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Let Me Fix You: An Interview with Vicetone

vicetone interview

Dutch duo, Vicetone did an interview with us. They’ve established themselves as one of music’s top acts. The duo consisting of Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool formed in 2012, and have done so much since then. They’ve appeared in DJ Mag’s Top 100 four out of the past five years, illustrating their dominance according to top tastemakers.  Vicetone has done official remixes for the likes of Tiësto, Calvin Harris and Adele; oh my! Known for their remixes, they’ve garnished over 80 million Soundcloud streams and close to 200 million streams on Spotify. My personal favorites are Angels, Nevada, and Astronomia.

Vicetone has earned five Hype Machine chart-toppers and five consecutive hits on Beatport’s Top 10. They produced United We Dance, which became the official song for Ultra Music’s Aftermovie in 2014. In 2015, Ultra used their song, Follow Me, as its official anthem.

Ruben and Victor are committed to reaching audiences beyond the dancefloor. In 2016, they contributed to a soundtrack remix album for the video game League of Legends. In 2016, the duo released their debut EP, Aurora. The EP showed the groups versatility, collaborating with former American Idol contestant Pia Toscano, L.A. Grammy nominated songwriter Raja Kumari, and R&B duo Cosmos & Creature.

While touring, the group frequents London’s Ministry of Sound, New York’s Pacha and L.A.’s Create. They’ve also perform at the world’s biggest music festivals including Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Ultra Japan, Ultra Bali, as well as Tomorrowland and TomorrowWorld.

Their new song, Fix You, came out last week. It’s amazing, so click HERE to see read what I thought about it.

We had the opportunity to interview Vicetone. You know the deal. Press play on the Soundcloud embed and read the interview below for the FULL Vicetone experience.


INTERVIEW:

Where are you from and how has that shaped the musicians you are today?

We both grew up in the north of Holland, where dance music has been playing on the radio station for a long time already. We both feel that definitely had influence on the music we make.

What instruments did you all play when you were younger?

No instruments really. Ruben started learning how to play the piano about 6 years ago, which definitely helped him create melodies. But we didn’t grow up playing any instruments, for us it wasn’t necessary to make the music we like to create.

Is there an instrument that you currently wish you COULD play?

Acoustic/electric guitar would be awesome. We have a few guitars in our studio right now and we use them for our songs, but we’re not great players yet so it takes a while to get nice recordings out of them.

Tell us the story of how you started creating music on the computer?

When we started hearing songs on the radio from the likes of Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren and Avicii, we were really curious about how those songs and remixes came to be. So after some research we found out what programs and techniques they used to produce music. That’s where it all started for us. Luckily it’s easy for most people to get their hands on a laptop and some music software to get things started, it’s a good thing since there is way more music being created now.

What was your favourite studio moment when producing your newest single, Fix You?

The studio session we had with the guys from Kyd The Band was great, we started with a simple melody they had for the hook and progressed to coming up with all the guitar elements we recorded for the song. It was just a really good vibe and it’s a great feeling to start a song from scratch and be involved in every aspect of the creation.

You’re a duo. How do you complement each other?

For starters, we both have very similar taste in music which helps a lot! Whether we complement each other has more to do with how we create melodies differently and the way we trust each others opinions. Victor rarely uses the piano to start melodies whereas Ruben is the opposite. It’s funny because we end up making very different kinds of melodies that way, often Victor tends to go for the more happier vibe, where Ruben makes more emotional melodies. This varies a lot of course. As an individual it’s easy to get stuck on a melody or an idea, so having a second person to work with is a blessing.

What do you like to do when you’re simply hanging out – aside from music?

Playing video games, working out, hanging with family, cooking or do other fun, chill stuff.

What are some of your favourite venues/festivals to play and why?

Ultra Music Festival is a great one. We’ve played them all around the world like Japan and Croatia. It’s always an incredible experience to see people from all around the world come together to experience their shared taste in music. New City Gas in Montreal is always amazing as well. But we’ve been playing a lot of shows in Asia lately and the crowds go nuts!

What DAW do you use and why?

Ableton Live 10. The start and progression of ideas feels very natural to us and it’s a very well organized workspace.

Do you have a typical music production process? If yes, can you explain it?

It varies a lot, sometimes we start with a vocal and build a track around it, like a remix. Other times we start with the instrumental track and take it with us to writing sessions, so we can get vocals written for it. Either way, we always start with the core melody and chord progressions.

What is your favourite MIDI Controller or instrument to produce with right now?

Electric guitar.

Do you have a key production tip for our young producers out there?

It’s probably overstated but the main thing is to create your own music style, production techniques, brand etc. When people hear a song of yours you want them to know it’s made by you, by the way it sounds, it’s progression, the feeling. The only way to get there, in our opinion, is to make music out of passion and follow your own path, and not the path of others. Also it’s much easier to make music in a room that is properly acoustically treated. Save up money for good speakers and a properly treated room and it’ll be much easier to get the sound you want. 

Where has been one of your favourite places in the world to travel to?

Tokyo, Japan.

Do you have a favourite in-studio snack?

Oh man, we never eat in the studio! When we do it’s probably a freshly made fruit smoothie though.

If you were a Spotify playlist, which one would you be?

Our United We Dance playlist. Check it out on or Spotify page or click HERE!

What is next for Vicetone?

We just released our song Fix You which is doing really well. So happy about that! We took a month off for studio time now and we have so much music coming up. It’s a great feeling. 2018 is going to be a huge year!

 

 

Chris Stack

After graduating from Kenyon College, Chris Stack joined a branding and marketing startup, BrandYourself (as seen on SharkTank), in New York City. After leading the company to grow past profitability as a leading account manager, Chris set his sights on his passion: music. He currently runs his own LLC in New York City, helping musicians in the city with their online presence and marketability. A native of the Washington DC area, Chris Stack's passions and hobbies include music production (8 years on Ableton), marketing, baseball (Mets), football (Ravens), Netflix n chillin, and the experience economy.

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