Armin van Buuren
“one of the best producers of 2016” and when you listen to his album ‘High on Life,’ you will hear why. It’s one of those rare albums that you can listen to all the way through without skipping a single track. The title track was a huge hit and tracks like “Apollo” and “Alibi” will surely follow the same trajectory. Be sure to also check out the truly epic track “Steampunk” that he did with Ruben de Ronde
RS: How are you doing today?
Rodg: Yesterday was the first night at ADE and it got late but I feel alright, I’m looking forward to today.
RS: I am feeling high on life.
Rodg: I am glad to hear that; I have heard that title before.
RS: What was in your mind when you started working on the album?
Rodg: Basically, traveling the world and getting inspiration from where I travel and trying to translate that into my music. I did a couple of records and then I decided that I should put it all together in some way so I made an album and that is how High On Life came to be.
RS: I personally respect you for doing it because so few producers are making full statements with albums, why do you think that is?
Rodg: Music has such a short attention span and by doing an album you release 10-15 records at a time and people listen to it once or twice and forget about it. Artists see more benefit if you release a single record 12 times instead of all at once. In fact, I questioned and doubted doing an album because I haven’t been out there for a long time and not many people know me so people aren’t waiting for a Rodg album. But in the end I am super happy that I did it.
RS: I am happy that you did it also. Did you road test the songs on the album in your live sets before you did the album?
RS: In your live sets, how much of it is your own music versus other people’s music?
Rodg: Between 50%-75% of my live sets are my own music.
RS: I love that. Which song got the biggest reaction?
Rodg: “High On Life” got the biggest reaction. It has been added to Sirius XM and I got multiple play list adds for Spotify, which is amazing. Armin played it at Ultra in Miami and that is where it all started, I was freaking out when I saw that.
RS: Can I make a request; can we get “Alibi” remixes?
Rodg: Yeah, we are already working on it.
RS: Really, I am so excited! Can you tease who the mixefs will be?
Rodg: Not yet, they are not confirmed yet so that’s why I can’t.
RS: Is that what is coming up next from you?
Rodg: Next from me is “Apollo” which is going to be released as a single, it’s track 15 on the album.
RS: Going back to last year, “Steampunk” was a favorite track of mine for the whole year. What inspired you and Ruben de Ronde to go in that direction?
Rodg: “Steampunk” started as a melody idea that I came up with. I have been working with Ruben for a while and we have several tracks. We have a great vibe together, I would like to say in the studio, but we’ve never worked in the studio together since we both have our own studios at home but we share the projects that we are working on. “Steampunk” is an instrumental record so it’s hard to place a name with something like that but Ruben wanted to do something different with the artwork for the label. He thought that he could do some really awesome artwork with that title. We got the tile and the artist made some bad ass artwork with a steam punk dog so that is where the title came from. It is not a juicy story but it’s the truth.
RS: When is your birthday?
Rodg: July 21st
RS: So you really do have the same birthday as Andrew Rayel?
RS: Wow, have you done a track with him?
RS: Would you?
Rodg: Yeah, he is an amazing producer and I look up to him a lot. He is a wizard; every time he releases a record I always wonder how he came up with the melody and the sound. I would love to do a record with him.
RS: If you did a record with Paris Hilton what would it sound like?
Rodg: Something melodic, maybe she could drop some vocal lines in there.
RS: Well she can sing you know?
Rodg: Yeah I know. Paris Hilton is funny, I got a chance to meet her in Ibiza this year. Everyone always makes fun of her but she knows what is going on in the industry and not many people realize that. We chatted a little bit about music and she knows everything, you can think what you want about her but she really loves dance music.
RS: Speaking about traveling and going to Ibiza and seeing the world, where in the world has the best sushi?
Rodg: Japan, of course.
RS: What is your favorite kind of roll, sushi roll?
Rodg: There is a restaurant here in Amsterdam that has a crispy maki roll with lychee on the inside. So it’s crispy on the outside with some type of tempura flakes and then lychee on the inside, it’s delicious.
RS: I have to find that, it sounds amazing. Speaking about animals and seafood and sushi, if you were a furry, what kind of animal would you be?
Rodg: I would be a cat because cats do what they want and have their own character. They can be very laid back but when it benefits them they are very interested, that’s probably not a great personal quality.
RS: Who takes care of your cats when you are on the road?
Rodg: My girlfriend takes care of my cats but if she joins we have a friend that has a cat herself that watches them.
RS: When they make the movie about your life what actor will play you?
Rodg: I need to come up with someone sexy like Brad Pitt or George Clooney.
RS: George Clooney 20 years ago, you have the jaw line.
Rodg: You know this is a really hard question for me because I am not really a movie kind of guy.
RS: Why do all DJs wear black?
Rodg: I am not dressed in black today but that’s a difficult question because I almost never wear black or completely black. I remember walking in the airport here in Amsterdam after the Awakenings Festival and there were DJs dressed in black everywhere that were flying out of the country. I can’t really say though, maybe if you are on stage with all the lights and if everything is bright and white maybe you stand out and it looks better in pictures.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out here?
Rodg: Thanks for the support, it sounds cheesy and it’s the same line that everyone else says but without the support that I get I am not able to travel the world and if I am not able to play my music I might not be inspired to make more music. I have had so many amazing experiences, high on life it is, thanks to my fans.
Interview conducted October 2016.