Interview with Southstylers: X-Qlusive access

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11 November 2008

What has taken so long to put a Southstylers live show together?
Southstylers is a very exclusive performance we do like four times a year, and we have been playing live for a few years already. So far we hadn’t done it in Australia. so that’s why it maybe took so long for the Australian crowds. Anyway we are there in December, make sure you’re there!

Now that the Southstylers show is finished and touring, are your other side projects and groups taking a backseat?
No it’s just a side project that’s cool to work on. People really like it and by keeping it on a low base it stays special… But Zany/Showtek will always be #1.

How was the idea for the Southstylers project first conceived?
We just knew each other from back in the days. We are close colleagues and it’s nice working together, we both have our own vision on music and the combination seems to be great! And not to forget, Zany can taken a peek into the ‘Showtek Kitchen’ and finally learn how to make nice kicks… Just kidding!

Both Zany and Walt Jenssen are well renowned for their parts in two of the most influential groups in hardstyle history, the Donkey Rollers and Showtek respectively. How does the Southstylers differ from your other projects?
It’s more industrial. It’s not the hardstyle you normally hear, tracks like Pwoap and Wroaw! and Tjuuuw! are really different, people don’t hear it every week and with Dv8 on stage we can really crank it up a notch.

What direction do you hope to take the group in?
Just as it is now. We like it how it is.

What is the idea of the Southstylers? Are you trying to push more ‘experimental’ and happier sounds as with Trippp! and Crystal, or remain darker with tracks like Wicked Generation?
Yes it is experimental music. That’s what Southstylers stands for, and the funny thing is that it all works. From the catchy melodies to the darker tracks, people just like it. It’s just one of a kind!

Where does the inspiration for your tracks come from?
Everywhere. With Southstylers we don’t have to ‘compete’ with ourselves, or feel the song must be like this or that. It’s just how we feel and what we like to do. Sometimes it’s melodic and sometimes it’s just a distorted bassline that makes the crowd go nuts!

Are there any new Southstylers tracks upcoming for release that you can give us the heads up on?
Yes, one is on the Zany album! It’s a massive floor filler, it’s called Nok Joe Douwn. The other one is very industrial and very hard! It’s called In De Strieel.

What do you think of the rise of the sound that many are calling ‘nu-style’?
Hard to say, we try to do our own thing, it’s a good thing a new sound is developing but the thing is that it all sounds a bit the same, and that’s bad, because the variety of a genre makes it interesting. So more people should experiment with making different music.

How do you intend to remain popular and original when many hardstyle fans are caught up in this wave of nu-style?
We like innovative music. So we just play our own music, that’s what people like. We notice that people really adore the Southstylers sound, as well as the other sounds. It’s just a matter of taste, and how broad the sound is, the more people will listen to Harder styled music, that what its all about.

The internet has been instrumental in giving hardstyle exposure, and is also its greatest downfall with many people openly shooting down new tracks and producers without even hearing them. Do you take much notice of what’s said?
We don’t. Why should we, we can better spend our time in the studio than get frustrated about the things people say sometimes. As long as crowds keep screaming and we still get booked, we know we are doing well. People on the internet probably still take time to talk about music, or about the scene. So it still takes their attention. For example, if you play a new track at a big event in the Netherlands for 30,000 people, they are all having a great time, it’s just 1 per cent of them on the internet complaining, who cares… haha. The other 29.700 people still likes it and will buy their tickets for the next party. What’s said on the internet seems, but it’s a lot smaller actually.

What can Australian fans have to look forward to in the Southstylers show?
Some new tracks mixed with older tracks. It’s gonna be a very nice show! And why should we tell, it must be a surprise! We have some tracks ready, so it will be great!

The Southstylers are known for their innovative tracks and production, but they’re are also known for containing one of the most devilishly handsome DJs around. Zany, how do you handle all the attention Walt gets form the ladies?
Haha… I go drink a beer with DV8.