Nearing the end of his US tour, you’d imagine that Dutch-born tech/trance DJ, Sander Van Doorn, would be ready for a vacation. But when he’s not performing he’s mixing his laptop between shows, and when he’s not playing around with new tracks he’s looking forward to “Dusk Till Doorn” – an experimental DJ project he will take to Toronto on May 1st. Check out what Sander had to say when we caught up with him last week.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
I would say it’s kind of a cross-section between different styles of music – so it’s trance-y and it’s bass-y, but it also has house and techno influences in the mix as well. I think it’s a quite diverse style, kind of a mix of different genres.
How did you get into electronic music? How did you get into music in general?
I always liked to listen to my older brother’s music, even when I was like four or five years old. I used to buy a lot of disco records so I already got to know Depeche Mode and others when I was very young. I think that kind of lit a fire with me and made me very passionate about music in general. When I was 16 years old, I started doing a little bit of backroom DJing and a few years later, I discovered a groovebox, which is kind of like a synthesizer with a computer in it. That’s when I started producing music as well.
You have a few different alter egos – Finterfunk, Purple Haze, Sam Sharp. Do they each have a different sound? Why have different names for yourself?
I wanted to produce different styles of music without confusing people with releasing everything all under one name. So, for the tougher stuff I had Sam Sharp, for the deeper more melodic stuff I had Purple Haze and obviously for the more general stuff my own name, Sander Van Doorn. Then a few years later, since everybody made the connection between all those different names and my name, we decided to put everything under one name, under “Sander Van Doorn.” Sometimes we’ll do a Purple Haze. I did a Purple Haze last year called “Bliksem” but that was quite an exception, to be honest.
Last year you came out with a few different remixes, one being a remix of “Spaceman” by The Killers and another, “Peace” by Depeche Mode (who you’ve said are one of your influences). Why did you decide to rework these particular songs?
Because of the collaboration with Robbie Williams, I got a little bit known by The Killers’ management. So, The Killers asked me if I could do a remix of “Spaceman.” After I did the remix for The Killers, Depeche Mode liked this remix and asked me to do a remix for their track. And obviously, getting that offer from Depeche Mode, it was a big honor to do, so I wasn’t thinking twice about that.
Are you working on any remixes now?
I’ve actually been quite busy in the studio. Now I’m on my US tour, but I’ve got my laptop with me and I’m doing some mixing. I did a remix that I can’t tell too much about yet, but I’m really happy with the result. I’ve kind of been testing that one out right now, and trying to make it perfect. I’m producing a lot of my own stuff now, too.
What do you mean by “testing it out”? Is this a remix that you played on your US tour?
Absolutely. I like to test out music during the tour. Actually, I’ve got a lot of new tracks that I’m testing out at the moment. It’s always good when nobody actually knows the track and they hear it for the first time and respond so well to it.
Out of all the artists you’ve worked with in the past, is there anyone in particular whose style you mixed with the best?
The collaboration I did with Marco V was really great to do. Marco has always been a big inspiration to me since I was 18 years old. It was a big honor to end up in the studio together with him and Benjamin; I think we really connected and there are two great tracks as a result: “Organic” being more bass-lineish and “What Say” being more techy.
Is there anyone you haven’t worked with, but would like to?
I would love to work with Moby, but I’ve heard that he’s not doing electronic music, so I don’t know if that’s going to work out (laughs). I’ve always been a big fan of his, though. I’d definitely love to work with Moby.
You’re almost at the end of your US tour now – how has it been? What sort of response have you gotten?
To be honest, I’ve been blown away so far. We’re almost at the end of the tour and the gigs I’ve done were absolutely insane. This weekend, I started in Phoenix on a Wednesday, and it was the first time I’ve played there, but there were great crowds and a lot of people came to see me, which is always good. Thursday I played Orange County and that was absolutely off the Richter scale. Then again, Minneapolis, I played too for the first time, and I didn’t know what happened there so it was fantastic. I couldn’t be more happy.
What are your plans after the tour? Are you looking forward to any particular projects or shows?
Well, after the tour I’m actually going to Toronto to do the first “Dusk Till Doorn” show for this year. “Dusk Till Doorn” is my new DJ concept, which we already tested out last year – twice in London, in Los Angeles and Toronto as well, actually, last year. It’s basically a concept where I play an extended set and it all revolves around my sound, and really building a nice song from scratch until the end, with added production. We’re going to do a big show over in Toronto at the Guvernment, so I’m looking forward to that. And after that I hope I can get a few days off at home, actually, to chill out. But it’s going to be a busy month of May, especially in the studio, but you know, it’s all good.