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 Delete about his stay in Holland
Delete focuses on creating hardstyle with attitude and is well known for his hard-hitting, yet raw productions. So open your mind to a new take on hardstyle, combining elements from the past, present and the future.. The lines have been blurred.. Your perception of music is about to be deleted!
How do you enjoy your stay in Holland?
I love it here in Holland, everyone is very friendly. Unfortunately the weather is not the best, haha! My favorite sentence is ‘helaas pindakaas’, I love that one! But I also like ‘dikke doei’, or ‘dikke vette doei’. And ‘neuken in de keuken’, hahaha.
Do you notice any big differences between Australia and here?
Yes a lot actually. We don’t have much history in Australia. Everything is all new, but here in Holland everything is so historical. I love just walking around the cities here. But music wise Holland is just miles ahead of every other country including Australia, there is just no match. That is why I moved here. Especially hardstyle is just absolutely huge here! In Australia there is a good growing scene, but it is still way behind Holland.
Holland has allowed me to grow as an artist. In Australia I was getting nowhere. I barely got booked for parties. Here I am and feel much more appreciated. So I love Holland for being so awesome to me and allowing me to make a career of my music.
As you say Holland gives you more opportunities to perform. Can you name an event on your ‘want-to-perform-there-list?’
Definitely Q-BASE, I haven’t even attended and can’t this year as I’m in Australia, but I hear so many awesome stories about it. I hear the sound completely rapes your ear drums hahaha. Really can’t wait to experience it one day!
Let’s test your Dutch. Can you understand ‘Dikkie Dik’ these days?
I have several copies of Dikkie Dik (Dutch children’s book) but still haven’t got through them.. They are supposed to be bedtime stories but at that time the Dutch hurts my brain. Any time of day it remains a challenge actually!
Haha we can imagine so. What’s your own favorite track by the way?
I would say ‘Dismissed’. I had so much fun making it and it has been well received. Always love playing that the most, and fans will know I like to go crazy air-drumming the kick rolls haha . Also so many fans will randomly come to me and ask me “WHERE’S YOUR POWER ARMOUR!?” when I am about to perform. I get fans ‘dismissing’ me with a salute pose. I really love how much my fans interact with me and that track really has helped to bring me closer to my fans :).
So I’m curious, how did you get the idea to make this track?
The vocal is the center of the track. It revolves totally around the vocal. It’s a story and evolves through the track, each section more intense than the previous which kind of symbolizes the drill sergeant’s growing anger for the soldier still being out of uniform. So it started with that and I made the track progress and evolve around that. The vocal is from Fallout 2, gamers will know it. That game has such cool dialogue, but you can’t beat a shouting drill sergeant haha!
The track is pure screech madness with zero melody… The different screeches and patterns have a lot of character and besides that the drive was also very important.
Do you often make a track around the vocals/samples?
Maybe 50% of the time…… If I find a vocal that is really really cool it usually gives me instant inspiration to make something new specifically for that vocal. But I don’t always have a lot of vocal/dialogue in my tracks. ‘Dismissed’ has lots so that’s why it was the focal point.
‘Ghetto’ for example is a very short vocal so I could have easily made that same track with a different vocal. I didn’t make the track around that vocal, more the other way round. My older track ‘Syndrome’ though is totally made around the vocal as the whole vibe and atmosphere of that track had to match the vocal. The same goes for ‘Proximity to Extinction’ and my new track ‘Punishment’.
But my recent track ‘Level’ is kind of in-between. It plays a very important role and it’s a more ‘fun’ vocal. So I made a more ‘fun’ track rather than a dark track for example. The vocal always influences the vibe of the track. Also the new track with Deetox & MC Livid ‘Do or Die’ started with the vocal and built it up from there. And the track I did with Low Profile ‘Codes of Behaviour’ is very much focused around the vocal. Should have added that one in… The break is 1 minute of dialogue, haha!
Have you sacrificed a lot to get where you are today?
Besides leaving home and leaving behind my family and friends, I guess I have just sacrificed a lot of time. So much time. Some people don’t realize how much time producing takes and I’m a slow and careful producer haha. But also in the past I have given up studying to focus more on music when I was also working full-time. And then I went one step further and quit my job. So a lot of risks, especially as I’m not a huge artist, I’m still quite underground. But I’m glad I took those risks!
But do you think your music would change if you would suddenly not be “underground” anymore?
No my music wouldn’t change, because why change the music that has gotten me where I am or where I will be? But more importantly, why would I change the music I love the most? I just produce what I want in music. That does mean my music will evolve and change with my tastes of course, but I wouldn’t adapt it to be more accessible for the wrong reasons.
It also fits the Theracords ‘code’ if I may say so. Do you feel at home over there?
Exactly! Yes I do. I have made many friends and everyone is very friendly.
If you were to collaborate with a ‘euphoric’ artist, who would it be?
I’m actually going to collaborate with Inner Heat from Dirty Workz so that will be interesting! Other than him I would say my pals Dillytek. We actually threw the idea around when they were here for Defqon.1 so who knows!
You used to play games a lot. Do you also use samples from games?
Yes. I’m currently working on 2 collabs with Starcraft samples. I know they have been used a lot but the dialogue is amazing!
Can you tell us something about your life before Delete?
I was just a regular guy. I didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary I guess. I’ve just always have been a big music fan! Back when I was young I liked hip hop but not really anymore. I listen to a lot of Trance and Drum & Bass these days (besides Hardstyle and Hardcore).
Can you name 5 tracks, all from different genres, that you listen to a lot at the moment?
Noisia – Stamp Out
Simon Patterson feat. Sarah Howells – Dissolve
BT – Skylarking
Madeon & Ellie Goulding – Stay Awake
Pryda – Lycka