Holland's Richard Durand is, arguably, one of the most consistent Trance DJ's and Producers around at the moment. He's churned out great tune after great tune, bootlegged a few classic tunes, had support on just about every major Dance radio show, and been tipped for the top by, former world number DJ, Tiesto! We managed to interupt Richard's busy schedule to get a rare and exclusive interview! Read on to find out how our interview went....
Carl: Over the last twelve to eighteen months, you've really broken through worldwide as both a DJ and Producer. You've had a string of successful tunes supported by a host of the leading DJ's - both in clubs sets and on radio stations, and Tiesto even asked people to consider voting for you in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ's poll last year - how does it feel to be so popular at the moment - did you ever imagine it would happen?
Richard Durand: I’m over the moon, it feels unbelievably fantastic! I never imagined things taking off so fast. Obviously I’m really happy with my recent successes and I really appreciate Tiësto’s support! Not forgetting the fans that voted for me!
Carl: Tiesto is usually the first DJ to start supporting your productions, and you've remixed a few of his tunes too - how did your association with Tiesto begin?
Richard Durand: It all started with me producing Lethal Industry. I made the track purely for my own use but somehow it ended up being played in LA where Tiesto heard it. He was really enthusiastic and called me the next day. Soon after I ended up making a couple of other remixes for him.
Carl: Many producers stay clear of remixing classic tunes, yet you've pulled off some stunning remixes of classics such as Tiesto's Lethal Industry and Flight 643, plus Way Out West's 'The Fall' - and a couple of cheeky bootlegs too. Were these all tunes that you loved in their original state and wanted to re-produce in your own style?
Richard Durand: Yeah, pretty much. About 99% of the tracks I base on other tunes are my own personal favourites. That’s why it’s so much fun to do. I love giving them my own twist. Besides that, I love the reaction I get from the crowd when I use them in my sets.
Carl: Out of all the remixes and productions you've done, which is your favourite, and why?
Richard Durand: Wow, that’s a difficult question to answer! At the moment Lethal Industry, Snow Patrol and Audio BulIy’s belong to my favourite remixes. Oh, and not forgetting the Prodigy of course! Some productions I love because they work well on the dance floor, others just appeal more to me as a person.
Carl: How many years have you been producing and DJ'ing?
Richard Durand: All together I’ve been working in the music industry for about ten years now. At first I only had a live act but six years ago I started spinning the decks as well. The past year I’ve mainly been focussing on my new project, Richard Durand.
Carl: If you had to give up either producing or DJ'ing tomorrow, which would you choose to give up so that you could continue with the other?
Richard Durand: I could never choose! I can’t imagine one without the other! I love working in the studio. Making music is where my heart lies. On the other hand I would never want to want to miss out on the fun of performing.
Carl: I saw you DJ'ing at Turnmills (London) in August, and you were there hours before your set chatting to Mike Koglin and the crowd around the booth, and you hung around to shake hands and hand out CD's after your set too. Its always nice to see a DJ absorbing the atmosphere of a club. Is this something you do regularly when you're DJ'ing at an event?
Richard Durand: Well I definitely try to. I’m not someone that comes in a few minutes prior to going on stage and packing my case immediately after I’m done. I like seeing and talking to the people that have come to see me perform. By doing that I get to sense the atmosphere and really get in the mood to perform.
Carl: You clearly love being a DJ - you're so enthusiastic and always acknowledging the crowd and reading their texts even when you're playing whereas some DJ's ignore their crowd - do you get a buzz from interacting with the crowd?
Richard Durand: Yeah, I love interacting with the crowd while I’m performing. It’s great to have a connection with the crowd. It’s incredible when people sing along with the tunes I’m playing. Sometimes it’s so intense I wish I could just leave the DJ booth and hit the dance floor!
Carl: You're a very skillful DJ and very entertaining to watch. I was stood next to the DJ booth at Turnmills and saw that you often had all three CD turntables in use whilst layering vocals and elements from other tunes over the top too. How on earth do you manage to concentrate on doing all of that at the same time?
Richard Durand: I don’t really think about it too much. Because of my musical background I’m able to hear if things fit together pretty quickly. I like experimenting while I’m performing. Most times I get it right but sometimes things get too wild and I mess up!
Carl: This year saw you make your UK debut - what do you think of the UK clubbing scene?
Richard Durand: You guys are literally crazy! I love the UK crowds, they’re wild! I perform a lot in the UK and in Ireland and I can honestly say without exaggerating that you are the most enthusiastic crowd ever! Respect!
Carl: One of our forum members says he saw you play in Ireland recently too, and he's asked what you think of the scene there, and have you any plans to go back again soon?
Richard Durand: Like I said, the crowds in Ireland, just as in the UK, are fantastic! It’s always great to come back.
Carl: What's next for Richard Durand - have you any more productions on the way? Perhaps an artist album or big clubbing gig? How about an official signing for one of your cheeky bootlegs?
Richard Durand: I’m planning on releasing an album filled with heaps of new productions at the end of next summer. Who knows, it might even have some bootlegs on it!
Carl: Finally, who are your closest friends in the DJ industry?
Richard Durand: I’m not someone who easily calls acquaintances close friends. I really need to now someone for a longer period of time and I haven’t been performing in the UK for that long yet! I have a couple of close friends back in Holland. They know who the are!