Preparing For The Sound Of Q-Dance With Zatox [Interview]
Come November 15th, The Shrine in Los Angeles will once again be hosting a party for legendary Dutch entertainment enterprise, Q-Dance. Q-Dance has brought an insane lineup to the States one again, this time featuring a wide variety of Hard Dance artists. The lineup consists of Psyko Punkz, Coone, Audiofreq, Technoboy, Zatox, Evil Activities (first time Q-Dance has brought a hardcore artist to a Sound of Q-Dance Event in America) and an opening set from Los Angeles-based Skylapse.
November is a busy month for Hardstyle in America! These artists all have busy schedules playing around the continent. The Psyko Punkz are deep into their US tour, playing all over from Hawaii to Washington DC. These guys recently put out two new huge tracks, the latest being a release on their label Shadowmask, “We Stay Up.” The second is their official remix of Hardwell’s Arcadia, which combines elements of all sorts of EDM into one awesome remix that is an awesome Hardstyle rendition of the original. Coone has been touring around, playing in venues like Webster Hall. His latest tracks “Into The Madness” and “Aladdin on E” have been getting played by the Hardstyle community like crazy this fall. Audiofreq has a tour going on as well, hitting a collection of shows scattered across the United States, including Tomorrowworld, and of course, The Sound of Q-Dance Part 3.
Q-Dance has decided to add the two most well known Italians in the Hardstyle world to the lineup as well! Technoboy & Zatox are two names that have been in the Hardstyle scene for a very long time - these two have been known to produce some of the hardest hitting Hardstyle tracks out there. Technoboy will be making one stop in Denver the night before he Sound of Q-Dance Part 3, and Zatox will have several shows in Canada beforehand as well.
I got a chance to speak to Zatox about his upcoming gigs overseas, his new album, and his history as a Hardstyle producer.
EDM: Hello, Gerardo! Great to chat with you - how are you today?
Heya guys! Busy days! Album almost out, preparing stuff for the Canada and U.S. experience, totally stoked!
Great to hear - so first off, tell us a little about Zatox. What does the music and the artist stand for? Where has the project gone? Where did you see it going when you started it?
Well it started something like 12 years ago, or something more, and I honestly didn’t know at all where it could have taken me. I’ve been living for this music for so long that I could never be without it anymore - I think I would feel empty. This project has given me so much satisfaction and the opportunity to meet so many great people and see lots of amazing places. For this, I have to thank all of my supporters all over the world, they are the reason I keep putting all possible effort into this everyday. What do I stand for? For music! In every form, I stand for hardstyle because it unites people and it’s the most amazing way to share our energy with each other! I absolutely love it.
So, I see you have a brand new album ready to launch! I have to say, I saw the banners for it outside DefQon.1 this summer and my interest was certainly sparked. Tell us about your new album and what it means to you!
It’s surely been an amazing challenge, over one year of production to put all I am into two CDs. I loved every second of this journey - tracks kept coming out so naturally that at some point I had to stop producing, as they told me it was too much for just one album!
I think this is gonna be an important step in my career, and it means a lot to me because it carries a message too - the reason why I decided to go for such a strong name. I think that in this era, media, internet, television, newspapers sometimes manipulate our brain, as someone wants us sleeping, not conscious about where this world is going. I think music can be our way to stay awake, to think with our own mind, to create ourselves an alternative, a big powerful one. Many say that someone is trying to put us under control, building a kind of New World Order. I believe that music is our chance to say ‘No’. Our way to keep our mind free and create OUR personal NEW WORLD ORDER.
I hear your album is about taking hardstyle out of the dark while retaining the unforgettable energy and underground feelings. Tell us how you did this in your album and about the idea!
I think I put all of my different styles into this album, as I wanted it to be a conjunction between everything I love to produce, from the roughest stuff, the rawest kicks and screeches, to the most mesmerizing euphoric melodies, through the dark and powerful ones too. I hope everyone will be able to recognize a bit of their self in these tracks I made, and through this album will get to know a little more about Zatox, who’s not just about the kicks, but about a lot of other things I really hope you guys will enjoy.
Tell us a little about the progression of your album. What styles do you go through? What story are you telling?
As I told you, there are a lot of different styles in it, from the classic hardstyle tracks straight to the raw ones, arriving even to hardcore. It simply tells my story, the story of someone who still believes in this music, and considers it the best way to drive a positive message and share feelings and thoughts.
What artists have you collaborated with for this project?
A lot of great ones. Some of them have just been with me through my adventure in music for such a long time, others are completely new collaborations, and the great thing is that they work! Different styles from different eras of this music, and they stick together in a way that I love. In the album you will find tracks with really known hardstyle artists such as Brennan Heart, Tatanka, TNT, Activator, but also new promising ones like Kronos and Raxtor, which I find two of the most promising DJ/producers from Italy, as well as Dave Revan, who sang more than one track for me and is also a producer. There will be tracks with Hard Driver, Mad Dog, the Rebelz, Hit ’n Run, Art of Fighters! You will hear vocals made by awesome singers such as Katt Niall, Tawar, Ellie and obviously “the voice” Max P, always top notch!
What’s your favorite production from the album and why?
I don’t have a favorite one, really, because I think that every track in this album represents me in a different and personal way, but I could say that I really look forward to presenting you guys the title track “New World Order” because I think that it’s something new and different, something I really hope you guys will enjoy.
Are you going to play the new album tracks at The Sound of Q-Dance Part 3?
In LA you will hear me play many tracks of the album, indeed, including “New World Order”, for which an official videoclip is being released very soon.
Do you have anything special planned for your American fans at The Sound of Q-dance?
Obviously yes! I’m gonna present some new tracks I haven’t played yet from the album, plus some tracks will be sung live, so you better be ready because I really wanna celebrate the album release with all of you guys in LA. There will be a meet and greet too and I’m really happy about it cause I’ll have the chance to spend some time with my supporters and get to know some of them - that is one of the things I love the most, they are my fuel!
Thank you very much for the great interview, Mr. Zatox! Myself, along with the rest of the American hardstyle scene are very excited to see your performance at the Shrine this coming November. See you there!
I’m even more excited! Really looking forward to Rock The Shrine! ;) Thank you guys and see you in LA!
This article is part one of my coverage of this event - there will be interviews with Technoboy & Evil Activities coming after the event.