Saturday Night Session 008: Vicetone talks about their custom built studio home and how their love for technology has impacted their creative output
Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.
Dutch duo Vicetone is known for their quintessential feel good sound that has been inducing nothing short of euphoria over the past seven years. Friends turned music producers Ruben den Boer and Victor Pool quickly started gaining momentum in 2012 after signing to Monstercat, and later joining as support for Nicky Romero‘s Nothing Toulouse: North American Tour. Their career ascension fortuitously coincided with the peak of the progressive house era, and from there, Vicetone has become a poster-child for the genre.
Despite their lengthy career, Den Boer and Pool have mainly stuck to releasing singles and remixes as opposed to full length albums. They are set to release their second EP this spring, titled Elements, and it is the follow up from their previous EP release in 2016, Aurora. Elements will be the first creation to come out of their brand new studio compound in Nashville that is described as, ‘a home custom-built to maximize their creative output with a state-of-the-art space housing two separate studios.”
The duo spoke about their creative process, and how having two separate studio spaces has greatly heightened their efficiency and output, saying, “we have two studios on separate floors that are connected with a very fast server. We can sync up all our projects, samples, and presets. The great thing is that we’re a short walk from each other, so we work together in the same studio a lot, but still have the opportunity to work on different tracks at the same time.” They continue, “When a track has been completely arranged, and we have all the sounds picked out as well, we usually start the mixdown process, which is often easier done solo as it’s more technical than creative. The fact that we can work together in a studio and 10 seconds later work in two studios separately speeds up our workflow a lot.” Their state of the art studio spaces have also been able to fulfill another hobby of the friends, which is translating their love of technology into custom built PCs created specifically to maximize their production abilities with Ableton.
Vicetone explains, “We love all things technology. We love video games as well – we have all modern consoles and a sweet gaming rig as well. Fun fact: we hand-build all our computers, including our studio computers, which are completely overkill, but it allows us to run the biggest projects in Ableton without lag.” Fans will now get to hear the creative output of their brand new studio set up with Elements. The first release from the EP was “Something Strange” featuring Haley Reinhart, and Vicetone’s Saturday Night Session includes brand new release, “Fences.” The track is a subtle melody that features guitar as the leading instrumental element that provides the perfect sonic juxtaposition with the bouncy drop.
When speaking to what their Saturday Night Session mix will get listeners’ ready for, the duo exclaims, “If you want to go out, our mix will get you energized. If you want to stay in and watch Netflix documentaries about the cosmos, this mix will get you in the right mood.” The versatile mix is certainly fitting for any night the listener wishes to have, and it’s the perfect sneak peak into what is to come from EP, Elements.
To each of you- what is the favorite song you have ever released of all time?
Ruben: It’s really hard to say. It’s almost like picking your favorite kid as a parent. If I had to choose, I’d say “Nevada.” It was a complicated track for us to mix right, but a very rewarding and fun experience. I still love playing it out to this day and get a fuzzy feeling.
Victor: Our “Sparks” remix was the first song of ours to ever be played on the radio. That was a huge moment for us in our career, and I still remember it very fondly – it’s a special track for us for that reason.
I read that you have a state of the art space in Nashville that you produced your new EP
Elements in, and within this space, you each have your own studio. Can you tell us a little more about your creative process- and how you work together?
We have two studios on separate floors that are connected with a very fast server. We can sync up all our projects, samples, and presets. The great thing is that we’re a short walk from each other, so we work together in the same studio a lot, but still have the opportunity to work on different tracks at the same time. When a track has been completely arranged, and we have all the sounds picked out as well, we usually start the mixdown process, which is often easier done solo as it’s more technical than creative. The fact that we can work together in a studio and 10 seconds later work in two studios separately speeds up our workflow a lot.
The last EP you released was Aurora in 2016. What can fans expect from the new EP Elements? How has your music evolved?
We still love how the Aurora EP turned out, but we both feel that this EP is stronger and catchier compared to Aurora. It’s hard to put into words how we have evolved – this is something our listeners should comment on – but we feel our sound is improving every year. The goal of Elements was to showcase multiple facets of the Vicetone sound, while still keeping the melodic and energetic core the same. There should be a track for just about every type of Vicetone fan out there on this project. We’re really excited to hear the feedback on the different songs on there.
When you both started producing together, did you ever imagine you would have ended up here?
We always dreamt of this lifestyle and dreamt of doing music full-time, but it always felt like a pipe dream. Slowly realizing that this was actually happening for us was extremely exciting. We really feel this is what we’re meant to be doing, so we’re lucky to have this job.
What is your favorite club and favorite festival respectively to play at?
Very hard to choose. We’d say New City Gas is our favorite music venue as far as indoors goes. It is an amazing venue, and it has even more amazing crowds. Montreal is really special for us! As for festivals, it’s hard to pick a favorite. They’re all great and unique in their different
ways. We loved playing Ultra, Tomorrowland, Escapade, Electric Love, Amsterdam Music Festival, the list goes on!
Given you have made a career out of creating music for raves… do you ever actually go to clubs/raves yourselves anymore? When is the last time you went to enjoy the music as a spectator and not a performer?
We got to experience going out to raves during our early years. We used to stay at raves until the early hours of the morning, till 6am, and take a train ride back home for 2 hours. These days we get a lot more enjoyment out of playing our own livesets. Nothing really beats that feeling for us. So we don’t go to raves in the same way as we used to, but we were very big on raves before we started creating our own music.
What are your hobbies outside of music?
We love all things technology. We love video games as well – we have all modern consoles and a sweet gaming rig as well. Fun fact: we hand-build all our computers, including our studio computers, which are completely overkill, but it allows us to run the biggest projects in Ableton without lag. And recently we’ve brushed up our cooking skills as well – it’s a nice break from being in the studio all day.
Worst thing about this career? Best thing?
Best thing is doing what you love the most and getting paid for it. Our work is our hobby – it doesn’t get any better than that. Our least favorite thing is probably not seeing our family and friends as often as we’d like.
What kind of a Saturday night is this mix getting our listeners’ ready for?
Whatever they want. If you want to go out, our mix will get you energized. If you want to stay in and watch Netflix documentaries about the cosmos, this mix will get you in the right mood.