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Tuesday 20th, April 2004
Leon Bolier (Subsphere) Interview

We present an exclusive interview with Leon Bolier, who you might know from productions under the Subsphere or Mindsensation alias. Together with his brother Bart he has made some well-recieved remixes and tracks, that made some impressive impact on the big names. Nowadays they release under big labels like Bonzai, FTM and have remixed tracks from Azior, Libra and new stuff is on the way. We had a chat with Leon to get to know him better and see what's he up to the coming months. Check it out!

Full name: Leon Bolier
Born: October 21st, 1980
Website: http://www.mindsensation.com
Living place: Elspeet, Holland
Aliases: Subsphere, Mindsensation, Leon, The Boiler Room, more to be announced.

Trance.nu: Hi Leon, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.. How is life?
Leon: hi Tim, life's quite fine right now... just recovered from Armin only last saturday..

Trance.nu: Ah great, you were there! How was the party? Did he play any of your tracks?
Leon: I didn't hear any of my tracks, but it could be that he played one. Wasn't there all night. But I spent my time with talking to fellow producers, djs and people from the industry. It was a really nice party, met loads of new people, have had lots of chats and I made some nice appointments.

Trance.nu: Seems like fun! You produce under the name Subsphere and Mindsensation, but you also producer with your brother Bart! Which aliases do you guys use at the moment?
Leon: Bart's productions allways have a harder and clubbier edge. The Mindsensation 12'' which is coming up in the end of April was produced by us together. The Daydreamer track was an old track of mine, which was redesigned by Bart. Violet was totally made by us together. The Mindsensation vinyl which is coming up next is a solo production by me, containing 2 Mindsensation tracks, a Subsphere remix and
another remix.
Most Subsphere thingies are done by me, only the remix for Libra - Calling your Name was made together. I also use the guises Leon and The Boiler Room, with releases coming up on Bonzai imprints. Leon is a more trancy project, and The Boiler Room is a more deep and dark proggy trance project. Besides I hope I can announce some releases on some Spinnin' Records imprints soon.. more techtrancy projects

Trance.nu: So do you produce only together with your brother or are there more co-operations to come with other Dutch youngsters for example?
Leon: Yeah, some nice things coming up. I started a collab with Bart van Wissen (Fictivision) some time ago, we are both working on an own mix using the same midi. Anxcious to hear what result it will give. There is also a collab in the pipeline with the guys from Dynamic Sense (Nick and Dennis) and other coops, but these are not totally talked over yet. I also met Armin's brother Eller last saturday-
night, and we talked about a possible coop, with him using the guitar and me behind the mixer. I heard he's a very talented guy, so I'm really looking forward to it! Last but not least, I finished a collab with Ryan Grenz from England, we are still searching for an imprint though.

Trance.nu: There's alot of new young Dutch talent starting to make it's way into the trance scene, Do you think these are the new stars and will possibly take over the big names?
Leon: Ah well... I think there's a lot of new talent indeed, not only in Holland, but from all over the world. I don't know if they will be 'stars', as I don't know the definition of a star. But actually I think that the trance scene (or the overall house scene) will have to take notice of these new up and coming producers. On the other hand I don't think they will take over the big names, I think you just have to consider this new talent breed as an enrichment for the house scene. Fresh sounds and ideas are allways welcome is my opinion!

Trance.nu: Are there any producers (old/new) that you really admire and inspire you?
Leon: Yeah there are lots of producers and DJ's I still admire. One for example is Laurent Vèronnez. I still just love his track 'Alone in the Dark'. But there are more producers I admire, and there are lots of new ones with them. I also really like the old Armin van Buuren productions, and I also admire him as a person. Allways friendly, and always takes his time.

Trance.nu: When you produce, how do you start working on a track? What are the most important things for you?
Leon: It depends what style track it will be... people haven't heard any techy stuff from me, but when i produce that kind of stuff, I usually concentrate on the groove, and start working with this groove. The Subsphere, Mindsensation and other more trancy stuff is produced with a melody in the back of my mind. Sometimes I write a melody and some chords, sometimes I start with a bassline with the key altering from time to time, and thereafter I make a melody based on this bassline.. It just depends on what you have in mind. The most important things to me are groove, melody and sound (though for the techy productions, melody isn't important at all). The groove is important to keep people dancing, the melody in prog/trance is really important to me, because i want to express things in those melodies.
I usually like minor melodies more than major ones. And leading from this, sound is really important. You can create a really decent groove, or a very emotional melody, but if it lacks the right sound, it's useless in my opinion. The effect you pointed for is totally gone when using cheap or bad sounds.

Trance.nu: So what's the favourite style of music you produce then? Is it melodic? Or do you think all styles are a challenge to produce?
Leon: Yeah I think it's a challenge to produce many styles. Not just all styles, there are styles I just don't like, so I won't produce it. Not only focusing on one style, but producing other styles from time to time keeps you fresh in the mind and your productions original. My experience is that if you get stuck to one style, you'll use the same tricks over and over again.. it just slips into your mind.
That's why I like to keep an eye on other styles also. My favourite style still is melodic, but i'm rather picky on melodies. Melodies don't grab me easily, but if a melody does grab me, I'm hooked to the track.

Trance.nu: That's indeed important. What kind of equipment do you use to make your tracks??
Leon: Not very much actually.. I use a Pentium IV-2.8 GHz PC with a Terratec soundcard, Alesis M1 Active MK2 Monitors and software: Orion Platinum, Nuendo 2.0 and lots of VSTi and FX.

Trance.nu: Do you think that hardware will lose it's position for producers, that software will be the future?
Leon: As a software producer I tend to say yes, but there are lots of producers who will stick to hardware, and I can't judge for them. If they say hardware is better, so be it, if I like software more, think I don't need hardware and I'm happy with it: so be it Can't predict what will happen in the future, all I can say is that the software gets better and better.

Trance.nu: Are you a DJ too?
Leon: yup I am.. I used to DJ one or two years ago, thereafter I decided to concentrate on producing and to get some records out there. I think now the time is right to focus on DJing also again.

Trance.nu: So we can expect maybey a DJ Leon Bolier gig somewhere this year What records do you play?
Leon: I hope so.. I'm working on some promo mixes right now, and will send them out. I play like I produce: from more progressive stuff to trance to bangin' techno (tho I just don't like the word 'progressive' I must add). It just depends on what the crowd wants on that time... I love the deepness, structures and melodies of prog/trance and on the other hand the energy captured in some techno records.

Trance.nu: Which tracks are hot for you at the moment then?
Leon: My top 5.. well let's see..
1 Mark Otten - Tranquility
2 Mindsensation - I Feel
3 DJ Fire - Religion
4 Signum - The Timelord
5 Sander van Doorn - Loaded

I think these are the tracks I like most at the moment..

Trance.nu: OK thanks. What do you do besides producing? Working or studying?
Leon: I'm currently finishing my study Planning on the university of Utrecht, but I don't know yet what to do thereafter. Besides that I work behind a bar in a pub which is owned by a friend of mine. From time to time i play some records over there

Trance.nu:Cool, do you think you make a fulltime job in the music industry? Or do you think the industry is too unstable to get in there fulltime?
Leon: That's why I don't know what I will do after finishing my study. I would really like to make it my fulltime job, but the music bizz is rather unstable indeed. All I can do is do my utmost to achieve where I have allways been dreaming of.

Trance.nu: You are one of the producers that grew up with Internet and mp3's. Do you think the Internet played an important role in your producing career and what do you foresee in the future?
Leon: Internet played a really important role in my career! First of all, I got in contact with Armin van Buuren via internet, secondly internet has been a source of inspiration and a source for people who gave feedback on my music. I still owe thanks to all people who took the time to listen to my stuff and gave fair comments. It's one of the ways to improve yourself.
If you get some negative comments,it's harsh on that special moment, but later on you'll be gratefull for the comments you received. The other side is the filesharing issue, I really don't know if it harms the industry or just is a promotional opportunity. If you see that for example Armin's a State of Trance show is broadcasted via internet worldwide, then that's unbelievable! So many people listening to the same thing!

Trance.nu: What is the highlight of your career this far? Which special moment?
Leon: Defenitely the moment Maykel Piron from Armada (back then he worked for the Captivating label as he was the dance man from Warner/Chappel Benelux) phoned me to tell that he was going press our remix for Libra - Calling your name. I was so happy!

Trance.nu: What can we expect from you in the coming months? Tracks + possible releasedates and a little describtion of them maybey?
Leon: In the end of April you can expect Mindsensation - Violet/Daydreamer. Thereafter releases are planned for Mindsensation - I Feel/Spheric including a Subsphere remix and possibly another remix, to be announced. I Feel is a stompin' trancer with a strange but (imo ) nice distorted lead sound. Spheric is a more laidback trancer with a long intro.
Subsphere releases coming up: Love u So (including Azior and C-Quence remixes) and Beautitude (including a Markus Schulz remix). If you know the other Subsphere tracks (like Infinite and Sweet Fragrance) or remixes you know what to expect: emotional deep trance.
For the Leon guise there will be a track called Passionate, including an intro too. It's an anthem trancer and will include a Fire&Ice remix. The Boiler room will see a release with 'Till Then', a dark progtrancer.
For Spinnin' I am working on a track called Pulsar, with a techy edge. I think it would fit in perfectly in Marco V sets, if that says enough.
Last but not least, I finished 4 remixes for Armada, they are doing a collab with an organisation that wants to promote classical music. Jan Vayne (a dutch concert piano player) and Armin van Buuren coordinated this project.
Releasedates are all to be announced by the way.

Trance.nu: Thanks for all the information, man! Any shout-out to our users?
Leon: Yeah, just be positive! Sometimes it makes me sad that people who get very succesfull or popular, suddenly are bashed on the internet or anywhere. Just keep an eye on the music, not on the person! And, I want to thank everyone who supported me/us and still does!

Trance.nu: Thanks for your time, and good luck in the future!
Leon: Thank you too!

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