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 the guys of Endymion
The guys of Endymion recently released their new album ‘Be A Voice Not An Echo’ on Neophyte Records and made some trips to different genres, like Hardstyle. We got the chance to ask them a few questions.
1. Congratulations on your new album, can you tell us anything about all the experiments?
Thanks! We really decided to let go of all the rules on this album. We’ve always made tracks that lie somewhere between 150 and 180 BPM. But the last couple of years this wasn’t a custom in the hardcore scene. When we were making ‘Make Some Noise’ last year we found out how good it sounds to make hardcore a little slower. It gave us such a big rush! That’s why we decided to make some tracks that are outside the ‘box’ besides our ‘regular’ tracks. Because we forgot about the rules we really created some remarkable tracks. A good example is ‘Stoner (ft. Murda)’ because it’s kind of a hiphop track with a Hardcore touch.
The collaboration with The Outside Agency also turned out really well! We had been talking about a collaboration with the guys for years, but for some reason it didn’t happen. Last year we finally picked a date and decided to create something that our fans wouldn’t expect. We set the counter on 128 BPM and the result is really original (according to us). It’s obvious that this track is hard to fit into a Hardstyle or Hardcore set, but it’s still a huge track which sounds like Endymion. So why wouldn’t we make something like this?
The theme of the album for us was being original. We wanted to making something that we (and others) hadn’t done before. Hence the title: ‘Be A Voice Not An Echo”.
2. We noticed that you’ve also experimented with Hardstyle a lot. How did this happen?
During Reverze 2013 we were introduced by a mutual friend to Frequencerz. After a nice conversation we decided to try something together. Just because we were curious how it would turn out. Out of that collaboration the two tracks ‘Caught in the Fire’ & ‘Inexcusable’ were made. Two tracks that don’t really fit 100% in one ‘box’. It’s a good track to play in Hardstyle sets, but a lot of Hardcore collegues also play the tracks. We thought they were very refreshing and it stimulated us to make some more of these tracks.
Ran-D is someone that we know for several years now. Lately we were abroad together a lot and you get to learn each other a little bit better. We think his music is great for many years now and we had been talking about getting in the studio together. When we did that we hadn’t really thought about what the track should become. We just started making music. When you look at the tempo and arrangement, the track is closest to Hardstyle. But the kicks on the other hand are really Hardcore.
3. Do you think that Endymion is moving over to Hardstyle, or will you always remain Hardcore-minded?
Do you know what it is? Hardstyle and Hardcore aren’t so far apart nowadays. The good mixers in both scenes know how you can make a kick sound at its best. That’s why Hardcore and Hardstyle producers mix their tracks in almost the same way. If we play a track from us at 150 PBM some call it Hardstyle. When we set the BPM on 170 it suddenly is Hardcore.
It’s important for us that we keep on surprising people. We just like a lot of things. We’re very proud of ‘Under Your Skin ‘ with Pandorum, but ‘God is a Gangster’ with Art of Fighters is also one of our favorite tracks on the album. So there will most definitely be more slower tracks in the future. On the new ‘This is Hardcore’ album we’ve featured a full-on Hardcore track (https://soundcloud.com/officialtih/let-the-bass-fuck-up-this-place-tih). We always try to bring quality and original material. It doens’t matter to us if the BPM counter is set to 150 or 170.
4. CD2 contains 5 remixes that you made of other tracks. Do you pick out these tracks yourself?
That differs with each track. We were asked by A² Records to remix a Gunz for Hire track. That’s when we choose ‘Bolivia’ ourselves. DJ D says goodbye to the scene and he asked us if you could make a remix of the track that we play all the time (Imagine). We really get a lot of requests for remixes, but we only pick the ones that we really like to do.
5. What is your favorite track of the album, and why that one?
It’s almost impossible to make that decision. The album is still too fresh for that. But we think all tracks are special in their own way. ‘Stoner’ is Jelle’s favorite because of its original arrangements and vovals. ‘Under Your Skin’ is a personal favorite of Bart because of the atmosphere and drop. ‘God is a Gangster’ is the favorite track of Bas, because it’s extremely raw and Hardcore. ‘Pretty Much Fucked’ is (according to us) the most discussed track of the year. We’ve had a lot of compliments from colleques!
But we notice that we’re naming almost all tracks from CD1. We’re just really proud at the entire album! That’s what we really wanted to make.
6. Lately there are a lot of duos splitting up. Endymion even contains three guys. Why is it that you stick together?
We can’t judge whether it’s good or not that acts are splitting up. It’s depends on the formation. The big difference about Endymion is that we were close friends long before we even knew what Hardcore was. Our success happened naturally. We never had the intention to make this into our profession. The fact that it happened is really special. We stick together because we respect each other a lot and we can’t live without each other. We can’t avoid having a discussion from time to time, but nothing leaves this studio without us all agreeing on it.
7. Your documentary ‘On The Road To Make Some Noise’ shows the fans what the life of Endymion if like. Is this how it really is?
Let’s start by saying that we’re very priviliged to be able to do this. We’re working on our hobby every day. Who can say that? But it’s really hard work. Everything you see in ‘On The Road To Make Some Noise’ is real. Nothing has been thought of prior to the documentary. But we did pick out the highlights of that year of course. We sit in the studio five days a week and each weekend we are on the road to perform. Besides that we pay a lot of attention to our social media channels. We think it’s important to keep everything up-to-date. I think that people underestimate how hard we actually work. But we wouldn’t want to do anything else. Music is our live and we love everything about it!
8. What do you think about making ‘2014 Edits’ of tracks? Tracks like ‘Abduction’ are almost five years old and are not played very often anymore (unfortunately).
Well it works for some, but nearly not for every track. As for ‘Abduction’ we think it’s not suited for an edit. The track is still very playable these days. But the ‘Imagine’ remix we did recently turned out really well. The fun thing about it is that everyone on the dance floor goes wild as soon as we play the track.
9. Do you guys ever have a ‘writers-block’? And what do you do to get out of it?
It happens sometimes. But we think everyone does. The advantage is that we are with three people. So when Jelle is stuck with something, Bart may have an idea which suddenly puts it back on track. We get our inspiration from every genre there is.
If we really can’t find any inspiration, we just spend the entire day making new sounds. And we always get new ideas whenever we do that.
10. Do you have a few fun and refreshing ‘Did You Know’s’ for us?
It’s funny that you ask this question. A few years ago we used to post these things on a regular basis on http://www.endymion.nl
What a lot of people don’t know is that Bart & Jelle are related (cousins). Our favorite drink is Vodka and whenever we buy chips at a gas station on the road to a gig, Croky Bolognese Chips J.
11. The first news on your website is ‘Endymion remixes Defqon.1 anthem’. Four years later the same thing happened with ‘Frontliner – Weekend Warriors’. How did this happen?
Actually we get asked for these things. Q-dance talked to us about Defqon.1 and our performance on the mainstage. We thought it would be a good idea to make a harder version of the anthem so we could play it on the mainstage. A fun fact about our ‘Scrap Attack’ remix for Headhunterz is that we won a Beatport award for it.
12. Partyflock says that you’ve had over 948 performances, the first one being ‘Evil Dreams – The Anniversary’ in 1999. Can you remember this?
We’ve done a lot more gigs than Partyflock says, because many of them are international. Unfortunately we can’t remember that gig, not the details. But we do know that we were very nervous whenever we had to perform back then. Our hands were shaking while we were trying to put the needle on the record!
13. You’re playing at QAPITAL this Saturday together with Alpha². What can we expect from this set?
It’s going to be a very interesting performance. Alpha² is known as a duo that plays raw Hardstyle and we are known for playing Hardcore. The set will be a mixture of some harder Alpha² stuff and things from Endymion that lies around 155 BPM. You can think about tracks like ‘Mirror Mirror’, ‘Under Your Skin’ and ‘Punk-Ass’! We can’t wait!
14. Our final questions is about tracks from other genres. Can you name 5 tracks from different genres that you currently like very much?
We’ll choose 5 tracks that aren’t necessarily Hardstyle of Hardcore. We like the following tracks a lot:
Coldplay – Midnight (http://youtu.be/BQeMxWjpr-Y).
Kanye West – Black skinhead (http://youtu.be/R4xrLKb6oFI)
Skrillex – Recess (http://youtu.be/R8i6VZ1vIY8)
Burial – Come down to us (http://youtu.be/M1bb2JakOmo)
Hans Zimmer – Solomon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ0FQovU0Ws)
‘Endymion – Be A Voice, Not An Echo’ is available here:
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