Paul Van Dyk.
World renowned dj and electronic dance musical virtuoso, Paul van Dyk, has taken the music scene by storm for nearly two decades. As an artist, a dj, and a producer, Paul has done things that even the most accomplished musician still dreams of. Currently on a successful tour and with the new album, ‘Evolution’, out now, Paul van Dyk continues to surpass the world’s expectations of greatness. We recently sat down with Paul to chat with him about the new album, the direction of music and his life.
JC: What was the inspiration for ‘Evolution’?
PVD: Well, life in general is my biggest inspiration and also the reason the album is called ‘Evolution’. If you look back over, say the last 20 years, using electronic music as an example, it developed from a small subculture to the biggest new culture in the world now. The next thing, the way our societies have changed in the last 10 years –we didn’t have Facebook and Twitter 10 years ago. So everything has changed. Life is my biggest inspiration and that is how it has ended up in my music.
JC: How did you go about choosing the songs for ‘Evolution’?
PVD: Again, every single song has its own story and develops differently. It sort of ranges from me sitting in my backyard with the dogs running around, with the guitar, and playing some chords to having a very specific idea and going to the studio and playing it out.
JC: Obviously there’s a major difference in the energy of playing in front of a massive crowd and mixing cd’s in a studio. Tell us how you manage to drive that same energy into your album.
PVD: Well the thing is that it is obviously something very different. When I actually make my music for my album I do everything without any compromises, 1000%, the way I think it should be. At the end of the day, I have to present this music in front of people and I have to be believable. I have to be authentic. If I don’t think that it is of that much worth then I made a compromise at one point and its not going to work and its not going to come across. So when I am in the studio and when I make my music, no compromise at all. When I play, I have a very clear idea of the sounds and the music that I would like to bring across, but it comes down to the interaction with my audience to how it will play out in the end and where we go in the evening. Its actually a different approach between producing, composing and performing.
JC: Let’s talk about your collaborations. You have such a great list of musicians that you have already collaborated with, is there someone that you would like to work with that you haven’t yet?
PVD: I don’t really have such names to be honest. I don’t have a list in the back of my head that I really want to work with. New music works differently. Its either I am going to the studio with friends and its just a natural process of making new music together and we don’t ever know what will come out or I am working on a piece of music and while I am working on that, the creative process directed me along somehow and I get this idea of ‘oh that vocalist’ or ‘oh that person could be a good fit to support me on the track’. But I don’t have a list of people that I really, really want to work with. Its really always individually tied to the track I am working on.
JC: Aside from your own music of course, what is on your personal playlist right now?
PVD: Right now, I am listening to the new Linkin Park. I just love it. They have always been one of my favorite bands and I really have to say their latest music has been absolutely phenomenal. Its bangin! Its soft. Its sensual. Its just everything music has to be. Its just intense.
JC: How do you feel like Las Vegas nightlife stacks up to other cities worldwide?
pvd: The thing is, in other places, you have a very specified audience; an audience that actually goes to listen to that particular kind of music. In Vegas, you have that audience too, but it mixes a lot with the general sort of ‘going out’ and ‘party’ crowd. So its always a challenge to put all of them together and entertain all of them at the same time. Its always fun and its always a challenge.
JC: We have been somewhat disappointed that the Vegas djs haven’t made it onto a global scale. What advice would you have for them?
PVD: Well, I don’t know to be honest. It doesn’t matter if you live in Vegas or New York or London or Berlin anymore because when it comes down to electronic music everything is pretty much multimedia. Regardless of whether you are in Vegas or somewhere else, it is so much easier these days, to send the music you have done or a mixtape, to your favorite dj and if he likes it, in three months you have a huge club hit and its global. When I play something in my sets its goes around the globe. Many of us have radio shows with guest slots. Guest slots are the way to go.
JC: What do you feel makes for the best nightlife experience in general?
PVD: I feel like it’s a combination of things. Of course, it has to be the right music and you obviously have to like the music because that’s the main attraction for a nightclub. The other thing is, of course, the group of people you go with. They have to be good friends and you have to be able to have a good time with them. It also goes down to the people who serve. The servers have to be nice. The security people have to be nice. There are so many things. I am a music freak, so the sound has to be awesome or I am not going and I will get my ass kicked! <laughs>
JC: Do you have any predictions for the whole electronic music scene over the next few years?
PVD: Well, the thing is obviously we see an influx of normal pop music sounding and its rather dancey. I believe the whole pop circuit will move on and R&B will even begin to sound like R&B again. The core of electronic music is stronger than ever because there is so much great music coming out every day and its so exciting. Over the last twenty years its has grown so much, I really don’t know what the next step could be.
JC: How relevant do you see the Dub Step movement being over the next two or three years?
PVD: I can’t really tell you because obviously there are so many different definitions of what’s what. I listen to most of what Skrillex, who is obviously seems to be the Dubstep Master right now, most of his production, to me doesn’t sound like what Dubstep really is. The really cool house music doesn’t sound anything like what Dubstep sounded like when it surfaced 15 years ago. I am not quite sure. I guess we will just have to see. At the end of the day, I am always a supporter because its all electronic music. Someone like Skrillex is absolutely great enough to maintain a career.
JC: Last, with all of the great dj’s taking up residencies in Vegas, is there a chance you might be joining us soon?
PVD: The possibility is always there if the venue is right.