He told us that “he couldn’t wait” for it - now Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance radio show has hit its incredible 500th episode showing its huge importance to the global trance community. Armin celebrated with a huge gig at the MTN Expo Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, the first of a five date tour, where 20,000 trance fans gathered to hear the four times Top 100 DJ Poll winner.
Photo taken by Yusuf Ahmed
Photo taken by Gustav Dreyer
Next stop was Miami, then Buenos Aires where he was joined by a massive cast of supporting DJs including Dash Berlin, Heatbeat, Jochen Miller, John O’Callaghan, Markus Schulz and W&W, then last weekend saw him touch down on home soil in Den Bosch for the biggest gig of the tour with support including Gareth Emery, who we took time out to interview.
Hi Gareth, how are you? What did you make of this year's Miami?
“I had a great time. I wasn’t quite sure how the week was going to pan out due to Miami basically being split in two due to the bullshit disagreement between WMC and Ultra, but it was a great week. Everyone I wanted to see seemed to have chosen Ultra week so all of my friends were in town. I chose to only do two shows unlike last year when I was playing every day and it was a good decision – it meant the week was a bit more relaxing and we sold out our own party at Dream on the Wednesday as well as Ultra. Best Miami yet!”
Your own podcast turned five this year. What kind of efforts go in to putting together your show and how does it feel to be part of Armin's tour to celebrate 500 episodes? Den Bosch is obviously the big one.
“Until this year, my podcast was only bi-weekly so it wasn’t too much of a commitment. Since we’ve gone weekly, it’s more work, but with only an hour a week I’m able to make sure the quality remains suitably high and there are no fillers in there. I guess my podcast is a bit different to other shows like ASOT as it’s not purely trance, I play all sorts in there, and it isn’t presented in terms of a traditional DJ mix.
“I’m really stoked to be part of Armin’s celebrations for the third year running, and ten years of doing a show really is something to be applauded. After receiving a lot of support for my tracks over the years it’s nice to give something back to Armin and the listeners and (hopefully) play a good set in Den Bosch!”
Your new album 'Northern Lights Re-Lit ' came out last month. Why did you decide to do an entire remix album and how did you select who you wanted for each track? What's next in terms of original productions?
“A lot of the original Northern Lights album was more geared for home or car listening rather than club play, so it made sense to put together a remix album. I basically picked all of my favourite producers and asked them to get involved and fortunately almost everyone said yes. I think there are some amazing remixes on there – Ashley Wallbridge’s remix of ‘Arrival’ has been my set starter for six months and Giuseppe Ottaviani managed the tough job of delivering a great remix of ‘Sanctuary’.
“Next up, I have a couple of remixes to finish but I’m really thinking about my next artist album which is due in 2012. Making Northern Lights was a great experience so doing another studio album was always top of the agenda.”
You were up two in the Top 100 DJs poll this year to number seven. Does touring with Armin get you thinking about the coveted top spot? At this rate you'll be there by 2014!
“I try not to think about position or take the poll too seriously, and it’s important to remember it’s a popularity poll, not a talent one. But of course, very humbling to be in there, and especially to be so high. But I don’t really have any aims on that front. I’m just going to keep on doing what I do. What happens, happens.”
What else have you got coming up over the next few months and the summer? We hear you're heading off on a tour of the States soon.
“Well, the tour is never-ending but yeah, I haven’t been in the US properly this year so I can’t wait to get back later this month – I’m hitting San Diego, Vegas, Boston, New York, Scottsdale, Texas plus Los Angeles where we’re doing our third Northern Lights Concert, which involves a 4 hour DJ set from me plus live vocalists, instrumental, custom production, etc. I even get on the piano. It’s a pretty cool show.”
Finally, the obligatory comedy questions - what makes Emery bored?
“Doing the same shit over and over again. I constantly need to be finding new stuff to do, or doing the same things bigger and better than we did them before. I need change. Trundling along in the same way years on end doesn’t work for me.”