Basscon night descended upon Los Angeles this past weekend and hardstyle fans were treated to a spectacular night at the Belasco Theater. Your EDM got the chance to sit down and chat with hardstyle luminary Atmozfears. The Dutch producer/DJ is wrapping up a highly successful North American tour including a prestigious closing spot at EDC Mexico’s Wasteland stage as well as an appearance with Hardwell. We talked with Tim van de Stadt about the state of hardstyle, new projects, and gaming.

After making your North American debut at Nocturnal, you’ve embarked on a more proper tour. How has the experience been? How is a US tour different than a European tour?

“It’s been really different from the tours in Europe. The people here are more curious and they actually come out to see you. Like in Holland, mostly, they’re really spoiled, so it’s been a treat. So far I’ve been to Houston, Dallas and Seattle. Houston and Dallas were really, really packed. Seattle was on a Wednesday so it was a little bit less, but it was also really good. The people there were raving from the beginning to the end and they were really enjoying it and came out to hear the music, so it was really good. Tonight, I hope, is going to be a highlight of the tour.”

Hardstyle has always been around, but it’s really starting to expand more into the mainstream lately. How does this make you feel as one of the premiere hardstyle artists? Does it provide new challenges or do you feel a need to keep the style true to its roots?

“That’s funny you ask, because I’m currently really looking for a new sound, and a lot of my colleagues feel the same way. I’m really happy that it’s getting a bit more appreciated, not as much like ‘oh, it’s noise,’ and people actually start to enjoy it, so that’s one good thing. But, actually leading the thing is really hard. When I first started out I had to idols to look up to, but now it’s kind of difficult to come up with something new that will expand the scene and get more people toward the hardstyle scene. That’s been a really big challenge.”

Speaking of mainstream, you recently debuted a collab with Hardwell at his final I Am Hardwell show in Germany. What was it like working with someone who is not known for hardstyle tracks, however, is very well known as one of the top artists in the EDM scene?

“It was a really good experience. It started out as kind of a bit of a joke, like let’s do something together. Suddenly he just popped up at my home and we met the first day and immediately started working on something, so there was some magic. But, it was really a good experience for me, and also him taking me on stage, taking me on tours, and saying stuff on stage, it was really a big thing for me.”

What other new projects do you have planned for the rest of 2017? Any more touring after the North America GATE tour?

“I’m doing something different in a while, there’s a party called Capital in Holland. It’s a bit more extreme than what I’m mostly known for, it’s a little bit harder. It’s also fun for me to do something else sometimes, so that’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to. Also re-discovering my sound, I’m really looking for something new to do and exciting myself again to come up with something I’m really happy with.”

Tell us something about Tim the person, what do you like to do when you’re not producing or touring? Also, tell us an artist your fans would be really surprised to hear you listen to?

“At home I listen to a lot of Noisia and Kill the Noise. And what I like to do when I’m not making music is gaming. Like, right now, I’m really addicted to a game called “Overwatch.” It’s been a fun distraction. Thing is, lately I’ve been doing more games than music, I might need to tone it down a notch.”

Do you ever do any online gaming?

“Yeah, yeah, there’s some colleagues I play the game with and it’s six-on-six. With six colleagues we stay up entire nights to do competitive gaming, it’s crazy.”

Any words for the Atmozfears and hardstyle fans out there and what do they have to look forward too?

“I can really appreciate the people giving so much love back. I make music for me and that’s the way I’ve always done, and it’s really good to get so much positive feedback and that’s what I would like to thank the fans for. It’s what keeps me going.”