After numerous #1 singles worldwide to their credit, full support from the biggest names in the industry, and a tour schedule of some of the worlds most alluring festivals like Tomorrowland, Ultra, Sensation, Mysteryland, Electric Zoo, Ushuaïa and Creamfields, its clear that these guys have sharpened their craft to an insane degree. Jim and Ray proved their skills, talent and ambition to the audience big time. From a collaboration with Axwell, ‘I AM’ (#1 hit anthem) that for true fans will go down in history, to their own originals, and remixes, their sound turns out to be inevitable and very contagious. With a constant flow of fresh releases on the horizon, it seems there’s no cure stopping SICK INDIVIDUALS!
You guys also hail from the Netherlands. We hear every 4th person chooses to be a DJ/Producer there, how good or bad is it in terms of trying to turn it into something you can work full time on?
Haha, yes there might be something in the water! There definitely is a lot of support from the Dutch society for the electronic music industry, it’s something that we’ve done extremely well at, we have an international reputation for sure and it’s something that we’re very proud to share with the rest of the world. Perhaps because we’ve shown just how commercially successful you can be as an artist, or record label, or festival and event promoter, it’s a little easier for the Dutch to envisage it as something you can have as a full time job in.
As visuals are very important in a set.. tell us about your visuals in sets and we’ve heard that Jay himself looks after the visuals?
Visuals are extremely important to us, so much so that we’re about to unveil a whole new aspect to our live shows that heavily incorporate visual elements. We’ve been developing software that we can take into the DJ booth with us and start to control digital video at the same time as the music, and also bring MCing into the mix. Live shows now are about creating a completely immersive, emotional and sensory experience for our fans, using the very best software and effects to enhance the music.
If you guys had to choose one song from your previous album (This is sick) which one would you choose?
That was actually a compilation album that we made for the Japanese market, not our own album, but if we have to choose a track from it, it would definitely be ‘Never Fade’. Kaelyn Behr is the vocalist on the track, at the moment he’s only working as a songwriter and not a singer any more, which is such a shame as we would love to work with his voice again on a new record!
About the track ‘Alive’ you guys have released around 2 remixes EP. Tell us which one is your favourite and why?
Both are really great remixes that we felt breathed new life into the original, but if we absolutely have to choose, then it would the Holl & Rush remix, mainly because we use it in our live-sets as well, it fits perfectly!
You guys launched a new State-Of-The-Art ‘Focus One Plugin at the ADE, could you breif us a little on the idea behind it?
We’ve always been more producers than DJs, probably mostly because of our background at the conservatory. The FOCUS ONE plugin is pretty much as close as you can get to our own in-studio experience, without nicking all our gear haha. There are five effects, six if you count ‘extreme mode’ which is all five together. There’s ‘focus’ which is an advanced compression that ‘slams’ the sound and makes it tougher; ‘boost’ which pretty much does what it says on the tin and boosts your leads, cutting through the mix and enhancing the sound; ‘drive’ which adds harmonics and gives more crunch and punch; ‘widen’ which again is exactly what it sounds, just giving you more stereo, makes your track sound bigger and more expansive; and then ‘pulse’ which automatically syncs to your set BPM and gives your cut more excitement and movement. They’re what we use most in the studio to create our own sound, so if you’re looking to make something similar, it’s definitely the plugin for you.
How will this plugin be beneficial to all the upcoming Producers?
We wanted to put something together that cuts through all the complications of the back end, something that we’re pretty comfortable with but can be sometimes daunting and time consuming for people just starting out or who aren’t particularly interesting the more engineering side of production. Just because you want to make music, and just because you’re actually good at the ‘front end’ of the studio, the production and the composition, it doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily going to be a natural at the tech side of things. The FOCUS ONE looks pretty simple on the surface but it really allows you to expand your sound and develop your tracks. Hopefully the next generation of producers will get as much use as possible out of it; that’s our ultimate goal with it, to pass on our information and knowledge to help others.
What are your plans for the 2018? Any new surprises?
So we have a big collaboration coming with Hardwell in early 2018, that’s going to be a big one for us and it’s always a pleasure working with Hardwell in any capacity. We dropped the track during his Revealed Recordings party during ADE and the whole place erupted, so we’ve got a really good feeling about it, for sure. We’ve got a lot more new music coming, of course, some big tour dates coming up and as we said previously, we’ll be taking the This Is SICK concept out to our shows and really upping the level when it comes to what we do on the road with the visuals as well as the music. Essentially we’ll keep doing what we’ve always done, and that’s to make the new year even bigger and better than the one before!