Armin: "I’m not going to make Avicii-like records just because I can"

Image for Armin: "I’m not going to make Avicii-like records just because I can"

In the time he hasn’t been devising plans for a bi-monthly dubstep radio show, Dutch kingpin Armin van Buuren has been doing his usual thing: working very hard. In between planning for a new album, the DJ has spearheaded the A State Of Trance 550 world tour, visiting Kiev, Miami, L.A., Moscow, London and Den Bosch. As well as presenting the ASOT550 stage at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, Armin also closed the mainstage – and the festival – on Sunday with a galvanising set that put trance squarely in the spotlight.

There’s been no slowing down since then either, and in the latest edition of Canada’s DJ Mag, the Dutchman gives an honest appraisal of large-scale dance music at the moment. The interviewer asks whether “we are seeing a bigger drive towards the big room synths, like Avicii for example”.

“I think it’s a temporary thing to be honest,” Armin replies. “I mean, a lot of people tell me like ‘Hey man, that’s just trance.’ I’m like, ‘No, it isn’t.’ I think it’s really important for me to state that I’m not necessarily in this industry to be successful with commercial radio. I mean obviously I’d like to have the odd hit, just because it makes it easier to sell ticket numbers, but as long as it’s within my sound and within what I believe in.”

The DJ goes on to echo the points also made by Pete Tong recently. “I think the good side is that it’s opening a lot of doors, for example corporate America will now be more interested to invest money in big shows, so we can make the shows even better and the experience for the visitor even better. So we can promote the music that we believe in. The bad side I think is the commercialisation, there are a lot of people who want to make a quick buck and don’t care about the ground work that’s been done by quite a few people who are really into this music because they’re passionate about it.”

“I’m not all of a sudden going to make Avicii-like records just because I can do it. It’s a trick, I mean he’s very good at it, I don’t know if I could ‘beat’ him so I’m not even going to try. I’m going to stick to my sound. I want to make what I want to make, and I want to make the sound that I believe in, and I want to bring that across.”

Armin’s next points are sure to resonate with anyone who is starting to sense déjà vu in big-name DJs’ sets right now. “I mean, in all honesty if I listen to a few DJs of my colleagues right now I like their sets but it’s so mainstream driven,” he goes on. “What you have is a lot of energy when the hits come on, like people are screaming when they hear the known record. Eventually they have to play something else because they do two – three hour sets; so they have one hour of big hits – everybody’s happy. Then the second hour everybody’s pretty flat.

“With all due respect, they’re not building towards some sort of a climax. This is the way that I see the art of DJing: the art of DJing is not playing all of those big records in a row. The art of DJing is playing a set which builds towards something. Yes, of course with a few big records, but it’s more the story that’s important, the journey, than the actual hits that you play.”

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TwiztedBlue

TwiztedBlue said on the 17th Apr, 2012

Armin telling it like it is!

antotran

antotran said on the 17th Apr, 2012

armin #1 guetta = frauding.

SlicyDicer

SlicyDicer said on the 17th Apr, 2012

what's cute is he thinks he's less commercial than avicii

YossarianIsSane

YossarianIsSane said on the 17th Apr, 2012

I have always enjoyed Armin's sets when he has been over here. Even though it is cheesy and a 4 yr old could mix it, he does entertain.

sifu02

sifu02 said on the 17th Apr, 2012

Armin has some great points here...pity he doesn't practice what he preaches!

sifu02

sifu02 said on the 17th Apr, 2012

Armin has some great points here...pity he doesn't practice what he preaches!

sifu02

sifu02 said on the 17th Apr, 2012

Armin has some great points here...pity he doesn't practice what he preaches!

sifu02

sifu02 said on the 17th Apr, 2012

Armin has some great points here...pity he doesn't practice what he preaches!

cizza

cizza said on the 18th Apr, 2012

Love the point about one hour of big hits, the rest pretty flat. I've not listened to trance in the car or ipod for a year or two but I'll always make an effort to get to Armins gigs. The man is an entertainer, and his passion rubs off on the crowd.

angy

angy said on the 18th Apr, 2012

He's got some proper points about DJing there, say what you will about him but he's a proper craftsman...

lawlietskyy

lawlietskyy said on the 18th Apr, 2012

"I mean, in all honesty if I listen to a few DJs of my colleagues right now I like their sets but it%u2019s so mainstream driven" ------- He's talking about Gareth Emery here.

kanni

kanni said on the 18th Apr, 2012

praise the lord Armin =P

Stocko12

Stocko12 said on the 18th Apr, 2012

@ Sliceydicer how is he more commercial than Avicii? Hes more succesful?
@ Yossarianls Sane, cheesy sets are for festival crowds. His club shows and htings like Armin Only are amazing. He is a Legend.

lawlietskyy

lawlietskyy said on the 18th Apr, 2012

true ^^^ armin only 2008 was out of this world

sunyalm

sunyalm said on the 18th Apr, 2012

How can you call Armin mainstream? I don't think i have ever heard his music on the radio or matter a fact any trance music. He is the best dj in the world and he isn't a sellout... i think that says it all. To compare him to shm or avicii is a insult to trance music

Gymqueen22

Gymqueen22 said on the 18th Apr, 2012

%u201CI mean, in all honesty if I listen to a few DJs of my colleagues right now I like their sets but it%u2019s so mainstream driven" .... well said Armin rings true ... your old mate Tiesto should know as thats the road he took - cater to the commerical mainstrem goons to cash in for his eventual retirement..
@Stocko12 - well said.

dan_essential77

dan_essential77 said on the 18th Apr, 2012

Armin doesn't even make sense. He rarely mixes a set with a journey in mind. Tiesto could only do that.

Stocko12

Stocko12 said on the 18th Apr, 2012

^^ the Tiesto Elements of life and previous maybe, not now.

SANDSLASH

SANDSLASH said on the 18th Apr, 2012

HEAVEN HAS NO TOILETS

trancekid

trancekid said on the 18th Apr, 2012

@ dan_essential77: If arminonly nye wasnt a journey, i dont know what is

lawlietskyy

lawlietskyy said on the 18th Apr, 2012

@trancekid - If you think Armin only NYE was a 'journey' you must definitely be a kid / teeny bopper ... The crescendo of the night was the moment the year ticked over and he dropped 'one' by swedish house mafia >_> Armin only 2008 was a Journey, Kid.

Wowk

Wowk said on the 18th Apr, 2012

While I agree with the points he is making, Armin isn't exactly the man to be making them. What he has done to trance is the same thing that he is saying Avicii is doing to other kinds of music. If J00F had said all those things, it would be a lot more credible.

dirtydoge

dirtydoge said on the 18th Apr, 2012

Been saying it for ages and now armin kinda agrees. About how all these dj's are catering for the tastes of the fat pocketed/(assed, bellied, headed) American in order to get the big pay checks from corporate America. What can i say they like cheese, dats why they are so fat.

alistairrrr

alistairrrr said on the 18th Apr, 2012

Tiesto, pre elements of life, mixed sets which took the listener on a journey, say what you want about the guy, but shit he can mix!

Armin - mate you are commercial as fuck! i saw you in 2005 and your set was unreal, now the shit you play is just lame, and put you fucking hands down unless they are nailed to a cross.

Avicii or however you spell your name, seriously mate you look like a alien, what planet are you from? Levels is the worst track I have ever heard, if you think it's banging, you have no musical education what so ever.....

angy

angy said on the 18th Apr, 2012


I will call you on not having any idea what you're talking about here, Wowky. You don't really get/understand trance as a wider genre. J00f represents a very particular side of the sound, and while Armin is probably guilty of watering down his productions the past few years, there's no one else who's done as much for the scene, supported as many new producers, pushed the scene forward etc etc.

'Mirage' didn't exactly thrill me, but seeing Armin perform at ASOT500 last year reminded what an technically elite DJ he really is.

Progrez

Progrez said on the 18th Apr, 2012

@sunylam ahem In out of Love getting over 100 million not 1000 but million views on youtube I'd say that's pretty mainstream and not to mention he's made good decent commercial trance records such as Shivers, Burned with Desire, Sound of Goodbye and I've seen his poppy tracks being played on MTV as well.

I think its a load of crap they are all words and nothing more. I have nothing against commercial records but most of his recent tracks and sets don't really interest me one bit, from one what I've heard his radioshow is full of noisy shit and has been for the past 4-5 years now.

dizza

dizza said on the 19th Apr, 2012

What sort of DJ could be classed as 'a top DJ' if they play all the big tunes first and then no sort of follow on?? WTF At least Armin has it down pat :D Bring On Armin Only 2013!!!

thechunk

thechunk said on the 19th Apr, 2012

I do think Armin is almost made to make more commercial tracks due to his label/name and I really hope he keeps sliding down the charts even more.
It might ease pressure on him and allow him time to make some quality tracks, how anyone could produce something decent while doing his schedule around the world, i have no idea. I would be in a permanent state of jet lag.
His festival sets are very very average but seeing him in a club scene this year, reminded me how good he really is. Really, at heart he is just a party boy wanting to put on a big show, but he does have raw talent that these other DJ's dont have

trancekid

trancekid said on the 20th Apr, 2012

@lawlietsky the first time i saw armin was at welovesounds in 09 for a 5 hour set. even that was a journey. yea i was a bit let down when the first songs of the new year were one and miami to ibiza but the rest of the night was killer. so many classic tracks and amazing memories. i wish i was able to go to arminonly in 08 but i can only go off what ive been to. no dicksizing plz

Stocko12

Stocko12 said on the 20th Apr, 2012

@ thechunk... well said sir.

Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh said on the 23rd Apr, 2012

Like S Club 7 scolding the Vengaboys.

SANDSHREW

SANDSHREW said on the 23rd Apr, 2012

AT LEAST, THEN JUST SEX TONE ARMIN SEED WTF BITCH.

LavyP

LavyP said on the 22nd May, 2012

Am I the only Trance Junkie that appreciates a little diversity in some sets? It does not always have to be euphoria euphoria euphoria.... although thats always good.