Nov 10, 2016
Vicetone Reflect On 2016 Productions
We recently had a chance to catch up with Dutch duo Vicetone before one of their club shows. With the re-release of “Astronomia,” return to the Monstercat label with the release of "Nevada" and the announcement of their "Siren" remix competition winner, we had lots to talk about with Ruben and Victor. Get to know the guys as they share their thoughts on remix competitions, their recent productions, their most inspirational show and more!
How would you describe your DJ style? What can we expect from tonight’s show?
Ruben: With a club set you definitely have some more freedom. We will play some more music from other artists. With our Ultra set, for example, we prepared a bit more than normal. We thought more about when we would play certain things, like “this goes after this in the set, this goes earlier in the set.” That set got such hype and anticipation that you had to be a little more prepared. Especially with the live stream. Tonight will be more open format. Club shows offer more freedom to see where the night takes us.
What’s it been like having official remixes and remix competitions for your tracks?
Ruben: We did one last year for “Nothing Stopping Me” and did the “Siren” competition this year. It’s always really fun to pick out the hidden gems in those remix competitions. We competed in a couple when we first started out, including a Calvin Harris one and a Nervo one which we ended up winning and that helped our career a little bit. If our remix competition can help someone get a little extra attention on social media and have people check out this new artist who made a remix, that’s a good feeling for us. We like that we can help someone else, even if it’s only in a small way.
Victor: The funny thing with the Nervo “Reason” contest was that we didn’t really enter, we just made the remix for ourselves and for the fans to give away a track, but eventually at the end we decided to enter anyways. We entered and they picked us as a winner!
Ruben: People were asking us why we weren’t in the remix contest. We didn’t plan to be, but since we had finished the track we thought we might as well enter.
Victor: After that, Nervo asked us to officially remix their next track and then from there we went on tour with them.
How do you pick winners?
Ruben: We always listen to all of the entries. We were always concerned when we entered remix competitions about the artist actually listening to our entry. We take the time to listen to everything, although now I can understand why they may not have had the time to listen to every entry. It’s extremely time consuming to go through 500 entries. Especially when it’s the same vocal every time, it can get very tiring. It’s a really hard process to commit yourself and listen long enough to form a valid opinion. That’s why it takes a bit to decide on a winner.
Victor: When we were doing these remixes and competitions, our dream was to get some feedback from the artists. That would be an amazing prize. I feel like that is the most important thing to get out of a competition other than having a release. The winner gets to Skype with us for an hour and we will give them some feedback. We did it with the “Nothing Stopping Me” remix contest as well.
Ruben: If you give a prize like speakers or headphones, that stuff is buyable. For a young producer, an hour, even a half hour Skype call with an established producer who has technical know-how and has released records professionally is invaluable. We know because we were there just couple of years ago. Even simply giving little tips about the industry, that’s what we want to provide and include as a prize for the winner.
Was there someone who gave you those 30 minutes or an hour when you were getting started?
Ruben: In the beginning it was Nicky Romero, but he didn’t do it because we had won a prize. He continually liked the music we sent over.
Can you talk a little about what the track “Astronomia” means to each of you? Why did you decide to re-release it?
Ruben: When we released Astronomia as a free bootleg, we never thought it would do very well. We only produced it because we wanted to play it in our sets. But it really took off without any label promotion whatsoever and has gotten more than 5 million views on our YouTube channel. We realized that a lot of people love the song and we wanted to put the track out on Spotify. The rest is history!
Can you share some favorite memories of shows where you have played it?
Ruben: When we play the track in Spain, we always get the most amazing reactions. We get goosebumps just thinking about it. Also in Montreal - the crowds are unreal there.
Can you talk about your new track, “Nevada”?
Ruben: We played it out for the first time in Vancouver because Monstercat is based there. It’s definitely a bit different, but still keeps the Vicetone sound. We originally were just going to release it as an instrumental, but then we got this amazing vocal from Cosi.
Victor: Releasing on Monstercat is particularly special for us too. We started around the same time and have grown together. We’ve both come a long way.
What’s the reception been like to “Nevada”? How have you been using it in your sets?
Ruben: We usually play it in every set! It's a very nice vibey track and a lot of people request us to play it, so we usually do. It fits in nicely with our sound in the first half of our set.
Ruben: It’s a little slower than normal and more groovy so we weren’t really sure how it would do, but all the artist support is really cool - it’s amazing to see Nick Romero and Tiësto supporting it.
Victor: Yeah, we had two to three pages of artist support on 1001tracklists before the track even came out which was amazing.
Where does making “United We Are” and the Ultra theme song rank on career accomplishments?
Ruben: It was such an amazing experience. It’s right up there with the other career highlights. To do it twice and be on the official aftermovie is incredible. That production was definitely a challenge too, which makes it even more rewarding.
Did either of you once attend a show as a fan, where afterwards, you knew you wanted to do this for a living? Can you describe that show?
Ruben: It was Tiësto and Markus Schulz at a one off show in 2009. It was like 15 minutes away from where we lived.
Victor: We weren’t even drinking at all, it was all about the music and it was an incredible experience.
Ruben: That show left a huge impression on us. We had to go back and start making tracks.
So trance music was pretty influential to you guys? Do you still listen to trance?
Ruben: I still listen to trance occasionally, but we have different tastes now.
Victor: Yeah, I’d agree. Also seeing Armin and Markus Schulz at A State Of Trance was a really inspirational show for me.
What should we be on the lookout for from you guys for the end of this year and into early 2017?
Ruben: Exciting collabs, new singles, and big tours!
Be sure to check out the latest single from Vicetone, “Kaleidoscope,” and catch them on tour when they are at city near you [tickets here]!
short link 1001.tl/tp81yl