With just a few days left, Defqon.1 is about to receive more than a hundred thousand Weekend Warriors at The Holy Grounds. We spoke to Sander Bijlstra…
Interview with Coone about Defqon 2014
From a young age, Coone has been mesmerized by music in all its different shapes and forms. The creation of his successful label Dirty Workz, and him signing to Steve Aoki’s label Dim Mak, are both steps of the road to the top of the Hardstyle scene. Hardnews.nl had the honor to ask this year’s Defqon.1 anthem creator, a few questions.
You’ve been given the honor to make the Defqon.1 2014 anthem. How did this happen?
Well the people of Q-dance started talking to me during the Psyko Punkz Showcase at HDE in Amsterdam. For a second I was completely overwhelmed, but I immediately had countless ideas running through my head. Because as a producer, the thought of how you would make the Defqon.1 anthem, given the opportunity, is one that has certainly been on your mind.
Can you tell us something about the creation of this track?
Well as you know Defqon.1 works with a certain theme each year. So I received some guidelines and keywords from Q-dance that I ‘had’ to work with. I started looking for the right elements, watched movies that connected to this theme etc…. The melody was the most important part for me. I wanted to go back to the 2009/2010 feeling, and that took me about two to three weeks. I’m extremely happy about the result of “Survival of the Fittest”!
You will perform two times at Defqon.1, how will you vary your sets?
Well obviously both sets will be different. I think my set during the opening of Defqon.1 will contain some more classics than the show on Saturday. The reason is, I believe that during The Gathering there are more fanatic people present from across the entire world. People that have been following the Hardstyle genre extensively for several years now. On Saturday I will also play a few new tracks, and I’ll dedicate that performance more to the Hardstyle of 2014.
Besides making the anthem, you have also mixed the ‘RED’ CD. Can you tell us something about the tracks you’ve chosen?
I’ve searched for the most ideal balance of, and pay attention because this is a mouth-full, euphoric, a bit harder tracks, Hardstyle with a new sound and tracks from upcoming artists. I think I succeeded in this. When you listen to the mix you’ll hear a nice buildup to the harder stuff with some unique outliers….
You’re currently signed with Dim Mak among others, where you’ve released the album ‘Global Dedication’. Do you notice an increase of interest in the Hardstyle genre with fellow artists there?
Yes of course! You just notice Hardstyle is getting picked up by the big House guys. DJ’s that sense the style can explode any second. But it’s hard to estimate that for a country like America. Anyhow, something is happening over there. And I’m glad that I’m one of the Hardstyle ambassadors in that country.
Do you notice the fact that Hardstyle is still growing?
Hardstyle has always been an interesting musical genre. The audience is and has always been very dedicated. But that’s also the reason why it gets a lot of criticism… And we’re now at a point where the style is splitting up. Some guys take the highly commercial way, while others go harder and harder every time. Which isn’t bad for the people who like it, but I rather see everything as a whole.
Hardstyle gains new fans every day. I notice that, because I get to perform everywhere in the world now. There are new faces everywhere, just as people telling me that they’ve recently found a new style of music that really fits them. And that it’s more than just fun music to listen to. It’s a culture…
Hardstyle is currently breaking boundaries with different styles. You’ve recently made remixes of Garth Emery, Dimitry Vegas & Like Mike and Linkin Park. Is this the future of Hardstyle according to you?
It’s fun to work with these people, because it keeps you fresh. The music genre ‘Hardstyle’ is very broad to me. I’d love to do more of these things in the future. But on the other hand, I have moments where I’m a fan of the harder stuff, or sometimes I’m really into the old sound again. I just do whatever feels right, because when I do that I’m capable of making the most awesome music!
Will you make any more of those remixes in the near future, and will they also remix something of you?
Like I said, yes I’ll definitely keep on doing this. There are currently negotiations going on about the creation of several house/trap remixes of my new tracks. But I really need to like it myself, or else I don’t have a good feeling about it….
Let’s get back to the festivals, because you’ll tour across the entire world this summer. During Tomorrowland you play at both the Q-dance, as the Dim Mak stage. What can we expect of you here?
On both stages I’ll represent the sound that they’re used of me. But of course it’s fun to experiment a little at the Dim Mak stage.
What do you do to relax with such a busy schedule?
Giving interviews for Hardnews.nl :). No, I visit friends and family. The funny thing is that it usually doesn’t last 30 minutes before we’re back at talking about music again.
Is there anything about Coone that not a lot of people know?
Well I’m pretty insecure about a lot of things. Even when people give me probs, I’ll stick to my opinion. Maybe I’m just too much of a perfectionist with some things.
Could you name 5 tracks, each from a different genre, that you’re listening to right now?
1. Rap/Hip Hop, is definitely my favorite next to Hardstyle. I love listening to lyrics from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. “Wings” is my favorite right now.
2. “Watermat – Bullit” is a big bomb and very original track.
3. “Yellow Claw, Diplo & LNYTNZ – Techno”, I’ve just finished a remix of this track, but the original is also very cool. It’s a nice combination of Trap & Jumpstyle.
4. “Dr Rude – Kalavela Shot Me Down” is something that I play in almost all of my sets. It’s Jumpstyle, but it has that old Hardstyle/Showtek kind of sound…
5. “Psyko Punkz & Dope DOD – Druken Masta” to close it off with a Hardstyle track. This one’s already one of thé hits of the year for me.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
Like I said I just finished a track for Yellow Claw, Diplo & LNYTNZ, called “Techno (Coone Remix)”. I also finished three solo tracks. One of these is in the final fase and we’d like to release it at the end of this summer, because the track really expresses ‘summer’. I personally think it’s one of the best tracks I’ve made so far. I promise you’ll receive the scoop!
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