The major trance force from Down Under takes to his showground…

Welcome to DMCWORLD young man. It has to be said, your new ‘Showground’ EP on the legendary A State Of Trance label has the Buzz Chart office jumping. Some of the best trance we have heard for many years in their opinion. Talk us through the tracks…

“Thanks for having me  – It’s been awesome seeing all the positive reactions etc. on this 3 track EP. I tried to do something different with each one. Silverback is the darkest and deepest one of the three, and has an atmospheric breakdown. When I was making it, the “kick in” or drop made me want to beat my chest like a Silverback Gorilla, hence the name hahaha the song has a tribal vibe in the percussion too. Then “Underneath” is the energetic big room trancer with a long string breakdown with pianos and a very euphoric melody. “Underneath” is actually a song I made about 10 years ago (then called “Liquid M – Under Me”) I always loved the melody, so figured I’d re-make it in a more modern style. Lastly the title track “Showgrounds” is more of a Festival bouncy track borrowing some influences from a few different genres, this one is the most “fun” out of the 3. It’s named after the venue in my hometown of Melbourne where most of the big festivals are held called Flemington Showgrounds.”

You are currently on tour with Creamfields, what’s that been like, what have been the highlights?

“Creamfields was AMAZING!! For all the cities the trance stage was absolutely packed full of passionate music lovers that all came to party. It was also so much fun hanging out with all the other DJs and crew etc. It creates such a family vibe when you are on tour together for so long. As for highlights, firstly all the shows! But also going Go-Karting with Above & Beyond, W&W, Sied Van Riel, Tritonal, Guiseppi Ottaviani, Congorock, Downlink and Figure was pretty damn awesome hahah…”
Last year saw the festival scene in Australia a bit hit or miss with attendances, it was said it was because there were simply too many on? What has this season been like, where has gone right off?

“So far it’s been amazing. I mean, Stereosonic last year was insane with the Sydney show being the biggest dance music festival show ever… then I also played at a massive underage festival called “Goodlife” which was great too, and then now Creamfields. I’d say it’s pretty much Hit this season.”
You are Dutch born but now in Melbourne. What is your earliest musical memory?

“My dad playing sounds of whales calling to me as a baby to go to sleep…then later getting taken to nightclubs and punk rock venues as a little one. Amsterdam was a crazy place to grow up in the 80’s hahaha.”
What came first, 3D computer animation or audio production?

“You’ve done your research! Impressive Dan. 3D Computer Animation started it all…I always loved drawing and Art as a kid, so I thought I wanted to do something within Animation. To cut a long story short, my animations needed backing tracks and sound fx and so my musical journey sort of started. Eventually I loved making music more than animation.”
So why did music beat visuals for your choice of career?

“I loved music so much, it didn’t feel like work at all…plus I like the performance aspect as well.”
Who were your early DJ / producer heroes?

“Aphex Twin and Prodigy are the two that made me fall in love with Electronic Dance Music, Other early influences that got me on the 4/4 club music stuff would be Mauro Picotto, Ferry Corsten, Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Basement Jaxx early Daft Punk and Sander Van Doorn.”
What was that first 12 months like trying to break your first live act Liquid M?

“It felt impossible! I remember having a chat with my mum about it and I told her, ‘I feel like I’m making music in the desert and no one can hear it’. I started in a time before Facebook, youtube, myspace, twitter, beatport etc. I was sending demo CDs to labels in Europe via mail which would cost almost $20 everytime I wanted to send a new track to a label. I’d send to at least 10 labels everytime (so $200 investment, just to send out 1 demo!). I did this so many times, and never heard anything back. Back then it was also a big risk for a label to take on a new unknown act from Australia as they had to invest some serious money in vinyl pressing, marketing etc. Also just to set up a studio was a serious investment in hardware and computers etc.”

How important was your own event Altitude in 2003, would you have given up if that hadn’t finally opened the doors for you?

“I was fed up with no one wanting to book me, so I started my own night with 3 other guys called “Altitude” (later changed name to “Halcyon”). The nights were succesful, so I was able to grow the “Liquid M” name and get bookings at other events. I wouldn’t have given up though. Mum asked me when I was at my lowest, ‘what will you do if this whole music thing doesn’t work? What’s your Plan B?’ – I remember saying “Plan B is trying Plan A again”. I feel like this mindset has lead me to be where I am now.”

Who were the artists you were booking to play for you and who funded the project?

“I booked a lot of new guys that no one else would book, knowing how hard it was just to get a break. But we also booked some bigger international artists such as Thrillseekers, Matt Darey and even Armin Van Buuren although we didn’t fund that one…we just promoted it and it was branded as an Altitude night as we were the only club night at the time that had the real European “uplifting trance” sound.”

What was the best and worst thing about living in the Dam and what is the best and worst thing about living in Melbourne?

“Best thing about Amsterdam is how small it is… it’s so easy to get around with just a bicycle and it never takes more than 10 minutes to get anywhere. The worst thing is how long the winter goes on for… it’s like 9 months cold, 2 months ok, and 1 month nice hahah. Melbourne is my favourite city in the world to live in at the moment. The best thing is a certain laid-back vibe the city has, it’s got a nice mix of European lifestyle (coffee and restaurant culture and a lot of little buzzing scenes) and straight down the line laidback Aussie attitude. I feel really at home when I’m in Melbourne. The worst thing about living in Melbourne is that it’s so far away from the rest of the world!! It’s exhausting doing tours in Europe etc. as the flight times are so long, and the time difference (jetlag) really messes with your system. Sometimes it feels like half my life is at an Airport or  on a plane.”

What is the current top ten you are spinning?

“Well this is a good opportunity to promote some of my new tunes haha…

1- MaRLo – Showgrounds
2- MaRLo – Underneath
3- MaRLo – Silverback
4- John O’Callaghan ft Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky (Ben Gold Remix)
5- Marco V & Marcel Woods – Scream
6- Gareth Emery – Tokyo
7- W&W – Invasion
8- Rex Mundi – Opera of the northern ocean (MaRLo Remix)
9- 4 Strings- Cheesecake
10- Sied Van Riel – Tunnel Vision

Can you remember the exact moment when it hit you that, ‘yes, I can make it in this industry’…

“Not really no, It just sort of slowly happened. It’s all the little successes and wins along the way that encourage you to work even harder. Can be just a small thing like someone at the end of a gig saying “good set man”. It feels good and motivates you to keep going.”
Why did you finally decide to choose Australia – was it purely the weather?

“Hahah no, there’s many factors. I love it here first and foremost…but also my mum lives in Sydney and my girlfriend (now fiance) has a job here.”
Not many people know this, but MaRLo is really good at?

“Making the perfect steak and crispy thickly sliced potato’s.” 

The perfect Aussie! So, what is coming next studio wise…

“So much!! A bunch of new remixes, a few more originals and two Compilation CD’s that I’m super excited about. Also Diablo 3 will need some attention at some point this month.”

So we come back to yours after the club, after admiring your aquarium, what is the non EDM, MaRLo Back To Mine Top 10 you spin us…

“After the club I’d probably want to unwind rather than kick on…so probably some Coldplay classics, maybe a bit of U2’s greatest hits or maybe some Santogold. Or I might put on some weird foreign music that I’ve never heard before myself either just to seem more interesting, and also to see if people react or question my music choice or if they just accept it and not say a word.”
Australia is finally coming up with the goods with some great DJs and producers – why has it taken so long?

“Postage costs to send Demos to Europe hahahaha! E mail, Social Media and Internet generally have opened up all the doors and knocked down obstacles and limitations. It’s much easier now throughout every step of producing and getting known.”
And finally, to all of the thousands of aspiring producers out there, what advice can you give them to them wanting an in into this industry?

“Get to know everyone in your scene, be patient, work hard and long hours at producing to really refine your craft, be nice to everyone. Take advantage of all the amazing opportunities out there! Remix contests, youtube, soundcloud etc.”