If you’re looking for a lesson in longevity in electronic music, one of the models to follow would have to be Firebeatz. Tim Smulders and Jurre van Doeselaar met at music school in the Netherlands more than 10 years ago. Since then they’ve formed a lasting friendship and musical legacy. The boys have stayed relevant through almost a decade’s worth of changes in electronic music. Together they have an unassailable legacy of working with the biggest names in the industry from Calvin Harris, Tiësto and Martin Garrix, and an impressive set of stamps on their passports as well, having played all over the world and at the biggest festivals including EDC, Ultra, and Tomorrowland.
Tim and Jurre have almost wrapped up their North American tour, which had stops in Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles and Chicago. We got the chance to catch up with the guys and hear from them about a number of topics. Tim and Jurre talked about evolving their sound over the years, their record label, Ignite Recordings, how they stay close to the fans and the tour.
Hey guys, it’s been a couple of years since you were last here in L.A. Tell me what’s been going on with you guys since then. How has your music been developing over the past couple of years?
“Our music has developed over the years, we always try to have fun in the studio and make music that we feel at the moment. Right now we are digging the house vibe more and more, so naturally that is what we have been making. For us it feels we are coming full circle since we started out doing this.”
You guys also now have your own label, tell me what that’s been like, and how do you balance the act of making music and running a label?
“Our own label is something that we’re very proud of, it was a logical move to start our label. We want to give talents a platform and also use our label as an output for what we call ‘Club Weapons’. These are tracks that are what you would call ‘club tools’ instead of singles. It’s a great way to get this kind of music out to the public too. Next to that of course, it’s an outlet for the original Firebeatz sound.”
You guys are veterans in the game, what is the main challenge for you as artists now?
“The challenge is to evolve as an artist, this is sometimes difficult because a lot of fans expect a certain sound of us but we’re used to that.
When we started as Firebeatz we released some groovy tech-house music. Later on with tracks as ‘Dear New York’ & ‘Gangster’ we had this bass vibe going on. Since 2014 we had a lot of records that fitted the big room sound, but, still had a certain groove going on. We also have some experience with producing commercial/pop tracks, something that’s really interesting to produce, but will never have the same energy on the dancefloor as club/festival tracks. Therefore we always tried to release those tracks with a club mix in the package.
Another challenge is to keep in touch with your fanbase. Since we started about 10 years ago we have gained a lot of followers from around the world, but, equal to us, they have also developed their personal flavour. And, some of those ravers from 10 years ago aren’t going out anymore as well.”
You’ve already had a couple of releases this year with several more on the way. What can fans expect from you music wise this year?
“We have so much new music, so we’re very excited about 2019! We have new tracks planned on Spinnin’, Heldeep, Hexagon & our own imprint Ignite Recordings. Furthermore we’re finishing off collabs with Oliver Heldens, Sander van Doorn, Chocolate Puma & many more.”
You guys just wrapped the second leg of the tour, how’s it been going? Is there anything different about going on the road now as opposed to when you first started?
“The tour has been really insane so far! We have a lot of experience as DJs and we always try to trigger the crowd with some new music! And so far we’re really impressed with the crowd this tour. It seems that the club scene is growing bigger again, and after a couple of years where commercial music was expected to be heard we found out that we were able to play all these new tracks and the crowd was still feeling the vibe.
Another difference between touring now and when we first started is that there’s a lot more happening around the show. Meet & greets, show elements , visuals, photos, videos. It’s not just playing a DJ set.”
What festivals will we see you at this summer?
“Our summer schedule is looking crazy already with shows all around the world! We’ve got some big festivals that we can’t announce yet, but keep an eye on our socials and you’ll find out soon. Ok, we can give away this one, in June we’re playing the mainstage (around 50,000 people) of World Club Dome in Frankfurt which is a huge show in Europe”
Who would be you guys’ dream collab?
“Some acts that we would really like to collab with are: The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Chemical Brothers & a follow up with Calvin Harris would be dope as well!”
If you missed the tour check out this video of their upcoming collaboration with Oliver Heldens at their performance at Academy in Los Angeles.
There’s still one more date left, a special boat party at Pier 15 in New York City on June 28. This should be a big one, get your tickets here.
Check out Firebeatz latest track “Bounce” with Schella and Pexem out now on Heldeep.