Hardcore is at an absolute peak, our music does rise to an enormous height. Amongst this evolution, or do we have to say revolution, lot’s of talented producers find their way into the Hardcore scene. This time, we chat with one of these uprising talents. He did play at Harmony of Hardcore and just a few weeks ago he was playing at the main stage of Dominator 2016. He just released a brand new EP called The Next Level, we are speaking about Meltdown!
Hi Meltdown, you recently played at Dominator and released a brand-new EP, how are you doing after all this madness?
Hi, to be honest, I’m more motivated than ever !!! A lot of people support me and I have received positive feedback about my work. I believe it is impossible to feel better as a producer.
As we mentioned you did play at Dominator on the mainstage! Can you tell us something about this amazing experience?
No words can describe what I was seeing from my point of view while playing at this stage. It’s simply amazing! When I saw the people coming through the entrance on the main stage sand, can’t describe it! Finally, I realized nothing can be impossible when you really want it.
Dominator is the ‘heaven’ of hardcore, did you ever visit Dominator as a visitor?
I go to Dominator every year since 2010. Never missed one edition since.
In my opinion, Dominator is really the best outdoor festival for a hardcore lover
For those who don’t know about you yet, can you give us a little introduction, who is Meltdown?
Well, I’m Meltdown (Nero is my nickname for my friends) and I’m a 22-years-old producer from Belgium. Maybe some people knew me as “The Trapper” that was my old artist name. In 2015 I changed it, to turn into the actual “Meltdown” as it is the beginning of a new adventure. Meltdown is also my way to express my musical touch as a producer. It is powerful and can be also really sensitive and subtle.
Let’s go way back to the beginning, how did you come in touch with Hardcore music?
My mother was a big fan of electronic music specially Thunderdome so I’ve heard hardcore since I was born! I remember maybe 15 years back I was listening some tape with my her. I still have this tape here in my studio !
What made you decide to start producing yourself?
I started Djing around 2007-2008 and was really into it. Finally, after a few months, I realised I couldn’t live without this music and I needed to listen hardcore every day. I can’t explain why but you’re getting more interested day after day month after month. After a while, I got interested in producing my own sound as well but at that moment without internet, it was pretty difficult to learn.
How did you learn to master the programs? Did you have any help?
My biggest helper was the internet ! I remember around 2010 the first things I did when I got on the internet was learning DAW tutorial. And I chose FL Studio because it is the most simple DAW for me.
Around 2011 I uploaded my first full track ever, called “A world of Sadness” under the duo name of Burning Headz that I created with my best friend. The signature was already pretty melodic.
About help from artists, the first who gave me feedback about my track was Re-Style. 4 years ago I did send him a CD with one Burning Headz track called “Back Up” and he gave me some and compliments too. With that, I felt more strong than ever.
2015 was the most important year. I had full support from Angerfist for one of my tracks and also Outblast, Tha Playah and Thorax gave positive feedback and played my track. That year was an absolute banger ! I was working like hell in the studio to make my solo music sound better and that’s how Meltdown was born.
Talking about the software and the hardware, how does your studio look like?
Well, my studio is a small room when nobody but my close friends and my family can enter in. It improved a lot in couple years. I saved money to buy the best materials I could such as my homemade computer with Intel CPU I7 4770K , 16GB RAM and a 256 GO SSD.
I’ve got an SPL Crimson soundcard for its quality. For monitoring system, I choose Genelec 8040a around 2012-2013 and for my headphone a Sennheiser HD25 II. In my opinion, those headphones are a good base for DJing and I use it also in the studio because it is pretty useful for frequency mix-down and best of all is durable.
About the Software, I, use FL studio but thinking to get Cubase 8.5 because FL studio has its limits on the CPU usage.
As mentioned before you are from Belgium, a very Jump-tek and euphoric hardstyle loving country, was it hard to get publicity, because it seems that they are not that likely to Hardcore?
Well in Belgium this is not easy because here people prefer hardstyle, tekstyle, house, new beat, retro house… and this is not really easy to emerge here with new hardcore stuff. Anyway, we still have some hardcore lovers around and I must say we all feel like part of a big community.
Anyway, you can find old school lovers (about DHT for example) but also a lot about harder such as “uptempo”. But I can’t complain I have support from Belgian people as well and maybe my melodic style help me a lot ! I have a lot of support from hardstyle lovers!
Meltdown - Surviving the Times
Now you are signed at Masters of Hardcore label and Most Wanted DJ, how did you come in touch with them? It all seem to go rapidly, right?
That’s indeed a crazy story. I can firstly thank 2 of my favorite artists. Thanks to their support and advice I could grow fast in the industry and I think in a personal way as well.
First of all, Jim, known as Tha Playah. I was a big fan of him before being a producer. Every time I could see his act on a party I couldn’t wait.
As a producer, I lost a bit this fan side of me. I mean simply going to a party, dancing and enjoying the music… Instead, I can’t stop analysing what I’m listening to.
About Jim, he recommended my name in 2015 and told it to people around him. That’s how I finally got in contact with Marc Outblast that told me to take time and make some more tracks. So that’s what I did and it’s how it all started.
Actually, the first project that I sent him was a couple of weeks after, it was the “Choose the way” track.
During the same years Angerfist posted on social network asking to hear new tracks from new talents then I simply replied with a comment, with one of my track called “The Experiment” and the support went crazy ! I got like 2000-3000 views in 1 days ! Angerfist himself told the track was cool.
In your track Choose the Way the lyrics are about the mainstream way, what is the mainstream way in your opinion? Are you against it or not ?
Good question ! First, the title is more about the melody lyrics ! About the “mainstream way” I know this can be interpreted in the “commercial way” but it is not !
There is too much work in the studio from all hardcore artists to tell this is commercial music ! The mainstream way is more what I call the tracks that I listen since 2005.
I really like all kind of music but what inspire me the most is what brings me all melody emotions and powerful kicks.
Meltdown - Choose the Way
Recently you did release a brand-new track called ‘The Next Level’, can you tell us something about this track, how did you start producing this track for instance?
I can’t really remember when I started the track but the melody, I created it at the beginning of April. When I was happy with the melody I took time to learn how to make more sophisticated kicks.
The first time I played this track (as an unfinished version) was Harmony of Hardcore cause I wanted to see how the kick drum made the people on mainstage reacting and I enjoyed seeing them asking who made that one after my set. I knew I was going in a good way.
The Meltdown Hardcore sound seems to focus on feels, euphory, and massive chords with the beats fast and the bass down low. How would you describe your style?
Do you know that I’m a big fan of video games? Well from that point of view, I like all deep chords and atmosphere. That’s for the melody part. And about the beats, I like to make it swing on the other extreme part.
Of course, melody won’t be 100% of my style. I want to be complete as most as possible.
So I will try some different things such as brutal style. But I must say I really like melody parts.
If you have to pick one producer, who is your favourite?
Won’t be a surprise for you to read Tha Playah ! He is simply awesome and listening to his music keep me motivated !
I want to improve when I hear his stuff. he has crazy skills and talent !
I always used to analyse all elements in music since I produce but with his music, I, don’t have that problem. I just enjoy the music, dancing as hell in events just like a kid that’s why he is my favorite ! I must admit I am such a fanboy!
What is your favorite all-time Hardcore track?
I have a lot of favorites but Tha Playah – Walking The Line is for me one of the best track and most powerful one. When it released it felt like coming from another planet.
You have to choose: DJ-ing or Producing?
Producing cause being a DJ is for me less a challenge than producing your own track. Producing has vastly most possibilities to express me. Still, it’s not easy to choose because I started with DJing but yes this is my personal opinion and I prefer to see a great producer playings than a great DJ.
Besides Hardcore music, do you like to listen to other genres of music as well?
Well, I’m a big fan of Tiesto but from 1999 to 2008 the trance track from him are all awesome. Actually one of his concerts is my first event ever !
I also like Epic music (you can hear that style from a lot of movie and games) and some drum&bass & retro house.
There are many sub-genres in Hardcore, the seem to merge more often but still there are more sub-genres created in the meantime. What do you think about sub-genres and cross-over collabs? Do we have to call it sub-genres?
I think that’s how its made, several styles emerging. Cross-over collabs make artists creating a new style and upgrade all possibilities of production. I believe this is all matter of taste. I’m an old school guy and not much into crossing over the styles.
Where would you like to play sometimes?
Well I already played at some of my favorite festival but Masters of Hardcore of course
I go there since 2010 and I think this event is like Dominator I just can’t miss it !
I think also playing at events like Qlimax, to close with hardcore sounds, it’s probably one of the best experience for a DJ.
Speaking about ‘The Next Level’, what is your next level, what can we expect in the future, are there more tracks in the pipeline?
My next level is probably to make my hardcore more technical and get more quality than before ! This is a great challenge but it’s a good objective ! Of course, some tracks are coming!
Meltdown - The Next Level
Final Question: Do you have anything left to share or to tell your fans, maybe something exclusive?
I’m working on a remix of a less known track. And well some collabs coming up as well but more about that in some month. Thank you very much for the interview and thank you all for supporting me.