Showtek - The Show Must Go On
Monday, 3 December 2007
Brothers Wouter and Sjoerd Janssen are so enthused about getting back to Australia that they continually talk over one another. Surely it isn’t staged, but it certainly rings of childhood memories of a distant summer – the sort of enthused where you can’t contain your excitement and the words come out mumbled!
Regardless, Wouter was just two when Sjoerd was born; that happened in 1982. The boys grew up together and consider each other as best friends. They were about 16 when they started to produce their own music.
“Wouter already had some musical background because he played piano when he was young.” Sjoerd says as Wouter interrupts.
“Sjoerd started editing music as a hobby and when we had our first synthesizer we just played around a bit,” he says. “It was a hobby, but when our first record came out in 2001 – we fell in love with it! Since then, we have done nothing else; we even skipped lessons at school to make new tunes and beats. It’s all paid off we guess!”
Indeed, the boys grew up on a diverse diet of music which has generated much of their influence today.
“As crazy as it sounds, we even like jazz or electro – everything really!” Sjoerd says. “Wouter spends time jamming around on his guitar, just to see what we can do with it!
“We started off making techno in the beginning and we loved the big bass lines; that’s why ‘tek’ is in the name Showtek! But Wouter added some melodies into it and I did the editing on the beats and suddenly we found our own sound.”
More difficult to pinpoint now, the boys consider their sound in passing. “It’s hard, it has balls!” Wouter says. “But it’s also musical and still has an international sound. I believe we were one of the first to produce this kind of music and by 2001 we were already putting the off-beat bass lines in our tracks to make it extra pumpy!”
A quick check on YouTube will highlight the extent of that no doubt.
Equally, their shows are nothing less that a tumultuous cavalcade of wild sounds that are not for the faint of heart.
“We consider ourselves energy boosters behind the turntables!” Sjoerd says. “We see it like this – there is nothing better than people going nuts over your music. So, when we play our stuff and people like it that much, it gives us both an extreme adrenaline rush through the body! Besides, it’s not possible to stand still with music like this playing!”
And their modus operandi sums it up beautifully!
“We work during the week in the studio to get the people crazy on the weekend and after the weekend we’ve got new inspirations for the week, so that’s how it goes.”
The circle rotates, it seems.
Production-wise, the duo have spent a considerable part of 2007 in the studio. There are a bunch of new productions on their way too; likewise, they claim to have spent 80 hours a week to make their album.
“We were the first ones on the scene who could even realize this, so we gave it a shot and it worked out very well,” Wouter says. “It sold very well all around the world so we did a world tour to promote it. It was the best! Now we have moved our studio to a new place so we had time to come up with some new ideas we have.
“So while we are not finished yet, we have certainly begun. We also hope to do another album in the future, but when, I am not sure. As long as we continue to do our harder dance style! It is not one style of music as we said – besides, we really think it is our own. It’s like any genre, even hip hop. It’s a culture where everybody is different; some are successful and some are not. We spend a lot of time together; we even have the same friends and we are even pumping iron at the same gym, so yeah we talk a lot and come up with lots of ideas – together. We think that is very important. Last weekend we played in Chicago and in the hotel room we came up with a new idea for a track for example!”
And each time they embrace a studio project, they look to their audience. They feel the complexity of their sound has improved, especially with the move in studio. Of course, every track maintains its own vibe and once the ideas start flowing, the finished product is quickly conceived.
“We might sit there doing a little vocal hook and then put it over the track and its sounds amazing,” Wouter says. “By that time, it is already printed into our heads and we know exactly where we are with it.”
Finally too, the boys are extra excited about getting back to Australia.
“We love to go to Australia,” they both exclaim. “The crowd is amazing and of course the food is lovely too. No really, it’s a real honour to fly all the way over to Oz and play there. We played there last year too and it was the best, but this year it’s going to be even better. Wouter will play as his alias Walt Jensen too, and Sjoerd as his alias Duro; but we will perform as Showtek most of the time. So we’ll see you over there!”
WHAT: Play Transmission
WHEN: Saturday 8 December