Matt: Hey everyone, this time, we're here with W&W in Philadelphia after the Hyperglow tour performance tonight at District N9NE. We're going to ask these guys a few questions to get a perspective on their career, the artists themselves, and what's next for W&W.
Matt: What are your impressions on the city of Philadelphia and do you enjoy playing here? What about playing in America in general?
Willem van Hanegem: We've been in Philadelphia a few times. We always enjoy playing here.
Wardt Van Der Harst: To me Philadelphia it's one of the oldest cities in America and it's one of the cities with the most culture and vibe in it I would say. You could feel that it's old and it's one of the first cities here.
Willem van Hanegem: It's actually one of the cities we've played a lot ...
Wardt Van Der Harst: Yeah.
Willem van Hanegem: Since the beginning of our career. playing in America in general, we love to be here, we love the country, we love the crowd, we love everything over here, so we're always happy we are back in America.
Matt: As a duo, do you find that one of you favors live performance while the other focuses on production or would you say you both equally play the parts?
Willem van Hanegem: The funny thing is we both are into production, we both have our tasks, he does this, I do that.
Wardt Van Der Harst: I don't think we can produce alone.
Willem van Hanegem: No, we tried that, it was not a big success, so let's not ever do that again.
Wardt Van Der Harst: We divide everything of course.
Willem van Hanegem: Yeah.
Wardt Van Der Harst: We need each other for, the producing and DJ.
Willem van Hanegem: Right.
Wardt Van Der Harst: It's not "Okay, we could just divide, you do DJ'ing, you do producing." That's not how it works for us, which makes it more difficult.
Willem van Hanegem: Yes.
Wardt Van Der Harst: I think it influences each other also. I think as a producer, you learn from how you DJ and the other way around, so if one would just DJ, one would just produce, I think you would lose track of what's going on in the scene.
Wardt Van Der Harst: We actually need each other for both of it.
Willem van Hanegem: That's why we're a duo because we both need each other, but also why it's difficult because we can't just divide it. We tried. Not going to work.
Matt: That's obviously why you guys both are here. There are a couple tracks ... It seems as artists, you have dabbled in several genres and sounds. Any favorites and do you plan on continuing to experiment or keep your focus more on something specific?
Willem van Hanegem: The thing is what we try to do every year, we try to renew our sound, so for next year, what we're planning right now, we already have so many new songs, which is experimental to us. The people would never expect that we do songs like that. We try to do it every year and of course we keep ... We try to make something new and renew something we've already done as well. That's why ... It keeps things interesting. We don't like to do one sound, every year, same sound from the song. No. Every year, new W&W sound close to what we love at that moment and we renew some of the stuff. It could be from next year or last year or two years before.
Wardt Van Der Harst: We always keep challenging ourselves and I think we have some music in the studio right now, I think if we would show it to anybody in the world, nobody would guess it would be from us. Nobody.
Matt: Perfect. That leads me into my next question. There are a couple tracks out now where you collaborated with Headhunterz, producing more of a harder-style sound with the unmistakable Headhunterz influence. Such as, the Hardstyle screeches, melodies, and kicks. What are your thoughts on the harder styles? Do you enjoy working with the sound and do you feel it's catching on in America?
Willem van Hanegem: The thing is, I think we were playing more and more and more in the end of our sets, the hardstyle songs or the harder sounds. We met up with Headhunterz, he's like an inspiration to us. We love his stuff and then he's like, "Yeah. I would love to work with you as well." We did two songs and we love to play those songs. We still love to play there. I think it's slowly catching on. Of course, it's new, the harder styles.
Matt: Please correct me if I'm wrong, but they are more "Mainstream".sounding tracks?
Willem van Hanegem: Yeah. It's mainstream. I think all over the world, except the Netherlands, it's not very easy listening music. It's very specific sounds and you really have to be a hardstyle lover to appreciate.
Wardt Van Der Harst: What we love so much about Hardstyle is the euphoric feeling. It has like a really big euphoric feeling in it.
Matt: That's probably the way in, obviously for Hardstyle.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Hope it will catch on because we think it's a beautiful, beautiful sound. It's popular in the Netherlands and we hope it will be over here. I don't know.
Willem van Hanegem: You see the big festivals are actually programming hairstyle areas.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Let's be honest, on the main stage, a hardstyle act, 5 to 6, perfect closing.
Wardt Van Der Harst: That is true actually. A lot of American DJ's are supporting ... They don't play their full set hardstyle, but they have some hardstyle elements in their set, so it's really good.
Matt: It was a great perspective there. Anyway, what were the building blocks in the foundation and creation of W&W? What got you started?
Wardt Van Der Harst: The funny thing is we both had our own project and at a certain point because we were friends, we started making music together. We made one song called Mustang. It's a trance song. It's the first song we ever made together. That song did better than everything we did before, but we were still going, "Okay, whatever. This is a side project." Then after a few songs, we were like, "This project is way better than everything else we're doing right now." Then we started fully, I think it was 2011, we fully focused on W&W and that's how it actually started. That was 3 years after the first release, so it took us like 3 years to realize it.
Matt: I remember when I first heard you guys, I thought you were trance artists?
Wardt Van Der Harst: I was doing Dirty Dutch and Wardt was doing techno. Techy trance stuff and then together we did more trance stuff. That was like our, the thing we both liked. Then after that, we're like, "Okay. We're going to focus on W&W, but we need to bring in more of that sound, the dutch sound. We need to bring more of the techy sound, so we need to move towards what we like." That's why we changed. We did a few trance songs, but that's not totally what we love.
Willem van Hanegem: The essence is still the same though. We used to do big leads, big melodies, and a drop. That's basically still what we're doing. The tempo changed a little bit and the sounds changed a little bit, but the basics are the same. It's still a big melody with a build up and a drop. It still has the same, to us it still has the same emotion. Back then, it was a different way of producing it. Times change and sounds evolve, so I think 2 or 3 years, it will be completely different than what we're doing right now, but it will still have the same formula. The same emotion.
Matt: Absolutely. You have to evolve with times. Okay, so outside of music, what are your hobbies and interests?
Willem van Hanegem: We love to play sports, like soccer, like football is what we do a lot. We play video games.
Matt: Cool. You guys are gamers? What games specific?
Willem van Hanegem: When we have time.
Wardt Van Der Harst: We don't have a lot of time. He loves to play FIFA. Our friends, we play Mario Kart. That stuff, of course. What were the last games we played? We played Skyrim. We played Evil Within.
Willem van Hanegem: The Last of Us.
Wardt Van Der Harst: The Last of Us.
Willem van Hanegem: Resident Evil.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Yeah. We play more of those games.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Games with a story that really suck you up.
Willem van Hanegem: One of us is playing and the rest of our friends, because we don't see them a lot, they're all chilling, watching with us.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Those games are actually just fun to watch when somebody else is playing.
Matt: Yeah. Absolutely.
Wardt Van Der Harst: You can just watch it. It's like you're watching a movie.
Matt: Or, especially soccer, a live show.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Yeah exactly.
Matt: Awesome, What advice can you give to aspiring DJ's and producers?
Willem van Hanegem: I think right now, the most important thing is try to, it's pretty cheesy, but try to be unique. Still you can adapt to a sound you like right now, but try to make it different. Twist it up. Make it different. Make unique. I think that's what stands out. I'll listen to, a week, like 300 to 500 new songs. When I hear something unique and different, then I'm like, "Okay. What is this?" I'll check it out, but the rest is all copy paste. That's not going to work. It's not going to make you big right now. You can make a really good song in somebody else's genre and the only guy that will actually get credit for that is the guy who's genre it is.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Probably you can make something in a genre, but take that sound and give it a twist. Give it your twist. Make it your unique version of, if it's big room techno, house, trance, or whatever it is, make it yours. Grab the elements you love from that style. Grab the elements you love from a different style and grab your elements and put that in and make something new. This will make you stand out.
Matt: Yeah. If you haven't quite noticed yet, Americans have quite the appetite for everything. They need a little bit of variety and a little bit of everything. Anyway, this year, what was your favorite festival performance you played?
Wardt Van Der Harst: That's so hard. We played so many festivals, it's impossible to say. I wish I could answer that question.
Willem van Hanegem: We did close to maybe 100 festivals this year.
Matt: Any of them in any way bad?.
Willem van Hanegem: I can emulate 25 to 50 which were special, but that's so much. There's just too many to mention.
Matt: Okay. All right, which leads us to our last question. What's next for W&W? Can you give us a little inside scoop of any exciting future projects, artist collabs, and any new solo productions?
Willem van Hanegem: We have a new solo single in February, which is totally different. We have a new one with Hardwell. We have a new one coming up with Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, and a new one with Steve Aoki.
Willem van Hanegem: That's all ... Then we're going to do a lot of solo stuff next year.
Matt: All amazing producers. There should be some amazing sounds. All right. Looks like you guys got to go. In closing, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Can't wait for what's to come. You guys definitely brought it to the tables tonight. The whole crowd was jumping. It was purely positive. This is Matt Lynch with Electric Vibes, signing off from Hyperglow Philadelphia with W&W. All right. Thank you guys.
Willem van Hanegem: Thank you.
Wardt Van Der Harst: Thank you.
Bookings: David Lewis Productions | firstname.lastname@example.org