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Wednesday 30th, November -0001
Paul van Dyk

It took us a long, long time to get a date set and when I finally received a mail with the date, I was in Mexico on holiday, and was supposed to do the interview in 2 days. But just a few weeks after that we made a new try, and as you see it was successful. As a staff member of trance.nu I got the honour of interviewing one of the most famous and respected DJs within the electronic dance music scene, Paul van Dyk, the living legend. So here it is, the interview with Paul van Dyk...

Answer: Well, obviously it's an honour. But I
know that there's a lot of other really good music out there as well. So I don't take it that

Question: What's the best trance tune ever by your opinion?

Answer: The thing is, I don't think that there's a best tune ever. I see the music as a whole thing, as
an art form. And this is why it's so special. I don't think there's a track that is some sort of mother of it
all. I think there's a lot of good music out there, and there's a lot of not so good music out there as
well. And that's really it. So I wouldn't say that there's a best tune ever.

Question: Do you work as a DJ or is it just a really big hobby?

Answer: Well, it's my job actually. And it's a big hobby of course.

Question: When you DJ live do you use a play-list or do you try to "feel" the crowd and do it more by

Answer: DJing for me is an interaction with the crowd. So obviously I have a very clear idea about the
sound that I like to put across and about the music that I want to play. But it's always an interaction with
the people at the club or at the venue. And it doesn't make sense to play banging techno if it's a house
club. You start with house and trigger the atmosphere around and then try to build to the music you stand

Question: What is the music that you like to play the most?

Answer: You know, I call it electronic dance music. In my long sets that are 5-6 hours I play music
which people call house, trance stuff, techno things, break beats, that kind of thing and basically with all
those different kinds of musical styles out of the electronic music, I create an atmosphere that holds
everything together. And this is what makes DJing so special.

Question: How you got any tips or suggestions to people who want to create music. What equipment to use
and where to start?

Answer: The main thing is that you have a clear idea about the music you really like and really enjoy,
and that you, without any compromises, just do that. That's the only thing you can bring across to
100%. Everything else will just be something that is copied. In terms of equipment, I think you have to spend
a lot of money from the start. So if you have a clear idea you should hook up with a producer who has a studio
and try to develop your ideas there. That's a start, and get things running.

Question: The electronic genres, such as trance, and clubbing are connected with the use of drugs in
many people's eyes. What do you think about their thoughts about the electronic music and the drugs walking
hand in hand?

Answer: When you think back on the early days of rock n' roll with the Rolling Stones and Beatles
they've all been related to the drugs all the time. See how well established the rock music scene is now, no
one is actually looking at it now. The whole electronic music is very substantial and it's actually more
powerful than any other music ever has been before. I think that is one reason why everyone is focusing on
"Hey what's going on here. Why are people into that music so much? It must be related with drugs". Obviously
there are people taking drugs in the clubs. But I don't think that people take more drugs at a techno club
than at a hip-hop session. You also hear all the time from the pop music circus, how many times hasn't Robby
Williams been to a hospital because of drugs. I actually don't know any techno DJ that died of doing drugs. I
don't think the public eye see it in the right proportions.

Question: Last year you was voted as 5th best DJ in the world by the DJ Mag, and you're at 4th place @
www.thedjlist.com at the moment. How does it feel to be one of the few men that have such big power over the
crowds, to have all eyes on you.

Answer: That's more like something coming from the outside. It doesn't have so much to do with me. I
give a 100% when playing in front of 100s of people as well as I do in front of 100 000s of people. For me the
music is always the main important thing, and I have always been that way. I remember back in those days when
I started DJing. Back then the DJ was the freak in the corner providing the background music while other
people had fun. When people vote you as one of the best DJs in the world, it's an honour. But it's not the
reason why I'm doing what I'm doing. So basically it's completely against the whole progressive development of
music and musical styles. If a record sale of Madonna's drops with say 30000-40000 units, it doesn't bother
her too much because she sells millions and millions. But if there's an artist like me, that sells 30000-40000
copies of my record. That's a really substantial amount of money for me. And there's no legal way of making
sure that the artist, who makes the music, is getting paid for downloads. And since this isn't sorted out yet,
I think it's illegal.

Question: What do you think about the fact that people can download all your music as MP3s, instead of
buying it?

Answer: The first thing, it's illegal. It's basically stealing. Secondly, just imagine that you and I
don't know how many thousand download my music. At some point I'm not able to live on my music anymore and
then I have to go get a job besides making my music. That means that I'm producing less music and at the end
of the day you won't get any Paul van Dyk music.

Question: The popularity of MP3s are just growing and growing. Some people try to combine the illegal
mp3s with legal broadcasting over the Internet. Do you see this as a threat for the music industry or as a
good promotion machine?

Answer: Using the Internet, as a distribution market is great, but we have to make sure there are some
sort of safety nets. No one goes to a bakery and asks for bread for free. But why do people do the exactly
same thing with the music stores on the Internet. It's just something that I don't get. If I am a fan of an
artist, I rather go to the record store and buy the CD so that I have something in my hand while listening to
the music.

Question: You have mentioned before that you don't want to do a mix CD since you don't think it
captures the true feeling from the club. Is it true?

Answer: That's true, mainly because a normal mix CD doesn't bring across the feeling from the club. Actually
we're planning a project now which is some sort of mix CD but it goes further. It involves basically me with
artist work as well. Some of the tracks will be especially remixed by me for that compilation.
It's some sort of artist album, but it involves other people's music as well. So it's not really a mix CD in a
common sense. As I said I don't think that a normal mix CD captures the true feeling. For an example, if you
play 4-5 hours, and someone takes 1 hour of the whole musical trip that you're providing, you're never going
to capture everything. Or you play an old classic in the middle. People listen to one hour and they're
wondering why that old track's doing there. But after maybe 3-4 hours of DJing it was exactly the right moment
in the club to drop that record. No one will know except if you were there in real life and this is what I
mean when I say that I don't believe that you can capture the true feeling from a club.

Question: There was a lot of talk about Innercity 2000 after you had refused to DJ behind two
strippers. Any comments on why?

Answer: I don't mind people dancing but for me, this is something very different. I live my music, my
music is really important for me and also the way that all my music is presented. I check what kind of sound
system there is, what mixer there is so that I know that it sounds right, there's also the visual point of
view of my presentation and it has certainly nothing to do with strippers. I wouldn't have minded if there
were just ordinary dancers there, but they way things happened there weren't the way that I wanted them to

Question: Got a question from one of our visitors called Rol. He's wondering why you always have this
sad look on your face.

Answer: I think people are mistaken by that look. I'm always really concentrated. I'm always really
excited when I DJ as well. You might not see it because as a DJ when it's really flowing, really going you are
3-4 records ahead of what's really going on now. So in a way you have to be concentrated on the technical side
and happening on the dance floor. As I said, DJing for me is an interaction and you have to check out the flow
of the 3, 4, 5 next records in your head. So I'm really concentrated so maybe people are mistaken by

Question: Visitor Q from Rictorscale: What/who do you feel has influenced your music most in your life
and do you feel that you have to be in the right frame of mind to create the sort of magical melodic riffs you
produce time and time again?

Answer: I don't know, somehow everything is an inspiration. My whole life. You see something, you go
somewhere, eat something, meet people. Everything is exciting and also inspiring.

Question: Visitor Q from elusive: The German Techno/trance style is rather hard and has been so for a
while. Even though you play softer kind of trance you have made your way to the top in the German scene. How
can that be?

Answer: From the first time I ever DJed, from the first track I ever made to the last DJ set and the
last mix I finish. I made it without any compromises exactly as I liked. And I think that this is coming
across a 100%. I think people see that, and feel how intense it is and feel that what was presented there was
100% honest.

Question: You have released 3 albums from Paul van Dyk that have made their ways in to almost every
trance lovers heart. Are you ever going to co-produce with any other producer, if then who?

Answer: My first releases were together with Cosmic Baby as "Visions of Shiva", so they were
collaborations. I did a couple of things together with BT. But it was never a project, it was more like BT &
Paul van Dyk together doing something. "Flaming June" is one example, we made a remix for Donna Carrol
together as well as we did a remix for "Forbidden Fruit". And we did a track called Namistai. I don't think so
much about it, they have to happen naturally otherwise it doesn't come across really.

Question: You get to play all around the world and get to see the clubbing culture world-wide. Can you
shortly try to explain the differences between a few countries (Germany, Holland, England)?

Answer: If you try to picture it, it's a global language. You can communicate with people as far as
from Korea. Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand wherever, all the way through Europe to South America, North
America, and Australia. You can communicate with the true electronic music. On the other hand, there are
local, special characters of things. I wouldn't say that it's difference between England, Holland and Germany,
I think it varies from club to club.
As Berlin for an example, is really different from Frankfurt as well as Haag is different from Amsterdam or
Liverpool very different from London. All in all, it's like one big global music communication thing, and
that's really great. And the most interesting thing is the
special territorial character of the music.

Question: Trance is developing as it has done since it was born. Do you think trance will stay as the
top genre for a long time or will some other genre take the lead?

Answer: As I said, for me it's just electronic music. Because this is what it is, and it has always
been records labels as something. And I was just talking to one of the biggest DJs from Germany, Wespen. We
were just talking about old tracks and things and we came on records that are real techno classics, which, if
they would be released today, would be called trance music. So the whole labelling thing, I don't know... I
think people need names. I think that electronic music in all different genres has made such an important mark
onto the whole musical industry that it definitely will stay here for a long time. And whatever the focus
point will be, whatever the name will be, it's all electronic music and I think that a good DJ is able to make
a musical statement with all those styles. If I would play only this music that people think I play, this
cheesy Euro trance, I wouldn't be a DJ anymore. I would be so boring after an hour you know. I've been DJing
for 10 years now, and for my own sake I need to experiment around and play things, combine new things together
and create an atmosphere out of it. It's so important, and I think that this is the quality of a good DJ. To
be able to mix a house record, a techno one, a trance and a breakbeat track and make it tense. Creating an
atmosphere with all those styles that's electronic music, that's progressive. This is why people say that
electronic music is the future sound, because you are able to merge so many different styles and create
something interesting and new.

Question: As you said you vary your music with tracks from all different styles. How do you find the
time to listen to all tracks. Like if you listen to ten tracks, maybe one is good enough to use in an

Answer: First of all, I listen to stuff here at my house. I have a big room with all the records and
tables and everything next to the studio. So I listen to a lot of stuff there. And the other thing is that I
have a small portable turntable. It looks funny, it looks like a toy from the early 70s or something.
But actually it's really good quality and it's like a very small thing, which I carry with me wherever I go.
If I have a lot of records, that I haven't heard properly, with me I bring them with me. Usually when you
arrive somewhere you have about 3-4 hours when you just watch TV in the hotel. So I take out my little
turntable and listen to a record so that I know what's going on.

Question: Since you are such a big and famous DJ, people want you to be all over the world at the same
What are the future plans for this year, any tour or such?

Answer: As I said, we have this mix CD project. It's not so easy legal-wise It's not just the license
for some of the tracks, it's also getting the remix for it right. So it will be a lot of work *laugh* and
then there are some other plans, things that
we're working on now. But they aren't finalised so I'm not going to talk about them.

Fast questions:

Favourite Internet site: Oooh, I don't think I have any. (Damn, he didn't say trance.nu!!)

Favourite meal: Spaghetti with tomato sauce and my wife's salad (because she makes the best ones!)

Best producer ever: Glen Ballard

Favourite place to DJ: My hometown, Berlin

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