Be part of the pact!

The dark will rise, the mist shroud its surroundings, creatures come to play and reveal their true insanity, while one man stands up and claims the stage to bring you the brutal force of mystic, atmospheric and powerful hardstyle. Follow the master and be part of the pact – follow Dark Pact.

Rising talent Dark Pact has proven himself as a highly appreciated artist in the harder styles lately. Playing at Qapital, Decibel and Q-Base, his year is going strong. We caught up with him after his performance at the legendary hangar to be part of the pact.

Hope you’re doing well after this massive weekend at Q-BASE! Damn, what a performance, how was the set going for you?
Not a problem at all! Thanks, I think the set went really well, everyone I spoke to really liked it and I have to say I really liked it as well, haha.

It was not the first time you played at Q-BASE. Last year you had your debut, playing in the Extra Raw area – I mean you just even played at Q-BASE before Angerfist did 😉 Now you just levelled up I guess, playing at the f*cking hangar! How did that feel?
Haha, it feels amazing, but I always need some time to realize that. I reach for the stars and I have set huge goals for myself so sometimes you forget the steps you take in between.

After all the chaos is gone you can look at things from a different perspective and that’s when you realize: “Hey, exactly one year ago I played here for the first time in a small bunker and now I’m responsible for the Hangar anthem and have a prime time spot in the line-up there!”

So I always need some time to really see those achievements, but when I finally do see them, I cherish them.

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You did not only perform at the hangar, but you’re also responsible for this year’s hangar anthem. How did it start, I mean, did Q-Dance just ask for you to produce it? How was the workflow while producing and especially what’s the idea behind it?
Well, it started with me getting a call from my agency saying that I had been asked to create the anthem for the Q-BASE Hangar. Of course I said yes straight away, because who wouldn’t?! After that I started working on it immediately and I did have some issues along the way. I basically had two melodies written for the anthem, one of which was really melodic and had a hint of the old “Lost In Dreams” anthem (which by the way is still THE Q-BASE anthem in my opinion) and one that was more raw, darker etc.

I chose the last one because that fit the feeling more of the Hangar, it’s more a place of power and “rawer” sounds and so I started working on that. I worked on it for a long time, but then again I work on all my tracks for a long time. I want to make things perfect, or at least as perfect as I can make it at that time. And once you start working, things fall into place and it all comes together.

I wanted to use powerful vocals/lyrics to create unity as well and I wanted to capture the feeling of an old military airfield in sounds and build up and all. So the track builds up from something that’s strong and solid and then crumbles a bit, the alarm goes off and then it builds up power and energy again. I always want some sort of story in a track and some sort of vibe and that’s the feeling and story of ‘Fearless’.

Dark Pact - Fearless (Q-Base Hangar Anthem)

I think we all need to calm down after this crazy weekend. And now, Q-Base aside, who the f*ck are you actually?
I’m a regular dude who was born and raised in a city called Zutphen, which is in the East of The Netherlands. I love football (talking about the English version of the word, not the American) and films. I’m a bit of a nerd because I really like fantasy stuff and Star Wars is a weak spot of mine.

I play video games whenever I have the time to relax or just need the time to relax. And as far as I can remember I’ve always liked music. And just a funny, little known fact about me: before I really discovered music I wanted to be an actor and I used to play in school plays, but never any musicals though, I have the voice of an otter.

Do you think the prequel trilogy ruined the original Star Wars trilogy? 
Haha, no I don’t think it did. I was really young when the prequel trilogy was released anyway and I loved Star Wars, so I loved the films as well.

What kind of video games do you like? Ready for the new Battlefront? Haha, did someone tell you, you have a voice like an otter or did you recognize it by yourself? 
I play FIFA, shooters or GTA 5 mainly, but I don’t game that often as I used to do. Used to be a killer Call of Duty 2 player haha. I played the old Battlefront, very cool game, probably won’t play the new one, but still curious about it 🙂
Well, I don’t know if I really sound like an otter when I sing. But I imagine an otter not being the best sounding creature out there, so I thought the resemblance is probably there.

Besides producing and rocking all those stages, what are your hobbies? Do you work as a full-time producer? Do you have family? How do you spend free weekends?
Well, as I said, I like playing video games and I’m always up for a good horror film. At the moment I’m a full time DJ and producer, it’s the number one thing I love doing so I wouldn’t know any other way of spending my day. I have an older brother who has his own company and two very supportive parents.

My dad, who is always the reasonable and down to earth person and my mom who’s my biggest fan, loves hardstyle (yep, even raw) and probably knows more about the scene than I do. I either hang out with friends, just watch a film at home, play games or, what I usually do, make music.

Now I know where you get your inspiration! What’s your favorite horror movie? When you watch a horror movie are you cool as ice and relaxed or do you get scared as well? Give us a scene you have been really afraid of.
I don’t really have a favorite horror movie, there are loads out there which I really like. The scariest I remember seeing was Ringu, the Japanese version of The Ring and it scared the living daylights out of me. I’m not scared in the sense that I am afraid all the time, but jump scares get me every time, so I’m actually easily frightened with jump scares haha.

What do family and friends think about this ‘crazy’ , ‘not normal’ ‘weird sounding’ music you spin at festivals and produce in your studio?
I have one very close friend who really likes hardstyle, he always joins me to gigs. The rest of them find it cool, but not that they’re huge fans who follow the scene and everything that’s happening. My mom loves it, she’s always been a fan of electronic music so she listens to hardstyle regularly.

My dad listens to my tracks every now and then, but has always been more of a fan of the good old rock bands and my brother isn’t really a hardstyle fan, so he listens to a lot of other stuff. The rest of the family probably can’t stand it and I’m pretty sure my grandma would pass out if I ever played her one of my songs haha.

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Do your parents, especially your mom visit your performances? Was your mom one of the reasons you started producing hardstyle?
My mom went to Decibel when I closed down the Loudness stage with Warface, she loved every minute of it and I think she had her picture taken more times than I had haha. I wouldn’t say I started producing because of my parents, but I grew up in a home in which music played all the time and where my parents would even tell stories about the music. So I think that really played a part in the fact that I love music and making music.

I just discovered a few sounds of you and I would describe them as very atmospheric, such as Jack Of Sound tracks, but also with this specific mystical touch, B-Front has it as well. You stick to melodies, hard anti-climax parts and heavy kicks – would you agree? How do you describe your music?
Well, I do use anti-climaxes at times, but not that often really. To me music is emotion and emotion is more than a 157 bpm track with a bass, kickroll Valhalla and screeches that slice through your ears. I feel a lot of tracks that are popular nowadays are technically below standard and lack the emotion and vibe music needs, in my opinion. I’ve always made tracks that are hard, but apart from just drive, it also adds feeling to it. Music means alot to me and I want mine to mean a lot to other people.

I would describe my music as melancholic, mystical and energetic. Basically what hardstyle has always been about.

Do you think some producers try to hop on the ‘raw train’ by just creating a heavy kick and screeches and try to gain as much attention as possible for the moment? Would you agree, that this is definitely not the direction hardstyle should go?
Yes, I think some producers do that. There was a time where I thought producers just did what they loved, but after the short period of time where I’ve been active in the music industry I can definitely say that’s not always the case. On the other hand there are young and upcoming producers who produce raw hardstyle, because they need to search for their own and unique sound and some just really love the hard kicks and screeches.

Though I’m not against that, it’s more the fact that I want to point out that you can make RAW and still deliver, technically, quality tracks.
I wouldn’t say it’s not the direction hardstyle should go to, but it’s not something I’m a huge fan of. I have always been more about feelings, melody, atmosphere and the huge hype nowadays is the opposite of that. It’s just a trend which evolved and I feel that kind of RAW is so far apart from the mainstream hardstyle that it’s almost a different genre.

Dark Pact - I Don't Care

What would definitely be something you would love to achieve as a DJ and producer – not only this year, but also in 2016 – what can we expect?
My goal has always been Qlimax and after that having your own night, like Thrillogy or X-Qlusive or something. So that’s always been my future goal. Apart from that I just want to create a lot of music and have a lot of gigs. I want to be one of the best producers and DJs out there and I am very competitive, so I always push myself to achieve more and more and am very strict and hard on myself to make sure I achieve my goals. So expect 2016 to be a year where Dark Pact is an invaluable DJ in any RAW line-up.

Your track Godlike was climbing the charts recently and is still played a lot. How did you feel when Adaro dropped it during his closing set at Defqon.1?
That was unbelievable, I wasn’t able to be there myself unfortunately, but I managed to catch it on the livestream. It was an amazing moment, seeing your track being played in front of so many people is the way you picture it when you start producing the track.

Dark Pact - Godlike

With ‘members of the pact’ you already kind of launched a community based phenome – would you love to work on that and maybe built a whole brand of it? I mean, I just imagine your own small party ‘Be part of the pact!’, merchandise collection and more – how does that sound to you?
Currently I am working on setting up a lot of merchandise, the T-Shirts with “Part Of The Pact” on it were an idea I had from the start and were just a start to build up the brand ‘Dark Pact’. Now it will only grow bigger and better. The point of it all is not that it’s marketing, it’s not like some acts out there who want to create the sense of unity. I want to go beyond that, I don’t want to create the feeling of unity, I want to create unity.

I tell my fans as well, Dark Pact isn’t about me, it’s about all of the people who like my music. Come to see me perform, follow me on my social media pages. Without my fans and all the members of The Pact I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s a team effort and I want it to stay that way and reward the people who join The Pact. So I am working hard on setting this all up and achieving this, but that’s always been the plan from the start. It’s called a ‘Pact’ for a reason.

Sure, that all sounds pretty nice. Do you think it’s important as an artist to not only represent a specific music style, but also stay in contact with fans, your ‘members’ and create such a community based brand.
I feel like you always need to stay in touch with your fans. Your music can be played on every mainstage, by every main artist, but when you have no fans you will never become a big artist. It’s the fans and the people who make sure you are where you are. So never think you’re worth more than anyone else or treat other people like they’re nothing, it all starts with that.

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We love to share exclusive stuff so, anything you could tell us? Otherwise, some nice words to your fans, mom, dog, cat, I don’t know – feel free!
I just wanna say to all Members of The Pact: there are cool things coming up and to everyone who’s gotten to know me a bit through this interview: make sure to be a Part Of The Pact!

How to become a member of the pact? Do we need to succeed a special ritual, like signing a contract with our own blood, pass three horrifying tasks and swear everlasting loyalty?
Haha, no rituals, just follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. There are plans to make sure that you can really be a part of a group and that’s what I want to create, total unity. But at the moment all you have to do to become a member of The Pact is check out my sets at festivals and follow me on social media. Oh and like my music of course haha.
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