since then they haven’t looked back, building on their success by being signed to one of the biggest trance labels in the world, Paul Van Dyk’s Vandit records and releasing string of massive follow up tracks each bursting with emotion and originality. Here the enigmatic duo give us an insight into their lives, their influences and their plans for the future.

t.nu: Hey thanks for doing this interview with trance.nu. How are you?

Kuffdam – Hey guys I’m great thanks, currently recovering from a rather large hangover from Scotland beating France 1-0 at Hampden… thanks for having us on the site, I’m a regular at trance.nu!

Plant - Fine! You?

t.nu: I’m great, thanks for asking! Kuffdam, you’ve been DJing for quite some time now. How did you two start out and how did your career progress?

K - Yeah I have been DJing now for over ten years. It’s not always been as a full on DJ in clubs, I have done the bedroom DJ part also but I class that as part of my career as we all have to start somewhere.

Certainly over the last three or four years I’ve been pretty busy with gigs all over including the residency I held in Scotland for two years plus dates in Lebanon, Cyprus, London, Doha and of course Ibiza this year which was amazing.

As well as the tour dates I have also been working on my radio show at Digitally Imported every month and the show continues to grow in listeners as well as the guests I have on each month.

P - I started producing years ago, I’ve published some stuff on mp3.com, at that time I was working with a band under the name of The Power Plant, we had some number one hits in the trance charts and when Power Plant broke off, I stayed in business.

t.nu: Has your first love musically always been trance?

K – Personally I would say I have a really wide taste in music and trance is just one of my many loves. I’m a massive Metallica fan and this year I got the chance to live out a dream of touring between three gigs in three countries in three days… it was amazing to follow them around and I would do it again when I have some free time.

When it comes to dance music, I have progressed through from the harder style that was going round Scotland in 1994 to 1996 to the whole trance sound and really just been hooked since. I never really feel like I am stuck to one kinda sound though and I think that helps influence the Kuffdam & Plant style. Every track we produce always has a different feel to it and we pride ourselves on trying new ideas and I think a lot of that comes from being into so many different bands, DJ’s and producers.

P - Not really, it was rock music! Especially heavy metal! Also Psychedelic and Israeli Trance did it for me.

t.nu: When did you start producing?

K – Well I have actually been learning the ropes as so to speak since about 1995. I was originally in a band with two friends of mine and they pretty much taught me how to make a track. Now this was long before PCs, Ableton and that kinda thing were really affordable or available so I learned on Cubase on an Atari ST.

We used to have a ton of equipment for writing a track, stuff like Akai S1000 samplers, Korg keyboards, Emu Orbit sound processors and really just anything we could afford. It’s changed days now with the soft synths and packages available.

In about 2002 I met Plant and since then I guess we haven’t looked back. We have been working away on new ideas all the time and just generally having fun as we go. Only in the last year or so we have actually started getting together in a studio to work rather than over the web which we did for several years. This has really helped develop ideas that we just couldn’t have come up with or discussed over MSN.

P - 1997-98

t.nu: Who are your inspirations as producers?

K – For me I have to say Paul Van Dyk, I know what your thinking, we are just saying that cause he’s the boss…. But really I have always been a fan of his music and getting the chance to work with him and the label has just been a really great experience as a fan.

I’m also impressed with people like Marco V and artists like Rank 1. I actually flew to Holland in 2000 from Scotland to see them play at Sensation, this was before me and Plant were even working together, I was so hooked on the whole sound from Holland that I just wanted to witness it live and it blew me away. I’ll never forget nights like that….

Just now I think people like Sander Van Doorn, John O’Callaghan and some of the up and coming guys like Frase and Ben Gold are the way forward in trance music. Every tune these guys put out just hits the mark with me as a DJ.

P - Well, that is a tough one. I guess we have influences from many like PVD, Tjesto, Armin but even Astral Projection and Infected Mushroom.

t.nu: Kuffdam, you’re from Scotland and Plant, you’re from Cyprus. How did you two meet and how does your production partnership work?

K – Well in the beginning it was all about the internet and MSN. Believe it or not tracks like Summer Dream, Balerica and Seduction were all written without us actually meeting. Either Plant of myself would kick off with an idea and then the reason file would just be passed back and forward while either of us worked on the idea. We actually find it best to work on two tracks at the same time, that way neither of us gets bored waiting on the file coming back, we simply swap at the right times.

The web is still pretty much a good part of it but we have also been meeting up regular on tour doing our live shows as well as trips to Cyprus to work in the studio. This has brought a whole new dimension to ideas and new productions like The Ones We Loved and the new Gabriel & Dresden remix which were pretty much done in a day in the studio. It’s easier to bounce ideas off each other when you’re in the same room but if it’s not possible then MSN is our best friend.

P - Long live the World Wide Web! I guess this says it all!

t.nu: What was it like having such a massive hit with Summer Dream, a track that became an anthem in summer 2005 and was described by Judge Jules as one of his records of the year? Did you know you had a hit on your hands when you made it?

K – In a word? Crazy… it certainly felt good to hear it getting played but to be honest, once it was getting played out in clubs the next thing on our minds was getting the next track done and ready to go. We just focused on new ideas and within a week of messing around we had Dream Makers ready to go.

t.nu: How did it feel being signed to Paul Van Dyk’s label Vandit? Did it put more pressure on you to deliver another ‘Summer Dream’?

K – Hahahaha well that’s a good question, whoever asked this can have a gold star. Personally I would say it does add pressure because it is such a huge label and we are very proud to be part of them but you have to put that out your mind and just stick to doing what you love and that’s making tunes. If you think about it too long you start to panic about what any label might like and that’s all wrong.

Its when your having fun, ideas are flying that it all just comes out and you know when your onto something. I would definitely say that was the case with The Ones We Loved. When I remember back to the day we were working on that tune it just seemed like everything fitted. We started it in the morning and by 8pm we were listening to it in the car on the way to dinner….

The next day we sent it to Vandit and within days we had a reply back to sign the track from us… it just all felt right…

P- Well, honestly it was a very good and inspiring feeling to know that people love Summer Dream, it kinda makes you feel “responsible” to deliver something even better to the public. Personally I sometimes feel haunted by this, but not scared. See, we had Dream Makers as a follow up, also a big hit and we are about to release The Ones We Loved, which we feel will also make a big impact. We always had a feeling that Summer Dream was going to be a hit, not just because we felt the vibe of the track, we knew that it was in “good” hands when we signed it to Monster Tunes and Vandit Records.

t.nu: Do you DJ as a team or solo, or do you do live sets?

K – Just now I normally DJ on my own but Plant has just completed a few guests mixes on a couple of radio shows including my own Club Damage so watch this space I guess.

Apart from the DJing we have been doing our own live shows together now for about a year. This has been superb, it’s been great to get out on the road together and also get the chance to play all our own tracks. Each show has been a different blend of Kuffdam & Plant productions, some new, some old and a couple of tracks that were just written for the live show.

We have just completed our debut in Ibiza this summer which was amazing and hopefully we can return there next year for more of the same.

t.nu: One tune that has got the forum buzzing a bit is The Ones We Loved. PvD chose the Dogzilla mix as his record to watch on Eddie Halliwell’s show… so when can we expect a release?

K – I think the full release date is the 11th of October. We are very excited about the release, the track was just chosen as the Tried & Tested Tune Of The Week on Judge Jules radio show, which is always a nice buzz.

t.nu: What other releases have you got planned for the coming months?

K – Our release schedule is pretty full just now actually. We have the following:

Kuffdam & Plant – Meltdown (Six:Thirty Records) [Oct Release]
Kuffdam & Plant – The Ones We Loved (Vandit) [Oct Release]
Gabriel & Dresden – Dangerous Power (Organized Nature) [Oct Release]
Jamaster – Merry Xmas Mr Lawrence [Nov Release]
A&B Project – Eternal Optimism [TBC]
Kuffdam & Plant – Maziko (Backlash Muzik] [Nov Release]

t.nu: Your productions are always packed with melody and emotion. Do you have a specific emotion in mind when you write a melody or does it just come to you?

K – Plant is the real wonder here, when we get together he always has ideas that just pop up and gives us plenty to work with. Ideas normally then just get bounced back and forth till we get what we are looking for.

P - Oh, that is not easy to answer. See, emotions change all the time. But what stays unchanged is the love to what we do: trance music! So, when we produce what we love we feel good, I guess that is the emotion we are after.

t.nu: Obviously Kuffdam and Plant aren’t your real names. Is there a story behind this alias?

K – Well for me, Kuffdam was a name that I was using for… it’s a bit of a play on letters really… in fact… here is a competition for the readers at trance.nu… email in and tell me what or where they think Kuffdam comes from, the first right answer picked out by trance.nu staff can have a signed copy of Summer Dream on vinyl from us…

P - I used to be in a band a called The Power Plant, we had some tracks on the old mp3.com which did very well, we split up and I kept the “Plant”.

Kuffdam and Plant just seemed to work so we stuck with it!

t.nu: Finally, what does the future hold for Kuffdam & Plant? Where do you see yourself in five years time?

K – Good question… I guess our main aim is the music, writing together and still trying to push new ideas and styles.

It would be great to be working on music as a full time job as just now we are both holding down “real” jobs as well as doing the productions and live shows. Having the time to focus 100% on what we love doing would be a dream come true.

P - In our studios – producing! LOL!!!

t.nu: Thanks for doing this interview with trance.nu and we wish you both best of luck in the future!

K – Thanks for having us and a huge hello to all the people at trance.nu and the forum!

P – Thanks guys!

Related Links


First person to get Kuffdam's question right in the related forum thread <a href=http://trance.nu/v3/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1729645#1729645>here</a> wins the prize!

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