Mar 03, 2014
interview
Frontliner

One of Holland’s strongest hardstyle exports, Barry Drooger aka Frontliner, talks remixing Armin van Buuren, gives his reaction to Headhunterz’ move away from hardstyle, and fills us in on some of his favorite up-and-comers just before his appearance At The Sound Of Q-dance LA.

Armin van Buuren - Shivers (Frontliner Remix) [Armada]
LessThan3: We’re excited to see you perform at the upcoming Sound Of Q-dance event on Mar. 9 at the Shrine in LA. Do you play differently to American crowds as opposed to European ones?
Barry: Not particularly. People still know the music when I play outside of Holland, but since they don’t see me that often, it’s more special to them. Not that the energy is not there in Holland; it’s just different. I’ve been playing in Holland for eight years.

That being said, there are definitely some tracks that work better in Holland, and some that work better in the US. I’m very excited to come to the US again and play at The Sound Of Q-dance. I can’t wait to make a big party out of it.

LessThan3: How would you compare the hardstyle community in the United States versus the community in Europe?
Barry: Hardstyle is becoming mainstream in Holland. Outside of Europe it is still very underground. It still has that “rave” feeling in America.
LessThan3: Why do you think Armin van Buuren chose you over hardstyle producers to remix his trance classic Shivers for the 10 Years Of Armada release?
Barry: They were looking for some hardstyle artists, and luckily they picked me! I think that my sound fits the track. I have more of a euphoric style, which is more related to trance. Maybe that’s the reason they came to me. I’m very proud of this remix.
LessThan3: Tell us about the robotic vocal effect you added to Susana’s voice.
Barry: That was the first idea I had when creating the remix. After I heard the vocal, I knew just what to do with it. I used two different vocoders. The first one with the robot voice is a vocoder with a lot of distortion. The other vocoder is cleaner, and made to support the chords and the vocals.
LessThan3: You topped off 2013 by producing the official Defqon.1 2013 anthem Weekend Warriors. What do you have in store for 2014?
Barry: I just teamed up with a UK rapper named Sway. It’s not very common to mix hip hop with hardstyle–it might be the first time that a real hardstyle track has full rap verses. I’m looking forward to playing it in upcoming performances.
LessThan3: Your track I’m The Melody Man has earned you a nickname in the hard dance community. What’s the story behind this tune?
Barry: It’s just something that came together in the studio. Like most of my tracks, I was playing around with the lead sound, and the melody line soon followed. I wanted to create something that tells a story. That was my goal, and I think I succeeded.
LessThan3: What’s something that fans would be surprised to learn about you?
Barry: For those who follow me on social media, they know I post almost everything about what I do, whether it comes to gaming, my pets, what I eat, or anything else. Fans get to know me quite well. I’m not sure what to say, but perhaps I can say that before I reached the age of 10, I was already a huge fan of Michael Jackson. That might be something that fans wouldn’t expect.
LessThan3: What is your reaction to the recent statement from Headhunterz that he is moving away from hardstyle?
Barry: I heard the story, but I haven’t read any official announcement about it. If it’s true, then he’s probably following what he really wants to do, and that’s always a very good thing for him. I wish him the best of luck, and that’s all I can say about that. I hope he follows his passion.
LessThan3: In your opinion, which DJ is the best “torchbearer” for hardstyle internationally?
Barry: I can’t say for sure. Noisecontrollers are coming out with a new album. They’re such strong producers, and I have to give them credit for that. Hardstyle is also at a point where it’s changing. For example, Wildstylez is doing something different from what I do. Rawstyle is getting pretty popular. The hardstyle genre is getting wider. Everyone has their own opinion and feelings about the music. This makes it hard to say who is the best if everyone is doing something different with it.
LessThan3: Who are some of your favorite up-and-coming hardstyle producers?
Barry: Well I’ve been living under a rock a bit lately, so it’s hard to say which talent is coming up. I think Andrenalize from Denmark is a great producer who is making some strong releases. Same with Atmozfears.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Barry: The first thing that comes to my mind is that I would rather go in peace without music. That might sound a bit strange because I have such a passion for it. However, I think I would like to take that moment to think.
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