Refract has been working on the hardstyle scene for a while, which resulted in a record deal with Scantraxx Carbon and a first booking in a sold-out…
Interview: Bioweapon is back and here to stay!
After four years of silence the guys from Bioweapon are back to strike even harder than before. With a lot of big plans ahead and their own personal careers as Audiofreq and Code Black going extremely well, we decided to ask these guys some interesting questions.
C = Code Black (Corey)
A = Audiofreq (Sam)
First of all, how are your personal careers going?
A: Well because our personal careers are going so well, it kind of gave us the opportunity to look at doing other things. We were looking for something new, like a new project and we got excited about it.
C: And at the same time the whole hardstyle scene is looking for the older sounds. I’m not saying the whole scene will go back to that old sound, but I think people are missing it. So it’s the perfect opportunity for us to dive into it and bring back that kind of sound, without interfering with our own projects.
Sounds great! You decided to part ways back in 2011. Why was that?
A: The cause of the split was more of a personal thing, and got amplified by a lot of pressures. Moving in with friends can be difficult. Moving in with workmates + friends and also internationally results in a lot of pressure. And I really feel like that was the breaking point of what happened. So given the fact that we had a few years to develop our own sounds and grow more as people, and have the space in between us, I think it was one of the best things that could happen for the music that we make together.
So the break-up happened solely because of personal reasons, there were no work-related issues?
C: Well Sam (Audiofreq) had an idea about what he wanted to do and I had an idea about what I wanted to do, which was completely different. And I think, like Sam said, when we moved to Europe it kind of reached a boiling point where we were, completely separate in different studios, working on different styles of music.
So we always had different visions on our music, but at the same time Bioweapon came together to create a certain sound. The tracks didn’t roll out of our studio, but we made sure they were all very different. And I think the fact that we split can be interpreted as something good, because Sam had the chance to do his own thing and so did I. And now we can come back and revive Bioweapon, which is literally the sound from 4/5 years ago. And it pretty much contains three different sounds (Audiofreq, Code Black & Bioweapon), so that really fits our vision on Bioweapon. Creating something different.
A: It’s actually been very interesting to be working together again for the last couple of weeks. We were talking about jumping in the studio together again before and asked ourselves “What sounds are we going to use, what is Bioweapon going to sound like?” And in the end we surmised that even our own musical visions go in different directions. Bioweapon is really the combination and the chemistry of those two things coming together.
And did you part ways as colleagues only, or also as friends?
A: It was definitely as friends as well. I think that was the real pain and drama, so it was definitely a hard time for us.
We can only imagine. So when did you get to the point of hooking up again to talk about picking up where life of?
C: Well in my angle it took a long while, because I actually held a lot of resentment to the whole situation and how it all went down. I felt quite fucked up about it. And it took some years to kinda get passed that. And also because things worked out for me in the end, I reached a certain point where I had time to look back and realize that there is no need to retain that negative energy.
While there were mistakes that had been made, you have to realize that it belongs to the past and you learn from it and move on. We did have such a good connection for years before it happened. I just wanted to let go of bad blood, because at the end of the day you’re part of a relatively small industry where you’re bound to bump into one another.
A: For a long time we’d been running into each other at festivals, because like Corey said the industry isn’t as big as it appears to be. So at a certain point we started talking again and the process of healing slowly began. We had several promoters coming up to us and asking if we wanted to get back together for their event, but we were like no.. Because to us Bioweapon is much more than just two people getting on-stage to play their music. It’s all about the connection between Sam and Corey. And until that rift was healed, it didn’t feel like it would be right to perform on-stage together.
So when the process of healing started we had the Tijdmachine (Time Machine) set last year, which was really a turning point for us personally. That was when we looked at each other and said “We’re okay now”.
C: We actually already started visiting each other like a year-and-a-half ago, so the process started there. It was slow, but eventually built up to the point where we were confident enough to perform on-stage together again. And Tijdmachine was the perfect event for us to do so.
C: Haha, at one point our Bioweapon page didn’t exist anymore, because of all the inactivity. We had an email address from a guy from Facebook and luckily he could reactivate the page. So after that we realized that June 7th (the date of our last post) was coming up quickly so we thought it would be a cool way to play with people.
It definitely worked out, because the internet exploded that day. But still, that was back in June and it’s December already. What are your plans?
C: It’s been a bit of a slow process, because we didn’t really have any plans at the beginning. The idea was basically to get together again and try to make a track. But we liked it so much that one track turned into three tracks, that you can hear in the next couple of months. Each track really represents what Bioweapon was about.
A: Like Corey said we started with one track, but Bioweapon had many facets. We had the darker themed stuff like “Dead of the Night”, but also the happier stuff like “Move Your Body”. So we wanted to tackle the different angles to showcase what we’re all about and what inspired us. Bioweapon is a passion project for us, we don’t have to worry about releases, videoclips etc. I love this! I constantly have memories coming back when working on Bioweapon, which is great. It’s the stuff that we fell in love with and we’re trying to get it back out there.
So Corey is this the new challenge you had been searching for?
C: It’s one of the things. It’s still very natural to write music that is inspired from that time. So it’s not the biggest challenge, but more of getting in the studio and literally having fun. But it is inspiring. Also for my own career I’m searching where the new sound will go. And it’s hard to say, because each new sound gets abused. It’s the same with the raw sound. At first it was fresh and new, but nowadays each raw track sounds the same. But that also goes for the euphoric side of hardstyle.
We’re waiting for the next thing, or something close to the next thing. Otherwise I get bored pretty easily. I like to produce a lot of different genres and I know for a fact that Sam does too. I spend a lot of time doing other projects apart from hardstyle. That’s what keeps us sane. If I had to stick to one genre I would definitely go insane and have no creativity whatsoever.
So why are you still sticking to hardstyle only, as Code Black?
C: Because I’ve never taken an artist name outside of the genre as it is. I’ve had multiple artist names and each individual artist has stuck to what that sound was. I also think it’s kind of pointless to build a fanbase with your name and then disappear to another scene.
Sam you’re working on an album at the moment. Corey you have been hinting at making one as well. Is that going to happen?
C: Not anymore. Too much stuff got in the way. I’m making a lot of music, also apart from Code Black. I think I only spend about 30% of my total studio time to Code Black. So it kind of got too much for me and I couldn’t find the time to do it. I’m trying to find a way to clear my agenda and have a bit more focus on Code Black, because that is my main alias. Everything else I do is not under my face, so an album is not something I can pull off right now.
Did you just say that Code Black only accounts for 30% of your studio time?!
And Sam, how’s that for you?
A: Well for me it’s a bit different, because I started Audiofreq with the intention of embracing a lot of different sounds. So I have a little bit more flexibility when it comes to doing something. I think I’ve done three trap-influenced tracks in the past nine months. and people are like “that’s just Sam doing his thing”, which is cool. And that was always my intention when I started this alias.
I’m still working on the album, but there have also been other things this year. So my plans haven’t actually been going according to plan haha. I’ve finished seven or eight tunes that I’m already playing and testing on the dance-floors. But they’re still ‘too hardstyley’ haha. So in the process of writing an album, I want to produce something that doesn’t get forgotten after nine months. So it has to be an experience for people.
Back to your mysterious Bioweapon video. It included some morse-code which translated to “4 years of silence”. Is that a hint towards an EP?
A: It wasn’t so much at the time, it was more like to tie in with the actual date. I mean.. Should we say it?
A: Yeah come on, it’s obvious! The last picture that we put up on the Bioweapon Facebook page is going to be the cover of our new EP. We love working with themes like weapons and viral outbreaks, so this cover matches that Bioweapon theme.
And will there also be gigs in Europe?
C: We don’t have any real plans yet. We didn’t think that far ahead, because the idea was to get back together for the music. So we’re already getting some booking requests from different festivals for next year, but we don’t know if we want to do it. Maybe we want to do one booking per month, or maybe even once per year. Just to keep it very exclusive and fresh.
One thing’s for sure. The idea was to come back and have fun, and it can’t get in the way of our solo-careers. We understand that it’s really cool to see Bioweapon again, so we’re gonna bring it. But we don’t yet know when that will be.
A: Whenever we perform we want to bring something special, because this project is special.
One of your tracks, “Reload the Weapon”, has been played on Qlimax and is now also available on your YouTube accounts. Is this the style you’re going for?
A: No, Bioweapon had many facets back in the days. The way we see it is that back then it didn’t really matter if the music was hard, happy or dark. It was nice music to listen to and it was quite various. And that’s our approach. We’re reloading the weapon.
C: We also have a kick ’n bass tune, I don’t know what people are going to think of that haha. But those are the vibes that were around back then. So every new Bioweapon track has a different style. We’re also working on a older Showtek-kind-of track, which will not be on our upcoming EP, but it might appear in the near future. Because it’s something that really inspired us back in the days, so we want to try and return the favor.
Big plans, we love it! So how is it to be working together again as friends?
C: It’s good! It goes smoothly, because we’re not jumping in the studio and thinking “What are we going to do?” We’re jumping in the studio with an idea of exactly what we’re going to do. We’re literally doing music that was Bioweapon and music that inspired Bioweapon. As friends we get along perfectly fine, so we’re having a lot of fun together.
A: It feels like we hit ‘un-pause’. As Corey said we have a direction now and that’s important as an artist.
C: And at the end of Bioweapon in 2011 we were struggling with the direction we both wanted to go to. We were both discovering our identity and now we don’t need to do that anymore, because we both have a platform to release our own music. So whenever we get into a conflict where we’re struggling about doing this or doing that, we just look at each other and say “What would Bioweapon do?” haha.
A: Haha exactly.
Haha! Okay, last question. Where will you release your music?
C: We don’t know.. We really don’t know, because we don’t have a plan for that yet. We’re looking into a few different avenues for it. But at this stage we don’t have a plan.
A: The main focus for us right now is finishing the music, and getting the music into the public’s ears. Once the music is on our YouTube page it doesn’t really matter anymore. People will start streaming it, rather than buying it.
C: Yeah, a label is the least of our worries right now. We’re working really hard to finish these three tracks right now. Can I say three?
A: Haha, yes we’ve already said that.
C: Oh okay. Yeah so, we don’t know where it will be released. Whether it will be a new label, or an existing label. It’s all kind of up in the air.
Okay, so a second last question. “Reload the Weapon” is already up, when will we hear the other two tracks?
C: Definitely this year. At least one more this year, and if not then you’ll definitely be able to stream them from January on.
A: Yeah we’ll push out anything official on our Facebook page, so keep an eye on that.