These guys have been making a lot of noise lately… literally. They have a cool story, too. They first met back in 2007. Both W and W were making music, and through a friend met online. They met in person at a dance event called Trance Energy, and the rest is history. They connected with Armin van Buuren, performed (their first performance together) on A State of Trance 400, and will be joining Armin again in March at A State of Trance 600 in New York City at Madison Square Garden. Another highlight is their Mainstage Radio Show, a collection of some of the most progressive trance sounds currently available. Oh, and their own music. It’s pretty great, and will have you dancing around the room as soon as you turn it on. They produce a “big room” sound, and as Gareth Emery says, “Turn it up.” I am a fan, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to W&W.
(W&W is a duo consisting of Dutch musicians Willem van Hanegem and Wardt van der Harst, who is also known as Re-Ward.)
You two recently worked with Ummet Ozcan on “The Code”. People will have a hard time not dancing to that release. Tell me a little bit more about the track and your experience working with Ummet.
Thanks! Working with Ummet Ozcan is great; he’s such a talented producer! This track has been circulating the Internet for a couple of months after Hardwell dropped it in his sets. Since then there has been quite a buzz around it! The variety of DJs who are supporting it is crazy, from trance to house and even hard style DJs are playing it!
You have seen a lot of support from Armin van Buuren, You excited to see him on top of the DJ Mag Top 100?
Definitely! We know how much he loves what he does and how hard he works for his success! He’s involved with everything and everyone around him, there’s hardly anything he doesn’t do himself. So yes, he deserves it!
Speaking of Armin, you will be joning him, Ferry Corsten, Markus Schulz and more on A State of Trance 600 at Madison Square Garden. Got anything special planned for that set?
When we heard that Armin would bring A State of Trance 600 to Madison Square Garden we thought that was absolutely amazing. When we heard we are going to be part of it we first couldn’t believe it! (Laughs.) The Garden is a legendary venue, so it’s such an honor to be able to perform there! We actually do have quite a few special things planned for the ASOT600 events!
You guys met back in 2007. Tell me a little bit more about how you met, and your motivation to becoming one of the hottest names in trance.
We were both making music on our own and via a mutual friend we got in touch over the Internet. We started to listen to each others music and after a while we first met at this big Dutch dance event called Trance Energy. Since then we started to hang out more and after a while we made our first track together. We sent it to Armin and that’s how we got signed to Armada Music.
Tell me a little bit more about the Mainstage Radio Show.
Our Mainstage Radio Show is our way to share our favorite music with the rest of the world on a weekly basis! We try to blend the best of multiple genres into a one hour mix. It’s great to see so many people from all over the world tuning in! It’s also available as a podcast via podcast.wandwmusic.nl.
There isn’t a lot of room in the DJ booth. Does it ever get crowded for you two?
At festivals there’s always plenty of space but in clubs it does get crowded sometimes, indeed. Especially when the MC, promoter, his friends and a couple of dancers come in as well haha! But that’s fine, it boosts up the atmosphere!
Where do you guys find inspiration for a new track? Do you already have a sound in your head before you get to the studio, or does it just come out when you sit down to produce?
That differs from time to time. Sometimes we have a little setup on our laptop which we started on tour. Sometimes we just start from scratch in the studio. We get inspired by other music, by ways how other musicians trying to do something different, and by weird sounds!
You guys do a lot of remixes, as well. Do you prefer producing original material or remixing something that has already been created?
We prefer making original music, we only do remixes if we really feel the track. That’s why often we remix older songs we love, so we can play it in our sets!
You must be friends with Armin. Your first gig together was A State of Trance 400. Do you guys remember that night? How has trance changed since you guys got started?
Yeah, we remember that, although that was a long time ago! The whole dance scene has changed a lot since then. Genre borders have faded away, and everything got mixed up, which created a lot more space for artists to be creative!
Your sound is very “big room”. Because of that, do you prefer playing festivals to club shows? Got any big festivals on the books for 2013?
We get that question a lot and the answer is always the same: we can’t choose. They are both awesome! There are a lot of great festivals coming up on our agenda such as the ASOT 600 events, we’re doing the Future Music Festival tour in Australia, we’re playing Bal En Blanc in Montreal, Ultra Music Festival in Miami and loads more but we can’t announce it all yet.
There are a lot of big names in trance right now. Who are you paying attention to and listening to when you are not producing tracks?
When we’re not producing we’re always on the look for new sounds and new talent for on our label. We have a couple of guys on our label who are doing really well right now such as Husman and Rick Mitchells. You should definitely check them out!
What’s next for W&W? Do you have any big plans for 2013?
Yes, we have huge amount of new tracks coming up, starting with our next single “The Code” with Ummet Ozcan. There are some extremely exciting collaborations coming up as well, and we’re working on a new mix compilation which is going to have a lot of exclusive music on it!
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to chat with me. In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.
Thanks for having us, we appreciate it a lot. We hope you liked this interview and see you all soon somewhere on this planet!