Wardt van der Harst and Willem van Hanegem, better knows as Dutch power duo W&W first met after a chance meeting at Trance Energy in 2007. From trance to house beats to everything in between, their powerful kicks and luscious melodies have won over loyal fans all over the world. We had a chance to catch up with the talented twosome in Miami before their Ultra set for a chat about moving past genre labels, a new track with Hardwell, and going back to their trance roots!
How is Miami going so far?
Great! We’ve been here since Monday and we played two shows, one at Story and yesterday the DJ Mag pool party. The atmosphere in Miami is amazing and also great because you walk on the streets you see colleagues everywhere. There are friends everywhere.
You guys are playing Ultra this weekend, do you have any special surprises planned?
Actually almost our whole set is new. We have three or four new tracks we’re gonna play. We made stuff just to play at Ultra and our older tracks we reedited to make new versions.
What can you tell me about these tracks?
We have a new collab with Hardwell and also our collab with Blasterjaxx.
The collab with Blasterjaxx is that called “Rocket”?
That’s what it’s called on the Internet. To be honest we don’t even know the title yet. We saw “Rocket” and were like OK it’s a good title so maybe we should stick to it.
The new track with Hardwell how did that come together? You guys obviously know each really well.
Yeah we’re really good friends and we work together in the studio a lot. We had the idea for the track laying around for maybe a year. He played and we’ve playing it in our sets and the reactions were immense but it was missing a good break so we redid the breakdown and now it fits perfectly. We think now it’s good enough to release it. That’s why for us it takes a long time because we want to release a track when we are fully satisfied. Everything needs to be right. We don’t want a track that is maybe 80% done.
What’s the track called?
There’s no title yet. Sometimes we have a title immediately and other times we just wait until right before we have that feeling. At the moment we need to wait. Sometimes we’ll have the title just one day before we upload for our label.
What can you tell me about the “Wake Me Up” remix you did with Hardwell?
Parts of that is actually our new collab.
Cool, so that’s your new track with Hardwell?
Well that’s part of our new track.
Are you guys sick of people giving you shit about why you’re not playing trance anymore? Does it get annoying?
Yeah it is pretty annoying of course but I get it. We still do play trance but for us the problem with trance is the way it went too fast for us. The sound of trance we play is what we love. For instance Andrew Rayel’s “Dark Warrior.” That’s the sound we love and we play that in every set. Also Armin’s new tune “Ping Pong” that’s the stuff we play but uplifting trance has never been our thing and that’s where it’s heading so that’s why it doesnt really fit with what we do. We have to find something new. We still use a lot of trance emotions but for house guys they say our tracks are still trance.
Who do you think will be the breakthrough DJ of WMC?
Martin Garrix but actually he’s already there. There’s nothing left for him to breakthrough. At the moment Blasterjaxx are doing really well of course and also Deorro. In trance Andrew Rayel is doing really well as well so I think big things will come.
What was the first record you ever bought?
For me (Wardt) it was Tiesto “Flight 643,” the purple vinyl. I (Willem) can’t even remember I but know one thing that is really embarrassing I bought a CD like a compilation CD for the Eiffel 65 “Blue” tune when I was little. That was a really good tune! You bought it too!
You should do a bootleg.
The funny thing is we actually like all those songs like Eiffel 65 “Blue”and “The Final Countdown.” Those big anthems everyone’s like you can’t remix them but we are gonna try it once.
It’s hard to take a tune like that and make it sound really credible but maybe we’ll do it just for our own stuff.
What’s been the craziest thing you have seen in Miami so far?
Well it was really cool to see the taxis with just our heads on them for the Hakkasan ads. It was pretty weird actually but we’ve just been to the parties and stayed in the room.
What’s coming up next for you guys?
The track with Hardwell and the track with Blasterjaxx. Also our new single we need to finish it still but we’ve been testing it out and it’s been really good.
Is it more trancy or housy?
This one is more housy but we’re also gonna do one that’s more trancy because we feel like we need more trance in our sets. Because no one makes that kind of sound we need to do it ourselves. We made a couple of cool bootlegs as well. We also just gave away a trancy tune we did like three years ago.
I like the version with the vocal sample about the town that became a ghost town after Chernobyl.
Actually that sample was from Call Of Duty. We sampled it for our essential mix. We gave that track away for free because so many people wanted it but we couldn’t use that sample in the free download because maybe it would of gotten blocked or something. But that sample is actually the intro from the video game Call Of Duty because we played that game so much!
Wow, I thought you guys were just really into history!
Oh no we’re more into playing video games! Also, since a lot of people play that game they can relate to that vocal.
Photo creds: Rukes.com