Category Archives: INTERVIEWS


Juraj, you’re out with your ‘Remember The Night [Recorded Live At EPIC]’ this spring. After ‘(R)Evolution’ and ‘Invictus’, it’s another release with a non-traditional approach to the album. In your words, what does that involve?

Driftmoon: I always try to give something special to listeners and party goers, whether it’s including live elements to my performance or making something special for different events. Remember the Night is a live recorded album which was recorded in Prague at the end of 2018 in club EPIC. I absolutely love how the crowd reacts during the album and how they are enjoying the music.

What factors took you to the decision to create and release the album in this fashion?

Driftmoon: I am a resident DJ in Epic and I love the place dearly. It’s one of the best clubs on the planet with state of the art visual and audio system run by people, who are phenomenal at their job. If I wanted to record live album, this would be my number one choice!

How important do you feel it is to have an original, or greater-than-the-average concept behind an artist album?

Driftmoon: Personally, I think it shows how much you care about your product and intended recipients. I don’t just want to give them a mediocre album to listen to for an hour and then forget about it. I want to give them a medium they will return to for foreseeable future, still finding new things they’ve missed on previous listening

Comparable to your own expectations at the front end of the project, how hard did you find it to arrange, stage and pull off the event?

Driftmoon: It was originally supposed to be a ‘regular’ compilation but eventually I’ve noticed that all the music I wanted to play was my own. I always try to play exclusive producer sets only because if people want to see Driftmoon, then they will hear Driftmoon’s music. Arranging and staging the recording was rather straightforward because I am recording Transmission every year in much larger scale and production so downsizing the recording for a club scale is easily done

And why at Club EPIC in particular?

Driftmoon: EPIC is run and operated by Slovak crew, myself being a Slovak I was introduced to the concept at early stage and offered a resident position, helping with maintaining the trance events for the club. EPIC was really designed to be a-state-of-the-art facility for modern party goers and it shows in every aspect of the club. Furthermore, it’s mere 10 minute walk from my studio so I often go there to check how my music will translate onto a club system

Was it daunting presenting music that no one had heard before to an audience who were always going to be entirely unfamiliar with it?

Driftmoon: In all honesty, it was nerve shacking. Around 10 tracks from the album were never before heard tracks and to assume crowd will have a good audible reaction to them is difficult. It turned out to be better than I’ve originally expected with crowd cheering throughout the whole album right until the very end

You had some partnership help with creating some of the music on the album. Talk us through some of the other producers you were working alongside on it.

Driftmoon: For the opening track I’ve used my good friend Geert Huinink so he can add his special orchestral touch to my original composition, I also work with Robert Nickson under our Astrosphere project. Album also consists of two collabs – one with Ferry Tayle from my album Invictus and second with Ahmed Romel for his album RUYA.

‘Invictus’, your last album, was released just last summer, this – at nine months – this is a very swift follow-up. Is this you setting an album pace for yourself?

Driftmoon: I am not setting any specific pace, I simply work on music all the time and even I am surprised at the rate of the production to be entirely honest. I’ve always tried ‘quality over quantity’ principle but it all seems to be working rather nicely. I am already working on two more albums, one trance and second hybrid orchestrated. There are so many ideas I want to actually turn into music!

In doing something distinct in ‘Remember The Night’, the album also explores your interest in how music and memories attach themselves. What are some or your strongest memories that have a distinct track or piece of music attached to them?

Driftmoon: For example my track Odyssey which is part of the album was originally created for Transmission’s event in Shanghai in summer of 2018. I was tasked with composing an original piece of music in Chinese musical style. After finishing it, I’ve realized the melody would really work well with trance instruments so I recomposed it into a dance track and played it there during my set – crowd reaction was mind-blowingly good! I have so many tracks and records attached to different scenarios or actual people so it’s hard to pick one in particular

And what was your most memorable moment of ‘Remember The Night’s night!?

Driftmoon: “It must be the triple combination of my tracks ‘Odyssey’, ‘Renaissance’ and ‘Ars Vitae’. During those 15 minutes I’ve felt incredible energy in the crowd which can be heard on the album and I had goosebumps for the entire time!

Driftmoon – Remember The Night [Recorded Live at Epic] is available here, now:

  1. Driftmoon & Geert Huinink – The Creation (Intro Mix) [Live]
    02.Astrosphere – Zephyr [Live]
    03. Astrosphere & Re:Locate – Crown Royal [Live]
    04. Driftmoon – Odyssey (Epic Mix) [Live]
    05. Driftmoon – Renaissance [Live]
    06. Ahmed Romel & Driftmoon – Ars Vitae (Driftmoon Refresh) [Live]
    07. Astrosphere – Outflow [Live]
    08. Driftmoon with Ferry Tayle – Unforgettable (Driftmoon Mix) [Live]
    09. Astrosphere – What Lies Between The Stars [Live]
    10. Driftmoon – Arctic Chills [Live]
    11. Astrosphere – Origins [Live]
    12. John O’Callaghan featuring Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky (Driftmoon Remix) [Live]
    13. Driftmoon – Please Don’t Go (Suncatcher Remix) [Live]
    14. Driftmoon – Two Sunsets Under A Maple Tree (Outro Mix) [Live]



We met Rodg right after his stunning set at ASOT900 for a chat about his upcoming album ‘FATE’ , the direction his music is taking and some insights on his tour life; check out what this talented artist told us 🙂


TBA: Hi,  Rodg!! How you doin’ man?

R: I’m good, thank you

TBA: How does it feel to be playing again at A State Of Trance?

R: Amazing, it feels like coming home, it was great! I’ve played a lot of new records, had a different time slot, usually I am on early but tonight I played 1 to 2 am, it was great!  I am very happy!

TBA: Can you tell us something about the new album?

R: I can tell you I just played a lot of records from the album haha! You know like High On Life was a little bit deeper  than the album I did with Ruben ( togetheRR) ..  I think if I work on my own stuff in general it’s a little bit deeper side of the progressive trance  and that’s what I did again, it what came out of my fingers while producing it and I just tested out a lot of those new tunes and I am very happy with the reaction of the crowd, it’s amazing, a great feeling!

TBA: Are you also touring a lot these days?

R: I am touring a lot, I am going to the United States in 3 weeks and I am super excited

TBA: Which are the 3 things you always bring with you while traveling?

R: Obviously headphones, an extra charger pack and really comfy pants to sit in the planes

TBA: Are there any other upcoming gigs you are very excited about?

R:  Well I am very excited to return to one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands, it’s not announced yet, but it will soon,just saying! And as I were telling you, I am going to the United States ,  I haven’t played so much in states and there are so many trance fans out there and I can’t wait to see them there and play for them and have a good time to make great parties.

TBA: Do you think the European crowd gets a different vibe from the American one?

R: Well, hard to say because I haven’t played much in the U.S.A. but in general you can see a lot of differences, in the Netherlands , the typical Dutch crowd is a little bit difficult,is a tough cookie to crack let’s say,a tough cookie, in Poland for instance it just goes off,  I love Poland, I love Mexico,…the energy is different everywhere, you know, I can say Spain has a fantastic energy for instance Ibiza..but well in Ibiza people come from everywhere so it’s hard to say if it is a Spanish thing haha. So it’s a different experience every time but it’ s also what makes it so much fun as nothing is the same ad you need to just feel the crowd and do whatever they want, at least I try to do whatever they want and make it work.

TBA: Back to your new album, how did you pick the title ’FATE’ ?

R: Fate basically means ….well you know life brings you certain things you might not expect  and in the last couple of years a lot of things I didn’t expect come my way, both in business and in personal life and I am very happy at the moment, I went through some difficult times but you it takes a leap of faith to change and on that time I was writing on the album so it was the only perfect title I could give it, it’s quite emotional but yeah, maybe I am an emotional guy! Haha!

TBA: Is there a tune in the album that challenged you the most?

R: Well there a couple of tunes that are not really trance and lean more towards techno but I do kept certain melodic elements, but these are quite experimental so yeah a bit challenging

TBA: Statement Recordings is on its 13th anniversary, what would you say to Ruben?

R: Ruben I love you mate, very happy to be on the label we are gonna do a lot of amazing stuff in the future, very happy to be part of it, thank you!

TBA: Awesome, thanks a lot and hope to see you very soon!

R: We will! Grazie mille!


ASOT900 was hands down one for the books, and we’ve been living our best life wandering around the stages, dancing in the crowd, stopping by the illustrious radio dome and even taking our time to have a chat with a few of the prodigious artists performing at the majestic Jaarbeurs venue.
We’ve been blessed to catch up with FUTURECODE just before they decided to destroy the mainstage with a mindblowing closing set!



TBA: Hi this is Jess from The Backstage Access here with Futurecode 

FTC: Heyyy!!

TBA: So guys how do you feel to be here celebrating the 900th episode of ASOT?

FTC: (Ben Gold) Oh yes it’s amazing, to play at any of ASOT events  is exciting, and congratulations to the team for reaching this far, it just keeps getting bigger and better and yeah, it’s great to be here.

TBA: You guys are a true match made in heaven, looking at the socials, there were so much expectations for your set tonight

FTC: (Omnia) Oh really? That’s great, we’re excited about it also, but it’s really nice to see that people are really excited about it as well; we will do our best definitely ’cause we have some really great music, we think so, we believe that, so yeah let’s see.

TBA: You have a few new tunes that are going to be premiered tonight, right? 

FTC: (Ben Gold) We were on the live ASOT show 2 days ago we played a mini mix and I think we played maybe 4? (Omnia) I think so yeah! (Ben Gold) We played 4 but think we have probably 7 , and everything we play here has been re-edited or re-designed especially for this set. When you close a festival it’s a responsibility ’cause it’s the last set people are gonna remember when they leave but at the same time as Ben Gold and Omnia and now as Futurecode we have our sound, so we’re gonna be true to our sound and hopefully delivery the set of our lives and we can’t believe we are premiering a new project at A State Of Trance with a closing set.

TBA: Yes it’s insane 

FTC: (Ben Gold) It is really insane! I don’t know many others who have done that so yeah we’re excited! 

(Omnia) It is definitely such a great start for this new  trance project; I mean we are really happy to be here tonight and really excited about that!

TBA: How did you guys decide to join forces ? 

FTC: (Omnia) Well you know we collaborated before, we released 2 tracks together, ‘The Gateway’ and ‘The Conquest’ which I believe are really strong records and we had a really nice feedback from fans all over the world and at some point we realized we had even more ideas and when we went together to the studio it was really easy to work together because we had like the same mindset, both of us love the melodic stuff, the vocal stuff so I think that’s why, like it’s really easy for us to collaborate together.

(Ben Gold) Yeah, it felt natural, it was really easy to work on line or in the studio together we are at the same page at every stage we knew how the record sounded before it was finished, it was just natural, it was just a natural progression from being Ben Gold and Omnia into Futurecode. We’ ve played a really good back2 back set last year at Untold music festival in Romania and we uploaded the set on line and people really enjoyed that and people talked about it a lot so it was kind an easy decision to create Futurecode.

TBA: What about the name FUTURECODE?

FTC: (Ben Gold) He came out with that he was the brain behind it 

(Omnia) Yeah yeah exactly ,the first idea was, I don’t know, THE FUTURECODE is definitely a kind of futuristic thing and you can see it now in our new branding; see we’re trying to bring something new in the trance scene we’re trying to be the best we can so I think it’s the right name for both of us to collaborate just the name gives you a kind of good feeling for the future right? You will hear it in our set and you will understand.

TBA: Are you guys planning to make an album together as well? 

FTC: (Ben Gold) You know we’ve been working pretty hard for the last 3 months and maybe more preparing this set we also signed an exclusive record contract so there will be many Futurecode singles already planned for this year, everything you gonna hear tonight is gonna be released over the next 6-8 months , we also play at festival all over the world that we can’t announce just yet but I guess in a couple of months you will start seeing FUTURECODE not just in trance stages , we play on mainstages , it’s a really exciting time so let’s see where it goes; it’s been natural up until now so if it’s natural the next step is to come up with an EP or an album, or maybe a tour…that’s what we would do.

TBA: Beside that are you still working on your own projects?

FTC: (Omnia) Well, me personally I was focused on the Futurecode in the last months, we discussed it a lot before we started and I think it’s really important to know the direction you are moving to, right? We really want to make it a big debut show here at ASOT because this is such a great opportunity and this is the mainstage so…(Ben Gold) Yeah, we talked about it and we both agreed you can’t be 100% into 2 things so we dedicated the last 3 months of our lives to this project and yes Omnia is a prolific trance name, Ben Gold is doing pretty well too so this is not the ned of these 2 guys  but just for now we focused on one thing at time.

TBA: Thanks a lot guys for your time and see you later on the mainstage 

FTC: Thank you!


One of the highlights of our night at ASOT900 was for sure catching up with one of our favorite artist of  Statement! , Mr.Estiva!
He had the responsibility to open the Mainstage this year, so we’ve been following him up close from the front row during his smashing set right after Armin van Buuren’s delighting warm up,  and we sat with him for a follow up of our last chat at ADE,and were itching to know how his album is shaping up and if he could give us some insights about it, so go on to check what he told us.

TBA: Hi, this is Jess from The Backstage Access, here with the amazing Estiva!

E: Here we go again!

TBA: Yes, how does it feel?

E: It feels great, I am feeling good, yeah! I’ve got a load of energy, I liked it tonight, it was different cause I played so many new tunes, well I think I had a unique set and I am happy with it and I think the crowd was happy with that too cause they were dancing.

TBA: Of course, they loved it! How is it going with your busy schedule? You are just coming off from Slovakia, right?

E: Yeah I was playing in Slovakia but it’s only 1 hour or 2 away; I actually got tested what I was playing tonight , it was good to be there and there was a great crowd last night , a great crowd today, so I am a happy man!

TBA: So how do you read the crowd… seeing the reaction to your tunes?

E: Well when you are up there on the stage you see a mass of people, sometimes it’s dark, sometimes you can just see one light , and then you see some faces, or moving heads , so you don’t really live what you are doing there..

TBA: Have you seen someone thinking in the crowd…like you were telling me in a previous interview?

E: Yeah you know when you play new music ..well ususally when you are on the dance floor and you know the music you are all dancing like yeah yeah I know this tune , and you know exactly what is going to happen,while what happens if you don’t know the tune is that if you don’t feel it you start thinking,if you are feeling it you start dancing….and I think it’s what happened a lot tonight, I mean I played a lot of new music and they were dancing so all is good.

TBA: How is it going with Spectacle2?

E: Well Ruben told me to release the whole set as an album but this is not going to happen..

TBA: Why not?

E: Well, becausethere is a remixI did for Temper Trap “Sweet Disposition”, that I probably can’t clear that sample, so it’s not quite perfect butI like the idea, there’s a lot of tunes I played that can be in the album

TBA: Ok so we must be a little more patient…

E: Well it’s scheduled for May

TBA: Wow my birthday month!!

E: What day?

TBA: 11th

E: Ok, I’ll tell Armada to release it on that day, haha! No ,I am really not sure if we can make it… but definitely this year.

TBA: Are you also working on some collaboration?

E: Not really too many collaborations right now, I’ve done a few with Ruben but an actual follow up to Rainbow is still need to happen but I think it twill happen this year, we are both up for it. Other than that, just me in the studio 24/7 , doing my thing, it’s the way I like it ,to be focused.

TBA: If you have to choose 3 thing to take with you wherever you go?

E: My phone with music on it, my eyepatches, and ear plugs

TBA: Do you have any lucky charm?

E: Not really, but ususally right before I get on stage I do like 2 push ups …so I can do…hahaha , no, it helps me release the tension, to get in the mood, to get the blood pumping…

TBA: I’ve seen it in your insta stories sometimes!

E: Yeah, it helps.

TBA: Thanks a lot for your time and see you very soon.

E: See you soon!


Let’s Talk, Myon!You’ve had close encounters with music compilations before, but this month sees you out with your first fully-fledged solo enterprise. What were the factors that finally saw this come together?

This has been something I wanted to do for a long time. Basically forever. Launching a mix compilation series is a huge project – if you don’t want to just throw the coolest 30 songs on a double mix album –

and I spent a lot time planning the visual communication, name, and musical aspect.

I have to say, I’m very happy with how it turned out at the end.

Foremost, ‘Tales Of Another World’ aims to truly capture the soul/get to the core of an area (city, country or continent). You started with the latter. Was it at all daunting to try and get the musical measure of such a big, potentially multifarious area?

I’ve been a big fan of Latin-inspired, soulful music since I was a kid. I feel like Latin America has a certain kind of mysteriousness to it, and I thought it would be an exciting project to capture that. It’s also a region with many different scenes and cultures… something to be captured on dance music terms.

Talk us through the steps you went through to realize this goal?

First, I needed a name that represented my initial idea and the concept behind the series. ‘Tales From Another World’ was the title I finally came up with, and it sounded and looked like a strong one. The title itself gives a good idea of what it’s about, but I feel it also adds an element of mystery that makes you want to check it out.

The next step was sitting down with my graphic designer to translate all this into pictures – essentially, the cover art and booklet. It took months to finalize all the little details before I got to sit down and start working on the actual musical aspect of it. It was a weird thing where I had everything planned out for years before I even started working on it, which helped me not to feel lost in this enormous project.”

By way of example, take one of the artists you worked with that hails from South America and tell us how the collaboration came to fruition?

I mainly worked with producers that don’t normally specialize in music with the South American/Latin flavor. I think this made their contributions even more special, and I challenged a lot of them to think out of the box and move out of their safe zone musically. I even challenged myself with a few of the songs and remixes on the album by using instruments I normally don’t, and working on tempos I am not known for. I enjoyed it a lot. Actually, I haven’t been enjoying myself this much for a very long time! 🙂 I have worked closely with Gabriel Montufar – who provided two songs on the album – to make sure the final versions fit in perfectly with the album’s vision.In all honesty, every single song on the compilation is something I had to fall in love with, or it

would have never made it on the album”.

Scale of 1 to 10, how hard was it to find just-produced material that had the very specific essence you were looking for?

I have about 27 exclusive tracks on the album, which pretty much gives you an answer! It was VERY hard to find music that was a perfect match for the vision I originally had. It’s safe to say that the music my producer friends and myself made specifically for the album didn’t previously exist and didn’t fit under under a certain genre. We are kind of reinventing the wheel here with a modern 2019 twist. At least that’s how it felt A&Ring brand new music that still captured an instant nostalgic retrospective vibe and sound. I was lucky to still find a few songs that sounded like they were meant to be on the album”.

Stylistically, in terms of genre/genres that you’ve mixed in there, the album’s relatively free range. Was this a byproduct of the encapsulation process, or perhaps deliberately part of your MO from the start?

That was the plan straight from the beginning – to create a composition of different songs, sounds, and genres that create a picture together where you can hear all the differences, yet still feel they were destined to be compiled on one album. It’s not the easiest thing to do and it takes time – a long time – but I think there is simply no way around it”.

The album’s artwork is exceptional. Who was behind that?

I worked with the amazing Andrew Debens from Graphik Art Department. He is simply amazing and was always super cool about me micromanaging everything and- at least I hope – did not go crazy because of that! When we sat down I only had one idea to start with, which was having the shape of South America on the cover. Everything else came together slowly and we had a billion versions of everything by the time we both fell in love with what ended up being the final version. I am super excited to work on my next projects with him and on the future installments of TFAW. I’ve already started working on Volume 2, but I can’t reveal anything more right now!

There are some more from-the-crates tracks that you’ve dug out and remixed to use exclusively for ‘Tales Of Another World’. What prompted you to pick some of those tracks specifically?

Before the main concept was even born for the album, I started to dig up some of my favorite classic

dance music records – Like Empty Streets by Late Night Alumni – and licensed those to my record label, Ride Recordings, with the idea of getting new remixes of those in my head. I felt like I couldn’t recreate the classic mix album concept and pay enough respect without including some of the biggest classics in new remixes. In fact, Empty Streets got so many good remixes during the process that I simply did not want to be in a position to chose between the Arty aka Alpha9 mix or the Lumisade one. They are both amazing and have totally distinctive sounds and in my opinion, tell a different story.The Spacelovers song was another great example of how something can be basically reborn with a new sound so that you wouldn’t even guess it’s a 16-year-old song.I initially asked my talented friend Mitiska to make a remix. I had some synths and ambient things made, but at the time I was too busy to do a full-on remix. He started to work on it and it was just pure magic. It inspired me so much that I started filling up his version with drums and effects, recorded some guitars, and suddenly, it was our first ever collaboration”.

You’ve previously mentioned that compilations had an outsized impact on your own musical taste and development. What series and releases are we talking about in particular?

I think it’s probably not surprising that the old Tiesto albums – In Search Of Sunrise 4-5-6-7 – were the biggest inspirations for Tales From Another World. Also, the Perfecto Presents: South America by Hernan Cattaneo was another one that made me fall in love with the classic concept of mix compilations. Fun fact: There are many freshly remixed classic songs on my album that were originally debuted on these mix albums above”.

Everything about the set up of this album suggests it’s the first of many. If that’s the case, how often do you think we’ll be seeing a new edition of ‘Tales From Another World’ arrive and any hints on where the next one might land!?

This will definitely be a yearly compilation with different destinations each year. I’ll start with mainly continents and then get into cities and try to capture their sounds too! I have already decided on the next destination, but I really can’t give anything away right now!

No mere ‘spirit’/‘flavour’/‘vibe’ surface lick, this compilation is a wholehearted push to capture the experience/essence-absolute of South America. Myon’s ‘Tales From Another World’ Volume 01 – South America’ is out now. Available now, listen/buy here:


Last Saturday (Feb 23rd), just before  ASOT900’s madness hit us like a hurricane, we’ve been invited to attend Armin van Buuren’s press conference where the legendary dj himself welcomed us with a great news that literally lifted us higher!!

“A State of Trance show will touch down in California’s Bay Area on June 29th, it will be the biggest trance show we’ve done in the US” said Armin.

Armin van Buuren’s strenuous work has been crucial to transform trance parties into huge festivals, and this year ASOT broke all the records selling out 7 weeks in advance;

The trance king  talked about what it feels like  reaching such a milestone, with the cooperation of his top-notch team and  Allan Hardenberg (ALDA Events CEO), explaining how ASOT show has evolved into a massive happening as the years went by, and how mind blowing it is to have such a reaction from people flying from all over the world to invade the 5 astounding stages at Jaarbeurs.

We’ve asked him about ASOT1000 and what to expect next as the hype is raising already, but obviously he couldn’t spill the bean; though he gave us some hints that everything is escalating very quickly for what is gonna be an event of epic proportions.


Photo courtesy of Alda Events


Enjoying a sunny morning in Amsterdam, strolling by its charming streets and stopping by to take some pics along its breathtaking canals it’s something magical… but when Eller decides to join us for breakfast, oh well, that’s definitely something extra!

Wondering what this amazing artist is up to right now?

So, Eller just moved to a new house, built a new studio, still teaching guitar to his beloved students and…take a look to our chat to know everything about our funny breakfast with a very special guest 😉



All good things must come to an end…so we decided to close 2018 with a bang!

Music wise it’s been an amazing year, we attended many spectacular events and had the chance to interview a lot of artists;

As last interview of 2018, we wanna drag you down the rabbit hole, let’s follow us to one of the most iconic parties of the year, Grotesque 350, hosted by the dutch mastermind, RAM, who’s been so nice to sit down with us for a great chat!

TBA: Hi RAM, thanks again for supporting The Backstage Access, first of all, how was your 2018?

RAM: It’s been an amazing year, my best year so far, so I can’t complain, had load of music released, tunes and cds,  got a lot of sold out shows worldwide, been touring non stop, so it’s been just fantastic 

TBA: Speaking of 2018 what has been your track of the year?

RAM: Northern Star from me and Susana, you know, I make music that I love and unfortunately tune like that are emotional trance that are not so hot anymore, so you don’t get to listen to it so often, I missed that very much as to me this was the essence of trance; another tune I love is from my friend Richard Durand ‘The Air I Breath‘, I think it’s an amazing track.

TBA: Speaking about Northern Star, can you tell us the story behind it?

RAM: Well it’s basically my third collaboration with Susana, we started with RAMelia and then we made ‘Someone Like You’ and after two tracks like that and fans keep asking for a new collaboration we really wanted to do something special again…but you know, it’s difficult to overcome what we did or at least to do something at the same level so it took a lot of work and it was a very hard process but now we made it and we are both very happy with the result, it’s nice to see we get so much love and support for it.

TBA: What’s up next?

RAM: Well basically after this, (Grotesque350) we gonna take this show worldwide, we are off to Asia, Australia, U.S.A and South America, we gonna do shows over there and in Europe as well of course, our label is doing amazing too and we will release a new compilation, and we are also about to start Grotesque D, with more progressive house!

About my personal projects I’d say I like to think out of the box so I am working on  a new project to show a darker and harder side of me, I came form the hard trance so, basically I wanna make a fusion of different style reworking all hard trance classics, something different form what I normally do.

TBA: I’ve seen something coming up like a show at Paradiso, right?

RAM: Yes basically I wanna do a show for the essence of trance which basically means for me the essential trance records of the last 15/20 years but like the emotional beautiful trance, the kind of pure trance which is unfortunately not played anymore, emotional melodic trance for true trance lovers so it’s gonna be a 5 hours show of what I call angelic emotional trance, not for people that like fashion trance.

TBA: So we are at Grotesque 350 and the anthem is ‘Youniverse’ your collaboration with Alex M.O.R.P.H. how did it come?

RAM: I’ve known Alex for such a long time and we did already a previous collab, and I thought it was the right choice to work with him on the anthem of the event as he is playing here too and on the cd as well… it was for me a logic choice to ask him for it.

TBA: Any other collabs coming up in 2019?

RAM: Yes a lot!! I think the first one is with Heatbeats, one with Natalie Gioia and Darren Porter… then one with Arctic Moon and Denise Riviera,… Julie Thompson, Christina Novelli…. loads are coming cause I am also working on a new album so I think in the album there will be about six or seven collaborations but i cannot spill the bean now otherwise there is no surprise anymore haha!

TBA : Last but not least, as a guy from Amsterdam, why did you choose to set Grotesque in Rotterdam? 

RAM: Ah, because there is no Maassilo in Amsterdam haha , but seriously, basically for me this is the best location in Holland I love it here, I think it’s beautiful and even if we love Amsterdam we don’t have a location that fits good as this one. 

Special thanks to Ross for doing this interview 🙂


Le’s face it ….


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an international PR at Armada Music? Who are the guys behind all your favorite artists? And what do they do exactly?

Well we had the pleasure to have a nice chat with two of the best PRs in the business, just to quench your thirst of curiosity and we’re ready to share the juicy details!


TBA: When did you start working at Armada music?

Lisanne: I started working at Armada Music on January 2, 2017. I finished law school, but felt I needed to have more creativity in my life. I love Law and will never regret choosing it as a study, but my creative / musical heart needed attention. I worked in the entertainment business on the TV side first, but soon discovered that there is only one place that will make me happy every day: the music business. So here we are!! And to be honest, I don’t think I will ever leave the music field.. 🙂

Justine: For me, it was early 2016. I was working in fashion, but needed a change of scenery. One day, I was at this Pablo Nouvelle concert in Paradiso in Amsterdam as a fan and got overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of a certain group of people dancing in front of me. They had a great influence on the overall vibe of the crowd that night and somehow really caught my attention. At a certain point, Pablo Nouvelle announced he recently signed with Armada Music and while saying that, he pointed towards this specific group of people standing up front. It turned out they were working at Armada Music and were there to support him. You could tell they were very proud of him and enjoyed working for him, which was why I told my friend ‘I want to work there as well!!’. The day after, I sent this exact story in an open application letter to Armada and the rest is history.


TBA: Can you describe us your job?


As you know, we both work for Armada Music – currently the biggest independent electronic dance music record label, founded by Armin van Buuren, Maykel Piron and David Lewis. At the label, we represent a wide range of acts (e.g. Armin van Buuren, ARTY, Andrew Rayel, Fedde Le Grand, GoldFish, Lost Frequencies, Loud Luxury, Morgan Page, Ørjan Nilsen and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano), as well as the label itself on a PR & Promotion level.

Together with the Product Managers, we try to create a hype around the tracks that get released via the label. It’s our responsibility to put the word out there, get the tracks known and streamed as soon as possible after release. Therefore, it’s our job to arrange promo tours, (online) interviews, radio/tv visits, social media take-overs, meet & greets, contest/giveaways etc. At the end of the day, we want our releases and artist roster to grow and become well known/more popular on a global scale.


TBA: What is the most challenging part of it?

Both: The most challenging part of music PR is to create the right PR angle/story to go with a release. For us, it’s important to build on a good story to make you stand out from the huge amount of music that is being released each day.


TBA: What is the funniest part of it?

Both: Creating that story/unique angle around a release can be quite fun sometimes.. We try to collect as much information as possible beforehand about a specific release and/or artist and sometimes you’ll find out about some funny, juicy details. Apart from that, promo days and festivals are definitely the most fun as we get to go out there and build on the relationship with the artists we represent.


TBA: How is it like to rub elbows with so many big DJs ? (And did you ever get use to have Armin around?)

Lisanne: I love to spend time with the artist, because I love music. To be around people who love the same thing as much as you is always great. That is in general the thing I love most about my job. Hahaha, yes I am used to having Armin around, but always love it when he is at the office because he is such a nice and funny guy.

Justine: It’s always a challenge of course with so many DJs and tracks being released every week. But I think the most important thing here is to actually believe in the music you represent and like Lisanne already mentioned; have a passion for music in general. Being passionate about what you do definitely makes your job a whole lot easier. I think Armin is one of the best examples of someone being really passionate about his career and having him around definitely has a positive, inspiring effect on the entire team here.


TBA: A day in the life of Lisanne and Justine …. let’s go wild and tell me everything:)

Lisanne: Well, most of the days aren’t as exciting as most people think, I guess.. I get up, walk to work (with Justine) and grab a cup of coffee. Then I try to get all my e-mails sorted before lunch and make sure I have a to-do list ready for the rest of the day. The music business is a fast-moving business and things don’t always go as expected, so we need to be able to respond to this fast. Having the inbox in order makes this easier. In the summer, we have a lot of festivals in the weekend and in October, we’re obviously really busy with ADE. But most of the days are spent at the office in Amsterdam. For me, that means liters of coffee and typing my ass off.

Photo by: Floris Heuer –

Justine: I think Lisanne’s description is quite accurate.. spending 24/7 on our phones and computer talking to media partners, artist management, event organizers, promoters etc. and setting up meetings to discuss strategies and promo plans. Definitely no 9-to-5 job as we work with a lot of different time zones. Besides that, Lisanne and I are having a lot of one-on-one sessions where we brainstorm and try to think of new ideas/ways of promoting releases and the label in general.


TBA: ADE has just been over, how was this edition for you?

Lisanne: This was my second ADE. I was better prepared for all things that were going to happen and knew better where I got myself into. ADE is hectic, but one of the best weeks of the year for us. During the day, we have loads of meetings and we schedule a lot of press moments with our artists. During the night, we try to attend the parties or events where our artists are playing or the ones that our partners are hosting. We don’t get much sleep done during this week, but because of all the things going on and the positive vibes all around, it makes it quite easy to keep going.

Justine: I couldn’t agree more. ADE is definitely the best week of the year for me! For us it’s the perfect opportunity to meet up with everyone that we’ve been working with all year (that aren’t exactly based ‘around the corner’) and to meet new people as well. Apart from the meetings/panel talks/events/parties we attend during that week, we also organize and host the ‘Armada Invites ADE marathon’ in our very own in-office club, which is very exciting to work on as well!

TBA: You have to deal with a lot of people, artists, managers, press and so on, it requires a lot of patience, positive attitude and energy I think…. how do you keep yourself going all the time ?

Both: It really helps that we are both extremely passionate about what we do; this definitely makes things easier. It’s important to keep in mind that we’re all trying to reach the same goals here and that it’s important for us to work together to be able to achieve these goals.

Teamwork is key, and this way, we try to keep inspiring and motiving each other on a daily basis.


TBA: ASOT900 is approaching, how much are you involved in that ? And what are you gonna do?

Lisanne: ASOT900 is the biggest indoor trance festival in the world and a proud project of Armin. Because I am responsible for the promotional side of not only Armin, but all the trance acts at Armada, I will be organizing and coordinating press opportunities for all of them during this night. With it being such a big event, loads of media partners from all around the world will attend, which gives me the opportunity to build on the relationship and create promo opportunities for our artists and the A State Of Trance label. I will probably ask Justine to help me out during this night, as this is always very hectic and it never ever goes according to plan.

Justine: Like she already explained, Lisanne is in charge of all the PR & Promo around this event but like every year, I will definitely be there as well to help her coordinate and assist where needed.


TBA:Lisanne, would you  tell me a secret about Justine ?

Lisanne: Hahaha! Not going to spill the beans here, but Justine has a very easy way to go undercover and sometimes uses this when it’s Sunday and she doesn’t wants to be recognized.. 😉

Justine: Hahaha, so true!


TBA: Justine, would you tell me a secret about Lisanne? 

Justine: Besides her passion for electronic music, Lisanne’s guilty pleasure is listening to Dutch Folk music.

She’s attending every show, standing front row, singing along to literally every song they play, haha!

Oh and 1 more things: if you ever meet Lisanne on the dance floor, make sure to ask her about ‘The Vacuum Cleaner’. Trust me; it will be a mind-blowing experience!


Photo courtesy of Floris Heuer and Bailey Frank Hyatt


A few days ago we blogged about the latest banger fresh from the oven of the Dutch talent Mark Sixma, ‘ The Clock’ and let us tell you that we’ve spent the whole weekend blasting it out loud.

Hailing from Breda, the Dutch city that gave birth to scene leaders like Tiesto and Hardwell, he’s responsible for some of the genre’s most revered anthems, as timeless as they are essentials to any trance and EDM enthusiast’s collection.

After attending a few of his spectacular gigs lately, we couldn’t wait to find the right moment to catch up with him.

So….what about now, right in the middle of his re-branding and right after the release of this stunner? 

TBA: Hi Mark, first of all how are you doing?

MS: Doing very well, thank you!

TBA: Congrats on your new release ‘The Clock’ such a banger that made us fall in love in love here at The Backstage Access office, can you tell us something about it?

Listen to Mark Sixma ‘The Clock’ HERE

MS: Glad you like it! With this one I’ve combined elements of Psy with Hardstyle.

TBA:  What was the idea behind it?

MS: Recently I’ve been feeling the urge to come up with something new, something that is pushing boundaries. I felt like taking my shows, branding and of course the music to the next level. This track is just the first page of a new chapter!

TBA: How long did it take you to make this tune?

MS: The main parts of the track actually came to be quite quickly as I already had the idea in my head. It felt like it was missing something though and after trying some different things I came up with the idea to use a ticking clock. That soon became the theme of the song.

TBA: How does your studio set up looks like ?

MS: It’s actually pretty simple. Windows Desktop, Adam A77X speakers, LG Ultra Widescreen, Apollo Twin USB and an Impulse 49 semi weighted Keyboard. I use Beyerdynamics DT 880 as headphones.

TBA: What are you favorite tools to work with?

MS: I like to work ‘in the box’, so that means I hardly use any hardware. I have loads of software, some of my favourite tools are LFOtool, Nerve, Artsacoustic Reverb and lots of the Fabfilter and Native Instruments stuff.

TBA: Any particular synth you could not live without?

MS: Sylenth1 is just so easy to use, after all these years I still use it a lot!

TBA: The latest plug in you purchased?

MA: Manipulator, It’s amazing what it can do with vocals! It’s how I processed all the vocal bits on ‘The Clock’ actually.

TBA: The presentation of ‘The Clock’ was really insane, with all that teasing and videos, can you share some insights about all the work behind it?

MS: Because we wanted to launch the new logo and brand at the same time it required a lot of work and planning from me and my team. We want to show the world that it’s time for the next chapter. We want to create unique moments and a story that all of you can be a part of too! Our own world where music unites us all.

TBA: Wow, we can’t wait to know more asap!Thanks a lot for taking the time and see you soon!

MS: My pleasure, take care!