elektro exclusive interview with Sander van Doorn
- Tell us about the early stages of your career. Particularly the weeks leading up to securing residencies at Judgment Sunday and The Gallery in London. Did you ever doubt that you could make a successful career as a Dj and producer?
Sander: “Originally I never wanted to be a DJ as career choice. I started DJing when I was 16 as a hubby. But my passion was music producing. So I started producing more and more and got signed to a label and all of a sudden I started getting all these bookings requested, and Im like no one even knows that im a DJ so lets try it out. And so I starting going to the gigs with my vinyl and I think the fifth gig was at The Gallery at Turnmills over in London. It was absolutely amazing and I actually met my first booking agent there and so he started booking me more and more in the UK and that started the connection with Judgment Sunday and it just snowballed from there.”
- In 2008 you received the award for best breakthrough DJ from the IDMA at the Miami WMC, Beating the likes of Calvin Harris and Axwell, give us a little insight on what major outcomes followed as a result being subject to such an honor in the dance community.
Sander: I think I didn’t look at genres. I just produced the music I like. In some cases that could be a bad thing because no one might end up playing your records. Well in my case it was a good thing cause everyone started playing my records from Calvin Harris to Tiesto to Carl Cox. So all of a sudden I made it to scene in a big way so it made it easy for me to win an award like that. I think the year after I won Best Tech House DJ, and im like “oh really!” and then the year after was Best Electro House and im like “ok?”. It was a big honor.
- At what stage did the idea of Doorn Records and its association with Spinnin Records come about?
Sander: When I set up the label, it originally was suppose to be a platform for my own music. But people started noticing that I have my own label and started sending me track, and I was like ‘wow, these are pretty good track’. Actually one of the guys from W&W, his first release was my second release on Doorn Records, called The Shuffle. So I started guiding new and young talent to perfect their music and I liked the process. So we started doing it with more and more producers and it kinda snowballed to a point where right now the release schedule is insane.
- Could you give us a summary on your studio setup? What is your go-to music tool beside you DAW?
Sander: I still produce a lot on analog synths. Moog Voyager I still use a lot for basslines. The Dave Smith Poly Evolver is actually what I used to make “The Riff” sound. Its one of those synths that when you start pressing buttons it cannot go horribly wrong or perfectly right, so something’s going to come out, and I think its one of the best synths ever. On the road I use a lot of Nexus synths. Its easy to use with great presets if I have an idea that I want to put down quick.
- What is your biggest challenge when it comes to making new music? What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Sander: A younger version of myself, I would say to do exactly what Im doing and start with a blank screen and never copy anyone’s sound or your own. Everytime try to make your own sound. Its easy to say pick a sound and work on it but its really important that you try to do something different. That’s what im trying everytime I make music.
- Are there any sounds you’ve recently been inspired by that might surprise the fans in your future hits?
Sander: Yeah actually there is this Aston Shuffle track that I got sent recently. I think its brilliant. I don’t know the title actually but thatsa big inspiration. I get inspired by the new generation a lot actually because they have this whole new way of thinking and have this fresh sound going on. I got a few tracks coming up on my label, Doorn Records, that are really cool. Then again the most inspiration I get are from bands like Cigar Ros and Radiohead like the whole Rocky side of things.
- What do you hate about touring?
Sander: Oh man, I hate airports. Take your shoes off and everything. After 10 years of doing this you kinda grow to hate that part of your job. But we always say you don’t pay for the gig, you pay for the journey.
- What is your most prized non-music-related possession?
Sander: I have this painting that was painted by a Brazillian street artist. Jimmy Hendrix owned it. So if someone breaks into my house and takes that with them, that’s a big problem.