Even if you never sported JNCOs, popped E at a warehouse rave or counted yourself a fan of the untz, untz, untz, chances are you’ve still heard about the pioneering producer and DJ, Tiësto. Voted “Greatest DJ of All Time” by Mixmag, Tiësto, known to his postmaster as Tijs Michiel Verwest, has reached a level of fame that few artists, let alone DJs, have achieved. Not only did the Dutchman perform at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games to an audience of billions, but he even has a wax statue at Madame Tussauds and his own character on the popular video game, DJ Hero.
In 2014, Tiësto will have reached his 20-year mark in the music industry. With the recent release of the third installment of his Club Life mix compilations, plans for an artist album next year and a tour schedule that reads like the departures board at LAX, clearly the man isn’t slowing down anytime soon. So for his fourth-ever appearance in the Queen City, we caught up with the flying Dutchman before his takeover at Label Charlotte on August 29th.
Creative Loafing: Congratulations on the recent release of Club Life: Stockholm. When you were compiling your track list, what songs excited you most?
Tiësto: I wanted to make this album really special so a majority of it is my own original productions, collaborations and remixes. I’m really proud of all those tracks in particular.
Did the album turn out how you originally planned?
Absolutely. There are so many mixes and podcasts out there, so the intention from the beginning was to make it about a lot of brand-new material and providing my fans with something they couldn’t get anywhere else.
You’ve been dabbling in an assortment of genres recently — I’m gonna call you Sponge Tiësto. Will this affect/influence your future productions?
Absolutely. I’m never about repeating myself. I love to experiment with new genres and keep it fresh. As you may have seen, I started a deep house show on Sirius XM and my label released a trap EP. I want to always push it forward!
I’m a huge house head, so I was really excited when I found out you added “Club Life After Hours” to your radio show. When it comes to underground house vibes, what artists or labels are you digging currently?
Very happy to hear that. Well, I think that the artists and tracks I chose for the first installment of the after-hours show truly reflects those artists I’m into. Of course there are a lot more, but the music on this mix is exactly what I’m listening to within this sub-genre.
I think the music blogosphere nearly shut down when you tweeted that you were planning on making a trance track a few weeks ago. After all these years, how does it feel to see that people are still clamoring to hear you do trance again?
It’s part of my journey and it’s flattering that so many people feel connected to that part of my career.
You’ve also said that if you were No. 1 on DJ Mag’s infamous list this year, you would do a trance album. What if there wasn’t a voting poll? Would you still have an urge to make the album?
I don’t know. I like having fun on Twitter though [laughs]. Seriously though, I’m working on my next artist album and that’s my biggest focus.
You’ve got a tour with Calvin Harris coming up! Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Sure, it’s a small tour of the UK and Ireland with my friend Calvin Harris. We’ve been friends for quite a while and when we went through our schedule, we saw that we had an opening around the same time. We had talked about doing a tour together so everything fell into place here.
What are some things or moments in your life that you value/cherish?
Well, I’m really thankful for everything I have and how I’ve been able to make a career out of my number one love: music. After all these years, nothing makes me happier than to see the fans having a great time at the show.
How are you closing out 2013? Any new releases we can expect?
I do believe I’ll have a new single out before the end of the year and then my new artist album in 2014.