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EDM Lounge Exclusive Interview With Showtek

So what got you guys into Hardstyle?

Sjoerd: Well we really got started with Techno. And then we made a new song as well which became a huge hit but it wasn't really Techno, more like Hard Dance, like Electro kind of, not really a set genre. And then the followup to that was kind of in the same style. In the last one and a half years we're doing a little more EDM, so I think we have a really good combination these days between the Hard, party style and the big-room EDM kind of sound. Yeah, I think it works pretty well for us, especially now. 

Walt: So the story's more like we got into this "Hard Dance scene" and we always actually liked to produce any kind of genre. Hardstyle is where people know us from, but we've always done other stuff behind the scenes with other producers, for ten years already. So our style is actually more "Showtek" than just one style.

How do you think the scene compares here to the one in the Netherlands?

Walt: In the Netherlands it's mainly like big events. Hardcore is really popular, Hardstyle and Electro too. Trance used to be really big but not as much anymore. In America, it's not really about genre, that's why we like it so much here. They like anything you know. As an artist you want to do as much as possible you know. People are more open-minded here.

Sjoerd: If you go to a big festival you have different kinds of styles under EDM. In Holland every style is different, separated. Here you have Skrillex, Tiësto, Fedde le Grande, and Showtek all on one stage. And all the kids like it. In Holland, or Europe, it's just really hard to do that. The kids here grow up with Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, and now EDM came, and now our average fanbase loves Afrojack, Jay-Z, and Showtek. So if you come up with a Dubstep track then a Hardstyle track then Electro, they all like it. As an artist you feel really free to express yourself, so it's good.

What is like DJ'ing with your brother?

Sjoerd: Sometimes it's really boring (laughs), we've always been on the same side. 

Walt: It's easy actually. We don't have to talk too much to go in the same direction. We can scream and yell without having fights. It's much easier than with a friend or just a colleague. And of course, if you have the same ambition you go the same way. But I've noticed the past ten years we've been around it's not really easy to work with two people in a team, you know. But for it goes really great actually, and I wouldn't change it ever.

Do you guys ever wingman for each other?

Sjoerd: We have both girlfriends (laughs) so that time is over right now

Walt: Well it's always nice to look and play with girls, in a funny way. That time is over now. Back in the days when we were younger, the one who got first was the lucky one, but we never fought over girls.

Big festivals or smaller raves like this?

Walt: Smaller venues like this are more intimate, and you can read the crowd better. A festival, you, it's a bigger crowd. It goes crazy, really crazy. Of course your pictures on Twitter look a lot better when there's like forty-thousand people, but it doesn't mean it's better. It's about the interaction, the energy. I guess last night in San Jose there were 1500 people at the show, it was so amazing. So amazing, really. It wasn't the biggest venue ever, but it was so great. When you go on stage and you feel like they are really waiting for you and welcoming you warm, that's the best. It doesn't matter if there are 1000, 10000, or 50000 people.

Sjoerd: But to be honest, Hardstyle fits the festivals really well. We've tried to focus on clubs and smaller venues because I think it's really important to get that credibility as an artist, but if we go on a festival stage, and I'm always on the mike, and we have this stage energy that's really working well for us lately, it fits really well to those big festivals.

What inspired you guys to make "Cannonball"? We love that song.

Walt: Because we come from the Hard Dance background a little bit, we've liked to change our style with the times. We've seen the Electro House thing going as it's going and were like we have to do make something like whoa this is different, you know? And we made the track together with this guy Justin Prime, he's also on our label, really talented guy. We were just in the studio together with him and it just happened. We wanted to make something "weird-hard." You know it's Hard, but not Hard. It's also on the radio in Holland actually.

Sjoerd: It's being played by every major DJ I know. I got a tweet from a guy who went to EDC Orlando who said he "heard the track 70 times today, I love the track but it's a bit too much." We tried to find another word for a bomb since everyone goes crazy when it drops, so I think "Cannonball" is a good title for it.

Since you're Dutch, we gotta ask. Should pot be legal?

Sjoerd: Well I think it's also good medicine. A friend of mine used to use a lot of medication, and you know they put a lot of crap in there that makes you feel good for like a month, but after that your body gets used to it. And since he smokes weed he's like really quiet and his pain is less and he doesn't use medicine. And I like to smoke weed as fun sometimes, I don't really know if it should be legal or not but people should be free to use it sometimes for their own pleasure. But there should be a limit in my opinion.

Walt: Everyone needs to make their own limit.

If you guys were ravers who would you go crazy to see?

Sjoerd: Well we were really to see Jay-Z & Kanye West Watch the Throne. We were like little kids in a candy store.

Walt: I've never actually seen Knife Party play a whole set, I really love their stuff. It's hard to say because there's a lot of guys doing some great productions but I don't know how their shows are. We work a lot with Tijs (Tiësto) and go to a lot of shows with him and I have to say he does it every time. 

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By Ariana Magedson

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