Art of Creation is coming up with its own event this year. The label, which is led by Headhunterz, Wildstylez and Noisecontrollers, will show the growth of…
Going in depth with Noisecontrollers
Bas Oskam, who you know better as Noisecontrollers, is an established Hardstyle artist and belongs to the top of the scene. His latest album ‘All Around’ has recently been released and because of that we had the chance to ask him a few questions. The questions vary from his album, tracks, personal life, career and more.
The only collaboration on your album are with Wildstylez and Waverider, is there a reason for this?
You know what the thing is, I just started in February 2013. I finished a track and after that another one. I had no intention of releasing it yet because there already were some other releases waiting. That’s why I decided to continue with an album, but I didn’t plan anything prior to this. I didn’t decide things like ‘It has to be hard, it has to be soft, it has to go in a certain direction’. The collabs also went very naturally. I finished the album in October and those two were the collabs that got featured on the album. It’s the same reason as why there are no remixes of myself on the album.
Why are there no Pavelow tracks on the album?
Yes that’s another thing. As I said I hadn’t planned on anything for this album. Last year me and Arjan made several trips to different genres. I thought it was very fun to do and I recently made a new Pavelow track. But for some reason 2013 was a real Hardstyle-minded year for me. I tend to make what I like and at that moment it was Hardstyle.
A while back you talked about ‘I just made my hardest track ever’, is that ‘Come Wake Up’ or is there some other dark force coming out of your studio soon?
No that was ‘What?!’. I believe that is my hardest track. I made ‘Come Wake Up’ after that, but when of think of it, that one comes close too haha!
You just released your album. Does that mean you have a period of relaxation now, or are you already busy in the studio again?
It’s some sort of a relaxation period. I completely finished the album in November. After that the news came out that Arjan and I were splitting up and also some personal stuff came up. It has been a very rough year for me. When I was finished with all of that I thought to myself ‘wow this really was a tough period…’. I took the first few weeks of January off and took some time to relax myself. Currently I’m working on revitalizing Noisecontrollers with my new album and enjoying all the bookings to the fullest. I’m also constantly producing, so I sit in the studio every day.
On Qlimax you played a lot of tracks of the new album for the first time. You must have known that the set would appear on the internet. Did you think about this prior to your set?
I was very aware of it and thought about it consciously. It was important for me to announce the album after everyone would be a little used to the fact that Arjan and I would be splitting up. I also wanted that people would understand that this album comes from me alone, just like the previous album (except for one track). So Qlimax was the perfect stage to introduce all these new tracks. The response of the people was so ridiculously good. My Twitter exploded when I was in the car after the set! It makes me feel very good to see that people support me this much and enjoy my music.
For someone who has achieved almost everything (or so it seems), is there anything besides this album that would be a bigger achievement than anything before?
Wel…. It may sound silly, but it has nothing to do with bookings, because I like every booking. Making music is the best thing in my whole life. So my next achievement would be my next track. I’ve never dreamt of performing, I dreamt about making music. You could call me a ‘performing producer’ haha!
You and Arjan split up, do you notice any changes?
Production wise there is no real change, because most of the time I sat in the studio by myself. But on-stage it’s a whole other experience. I really miss Arjan and that’s something I just had to close for myself, but now I also really enjoy it. I’m not really alone, because all the visitors and the people in the club are also there. Of course I miss all the fun and the traveling, but it’s just another experience.
Did you have to sacrifice a lot?
That’s a good question, because I thought about this exact thing this morning! I’ve sacrificed a lot, especially the first 4/5 years. The only thing I focused on was music, everything revolved around the studio and that was everything I wanted. Because of this I also got exactly what I wanted. And by that I mean success, people loving my music etc. I just wanted to make great tracks and that takes a lot of time and energy. Because of this I did however let down quite a few social contacts and friends by not giving them the attention they deserved. Regret is not really the right word, because it gave me everything I wanted, but it has been a disadvantage.
For example I didn’t finish my education. I was almost ready and just couldn’t take it anymore. There were a lot of times when I sat in the classroom at 8:00 in the morning, was done at 16:00 and immediately had to drive to the airport in Germany to play that same night in Italy at some club. I thought to myself ‘this can’t go like this anymore’. And that’s when I really went for it and started making music full-time. That was in 2008, I remember it very well.
So that’s another thing I sacrificed. People may think ‘what do you mean sacrificed, you have everything you want right?’ True, but I didn’t know that at that point! I was a relatively unknown artist at the time. The bookings were okay, but it was not nearly enough to live from. You had to make a choice and decide if it would all be worth it. It was a gamble you had to take.
Something that not a lot of people know from Noisecontrollers is that you love chess. Where does this love come from?
Haha, there actually is a chess board in my living room right now! When I was 17 I suddenly started playing chess, I don’t really know why. I became obsessed by it and joined two chess clubs. For a short period of time I entered a lot of competitions and loved it! I still play it online sometimes. It sounds very boring, but I really enjoy it.
Sometimes people hear a track for the first time on a mobile phones without headphones. The quality is a lot lower and this could be of influence to the opinion that people have about the track. Do you keep this in mind in the studio, that not everyone has a high quality sound system?
Absolutely, only I won’t make any concessions. I think good equipment is very important, because the music will sound at its best that way. A good example is ‘Light’ from the album. I used a new kind of kicks and they sound very deep, but you need a sub to properly hear it. If you listen to the album on a laptop, you’ll miss all the details that I’ve put so much time into. If it sounds good in my studio, I’m not going to change it. This music is meant to be played on a big sound system.
People talk about ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’ as a game-changer, what do you think about that?
I’ll tell you something else, you don’t want to know how many records I produce NOW that still contain that kick. The kick is that hardest part in Hardstyle and I spent about 2 to 3 full weeks making that kick. Suddenly it was there! We also had to make the In Qontrol anthem at that moment, so it was all very convenient. I remember sitting in the car and thinking to myself ‘wow this turned out awesome!’
You’re currently not signed to a label, would you like to remain a free bird or are you setting down somewhere soon?
I don’t think the ‘brand’ of a label is so important to me anymore. I mean a label is very important to an artist, but I have Noisecontrollers and I release my records. It doesn’t really matter on which label that is. At this point it’s Q-dance and they have a beautiful history, so it’s a logical step.
What happened to Digital Age Music?
Well I did release several records on it, but I guess it just passed away quietly. We weren’t focusing on it as much as we did before and at some point it just ceased to exist. We wanted to build some king of ‘brand’ when we started the label. But after a while we didn’t think it was as important as the music we were making.
There are more and more Hardstyle artists that experiment with artist of different genres. You probably have a lot of connections, so has this happened yet or will it ever happen?
I have something planned right now with a very big artist, it’s really one of the biggest! But that all happened very naturally and I can’t say anything about it yet. If I have some kind of connection with someone things like this just happen and you’ll see what comes out of it.
In an interview from 2008 you were asked (as an upcoming talent) to name a talented artist who you thought would become really big someday. You named ‘Wildstylez’. How do you think about that now?
Hahaha! That’s very funny. But I was right though! There are a lot of guys who are currently busy on their way to the top, but the artists I’m most sure of, next to Wildstylez (haha), are Audiotricz. I’ve seen these guys working in the studio and I’m sure they will become great artists.
I’d hoped you would say that, because there has been a discussion recently about the track ‘Infinite’. Did you have any influence in this track yes or no?
No not the slightest. I do think it’s a Noisecontrollers kind of track. Maybe that’s why I really like it. I heard it by coincidence when someone played it in the studio. I asked him what the track was and when he said that it was from Audiotricz, I walked over to them because they were sitting in the studio above me that day. I asked them if I could have the record to play it at Qlimax. The reason I didn’t mention the title of the track is because I didn’t name the other tracks I played as well. The guys liked it so that’s the only thing that I’ve done haha!
In the same interview from 2008 you say it was an honor that you were asked to mix a compilation together with Technoboy. Did you ever expect that you would turn out to be as big, or even bigger than him someday?
No never. Our first record was released in 2007 on Fusion. That was our dream. When that happened our next goal was to release a second record. Then it became our dream to perform. This went on and on. Every time when we had achieved something very cool, something even better happened like a Thrillogy or X-Qlusive. There wasn’t any plan behind it and because of the ‘flow’ it all went as it did.
Do you think that the growth of Hardstyle will soon end?
Everyone already thought that 5 or 10 years ago. I don’t think it will happen any time soon, because Hardstyle is just awesome music. For example, it already sounds better than three years ago. What I do hope is that artists will put more diversity in their tracks. Hardstyle needs a fresh breeze and that’s only possible if artists experiment.