Hardwell sits down with Zane Lowe to talk hiatus decision, making a statement with ‘Rebels Never Die,’ and more  [Watch]Umf22c 100

Hardwell sits down with Zane Lowe to talk hiatus decision, making a statement with ‘Rebels Never Die,’ and more [Watch]

With the Rebels Never Die rollout moving full steam ahead towards its completion on September 16, Hardwell has taken the opportunity to open up as of late and dive deeper into the nature behind both his hiatus and comeback. After hosting a Reddit Q+A in the days leading up to “Mind Control“—his eighth album single—Hardwell touched upon a lengthy range of topics, but he decided it was time for his first formal, in-depth interview since he returned at Bayfront Park, sitting down with none other than Zane Lowe for a 30-minute conversation.

During Hardwell’s first on-camera interview post-sabbatical, he touches on the actual decision to completely step back in 2018, which began bubbling in his mind the moments he found out his close friend Avicii had suddenly passed away. A decision that he didn’t even consult with his parents or manager on and ended up abruptly sending them an e-mail that a non-negotiable break was happening. Hardwell also talks about how he went a year without even stepping inside his home studio and the first time he did, he just wanted to “create whatever [he] felt like making” without any expectations or deadlines. As far as Rebels Never Die itself, Hardwell says his idea wasn’t to return with a “comeback set or a couple of new songs” but with a full-length project that would “make a statement.” And that statement was undeniably made at Ultra, with Hardwell adding that he knew it was time to refresh his sound, mentioning how Swedish House Mafia took the exact same stance on Paradise Again. He also takes a moment to talk about the loss of Avicii, who he called “the best musician [he’s] ever met,” explaining how “[Avicii] knew exactly what he wanted, songwriting, the way the singer should sing, the way he wrote his melodies, his signature in every song, still being super diverse.” Hardwell also talks through how tour life was taking a serious toll on him, talking through the difficulties of constantly traveling through different timezones and other unhealthy touring habits.

While we now wait another week for the ninth Rebels Never Die extension on July 8—which will be “Reminisce”—stream Hardwell and Zane Lowe’s full conversation below via Apple Music.

Featured image: Rukes

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