Armin van Buuren x FUTURE BOYZ Interview

Interview by FUTURE BOYZ
Supported by InterFM ‘Turnt Up Thurzday
Date: Jan. 2015 at Tokyo, JAPAN
thisisWAYNE: Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Armin Van Buuren.

Armin van Buuren: Hi, Happy New Year!

thisisWAYNE: Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu. (means “A Happy New Year” in Japanese)

Armin: Arigatou Gozaimasu (means “Thank you” in Japanese)

thisisWAYNE How have you been in Japan so far? 

Armin: Great! I went to shopping today and I went to “5G” synthesizer store in Harajuku, which is synth heaven for me, like porn for DJ I think...seeing old vintage gear is amazing. My wife took my 2 young children to New Year sales shopping!  Unfortunately, I’m only here for 1 day because I just had a big tour in the U.S. for New Year’s Eve, I played a lot of shows which was really great.

thisisWAYNE: iamShum is also gear-freak too. Right Shum? 

Armin: What’s your favorite synthesizer?

iamSHUM: I like “Moog” and I just bought “Nexus”

Armin: Nice, cool!

iamSHUM: What kind of synthesizer do you use?

Armin: I just bought, “Profit 12” I use “Andromeda” a lot, “Super Nova 2”, “Moog Voyager” and I have old “MS-20” which I use a lot too.  I’m dreaming to have “ARP 2600” though. (Vintage synthesizer from KORG)

iamSHUM: I heard that you use Logic for making tracks, which Logic do you use?

Armin: I’m doing whole intense on Logic 9 and recently switched to Logic 10.

iamSHUM: Where does your idea come from?

Armin: Everything, I mean I make tracks in Protools, I make tracks in Cubase, and I make tracks in Ableton and FL Studio. For me it’s not about the kitchen, it’s about the chef.

thisisWAYNE: Are there any pros and cons for each software?

Armin: I think every software has good things and bad things, Logic still has problem with automation but for me Logic is one of the best sound software.  Ableton is really great for beat programing and on the grid, great for mixes and live use. I’m also a big fan of Cubase, I love quick interface for FL studio, it’s so fast and great to put down idea on FL studio but I’m more fluent with Logic because I’ve been working with it for so long…so for me working with Logic Pro X is a good choice for the moment but I don’t really have “favorite” software. I mean, I’ve been working with all of them and I can make tracks using any software.

thisisWAYNE: I see, that sounds great. Talk about your music background, what was the key or trigger to start making songs/tracks and becoming a DJ? 

Armin: I’ve already been DJ-ing for a really long time in school parties or house parties etc…
I was the DJ for a local club in my hometown called “Nexus” in Leiden, Netherland and it still is a really special club for me. I was already a producer back in 1992 when I made my 1st release and my 1st big success was in 1996 with a track called “Blue Fear”. I never dreamed of really being successful or whatever, I mean when I started DJ, there was no “DJ MAG”, no EDM or no big festivals. There were only few Vinyl Stores and few people playing dance music for small festivals and the biggest party back then was maybe 1,000 people and that was considered big. Now we have mega events for 30,000 people and it’s really crazy to think dance music has become such a big industry.  But if you ask me to play in front of 200 people, I’ll still enjoy just as much as I play for 30,000 people. It’s not about the size, it’s more about fun.

thisisWAYNE: So more about “Quality” instead of “Quantity”?

Armin: Yeah, that’s right. Honest to God, I love being successful, I love making lot of money, I love having really good company (Armada) and of course these are all great and I’m not going to lie but it’s never been my main focus, the main focus has always been the passion for music itself.

thisisWAYNE: I think that is a great motto, where does all your passion come from?

Armin: Other people’s music...like you guys!   I have a weekly radio show called “State Of Trance ” which has been going on for almost 14 years now. Every week, I listen to lots of new music because I handpick all my tunes for my radio show.  I don’t have an assistant who does that, so I go through at least 300 to 500 tracks, sometimes 1,000 tracks per week.  Hearing all these new music has really inspired me. Every week there are at least 1-2 tracks like “Wow, this is great!”

thisisWAYNE: That’s what happens to me when I find new and dope track on YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud or anywhere.

Armin: Exactly! That’s the feeling I’m talking about.

thisisWAYNE: Alright, please tell me about your own label “Armada

Armin: I already knew Maykel Piron since 1996 when he was working for different label as A&R and I already knew David Lewis back in 1999. In 2002, I was with “United” which was a really great label however, they had different vision about music.  They were not so much into Trance music and I believed Trance is the future of music. So I decided to go different way and start up my own company.  The new label gave me more creative freedom, I didn’t have to answer to anybody and sales became less important which allowed me to release tracks I really wanted to.

thisisWAYNE: That makes a lot of sense.

Armin: Actually, the real-story is more detailed. There was a track by Mark Otten called “Mushroom Therapy” and I wanted to release it from United, but they rejected saying “We don’t believe this is going to sell”. So I asked Mark to postpone the release and told him that I will start my own label and I want to release your track from my new label.  This is how “Mushroom Therapy” became Armada’s 1st release song and it did really well.
It’s not to pick on the guys from United, because they just had different taste of music and they want it to go different direction. I believed in Trance so much, so I set up a company of my own and now my company employs 35 people and have office in Amsterdam. It’s really great.

W: Sounds amazing!  What is the ultimate goal for Armada?

Armin: Provide platform for all kinds of dance music.  I know Trance music is my favorite but I really don’t limit myself just to Trance. Anything that’s danceable or good for chill out is good.  We want to work with positive energetic people with good mind set.
For our label, that is really important. You don’t want negative depressed guy in your company and sometimes, positive personality is more important than music. If you have good personality, lot of energy and have clear idea and vision for where you want to go as an artist, Armada is a great platform to build your profile for the future.

thisisWAYNE: That is the reason why your label has so many types of artist, not only Trance but Deep house, Progressive House, Techno and Chill…

Armin: I really like to be open mind to different sounds and new style.  It’s important for the development of dance music.

thisisWAYNE: Always looking for different approach.

Armin: That’s right, there is a great philosophy about how wives about music, please look it up on the Wikipedia or something, you will love it.

thisisWAYNE: Thank you and I will. May I have message for all of your fans in Japan?

Armin: I wish I could speak very good Japanese but let me say “Arigato-gozaimashita” for all my fans and I want to thank you for years of support. It’s pretty amazing that I’ve been visiting Japan often for 15 years and I’m back again. Having played the biggest gig ever in Japan (electrox 2015), I want to say big thank you to Trance sound and all the Trance music lovers in Japan for waiting so many years. I’m really excited to present my new album “Armin Anthems” and I hope you’ll like my new album coming up next year as well.

thisisWAYNE: Thank you very much!
The new generation unit by thisisWAYNE and iamSHUM.
FUTURE BOYZ concept in "Send our music, no matter who you are”
Genre of mixing Electro and Dubstep.
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