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Monday 30th, June 2008
TiŽsto
Exclusive TiŽsto interview!
Updated: Thursday 28th, May 2009

: Somebody who doesn't need an introduction is Tijs Verwest a.k.a. TiŽsto. Trance.nu spoke to him while he was in the US to promote his brand new mix compilation In Search Of Sunrise 7

Trance.nu: Your brand new mix compilation In Search Of Sunrise part 7 was just released. Previous parts of In Search Of Sunrise were dedicated to Panama, Los Angeles, Latin America, Ibiza etc. This time you recorded the CD in Thailand. Why did you choose Asia for this In Search Of Sunrise?
TiŽsto: Well, in April of this year, I had a 6 week tour in Asia and during that time I was already thinking of a new In Search Of Sunrise compilation to release before the summer. While I was touring there, I had so many cool, new tracks I played out. I managed to gather quite a nice collection and when I decided to make a new In Search Of Sunrise compilation, it felt Ďrightí to dedicate it to Asia.


Trance.nu: In comparison to previous releases of In Search Of Sunrise where your track selection included a considerable amount of unknown and newer songs, this edition contains more recognisable tracks already known to a wider audience. Was this a conscious decision made particularly for this CD?
TiŽsto: Nowadays everything goes so fast, especially with the internet. Itís almost impossible to keep something for yourself. Even if I have one of my own tracks and I start to play it out, it doesnít take too long before people find out what it is.

So itís impossible to keep things exclusive, people record movies during shows and put them on Youtube. The internet plays a big role in spreading new music worldwide, it is almost unheard of that people will find something brand new on a CD by the time it is released.


Trance.nu: Do you think that itís hard to keep the In Search Of Sunrise series at a high level?
TiŽsto: No, not really to be honest. In Search Of Sunrise 6 was a real highlight for me, and the same goes for this edition too. Personally I feel that both CDs flow really well. The first CD is probably something more people expect me to do, but the second disc has more of an older school trance feeling on it, with a fresher and newer sound. Every new In Search Of Sunrise CD is from a new time you know?

Lots of people are always talking about the first and the third In Search Of Sunrise edition, but yeah, that was a whole different time with different tracks as well, I even played with vinyl in that period. In that time there was already internet, but it wasnít as big as it is now, so lots of things have changed since then. But I still think In Search Of Sunrise is a high quality compilation.


Trance.nu: Do you think that itís possible to take the In Search Of Sunrise compilations a step further every time?
TiŽsto: Well, I think itís going to be even more difficult in the future for sure. Especially since so many things have been done already. I do experience this as well in the music scene. There are many tracks being released nowadays, which also sound like tracks that were released 10 years ago. They do sound like the tracks from back then, but of course the quality is better, but the feeling and the melody is almost the same nowadays.

So I think in the future it will be harder to take the In Search Of Sunrise compilations a step further, but I still think they are really good now. Every time just before we start with a new In Search Of Sunrise it is very stressful to get all tracks for the compilation. Like this one we want to use, this one we donít want to use.

Sometimes you are searching for 1 final track to put on a CD or you have 1 track that doesnít really fit in the mix etc. You canít compare a mix album with a normal live set, since you are limited when you have made your track selection for the CD of course.


Trance.nu: One of the tracks on this In Search Of Sunrise, is the track ĎBlossomí by ĎSteve Forte Rioí. According to some rumours on the internet, ĎSteve Forte Rioí is an anagram for ĎTiŽsto Foreverí. Can you tell us something more about this?
TiŽsto: Hahaha! WellÖ. Thatís a rumour indeed, haha! It might be possibleÖ I like to keep some things a bit mysteriousÖ.


Trance.nu: At the moment you are touring the US to promote the In Search Of Sunrise compilation. Many Dutch fans would like to know if there will be a release party in The Netherlands as well?
TiŽsto: Normally we always do one, but my schedule for the next couple of months is really full already. So I think a Dutch release party might be done around the end of the year. I donít have a date for it right now, but there will be a date later for sure!


Trance.nu: You have already hosted many In Search Of Sunrise events in the past, what are some of your favorite memories from these parties?
TiŽsto: A few of the release parties which I did for the In Search Of Sunrise CDís. When I released the first edition in Norway, the release party was in a very small club. That was very special, since it was really cool to see how the audience were reacting to the CD.

That was awesome! Another thing that I will never forget was the release party in the Heineken Music Hall (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). I did a few really cool release parties over there as well.


Trance.nu: Are there, besides the In Search Of Sunrise CDís, any other compilations that you would like to mix? For example, an edition of Global Underground, or maybe something else, such as an electro house compilation?
TiŽsto: Well, I have to say that in the past one of my dreams was to mix one of the Global Underground CDís. That was in the time that they just started to release them, back in 1996. I was like ďWow, it would be awesome to remix one of those!Ē, but right now I think it has lost its charm a bit.

Itís not what it used to be anymore, so right now when it comes to mix compilations, Iím happy with what Iím doing at the moment.


Trance.nu: You are regarded as one of the worldís best and most popular DJís ever. So far you have reached many highlights in your career, that most people only can dream about. Youíre travelling all around the globe, for three years in a row you were #1 in the DJ Mag Top 100, your music has been used in movies, you DJ-ed at the opening for the Olympic Games, you have had collaborations with other famous names and you remixed world famous stars. What is the absolute highlight in your career so far?
TiŽsto: Hmmm, that is hard to sayÖ But when I have to name just 1 thing, it would be my breakthrough. That is something that I will never forget. The first time you play at a big event, Innercity, and perform for 30.000 crazy people! That was a highlight for sure! I think itís not just a highlight when you can DJ at the Olympic Games, but itís also a highlight when you have to perform in the middle of nowhere and when you play for a few thousand people in a sold out club. My whole lifestyle changed in the last couple of years, so I can really say that my whole life is 1 big highlight!

The things you mentioned are all highlights for sure, but in between there were a lot of highlights as well, that many people donít even realise. I mean, I travel a lot, the fact that I recorded the In Search Of Sunrise compilation in a hotel room in Thailand, with 2 little speakers on top of some chairs! Also little things like this are highlights for me. I have so many great memories, itís insane! Maybe I should write a book about that, hahaha!


Trance.nu: Haha, yeah, that might be a good idea indeed! I also saw the movie on your website, where you show the people how you record the CD.
TiŽsto: True! So people can see that itís not fake. Iím really mixing the CD live, so itís not manipulated with computers and mixed with Ableton.


Trance.nu: Do you ever consider when you will stop with your career or is this something that has not crossed your mind at this point yet?
TiŽsto: No, not at all. Of course Iím a bit older now, so I can imagine that people are speculating when Iím going to stop, but I really love what Iím doing, so I donít want to stop something that I love doing. I mean, it will always be a challenge for me. Every year is different and Iím looking for more immersion in my career.

Iím doing other things, I make different types of music right now, I work with other artists, my sets are different and I have the feeling that Iím going back to my trance roots, when I compare it with 2 - 3 years ago. So it is still fun for me and a challenge, so as long as it is like that, I will keep doing this! The main motivator that drives me to keep doing what I do is my love and passion for the music. I also think that it will be very hard for me to stop, because I just love DJ-ing.

The adrenaline you get when you are on stage is so addictive, once you have experienced it, who knows if it is even possible to live without it!


Trance.nu: You achieved so many things in your career already, but are there still things that you really would like to do?
TiŽsto: HmmmÖ I think I just want to enjoy as long as possible what Iím doing right now. They always say ďIím living the dreamĒ and that is really what Iím doing! I think Iím doing a lot of cool things that many people might be jealous of.


Trance.nu: Do you read internet forums, to see what people say about your music and your DJ sets?
TiŽsto: In the past I did check out the forums to read reactions etc. but recently I just donít have time to do it anymore. Plus there are so many things that are being written about me, that itís almost impossible to read everything. I always enjoyed reading reactions from people! There is also a lot of criticism on the forums, but during the years I learned how to read it and when they have some criticism, which is correct, I know that itís like that.

But also when they write something like ďTiŽsto sucks, bla bla blaĒ, Iím just laughing about it! One thing that I find a bit dangerous from those forums is, that there are people who say they know something, which is just not true. Like for example, when somebody is saying ďone of my friends had to perform with TiŽsto and TiŽsto said that he could not play this certain recordĒ. And somebody is putting that on a forum and people just believe it straight away, that something like that is true, while there are so many things being said, that are just not true! So I think itís pretty sad that people make up things about me, to make me look bad. I think thatís a big disadvantage of forums.

Another one is that, for example, you play at a party for 1.000 people. And there are 2 people at that party, who are members of a trance forum. If they, for whatever kind of reason, donít like the party, they write something really bad about the night on a forum, while the other 998 people had an awesome time! So that is also something that I donít really like. So in the past I checked forums a lot more often than I do nowadays.


Trance.nu: I think for you the feedback that you get at the party itself, says more than the negative replies on forums right?
TiŽsto: Yes, true! The forums donít always give a true reflection of what I see in the clubs or parties. When I see what happens in reality, people still have an awesome time at my gigs. Right now Iím doing my 5th or 6th tour in the US already and every night is sold out and the venues are packed, the audience is great and they are all having a good time, so Iím not going to worry too much about what people write on the forums.

Plus you never know who writes stuff like that. In the past I noticed comments from people who were also in the music scene, like other DJís or producers. And when you make 1 or 2 small mixing mistakes a night, they write on the forums ďmy whole night was ruined because of that!Ē, Come on, 1 or 2 little mistakes during the whole night, big deal! Stuff like that can happen!

Well, that is how I personally think about it, weíre all human and we all mistakes. I see everybody going nuts and thatís the most important thing for me!


Trance.nu: During the summer you are at almost all the big festivals and in October you are getting married. What are your plans after this? Is it time to start to work on a new artist album already?
TiŽsto: Yes, I think I am going to work on a new album for sure! Iím really looking forward to that! So hopefully in the beginning of 2009, letís say February or March, Iím gonna relax a bit and work on new stuff for a new album.


Trance.nu: What can we expect from you in the next couple of months?
TiŽsto: Since most things have already been done, I will be concentrating mainly on my DJ gigs. The new In Search Of Sunrise is out and I believe the remix I did for the Cary Brothers, ďRideĒ is doing really well, so that might possibly become a hit!


Trance.nu: I want to thank you very much for your time and good luck for the future!
TiŽsto: Youíre welcome and thank you too!


Written by:
Twan van Loon

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