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Friday 11th, June 2004
Rank 1 Interview (2004)

Airwave, Such Is Life, Symsonic, their remix of Cygnus X, Sensation Anthem 2003, Mac J, The Quest, Carlos... In all these aliases, Piet Bervoets or Benno de Goeij had a big part of the production. Together they are known as the succesfull duo Rank 1. They debuted with the Citrus Juicer and Black Snow, but the Rank 1 alias really smashed the scene with the track Airwave, the themesong of the second edition of Innercity '99. Worldwide the track got played and follow-ups like Such Is Life and Symsonic reached charts worldwide. Now they are back with a just released mix album called ID&T presents Rank 1.. new tracks can be found on the album including the firmer trance track with techy sides: Beats At Rank-1.com. Trance.nu travelled to the studio at a hot day, grabbed a beer and we sat down in the sun for a talk with this legendary duo...

Trance.nu: Welcome to this interview guys, howís life?
Benno: yeah great, fantastic weather here now!
Piet: busy now again interviewing happy

Trance.nu: The most important thing about this interview is ofcourse that you guys released a mix-album. How come this idea got realised?
Piet: I spin now for like 3 to 4 years as Rank 1. Benno does not really like to spin so I do it alone. We just had the thought: humm, it might be fun to do that once. Ofcourse u can release a mixalbum to earn money, but thatís not the right motivation. We did it for the fans and we are very happy with it.

Trance.nu: U have selected the track yourselves. Do you guys have the same taste in music?
Benno: In general yes, but not always! Sometimes Piet comes around with records which I really like, but sometimes he takes stuff home which I think of: hmmm, not for me please.

Trance.nu: How did the mixing go?
Benno: Very simple haha, Piet mixes the records and it is recorded. Ofcourse we have cut here and there, because time is limited.

Trance.nu: The album also features two new tracks from you. Mac J is another real Rank 1 party track, while Beats At Rank-1.com is somewhat firmer. Will you guys vary in sounds from now on?
Piet: You have to realise that if we take the Airwave string again and we just make a new melody of it that people will get sick of it. We just tried something different, some will love it, others not. I think you have to look further then just the usual string.

Trance.nu: And other genres then trance for example?
Benno: I love breakbeats so yeah, some breakbeats might come along in the future.

Trance.nu: [email protected]?
Benno: Haha, yeah could be!!

Trance.nu: You guys released the album Symsonic some time ago. Recently three tracks of that album have been released as a vinyl sampler. What can we expect from productions in the near future?
Benno: Beats At Rank-1.com will get a release which will probably be an AA-side, so we will put another track on that vinyl. And we will continue on to make other new records and then we will go to a second album I think.

Trance.nu: And what about remixes, solo projects and other collaborations?
Piet: The latest collaboration we did is Mac J ofcourse, thats not only Rank 1, but a friend of ours has joined that project as well, who comes with ideas for the project. I personally donít have time for solo projects, I think that maybey Benno will do something, because he hangs around here in the studio in the weekend as well. The latest remix we have done is Angel City Ė Touch Me for the Ministry Of Sound label.

Trance.nu: And any news about collaborations maybey, we heard the name Ronald van Gelderen?
Benno: Letís say that we are always willing to listen and share thoughts with others. On the first place stands that it must be cool to hang around with each other. We donít have any definitive dates about what and when is going to happen, but I think soon enough something will happen. And if nothing happens then you wonít hear about it * laughs * Itís always good fun with Ronald van Gelderen, but we gotta await if itís going to be a real collaboration in the future.

Trance.nu: We will seeÖ.And eventually a second album?
Benno: We are working thowards it, but we donít have it ready as we speak at the moment. We have alot of ideas though, but not finished yet.

Trance.nu: What do you guys use to produce tracks?
Piet: A keyboard
Benno: In the past we only used synthesizers, real hardware. But nowadays you can do so many stuff with software, that we use software more and more like softsynths. Itís getting more and more software, like Beats @ Rank-1 that was produced on my laptop, because my computer crashed.

Trance.nu: What is the most important factor for you to produce tracks? The feeling, or the equipment?
Benno: both I think. Without equipment you donít make stuff, and without ideas you donít make anything either. But you should first have the idea: iím gonna make a record in such style. If we donít have a keypoint like that, then it wonít be anything. And then we use the equipment to see if we can close to the idea.

Trance.nu: What do you think of the current software for producing?
Benno: Great! Very versatile, which sometimes makes it problematic for me sometimes. There are so much possibilities, settings and stuff that itís sometimes hard to make a choice at all. I think that is the biggest downer of it. For the rest itís great.
Piet: But we did make a choice, we think Reactor from Native Instruments really has some cool sounds.

Trance.nu: A question for Benno: a new Kamaya Painters is still not planned we guess?
Benno: Haha, yeah I donít know if you guys interview Tiesto, you should ask him haha. He is busier than I am. Those tracks were made in a time that Tiesto was not as busy as now and he ofcourse has his own style now. I would really like it, but he is busy ofcourse so nothing planned still.

Trance.nu: How was it to co-operate with Tiesto years back?
Benno: It was cool to hang around and thatís my first priority in collaborating and with Tijs it was cool. He did not get #1 DJ in the world for nothing. I noticed he had really good ideas back then already.

Trance.nu: Piet how was the Trance Energy DJ set this year?
Piet: Amazing. Itís awesome to spin your records for a 20.000 people crowd. Some people loved it and some people probably didnt. Itís my task as a DJ to spin in your style a good set.

Trance.nu: Next to spinning records you do sometimes a Rank 1 liveset. What was the best gig ever you did?
Benno: Thatís difficult. What was really funny was, was in Japan. The people in Japan are a little different then here. And then we were standing in a club and the people were pretty close, small intimate club. We were finished and we wanted to shake some hands with the crowd, but Piet almost got pulled off the podium. That was funnyÖBut if you mean atmosphere
Piet: That was Trance Energy. There is also a DVD of us with our album and when I watch that, I think itís awesome.

Trance.nu: This year no Sensation for you, on which big festivals can we see you guys?
Piet: A DJ set on Decibel Outdoor, Defqon, Dance Valley and Mysteryland, these are the big festivals where u can see us for sure.

Trance.nu: Any nice trips to the rest of the world?
Piet: We always have those. I really love Canada, I think itís great over there. But a good set in Holland is also awesome. Sometimes a booking is less then expected, but sometimes itís fantastic. But thatís not particular for a country. I think spinning is still fun to do.

Trance.nu: Whats your opinion on the combination internet/music?
Benno: It has two sides. It can promote us very well and on the other side it can damage you. I donít know the big copy problem comes through the internet. The sales went down though. You can see that as a negative point, but its awesome to see people in Canada and the scene in Canana is rising, because they get in contact with trance music through internet. Thatís awesome! Same thing for people from Asia or Brazil. In Brazil for example you canít find a trance record in the local record store.

Trance.nu: You guys have a website which you are going to expand very soon? What can we expect?
Benno: We didnt do anything for 2,5 years, because someone else made the site and we did not have the source code. Itís the same thing when you buy a car: Iím not gonna refresh the oil, because other people can do it better. But on a certain moment nothing is happening. So i thought, Iím gonna try it myself. We just added a chat for example in the livecam section.

Trance.nu: Which trancetracks are the true classics for you guys?
Benno: I always get this question and I always forget or have no answer..
Piet: Cygnus X Ė Orange Theme for him!
Benno: Yeah I love that melody, not because we played with that melody as well, but I just love it! But there are so many records I love. Robert Miles Ė Children is still a fantastic record.
Piet Bervoets: I really like Age Of Love Ė Age of Love (Jam & Spoon Mix)

Trance.nu: Top 5 tracks of the moment?
Piet: I donít know exactly. What I do know is that the new Thrillseekers track is magnificent. I think its superb. Benno has not heard it yet, so he canít judge yet. And also Arctic Quest Ė Glaze is really good. The rest is on the website. I am very bad in remembering titles. There are alot of cool records nowadays, but also a whole lot of bad ones.

Trance.nu: Whats the funniest story you can tell in your careers this far?
Piet: What is really funny is that Tiesto and Rank 1 were compared as the Frans Bauer of trance music.
Benno: It was meant positive. Like older people still like our music even if they are somewhat older.

Trance.nu: Whatís the highlight of your career?
Piet: I think alot of people will say: Airwave was the highlight. Others will say Such Is Life. I donít think if you can point out a highlight. The way it goes now is very satisfying for us. Benno does more studio work, I love DJ-ing. So the Rank 1 is one big highlight.

Trance.nu: And worst moment?
Both: We donít have!! * laughs *

Trance.nu: How do you guys see the future of trance?
Piet: I think it is definatly going to chance!
Benno: How? Yeah that is difficult to forsee. There is always new stuff coming that influences and combines other stuff and then you have something new. It constantly evolves. The people that influence the scene are the people that are producing the records now, and if the audience likes it, then it will keep going.
Piet: I think the Motorcycle record made a statement in the trance scene and people watch trance with different eyes now. Although Gabriel & Dresden donít want to call it trance themselvesÖ.

Trance.nu: Whatís your best own production?
Benno: That one still has to be produced. From my point of view, when I look back at records I think: Yeah, itís cool, but it still can be better.
Piet: Yeah Benno is really critical. When he made something he says: mwoaah it was cool but it could be much better.

Trance.nu: But your best production till now?
Piet: Hehe, yeah now we are talking.. Itís still difficult, what is meant by ďbestĒ. Production technical itís so difficult to choose. Airwave, Such Is Life are much alike, while Awakening was a little tougher as a production.
Benno: canít choose either.

Trance.nu: Thanks for this interview, any message for the fans?
Benno: Keep writing you all! We will continue in the future and we hope we can keep pleasing you with out tracks.
Piet: Same message from me.

Trance.nu: Good Luck in the future guys!
Benno & Piet: Thank youuuuu!


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This interview was taken bij Tim & Twan.

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