There are music artists that constantly need an introduction, and there are guys like Paul van Dyk that are…well, global phenomenons. He is known throughout the world as one of the best electronic dance music artists, constantly topping the ranks in DJ lists in a variety of publications. This year has already made quite the mark on the man as he releases his ‘Best of’ anthology, and an IPhone application that will change the way that EDM fans and DJs use their phones. But one thing’s for sure, it seems like Paul is relentless at his work, and will stop at nothing to deliver the best music to his legions of fans.
Clubplanet recently got the chance to chat with Paul van Dyk about his new ‘Best of’ anthology album, a 17-day 17-city tour, and how he prefers to hear Kings of Leon after his gigs.
Clubplanet: How’s your schedule been treating you lately? You seem to have so much going on.
Paul van Dyk: It’s quite, quite hectic with all the different territories and the deadlines. It’s been quite hectic but it’s good.
Clubplanet: You’re about to release your ‘Best of’ anthology, so congrats on that. How does that feel to you because it’s such a big accomplishment for a music artist?
Paul van Dyk: The thing is, the way my life goes in a way, when I finish one project I’m already ready for the next one, and so on. But, with the ‘Best of,’ part of the project was to actually stop and look back, and that was pretty interesting. It feels really good to look back at more than 15 years of music and listen to all the old stuff. Then again it was very difficult to actually make a decision on what to put on the ‘Best of.’
Clubplanet: Can you talk a little bit about the new IPhone and IPod touch application that you just released? It seems like a giant leap in progress compared to other applications that are out on the market now.
Paul van Dyk: I didn’t want to have just a random player where by shaking the device it would mix tracks of mine together. That’s something you would use once or twice, then never use it. I wanted to make something that is useful and that you can use. Not everybody really needs a BPM meter, but it’s a funky gadget you can have that is definitely useful. It also has a seismic reader that can tell you the vibration that the turntables have, which will tell you if you need the needles to be tighter, or if you need to put more foam under the turntables. I wanted to have something funky that can be useful when you’re in a club environment, and also when you’re at home. I really hope that people enjoy and see it as a useful tool, but also that they have fun with it.
Clubplanet: You’re about to jump on a 17-city, 17-day tour. That sounds insane! How do you prepare for something like that?
Paul van Dyk: To be honest I’ve never really done a bus tour, so I’m not too scared about the routine of touring. But it’s a new thing for me. Instead of having a shower after the gig at the hotel, then getting up and jumping on the next flight, now we leave the club and jump on the bus, sleep on the bus, and wake up whenever we get to the next city. It’s something exciting. My tour manager’s already taking bets on when I’ll give up and say, “Ok, I’ll take a plane.” (laughs)
Clubplanet: I’m sure that after one of your sets you’re pretty drained with electronic dance music. What do you like to listen to then?
Paul van Dyk: There’s a lot of stuff that I actually enjoy listening to. I’m a big fan of UK indie pop music, but also there are bands like Kings of Leon that I really, really like. For me it’s important that music is intense, I like to feel the music and get into the track rather than just being entertained while I’m driving.
Clubplanet: Obviously you’re in the know and up to date with all the technological advances when it comes to music. What are your thoughts on the effect of technology on the future of music, because right now it seems like electronic dance music is spreading like crazy.
Paul van Dyk: The thing is that the characteristics of electronic dance music have always been about breaking the boundaries. Not just on the creative side, but also in terms of using the latest technology in order to enhance the production process or the all over experience, and that’s what all this new technology is about. If you were to ask me two or three years ago that I would be on stage with two computers, keyboards, special custom made mixers and controllers, I would say it’s not possible. But it is, and now for me it is absolutely the ultimate thing. I’m a musician and my favorite kind of music is electronic music, and the most common way of presenting it is to DJ. So, when I have the chance to use the equipment I use in the studio on stage it’s the ultimate thing. It enhances the process of presenting the music.
Clubplanet: You’ve had an amazing career thus far. Is there a goal that you have that you feel that you may not have accomplished yet?
Paul van Dyk: It’s not so much that I’ve had goals or something that I’ve needed to achieve. It’s all about the next gig, or the next project. To do the best I can possibly do for each of those things. It might sound really geeky, but I love this music so much that I want to present it the best way possible, so when I play and when I have a gig I want the sound to be at the best level.
Clubplanet: What can everyone expect from you for the remainder of the year?
Paul van Dyk: Well obviously I’ll be doing a lot of touring. There’s also a lot of remixes of my old stuff coming out so that’s something that I’m really excited about. I’m also working on the new things for my next album that’s due to be released in 2010.