After a year of single releases, including ‘Alone’ and ‘Too Far Gone‘, it’s time for DEATH CODE to release his first EP. The American DJ realizes that…
Interview with the boss of Theracords: Thera
As the absolute boss of Theracords, it is obvious that this guy produces massive tracks. If you have heard Dj Thera’s productions, you have heard his massive gated kicks. There is no way to go around that. We had the chance to ask this guy some questions.
It’s without a doubt that music was a big part of your youth. Can you share a few memories with us that were critical for your decision to make music your profession?
When I was a little kid I would always dive into my parents records. I always wanted to arrange the music wherever I was, so me becoming a DJ was already certain. I was also very interested in making music since I was a kid. My father played in a band and that’s how I was introduced to several music instruments. I’ve learned to play a little bass guitar, drums and piano. However, I was too stubborn to play in a band. Adding the fact that my personal taste in music always had been aiming towards electronic music, I was extremely happy with the arrival of software like Cubase. I was finally able to create my own compositions.
Have you inherited a lot from your parents? And what do they think about the fact that you’re working in this genre?
Yes quiet a lot, they’re both very passionate music lovers and my father is also a musician. They are very proud of what I’ve achieved so far and miraculously they are also very fond of the music!
What is the reason that you founded your label Theracords Records?
Actually there are multiple reasons, being independent, the freedom to release whatever you want, I think those are the most important reasons. Especially in the beginning of Theracords, when it was primarily just a hobby, I would love to produce as much diverse music as possible and release it. It would go from techno to industrial hardcore and back to trance. Gradually it become more of a steady hardstyle label and we started to professionalize with an amazing group of people.
Have you received much negative feedback on your music and do you use that feedback?
I think that every artist gets criticized. Because of the Internet it’s fairly easy to express criticism, even if it’s not legit. If I get feedback that actually helps me, I will definitely use it. But matters of taste are something else, because I will always keep on doing what I like the most.
I think you notice that you’re getting more popular, but you’ve always stayed the same as an artist. Why do you think that it took a while?
My goal has never been to become popular. Actually the only goal I have is to share my music with as much people as possible, to let them know what I think is awesome. When others feel the same way about it it’s really great, but it’s impossible to make everyone like it. Perhaps this attitude slows down the process, but I kind of like that. When something becomes popular very fast, call it a hype, chances are it will become less interesting very fast too. So let me just grow step-by-step, haha!
You make music that you stand for and that makes you feel happy, but do you think we’ll ever see you collaborating with, for instance a Wildstylez/Frontliner or the like?
I’m currently making a track with Audiofreq, although he’s known for being a diverse producer. So maybe that’s not even very surprising. Anyway, I’m always open for nice ‘outside the box’ collaborations. So never say never.
When you’re on stage you can just see the passion and fun radiating of you. Besides that you also see to completely lose yourself in the music. Are there currently any tracks that take you to nirwana on stage?
Thanks, that’s really cool to hear! Actually all the tracks that I play give me a good feeling, otherwise I wouldn’t play it haha! But to do some name-calling anyway, I currently get loose on ‘Exit Mind – Get Down’ and the brand-new Delete track, whose title needs to remain a secret for now haha!
Let’s talk about something else, because besides music you’ve studied journalism in Tilburg. That’s something completely different. Why did you decide not to continue with that?
Well I’d secretly always hoped to get a breakthrough in music, so obviously I’m really happy with that. However, eventually I did get to do something with it, because I’ve been writing the raw hardstyle reviews for the Dutch DJ Mag, which is another dream come true!
Congratulations on your album, which will be released soon! Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Thanks! Well creating an album should definitely not be underestimated, haha! I’ve started working on it since November 2013 and it’s not nearly finished. I still have a few tracks and collabs that need to be finished and after that it’s going to be one hell of a job to fit everything on the CD. I really want it to be worth the money.
It has a ‘dark ages’ atmosphere, filmish, which the artwork already kind of gives away. Apart from that it’s becoming a massively diverse album. Every track so far has different kicks and it features both melodic as extremely rough tracks. It great to work on it, but to be honest, I’ll be glad when I can finally hold the album in my hands!
For the people that want to know more about my album, I’m posting a ‘behind the scenes’ video on my YouTube channel every week (youtube.com/djthera). Every episode is about one specific track from the album. The preview of that track will be uploaded the day after.
What is the reason for you to start ‘Behind the Training Sessions’?
Sometimes there just is something more to tell about a track than just hearing it. And by making a ‘Behind the Training Sessions’ I can express that. Besides that I enjoy the fact that people get to see what happens behind the scenes, how much effort is involved in the process of making a track.
What is your personal favorite track of the album?
That’s a very tough question! Each track has something special for me. But I think I would choose the title track ‘Training Session’. I’ve worked so insanely hard and long on it, but the result is extremely satisfying. The atmosphere and the build-up of the track just work for me!
Let’s take the track ‘Tiger Season’ for example, could you tell us something about the production process?
Good example! The track came into existence because of my brother. His big hobby is darts and he has the nickname “The Tiger”. Whenever he enters the stage he would always play a track of me. For once I wanted to make a track especially for his, so I started looking for vocals with Tiger in them.
The main idea is always the most important thing for me. From those vocals you can build the atmosphere around it and therefore the tracks flow together somehow.
What was the first thing that you bought with your earned ‘Thera’ money, besides studio equipment?
I honestly have no idea, haha, but it must have been somewhat of a vacation! I love to travel, so whenever I have some space in my agenda to leave for a few days I grab that opportunity with both hands.
Did you have to sacrifice a lot to get where you are today?
I sure have. Your social life gets much smaller than most people, because you put so much time in music. Besides that you’re gone always every weekend and there is a lot of traveling, so there is a lot more to it than people think. But I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. So it’s definitely worth it.
Could you name 5 tracks, each from a different genre, that you listen to a lot at the moment?
– Coldplay – O
– Dash Berlin – Underneath the Sky
– Geck-o – Space Pilot
– Alvaro – Shades
– My entire album of course
Let’s say that hardstyle is a company, and you’re in charge of it. Would you change anything?
Actually it’s very simple. If everyone would focus solely on the thing that they love, the world would become a lot more positive and fun. Sometimes tracks or artists get a lot of negative attention. If people would bend all that attention to something positive and to tracks or artists that they do love, it would also be better for everyone.
Could you name something that, besides the album, is on your schedule?
Of course I’m already looking for things to do when the album is finished. But nothing is certain at the moment, so I can’t say anything about it yet. But I can tell you that things won’t go quiet around me for a while, haha!