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Rank 1 - No Joke

Author: RK
Monday, 8 October 2007
What started out as a bit of a joke between Benno de Goeij and Piet Bervoets isn’t really much of a joke anymore. “We just joked that we wanted to be number one in every country” chimes Piet. Ironically enough, the pair isn’t far off. Their success – and their ability to produce good music no less – is clearly evidenced in their recent collaboration with Armin Van Buuren, The World Is Watching Me. Even the detached video-clip gives you goose bumps. It’s the sort of music that touches a raw nerve.

The boys met at the birthday party of a mutual friend. Piet describes the moment: “when I met Benno and we got talking about music, I invited him to combine our sounds and our backgrounds. He was into a lot of music at the time; playing music as well. It was a different type of music than what I was into but we combined our love of melody and techno into one and in 1998, Rank 1 was founded. That’s the very quick story,” he chuckles.

Remember too that Rank 1 is an interesting combination of talents and responsibilities. Piet represents as the DJ; while Benno is the studio mastermind. Their aptitudes overlap of course although it is Piet who twiddles the knobs on stage. As far as their production though, the duo work together – for the most part. “Actually, in the beginning, we were doing everything together; lately I have been busier with DJ work and most of the time I will leave on a Thursday night and come back on a Monday. He’s like ‘I’m not waiting for you!’ He tends to develop the ideas in the studio so we can talk about it later. I can’t imagine it any other way. We work really well together.”

Indeed, the element of working well is encapsulated in their attitude to their production. “Every time we do a song, we try to do new stuff rather than what everyone else does. People are still making the same music that we did seven years ago! We like to move on rather than play a typical style. It’s a good style but you need to go onto something new. Not everyone might like it, but if you give your music a great feel whether it is like house or electro you are more likely to ensure that your fans like it. We have just released a couple of tracks with Alex M.O.R.P.H and are working on the next Rank 1 single and will release that when we are happy with it. That’s the basic thing for us which we consider important. We don’t release say four tracks a year for the sake of it.” As an aside, I was fascinated when Piet started explaining his other day job – he runs a crematorium for cats and dogs! “It’s really nice to be doing that as well. I might be doing that while Benno is in the studio! We give the animals a way to rest! Seize the day!”