Oh man, how good are these guys? I have no idea how I was first introduced to this dynamic duo, but after making my way through their collection on SoundCloud, I just couldn’t get enough. They are producing some incredible tracks, and after hearing them I decided to follow them on Twitter. I connected with them on Facebook, too. Before I knew it, I was sitting down with these guys for an artist interview. They are from the Netherlands, but are making their way from one city to the next playing their beats for fans all over the place. They use lyrics, which I love, and just look like they are having a blast up there on stage. Just look at them… they are having the time of their life. They have been able to build a pretty solid brand, and are not only accessible but some of the nicest guys I have ever met. I love it when two guys get behind the turntables, too. I am sure it gets crowded up there, but look at Above & Beyond… there are three of them! Anyway, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Sickindividuals.
So wait a second… there are two of you. I know Above & Beyond has three up there… but doesn’t it get crowded in the DJ booth?
Yes, it can be crowded in the booth, when we are playing we’re bouncing and jumping all over the place, we need room for four people actually!
Where did you guys come up with that name? And why not make it Sick Individuals? What’s the idea of making it one word?
We are still trying to get a fancy story about that one, but in the meantime we don’t know how we got the name. We’ve chosen to put the words together because it feels more like a “brand” that way.
You guys are from the Netherlands. I recently did an interview with Chuckie, who is also from the Netherlands. What’s the dance scene like over there?
Well, the competition is strong, but there are enough opportunities to start your DJ carrier in Holland. A lot of clubs and venues are within a small range from each other because the Netherlands is quite small. Sometimes you can play in three different cities in one night. The people really enjoy “electronic sounding” music and that’s what makes it a lot easier when you want to experiment with your music.
I have heard your music defined as house… but I would call it hard dance. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it… whatever you call it. So, what do you call it?
We call it “house music” but it’s always difficult to put a label on something that’s changing so rapidly. In Holland, compared to other DJs, we don’t bring the hardest stuff into the scene. But when we take our music abroad they tend to label it as very energetic… But you can call it anything you like… maybe Sick House!
I’ll admit it… I’m dancing to your tunes as I write these interview questions. How do you guys stay focused when you are producing? I would be dancing all over the studio.
Funny question! We definitely dance in our studio, but that’s easy when you’re with two guys, one is jumping in the corner while the other one tries to stay focused.
Since you guys are from overseas, do you get the chance to play in the States very often?
Nope, we’ve never played in the States before… until now it’s Europe and China. But it’s on our wish list and we are arranging things for next summer. We think the next step will be Australia and the U.S.A.
It seems like you guys do a lot of remixes, as well as your own beats. Which do you prefer to produce?
The combination of the two makes it exiting. Sometimes it is easier when you start from scratch with your own productions. We like to record vocals, instruments and to create sounds out of nothing that are unique. Sometimes the parts of a remix give us inspiration and creative impulses so we can work faster. We love to work with vocals that inspire us to create new harmonies and to bring something different then the original. If you’re not listening to the lyrics you should still be able to feel what the singer is meaning, then you’ve got something we like to work with.
Speaking of remixes, when you set out to do a remix, do you have to get that artist’s approval first? I hear some pretty big names on some of those tracks.
We only do official remixes, so if it’s on popular sites like Beatport and iTunes, the artist has approved. If not, we just call it a bootleg.
Out of all the songs you have produced, which is your favorite?
That’s difficult to say, our opinion changes when we see the crowd react, if nobody is dancing on your production you know it’s a messed up song! At the moment the track from Steve Edwards, Louis Botella and Joe Smooth – Take Me To The Promised Land (Sickindividuals Remix) with vocals from Steve Edwards… it’s one of our favorites.
What inspires you guys, in both music and in life?
Not something specific, it could be anything. It’s the moral drive we both got that inspires us to make this music. Other artists that do creative things with there productions inspire us in our music.
You guys are on Facebook… you are on Twitter. You are on YouTube and SoundCloud. How do you keep all these social networks straight?
It’s a lot of work but social media is the most important way to keep in touch with your fans and friends, so it’s worth it. You can see what they like and don’t like about your music and style.
You guys have some pretty sick photos. (No pun intended.) I really like the one on your website. It’s actually the same photo on your Twitter page. Who took that image?
We actually did some photoshoots before but we’re really digging the last one. We worked with a photographer from Den Hague, her name is Gabi van Ingen. She’s very talented and has a more artistic way of looking at things.
Where do you find inspiration for a new track?
Inspiration comes from everything! Love, hate, pain, your life experience, other music, movies… It could be anything and you never know when something strikes you.
What’s a typical Friday night look like for you?
Last Friday night we had an Armada Music party in Amsterdam and we were socializing with other artists. Then we played on Saturday night!
You guys have a home studio. What’s the reasoning behind that? Does it just make it easier to work from home? (Of course… it’s a home studio… of course you are working from home!)
We see you have figured it out yourself! (Laughs)
It seems that dance music always brings a crowd. What’s the biggest crowd you have ever played for?
In Amsterdam there were around 5,000 people, we played inside a big hall and we had to clime four floors up the stage to get to the DJ booth. Pretty scary, but we had a lot of fun.
The smallest crowd was around a hundred people when we played in a driving train to Austria. That was a crazy experience! The train was moving from right to left, up and down, the crowd was going nuts and it was quite a challenge mixing tracks in a situation like that. But we’ll never forget it.
I LOVE The Funky House Anthem. I heard a sample of that on SoundCloud, actually. The one I listened to was the remix. What’s the original one sound like?
The original sounds like a Funky House Anthem and it’s on SoundCloud now, maybe you should check again!
What would you be doing if you were not performing?
When we started building our home studio, we had a lot fun and we considered that if this Sickindividuals thing wouldn’t work we’d start a construction company! (Laughs) With painting, sawing and a lot of coffee breaks.
What’s the best concert you guys have ever been to?
We had access to an intimate concert with Armin van Buuren in Shanghai, in a nice and mystic venue… that experience was mind blowing.
Tell me a little bit more about your relationship with SpinninRecords.
We have a very good relationship with SpinninRecords, especially with SneakerzMuzik. Most of our remixes and releases are released at SneakerzMuzik now and that’s because they support young talent and are positive minded. Because of that good relationship, the A&R manager of SneakerzMuzik decided to be our personal manager.
Who are you guys listening to these days? Anything new I should be aware of?
Hero’s like Chocolate Puma, Fedde Le Grand, Eddie Thoneick, EDX, John Dahlback, Avicci… and of course all of the Swedish guys.
Where do you see yourselves in five years?
Still putting a lot of effort in our music, that’s for sure. And in the meantime touring around the world with our “sick” green airplane and enjoying the crowd as much as we can.
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
People should remember us as an energetic DJ duo that is making serious music without being too serious. Enjoying life and doing the best we can to give the crowd a unique experience.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go!
Finally some promo talk! (Laughs) We are open for all kind of donations so don’t hesitate to send us your shoes… panties… anything!