Isaac - X-Rated
3D chats with Isaac, one of the first hardstyle DJs to ever tour Australia, returning for the eighth time to play Q-dance at Hordern Pavilion.
Tell us how you got started in music.
Music has been my passion since I was a little kid. I was always listening and recording music. At the age of 15, I started making remixes for Dutch radio stations. The only equipment I had was one turntable, a cheap Casio sampler and a tape recorder. At the same time I started DJing in a small club, but no one really liked my ‘weird’ music. They preferred to have listened to Guns N Roses instead of my techno beats. Some promoters really liked my style and booked me for their house parties. With the money I made, I bought some keyboards and a computer and in 1995 I released my first EP called Bad Dreams, which became a huge club hit. From that time, I started to get booked all over the world. I never really decided to be become a DJ. I was born one.
You’ve been around a while. How have you seen music change over the years-
Music always changes but it changes in a circle. Music always repeats itself. I have changed my style a few times during the years. I have played hardcore, house, trance, hard trance and hardstyle and I love it all.
It is said you brought hardstyle to the level it is now – would you say this is true-
The thing is, I have always tried to create a different sound. You can love it or hate it. I’m not a follower. Right now, everyone is making tracks with pitched kicks and trancy melodies. It’s cool, but instead of that I’m trying something else. When I released my first ‘hardstyle’ song, On the Edge, the label manager didn’t want to release it because it was too strange and hard. It was just a new style. Being different is the only way to become big and stay out there.
What have you been up to in the studio production- or remix-wise-
In about a month, my new release, The Sound of the Underground, will be released on my label X-Rate. I only do remixes if I really love the song or think I can make it better. Some songs just don’t need remixes.
Any plans for an artist album- Is that something that’s going to be a reflection of your club sets or more of an indulgence and an experiment-
There are no plans for an artist album yet. I think that it will take ages for me to finish one, haha.
What is happening on your label X-Rate- And how is your relationship with Zany-
X-Rate was basically set up to release my own tracks. I’m not trying to sign new artists because I am too picky and I will drive my artists nuts. I do everything myself; producing my music, creating the covers, licensing, etc. I don’t like to depend on a record company or label manager. Zany is a good friend. We have known each other since 1997. We don’t produce too much together since he doesn’t live around the corner. We both love soccer and visit matches together once every while.
What are some of your inspirations and influences-
Cosmic Gate was my inspiration when I made On The Edge. I loved their hard kicks and pumping bass. The cool thing is that they loved the song so much that they asked me to remix their new single, The Truth. Right now I can get inspiration from all sorts of things: driving, watching TV, having sex, etc. I even made up a melody in my dream once.
Finally, what can we expect from you at the tour-
My first time was 2003. I remember I was the first hardstyle DJ in Australia ever. No one [had] really heard hardstyle music before but it was a great experience. I could never have predicted that Australia [would have] such a big hardstyle scene now.
WHAT: Plays The Sound of Q-dance: World Tour 2009 at Hordern Pavilion
WHEN: Saturday 21 March