Warface has dedicated his set on Dance4Liberation to Ryan Biggs, better known as Delete, who passed away last week. Prior to the first records, the End of…
Interview with the almighty Warface
In an incredible short amount of time has the young Youri Claessens, who you know as Warface, grown as an artist. But not only on a producing leven, but Warface also gained a lot of popularity. Fresh from Spoontech Records he started his own ‘End of Line Recordings’. We had the chance to ask him some questions.
Can you start by telling us about the birth of Warface?
Since 2010 I’ve been hosting small parties with my friends in my hometown to bring bigger artists to Limburg (province in The Netherlands), being the fact we need to travel great distances for the big events.
As a closing act I’d always book a hardcore artist that everyone probably knows from Enzyme Records, Triax (Remco-Jan Prevoo). After a conversation on one of our parties in 2013 he told me that he was also developing a hardstyle alias next to Triax, called Warface. I immediately booked Warface, which was the first ever booking of this act. We kept in touch and I visited him in the studio on a regular basis, because I wanted to know more about producing. Remco-Jan must have seen something in me that spoke to him, because a few visits later he asked me if I wanted to work together with him on Warface. How could I say no to that?
I had been a DJ on a small scale, but also became curious about the producing of tracks. Because how cool is it that people go crazy to your own music? We’re now almost a year further and I’m all that’s left as the DJ of Warface. Remco-Jan has his own bookings with Warface, so we decided to go seperate ways as performing artists. Remco-Jan now only supports me in the studio. That way we’re kind of still a duo, haha!
Will you continue to do stuff with your ‘old’ collegues from Spoontech, like collabs?
Of course, Spoontech has been the foundation of the release of one of my first tracks. I’ll always be loyal to them and support them by playing tracks or doing collabs. I’m currently working on a track with Dark Pact, which we will play for the first time at Decibel.
You’ve got a brand-new live-act, what can people expect of this act and what is the idea behind the costume?
In my head I’ve always had an idea to create a unique live-act. With Warface you obviously expect something ‘Army’ and that’s what I did. But I wanted to wait until I’d finished more tracks, so I could play something new during each live-act. It had to stay unique of course.
However sooner that I had planned, Lose Your Mind asked me if I wanted to do a live-act at their event Penoze Live. The mask was already finished, but the suit wasn’t. I created something in a short period of time, just so I could do my thing at Penoze Live. In the near future I’ll expend the suit to make it a bit more unique. I want to use the new suit for the first time at Supremacy. Music wise I want to use that 30 minutes to show everyone what Warface stands for. Lots of new tracks, edits, DJ tools, mash-ups etc. And I’ll use my AKAI Drumpad with samples of my own tracks of course.
You notice that you’re gaining in popularity at the moment. Where do you think this comes from?
To be honest I’d never expected this. In February I only had 4 bookings on my schedule for 2014 and now I’m fully booked every weekend up until November. How bizar is that? The world has currently turned upside down for me. I don’t know where it all suddenly came from, but I just think my sound is different from others, in both my productions and my DJ sets.
Do you think there will ever be a time that hardstyle can’t ‘get any harder’?
I personally believe that ‘hard’ has a different meaning to every hardstyle lover. Some think my music is really hard and some think Noisecontrollers is really hard. I do believe that artists will experiment more with different sounds from drum&bass/industrial to make it sound harder. But think about it, hardstyle is meant to be hard right?
We couldn’t agree more. You’ve made a track with DJ Predator, a known name from the hardcore scene. How did this collaboration happen? Stefan (Predator) is a friend of Remco-Jan and they’ve already made several tracks including ‘Forgery’. Remco-Jan and I always try to create something new and awesome that hasn’t been done before, but that’s really tough nowadays. We wanted to make a 160 BPM track and he thought it was cool to do a collaboration. I think it turned out really nice. It’s different and we’ve used sounds that haven’t been used much in hardstyle.
The track has already been played at Defqon.1, Free Festival and Dominator.
Can you name one thing that you would never turn down, even when you’re asleep?
Haha, nice question! You can always wake me up for some Burger King! And preferably a dubble Whopper© with Twisterfries xD.
If you could make a track with a hardstyle artist of your choice, who would it be and why?
When I started listening to hardstyle Headhunterz, Noisecontrollers and D-Block & S-te-Fan were the acts that left the biggest impression with their music. They still do by the way. The sound design and vibe that they put into their tracks is just of abnormal quality. If I would have to choose between them, I’d probably choose Noisecontrollers.
Take a track like ‘FTP’ for instance, how did you produce this track?
Well I try to put a political message in every track that I make. ‘FTP’ is mainly about the corrupt police/government across the entire world. For example, a few years ago some cops beat up an innocent Afro-American guy for no reason. After that I found some samples from a track of NWA.
Besides that I’ve also made some kind of story/movie scene with samples from GTA San Andreas and Eddy Murphy. The cool thing is that it looks like it all comes straight out of one movie, but I’ve made it all myself.
Do you think that ‘euphoric’ and ‘raw’ will eventually become two seperate genres?
Well you do notice a lot of ‘stretch’ in the hardstyle scene. Especially between euphoric and raw. I just think that hardstyle needs to stay hardstyle. That way you keep it very diverse and you create one big scene. When you divide it, it will probably not be for the best of the scene. And I’m sure no one would want that, right?
What do you do to prepare yourself for a performance?
The week prior the the booking I look for the latest releases, which artists play before my during the night and what kind of crowd I can expect. I never make a tracklist prior to the booking. I perform and pick the tracks based on a feeling en what would suit the crowd the most.
Can you tell us something about future Warface projects?
I’ve recently finished several collabs with Luna, Crypsis, Predator, Deetox, Delete, Degos & Re-Done and Dark Pact. Besides that I also have plans to do collabs with Frequencerz and Titan. But we haven’t decided when because there are all busy with their own projects at the moment.