Gearbox Rumble: Gearbox #FearTheGear Germany

#FearTheGear – With the impressive rise of the Gearbox label, many young, talented and new faces are swapped into the pool of hard dance artists. Known for their aggressive sound in the early days, Gearbox evolved into something: A family based label with a wide range of electronic dance music. Their triumphal march is not over yet: Germany are you ready to witness a huge part of the Gearbox roster, including Rooler Live, Malice, Ncrypta, Thyron, Kataklism, Physika, MickeyG and many more? We caught up with five artists who will represent the sound of Gearbox this weekend in the Turbinenhalle, as well as with the label manager and asked them all about this upcoming night!

Avi8

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You’ve had the honor of creating the anthem for this event together with Thyron and Elyn. Can you tell us a little bit about what that has been like for you?
It was crazy to be given this kind of opportunity, I’ve always been a fan of Thyrons work so when I told about this I couldn’t wait to get the ball rolling! Of course Thyron & I are both at different ends of the hardstyle spectrum, & this led us to go for a theme about being United as unfortunately, the current hardstyle scene seems to be split in two, the euphoric side & the raw side. It shouldn’t be this way but unfortunately that’s the way that it is these days.

AVI8 @ BE 24-7 presents #FEARTHEGEAR (Warm Up Mix)

Our goal was to create a track which incorporated both of our styles into one & also represented what the #FEARTHEGEAR event will bring on the 11th of this month, as there is so much variety between the styles of the DJ’s there. But in the end it’s all hardstyle, & hardstyle is why each & everyone of us are there in the first place! So yeah, it was very interesting to come up with something which matched what we were both looking for.

A couple of different concepts were thought of, but we always came back to the first concept as it just fit the theme we were going for so well. Elyns vocal work on this track was simply perfect, she absolutely nailed the lyrics & the feelings that come with them! They were amazing vocals to work with & again, they matched the theme of the track perfectly! For me personally, it was great to work with Thyron to see his thoughts & insights into how he would like it to sound & how we managed to get both of our own sounds & styles into one very well blended track. The responses on it have been amazing so far, & I really can’t thank everyone enough for that!

Thyron & Avi8 Ft. Elyn - United (Official Be 24-7 FEARTHEGEAR Anthem)

What can we expect from you on the 11th of February?
You can expect me to bring what I love bringing most, a very emotional, but energetic 1 hour feels trip! I love having some variety in my sets, so I can guarantee everyone a few bombs being dropped alongside all the melodic music I have in store. I’ve also got some new tunes that I’ll be playing there, which I can’t wait to show you all! My excitement for this is surreal!

What are you working on now and what are your [short term] plans for the future?
Right now, I’m working my ass off to bring new music which represents me as an artist & the music which I love most. One of my new tracks ‘Escape’ is scheduled for release this month, & I also finished another brand new track last week called ‘Don’t Go’, which I’ll also be dropping on the 11th. This year has just been beyond my wildest dreams so far, having the honor to play my music at events such as this one has always been something I’ve always dreamt of! Years of hard work & complete dedication seems to paying off! Keep an eye on my social media pages, there’s some huge announcements coming soon!

Anyway, thank you for having me & I hope to see everyone at the Turbinenhalle next weekend!!

Many thanks 🙂

Thyron

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You’ve had the honor of creating the anthem for this event together with Avi8 and Elyn. The title of the anthem is ‘United’. Can you tell us a little bit about what the story behind this anthem is, and what it was like for you to create the anthem?
When Scott (Avi8) and I started working on ideas for this anthem, we were thinking about a theme to work around. I always like it when tracks tell a story, and an anthem like this was the perfect opportunity to create one myself.

At first it was really hard to come up with something because the event line-up is so diverse and because Avi8’s tracks are so different from mine, and that’s where it struck me – people are way too divided. Not just in the Hardstyle scene, but all around the world people are looking at their differences as a problem, instead of as a way to come across new visions and experiences.

All the problems that are going on in the world right now are based on differences between people. And that’s why I wanted to send a message and show people how two opposites can make compromises and eventually come together as something beautiful. United.

Meanwhile, being totally hyped because I really felt the theme I just came up with, I wrote a melody which perfectly translated the feeling I wanted this track to have.

So after we had the story and melody, we got in touch with Elyn – a really talented vocalist with an amazing voice. We worked on the lyrics and soon after she sent us the recordings which inspired us to finish the track!

All in all – it was a challenging project (especially at first) but also definitely one of the most exciting ones I’ve done so far. Extremely proud and happy with the outcome!!

Thyron Ft. MC Sik-Wit-It - Head Split

What can we expect from your set/you on the 11th of February?
One hour of absolute craziness! Expect new material, edits and mash-ups to make this set one hell of a ride. I can’t wait!

What are you working on now and what are your [short term] plans for the future?
I’ve been working hard to re-invent my sound lately and I think I’ve found exactly what I was looking for! Wont tell you more about it yet – I’ll let the music speak for itself!

Besides that I’ve also got some really exciting collabs planned, about which you’ll find more info soon on my social media!

New bookings are also coming in nicely! Intents Festival, my second time at Bad Boys (which is a small but crazy party!), gigs in France and Germany and of course the Gearbox nights which are always great!

Exciting times ahead! Hope to see you all soon at my gigs!!

Luminite

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What can we expect from you on the 11th of February?
You can expect that I will make sure everyone will need 20 minutes to catch their breath after my set! Besides that, I will probably still make sure you experience something you did NOT expect! I often make special edits of my own tracks (or other tracks) which include something related to that specific event. I have done this for Fatality, Raw Definition and Suppression, and Fear The Gear is certainly one that will have some special dedicated edits as well!

Luminite - Make It Clap

What are you working on now and what are your [short term] plans for the future?
I already have 2 brand new solo tracks finished, which I will definitely play at Fear The Gear. Besides those, I am working on a special remix for a non-hardstyle artist (although the genre is still close to hardstyle), which has a style similar to my own track Be The Baddest (out of the box, wicked sound-design and dubstep influences)! I am going to work my ass off to get the remix done as soon as possible, although I am fairly sure that Fear The Gear will be the party where the remix is premiered!

Additionally, I am working on a very special project with another artist, where I will give no more information than the hint I have given earlier:

C … … … … … … … … E

MC Focus

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Gearbox has been doing exceptionally well the past year, and so have you! What have been your career’s highlights so far and can you take us on a little journey through them to where you are now?
The Highlights of my Career? Intents Festival (2016, Gearbox Showcase). Performing in Estonia and Northern-Ireland.. Rocking the mainstage of Loudness during Rebelion’s Album showcase.. Still gives me goosebumps thinking back to those moments!..The amount of energy I received from the crowd was immense!

Rebelion - Uprising (feat.MC Focus)

This/next weekend you will be performing at Gearbox #FearTheGear! What can we expect from that night and you there?
You can expect Gearbox Madness, some brand-new and exclusive tracks! From start till end we will show you all that Gearbox has to offer! I’m ready!  Are you?

Malice

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The past year has been absolutely crazy for you and you have achieved great things. Can you tell us what that has been like for you?
It was very satisfying to see that our work in the studio ended up in such a positive way, we didn’t expect it as first and now we want to continue pushing forward on this way and put more efforts into our productions. We feel that what we achieved is just the beginning of our path and we are determined to achieve greater things, we’ll see how that goes in the future 🙂

Malice - Rawphoric Experiment

On saturday the 11th of February you are performing at Gearbox #FearTheGear! What can we expect from you guys there?
You can expect a set full of energy that will include a bunch of unreleased tracks from us, and our usual interactions with the crowd while performing, we like to really connect with our fans at our gigs, so see you there everybody!

Phil (labelmanager Gearbox Digital)

Can you take us on a short trip into the history of Gearbox Digital and how it has gotten to where it is today?
Way back in the days when Blutonium Boy was a well respected artist, I got my first set of Numark Axis 9’s. A set of decks that had a similar beat counting ability to a Tourette’s sufferer with a stutter. The serious lack of quality that these decks possessed only furthered my ability to mix when I was learning. So after a few months, I decided to start a weekly mix which started off with some Hard Dance and progressed to Hardstyle. The progression through the BPM’s and styles is what gave birth to the name Gearbox.

These weekly mixes, turned into a podcast, the podcast then became a full blown radio show with guests, the radio show then became a hard dance label. Then when we won the award for best Hard Dance Label at the Hard Dance Music awards, I turned my attention to the Hardstyle scene. Since then things have just continued to progress and that is what takes us to where we are today. A small group of misfits who make music for another larger family of misfits, all of which with a serious appetite for the hardest beats on offer.

The name Gearbox seems pretty apt for how this whole journey has been so far and I firmly believe that right now we are only sitting in 3rd gear and we still need to get through 4th, 5th and 6th gear before we hit our top speed. Although, I do think  I just took us into overdrive on the cheesometer with last analogy.

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You have reached amazing things with the label Gearbox Digital for the past years, can you tell us what that has been like for you?
It’s been fucking horrific!

Nuh, only joking, this whole thing, which I have only ever done out of passion for the music, has afforded me opportunities that I could never have dreamed of. To see your hard work being appreciated by so many thousands of people is totally incredible.

It has been quite difficult at times though, especially now that we have hit the kind of success we are seeing now. The reason it’s been difficult is because I am based in The Highlands of Scotland, and the only time you ever hear anything over 150 beats per minute is when your neighbour in the next field has invested in some new sheep porn. Being so far away from the scene and the artists is difficult, especially since we promote ourselves as being a family. If I were based in The Netherlands, I could perhaps make a full time living out of it, but since my home is here in The Highlands, I still need to continue with my current career and work on all the Gearbox and Pure Bookings stuff in my spare time, which I don’t have much of.

But when I get the chance to see our guys first hand on some of the biggest stages in the world totally rocking it, it makes all the effort totally worthwhile. I only wish that I could do it more often, and that I could share the stage with them :p

RAWdefinition - Gearbox Special

Anything you’d like to add that wasn’t asked about/mentioned here?
Loads! I don’t get nearly enough opportunities to share my thoughts about music and Gearbox. The closest thing I get to talking about Hardstyle in The Highlands is when someone mistakes Hardstyle Music for Hardstyle Pornography.

Although, if there is one last point I’d like to make before I go back into hiding, it’s that I LOVE the direction that Gearbox is moving in! Don’t get me wrong, I love all the corners of Hardstyle as long as the sounds are original and pushing boundaries, which is something I always encourage our artists to do, but ever since Early Hardstyle and Reverse Bass died out, I’ve always felt that Hardstyle music in general was lacking a real energetic feeling that is relentless and keeps people moving.

The omission of cheesey vocals and big airy synths being replaced by Techy influences, relentless rhythm and hard hitting kicks has given the music a new lease of life. Don’t get me wrong, this ferocious Hardstyle is not for pussies, so it’s only natural that it doesn’t tick everyone’s boxes, but there was a serious void left when Early Hardstyle died out and Hardcore was losing listeners. I just hope that Gearbox can continue to fill that void that so many young listeners have been craving for.  

PS – bring back Kamui

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