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…
Music and live of DJ Frontliner
Frontliner, aka The Melodyman, is well known for his versatile approach to the genre called Hardstyle. While he normally makes his appearance high above the crowd, on just about every known mainstage, he is very much ‘one of the guys’. We sat down with Frontliner and asked him a few questions.
You recently revealed a special project called ‘The Summer of Frontliner’ which means that you will release a brand-new track every week during the summer of 2014. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Yes of course! The project contains 14 tracks that all show a different piece of me. It’s a tour across my creative brain ;-).
Will the tracks be released in any kind of logical order?
No, I believed it was important to start with my collaboration with Kristina Antuna, which is called ‘Galaxies Collide’. But of course I can’t postpone ‘TBA2’ for much longer as well, so it will follow soon after!
The long-awaited ‘TBA2’ will also be featured on this project, is the hype around the track the reason for its name?
That ‘hype’ is based on a 7-second video. I just got used to it being called that way, because everyone does. However it does have an alternative title and it will be released as ‘Frontliner – TBA 2 (One More Time).
Does this mean that your possible plans for an album will be cancelled?
This means nothing less than me being able to release all kinds of different tracks in a fun way! Who knows if there will be an album coming out as well. Maybe there will, maybe there will not.
To be honest I’m kind of sick of all those Hardstyle albums.
Besides that project you’ve also announced a new member of ‘Keep It Up Music’.
Yes that’s correct! I did a very nice collaboration with two producers from Australia called Dillytek. It felt so natural to work with them, they barely needed any guidance. They’re a real talent, Aaron and Aaron.
You recently made a track with Radical Redemption, which was something totally different for the both of you. How did this work out for you?
Well, we mostly did what we’re good at, only for the first time I’ve made a rawstyle kick. It started because Joey is just a really awesome guy, so we decided to get together and create some hard beats in the studio.
What are the biggest changes that you’ve noticed with your new studio compared to the old one?
Well I used to sit in a small glass room and now I’m stationed in an acoustically optimized control room where I can roll around in my chair without falling through the glass! Haha, I love it. I can move freely and make music :D.
You’re an (correct me if I’m wrong) vegan. In what way is this an influence on your life?
I’m almost vegan. I do eat eggs (from a chicken that I ‘know’) and I eat honey. Besides that I don’t eat products produced by animals and I can tell you that it’s very hard. At home you know where you need to be for good and tasty biological food. But it’s a real problem when you’re in Australia of Chile. So I just bring along a big suitcase filled with cookies.
Are there any artists outside of the Hardstyle scene that you admire?
Yes of course, I’m a huge fan of Timberland, so I would love to dive into the studio with him someday.
You recently gave away one of your own kicks, so upcoming Hardstyle producers could use them in their tracks. Aren’t you afraid that this will narrow the own sound that starting producers develop?
I’ve been saying from the start that it’s not meant to make tracks with that kick… Of course I knew it would happen, but there are also a lot of people that put their own kick next to it and make something great out of it. Making music is 99,99% creativity, the 0,01% that remains is the knowledge of the technique.
Why would you keep that technique to yourself and reject any competition? I don’t care who looks at me different, I can’t wait to receive all those awesome demos from young producers that finally got their mix right. Bring on that competition! It keeps me fresh!
Once in a while you let your fans watch you working your magic in the studio. They appreciate it, so have you ever thought about making this a regular thing?
Yes! But that ‘f*cking’ internet in my studio won’t allow anything. I can only install fiberglass, but you don’t want to know how much that costs! I’ve been thinking about recordings some stuff and just put it online.
Is there something about Frontliner that only a few people know?
Yes! You can ask me anything, but for a long time I’ve managed to keep it a secret that I’ve been married for over 6 happy years now! I’m just a regular guy.. With a hobby.. An awesome one.
Has being Frontliner changed you as a person, or has it contributed to a change?
The only thing that changed for me is that I don’t fly economy during long flights anymore. It just breaks me to fly 52 hours in 5 days. You’re just so out of your routine and with my 1,95m height it’s just not something that you would want!
Did you have to sacrifice a lot to get where you are now?
I never have a day off, because I’m always working. Fortunately is my job the same thing I would love to do in my spare time. I used to be practice sports a lot. I kind of miss that, because I’ve played volleyball for a long time. So if anyone wants to play beach volleyball with me sometimes ;-).
I did however get to buy a small boat this year, which had been a dream of mine for a very long time. So actually my career gave me more in return than that it took away from me. I’m absolutely happy where I am now and couldn’t have pictured myself having a better job.
We would love to end with your vision on Hardstyle in 5 years.
I hope that much more producers will stand up. I hope that I can keep up, but for now I’m primarily focusing on the 14 releases that I need to finish.