R epresenting the harder styles in dance music, we got to spread this message to the party people all over the world” is what they proclaimed in the year 2003. And the Alpha² kept their word! For a decade already, these pioneers of the rough and raw sound are spreading their music all across the continents. They delivered best-selling tracks, such as ‘Headhunterz & Wildstylez Vs. Noisecontrollers – Tonight (Alpha² Remix)’ and ‘Rebirth’ (Official Anthem 2012).
It has been quiet around Alpha² recently, but this year they are back with their first and brand new album! We caught up with these two hardstyle heavyweights, to talk about their new album Recharged, their daily lifes and even more funny questions.
I think we all are interested in news about your upcoming album. Can you give us some basic information about the album? How many tracks will it include? How many of these are collabs? Is there already a specific release date?
As many as we can of course, but we’re focussing on ± 16 tracks from which 5 are collaborations.
The exact release date isn’t set yet, but expect it to be somewhere in the beginning of summer.
Talking about collabs, you recently posted a teasing picture with a scrapped tracklist. You can clearly recognize a few collabs. Can you give us an overview of the artists you worked with and why? Will there be remixes or at least one remix of one of your tracks on the album?
We did collabs with B-Front, Ran-D, Digital Punk, Jack of Sound and Sub Sonik. We like all of them in person and as an artist as well. We already had several collabs with B-Front and Ran-D and of course we had a big hit with Jack of Sound last year (Das Weite Land). We decided we also wanted to do a collab with a “new” name in the scene and therefore we’ve chosen Sub Sonik because we really like his sound and style.
Yes there will be several remixes on the album. We remixed “Get Hit” by Crypsis and Sasha F which was a big hit years ago.
One of the remixes from our own (old) tracks is “Nowhere to Hide” which was remixed by The Machine and we must say he did a really great job! We also asked two other talents to remix two of our tracks, you’ll be informed about those two names shortly…
That’s quite interesting I think. Although The Machine already remixed a few tracks by Scantraxx artists, he’s still not the first guy we all would think about, when it comes to ‘possible remixes’. Did you ask him to remix ‘Nowhere to Hide’? How did you come in touch with him?
Actually The Machine contacted us last year if he could do a remix for us. This was already before we decided to do this album.
He send us a few ideas and we told him ours. This resulted in a great remix of one of our first tunes. We were happy with what he did and told him we wanted to put his remix on our album.
When Talking about ‘Das weite Land’ you created an absolute floor killer. Everyone knows the melody and everyone is always singing along. Now, we already heard the new collab with Jack of Sound, ‘Die Ganze Welt’ – correct me if i’m wrong. Would you rate this track as a sequel to ‘Das weite Land’? When creating Die ganze Welt did you think of the immense success of Das weite Land and therefore you tried to give it a similar touch, or did you tried to create the best follow up?
Das Weite Land was and still is an absolute floor killer. Funny thing is that we created the whole track in about three hours. When we left the studio we already decided that we had to do another collab some day. When we decided to do this album we immediately said we wanted to do the follow up with Jack of Sound and it had to be on the album.
When we started we did discuss in which direction we wanted to go and we thought it would be a challenge to make some sort of sequel. We also used the same vocals (different part of course). So yes you could say that 😉
Of course we knew it was hard to create another hit like Das Weite Land but we think we did a good job!
How would you scale the importance of letting new names play at big stages? Furthermore I’d like to ask you guys, can you give talented producers a few tips of what NOT to do in the business?
Of course it is important. New DJs and producers keep the scene fresh. And by that we mean there’s always a good balance between “old” and “new”. Visitors of parties don’t want to see the same names all the time. What not to do, rush into things and making reckless decisions.
What we just experienced when it comes to album releases lately is, that there is probably no way around an official album party. Just think of Warface or Radical Redemption. Do you plan to do so as well? If yes, how would a possible line up look like and what would be your preferred location?
We will share more info about our album release soon 😉
Let’s take a look at the album title. ‘Recharged’ is a really concise title. For me it implements kind of a new start, because obviously something gets recharged, which means, there was a time something was not charged.
Let’s continue on that and dig a bit deeper. What does the album title exactly mean? Can you agree on my thoughts? Does the album represent the start of a new Alpha² era?
We think you can definitely say that. The last 12 months we had some important decisions to make about what we wanted to do with Alpha² and which direction we wanted to go in. Because of that it has been a bit quiet around us, also music wise.
At the end of last year we decided we still had some unfinished business to take care of and we wanted to do something special we never did before; an album!
The title is easy to explain; we feel “Recharged” and we want to add another decade to our career at least.
What is the most significant trait of the album? What did you try to create, while working on the tracks for the album, sound-wise? Will they be the same direction Willow Waly or Hostile went?
Not really sure if you could say there’s a significant trait but we do know exactly which direction we want to go to. We want to be somewhere in the middle. We love that ‘raw’ sound but we also love the melodies that make you smile from ear to ear.
Furthermore, I’m pretty curious – will the album tell a story through the different tracks?
Not a particular story, just good music that will make you feel Recharged!
Let’s switch over to more personal questions and to start right with a simple one: Are you guys still as happy as in the beginning within the harder styles?
Yes we most definitely are. We think that the evolution of hardstyle has been a positive one. The last years the “raw” hardstyle has taken over and we always loved the harder side of the genre (we used to close almost every festival back in the days) but we think that melody is also a really important aspect in hardstyle. Harder (for us) isn’t always better.
Do you think, and I’m referring to DJ Typhoon here, that raw hardstyle is now drifting towards hardcore? If you guys have to play after another raw hardstyle DJ, is it a struggle for yourself to keep up after a set, played at 155BPM, with only the hardest kicks?
Nowadays it seems like everyone is trying to create the hardest tracks and kicks. Tracks are even being produced at 155 bpm or even higher. So yes sometimes we do get the feeling hardstyle is drifting towards hardcore.
If we have to play at a big festival we always check who’s playing there also and of course who’s playing before us. Because of this we have enough time to select the tracks we want to play and adjust the set. So most of the time this is no problem.
I just read, everything started for you as residents at Qlubtempo. Sadly, the event does not exist anymore, but would you love to play at a very last edition again?
Yes of course we would. Like you said it all started for us at Qlubtempo and we were one of the most booked artists at these events.
Which melody makes you smile the most?
Without a doubt: Noisecontrollers – So High
Referring to the beginning, seriously, I can’t find something you did not achieve during the years you’re in the scene now. So, let me ask is there something, which still flashes you or is there something on your personal bucketlist you’d love to experience as Alpha²?
Although we traveled all over the world and played at all main stages of the biggest (hardstyle) festivals and we will complete our own album within months, there’s always something you’ld like to achieve, like; playing in South America & Asia (we’ve heard people are crazy over there) or hosting our own event for example.
For those who have a brother, especially an older one, they exactly know the struggle you’re going through your whole life. So, going back in time, were you always in company with each other? Second, do you remember a situation where one of you had clearly been preferred by your parents?
Well our parents preferred me (Arjen) over Anco but never told him. Haha, joking of course. And yes we are probably almost always in each others company.
Did you guys always got equal presents for birthday or Christmas?
I always got the bigger presents (so Anco could have known I was the favorite son, haha 😉
Do you remember one of the biggest presents you got one time?
Probably a bike 🙂
Do you like sports? If yes, which? And no, FIFA does not count! Is there a sport you tried, but failed really bad? Also, do you like to play video games?
We both played tennis when we were young on quite a high level and played tournaments throughout the whole country. Anco still plays tennis occasionally. We also play golf every now and then and yes of course we like to play videogames and yes we prefer FIFA.
Why didn’t you continue on that? Maybe you would have played against Boris Becker one day …
Who is better in FIFA?
We already started partying too hard at an early age. So we were hungover on Sundays when we had to play these tournaments.
Arjen actually threw up one time on the tennis court in a final and had to quit. That was also the moment our parents said we had to choose between tennis and partying.
The rest is history 😉
Anco is the better FIFA player.
Did you already find the love of your life? Basically, how’s your private life going? How do you handle family, kids and your performances in the weekend or the time in the studio?
We both have kids; Anco has two daughters and a son and Arjen has a daughter. They are the loves of our lives 😉
When it comes to our jobs we apply office hours (most of the time) so there’s no problem there. Of course the weekends (especially Saturdays) are busy, that comes with the job.
Do they already ‘understand’ what you are doing? When will you take them to one of your performances?
Well they know we’re in the music business but that’s it. They do like the music though! Arjen posted a short movie of his daughter dancing on hardcore a few months ago.
When they reach the age of 18 we’ll be somewhere in our 50’s so not sure if that will ever happen 😉
If you have to choose a movie universe, like Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc. you have to live in the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
Never thought about that but maybe AVATAR, such a beautiful planet.
Last but not least and for me the most important question! Would you be prepared enough for a zombie apocalypse???
We’re big “Walking Dead” fans so we think we can handle ourselves, now we’re RECHARGED
Thanks alot Alpha²! We are really curious about the album and what’s coming up in the next years 😉