Dash Berlin Talks About Life On The Road
When the Dutch trio Dash Berlin first released this perpetual anthem back in 2007, they had little idea that it would catch the ears of the trance mega-star Armin Van Buuren. Armin knew that the song’s relentless drive and penetrating vocals made it a number one with a bullet, and the trio has been a cornerstone in the trance community ever since. At Global Dance’s 'Global Friday' last weekend, EDM.com got to chat with the face of Dash Berlin’s sound, Jeffrey Sutorius. In our conversation with the iconic artist, he told us about getting energy on the road, how the trio first came to be, and what it’s like performing in “one of the best clubs in the world.”
(SO = Shane O’Neil of EDM.com; JS = Jeffrey Sutorius)
SO: You been all over the world in the last two months, from Miami to Taipei to Denver - how do you compare the trance communities in areas like Eastern Asia to the trance communities found here in the U.S.?
JS: I mean it’s opening up everywhere, and that’s just a big plus for the EDM movement. Trance is being more and more accepted everywhere, and its allowed for me to travel to cities I’ve never been to before. The culture is on the right track, and my feeling is that will spread all over Asia very soon. A State Of Trance has already spread to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, and its good to see that trance is getting a lot of support in the rest of Asia as well.
SO: After tonight, your next stop is at the Marquee in Las Vegas - what’s your secret to maintaining such a rigorous schedule?
JS: You should take a picture of the water and fruit juice! We were just explaining how we always have a bottle of vodka on the rider, but it isn’t for us because we don’t drink. The tour is constant so we can’t really do that, but if we know someone that is coming we’ll have something for them. It’s all about staying healthy in your mind and body. We definitely try to get our sleep, from time to time - but no drinking. I have also been doing a lot of hot yoga for the last two years, so I’ve been trying to squeeze that it in while on the road as well. It’s working so far, and obviously you get tired time to time, but when the adrenaline kicks in… ah, I just wanna go!
SO: You must be excited to revisit your residency at the Marquee; how has it been performing in Sin City for the last few years?
JS: To be honest, Las Vegas is all that. Everyone was talking “Ibiza this” and “Ibiza that” since the late ‘80s. Everyone had to go to Ibiza to know what’s up with dance music, and it kinda looks like the tables have turned now. The popularity of EDM is spreading all over America, with huge events and quality small events taking place like ‘Global Friday’ in Denver. Being the ‘Party City of the U.S.,’ Vegas takes everyone in and it feels like everyone is there - its a 24/7 party machine. The hospitality is great, the clubs are fantastic, there are more than enough artists to pick from, and you also have bigger events like EDC taking place every year. I think its a fantastic party environment, and it seems like every show there is sold out - whether you’re at the pool or outside, everyone is up for a party in Las Vegas.
SO: How did your residency first come to be?
JS: Funny thing is, the current musical director of The Marquee used to work at the Rain nightclub in The Palms, which is actually where I did my first show in Las Vegas. After seeing me play, he contacted my agent the next day and invited us to check out the newly-built club at the Cosmopolitan. I was unable to make it due to my schedule at the time, but he was still very persistent in getting me to Vegas. So I began performing there soon after, and it has been a wonderful story ever since.
SO: When was the exact moment that Dash Berlin became more than just a hobby?
JS: It happened kinda spontaneously, actually. When [Sutorius, Kalberg, & Molijn] first finished “Till the Sky Falls Down,” it was just a fun project we did at the time, mostly because Kalberg & Molijn were busy working with Sander Kleinenberg. But when a friend heard it and thought it was original and quite good, we sent it over to a record company. Soon it got picked up, and then people began asking the question, “Who/What is Dash Berlin?”
SO: Now, even though Dash Berlin is a trio, you are considered the “face” of the group, while Kalberg & Molijn are more of the “voice” behind it - what’s it like being in this position?
JS: The thing is that we work as three people, but you always see me. As a dj, its super important to come up with new ideas and new things to work on, because a lot of it comes directly from the dancefloor. (...) I mean I really like to dj, and the other guys both had their fair share of djing in the last 15-20 years. So they were like thats cool with us - as a dj you can do what you like. It has been working for us from day one, and thats just a fantastic team effort which is constantly showing.
SO: It sounds like there's a lot of trust between you guys!
JS: We accept, owe, and earn each other everything - We’ve been friends from day one, so we have much less of a business relationship and much more of a friendship, and with that, a lot of passion in creating new music as well.
SO: How do you keep in touch with the group’s productions while on the road?
JS: We work over the internet, sometimes we Skype. That works perfectly. We have our main studio in The Hague, by the sea, and that’s essentially where everything is finished. We all have our own ears, and we all know how everything has to sound when we are in that room. The thing is, you can only work on so much while travelling, but eventually, the end station is always the studio.
SO: You recently announced the first single on your upcoming album - What was the process like working on ‘Earth Meets Water’ with the Dutch band Rigby?
JS: I’d recently read a review in a Dutch magazine, and in it, Rigby as a band was really smashed down to the ground, despite their big hit at the time with Dutch dj Wildstylez. On the band’s album 'Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice,' they had a version of 'Earth Meets Water' that I started to play as a bootleg, about 7 to 8 months ago. After playing it and seeing the reactions on the floor, we then contacted Rigby and their management. There was a great deal of respect and willingness to work with each other, so we decided to completely rebuild the track and see what the management thought about it. They were super happy with it, and when I started playing it, it really fell into place. We have a great video with it too, and it has been a truly welcoming addition to the Dash Berlin discography.
SO: Looking ahead, what can we expect from Dash Berlin?
JS: We have a lot of teasers lined up - its all about keeping an eye on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and especially DashBerlinWorld.com - there you can find anything and everything about Dash Berlin and other EDM stuff. There will be more and more info revealed really soon, and its gonna be super cool, so stay tuned!