How Does He Mix Without Headphones? JOOP Exclusive Interview
You recently stormed the scene with your new release ‘Just One Night’ which was on top of the charts for several weeks and supported by Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, W&W and Leon Bolier. It came with a slightly different sound than what people were used to from you and used a mixture of trance elements blended with house and even some electro/dubstep like sounds. Is this a sound we can also expect for future releases?
First of all thank you for having me! I was very happy when “Just One Night” was finished in the studio. I always try to do something that creates a certain reaction. It’s very difficult to create something fresh or new after your last release. I’m known for not releasing shitloads of tracks, although the last year I released more than I normally do. Producers listen to each other what they do and what the latest trend in music land is. That way you have a change of sound every 2-3 years. So to make a new track that really stands out is getting more complicated than ever. With “Just One Night” it was slightly different again than what I used to do, with the distinguished voice of Tiffany I knew I had something good in hands! Wrapping this in a cool ass atmosphere with kick ass beats and piercing synths and a feel good melody, this was bound to make some noise! Sound wise I can really relate to it and I will try to do a follow up with Tiffany some day. So yes the sound suits me. But hey! You never know what will happen in the next studio session, for all I know “The Future” 2012 is coming 😉
You are known for your energy on stage, hyping people up and jumping around all night. Where do you get your energy from?
Funny! I hear this a lot, it’s who I am really. I can’t explain everything because that would be the audience’ job. Because they see me in full effect when playing in a club or festival. But it seems that I do move a lot and use the whole stage☺ I can tell you also that it’s certainly not illegal substances or liquor that do the trick. Friends and Dj colleagues will back that up. So the energy is coming from myself and of course the music that I play. For me there is really no other fun than rocking that shit out and totally be one with what I am doing! So I guess that reflects on the audience a lot and that’s how it should be in my opinion.
The name of your radio show is Focus. Where does that come from?
When people sit down with me in a meeting or something else official I seem to be distracted very easily. I know myself too well and can’t sit down for more than 20 min before I start to think about other things than what is discussed in the conversation. So trough out the years I met some great people and some of them always tell me: JOOP, Focus! I hear the word Focus so many times that I decided to use this instead of ‘JOOP In The Mix’ which I used for over a decade. Because the only thing I can really focus on…… is music.
When you are touring, you have the advantage of exploring many different cultures. Is there a particular country on your list of favorites?
That’s a freaking cool thing right! Every time I leave Amsterdam towards a new adventure I really cherish the fact I’m a dj and never take it for granted ever. The fact that you visit all those places in the world is just amazing. I love different cultures and that you can learn from them a lot. I said it before in other interviews also but I still have good memories about my numerous trips I made to China. What a beautiful country! I toured around it many times. Totally different but not less exciting for me was also the States. I was lucky to be there a lot the last 5 years and hopefully the next 5 years even more so. I’ve seen a lot from the States by renting cars and driving from Denver to Vegas and from L.A back to Denver again after gigs. Australia!….nuff said☺ The US, Australia, China are definitely a few of my favorites. O shoot! I almost forgot about Europe. I’m from Europe myself but when you start to travel within Europe itself then you start to realize what a beautiful world this is people!
What was your most precious moment behind the decks?
How much time do you have?:) wow most precious moment is a hard one! I still have such good feelings about having the anthem of Trance Energy 2007 and the fact that we performed it live on the main stage with big ass screens where we showed our own animations on. That still holds a very special place in my heart. Another moment was performing for the first time on a mega event in 2002. Getting on stage, hearing the intro saying your name and the moment when you pop up with 30.000 party people in front of you. That feeling is tremendous! To be honest I didn’t hear the difference between my monitor speakers and the main room anymore☺ so overwhelming…
Name one studio trick that has a great influence on your music other than the professional audio gear you use.
Coffee and a smoke☺
If there would be one trend in EDM to predict, what would that be in your opinion?
The trend now is to break everything maximal hard! Meaning production wise as loud as possible and go out as crazy as it gets. The future trend will be that the “story” telling days are gone. It’s more playing fragments of music. This will continue for at least another 2 years and will develop into something else at the end. What that is exactly I don’t know yet. We will hear it once it is there right!
You are known for the ability to mix records without using headphones. What is the secret behind the skill?
I think that has to do with your previous question about my energy on the stage, I take risks when I’m playing. Nothing is prepared and I only need to hear 2 beats on my headphone or sometimes I don’t use my headphone at all. I’m more a Dj than a producer, I’m doing this now for more than 20 years. What the secret is behind it I don’t know actually. It’s in my system I guess and I learned myself how to mix when I was young. I had no one to teach it to me back then.
Your daughter was born two years ago. Do you think she has the same musical talent as her dad?
Best thing ever! In the beginning I was afraid I would break something when I picked her up, now I throw her around the room☺ LOL all jokes aside. It goes fast dear people, really! From the day she was born to today went by so fast! When I look at her now, she has an attitude, runs around with my headphones on singing along on EDM tracks, asks me chips and isn’t satisfied with a few but needs the whole bag. But there is a good change that she will become so much better playing a keyboard than her old man does. When I am in the studio she always wants to be there and the first thing she does is playing the keys. So I really hope she will learn to play piano fast. So I can use her for my melodies☺ If she creates the same hearing as me that I have for all kinds of music and can play an instrument better than I do then she will become a very good artist.
Last thing you would like to mention to your fans?
Yes! Thanks for having me all around the world and perform for you. Hope to see you soon somewhere somehow!
JOOP ft. Tiffany Johnston – Just One Night
JOOP – Rocket Double
JOOP – Focus