Famous for his aggressive sound with a touch of “epic”, he’s a true trailblazer within Raw Hardstyle: E-Force! And a lot has happened around him recently: War Force, his album “Edge Of Insanity”, Supremacy, a fantastic festival summer and so much more. We pulled the “Man Of Steel” aside for a lengthy interview!


Hey Ed, thank you for speaking with us today! We’re really excited to have you on.

Thanks for having me!

2017 has been an amazing year for you so far! You performed with Team Red at Hard Bass, your album “Edge Of Insanity” is still riding high, and your project Warforce with Warface has taken over the Raw scene as well. How do you feel with all these great things happening around E-Force?
It defenitely is a great year so far. The first big gig was HardBass, which was the perfect moment to showcase my new music to a big crowd, and the response that followed was crazy. That was also the moment when my first artist album got a very good boost. Since HardBass I’ve basically played all the big stages I could wish for, so yeah I’m very happy with this year so far.

Earlier this year you had the honor of creating the Supremacy Australia anthem as Warforce. What was that experience like? The atmosphere, the event, and of course the feeling as anthem creators?
Supremacy in Holland is always one of my favorite events to play in the year, so I was very happy when I heard the plans of doing it in Australia aswell. As we also did the Supremacy NL anthem with War Force it was quite a suprise that they also asked us for doing the Australia one. The atmosphere at the event was crazy, and I loved every minute of playing there as War Force but also with my solo E-Force set.

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As an experienced artist who has performed at every big stage the Hardstyle community could fathom, either as E-Force or War Force, are you still nervous? Especially when you premiere new tracks?
Nervous wouldn’t be the right word for it anymore. But I’m always very excited for every gig I do. I’m a lilttle bit nervous when I’m premiering new music though. It’s always an exciting moment to see the response from the crowd on something that I’ve been working on for a long time in the studio.

As we mentioned before your album Edge Of Insanity was just that, INSANITY! When did you start planning this album, and did you imagine it would gain as much praise as it has?
Thanks for the kind words I was having the idea for doing an album for quite some time, but I had to wait fort he right moment. At the end of the festival season in 2016 I though that was the right time to start with it. I was feeling good, had a good vibe in the studio, and that was the moment for me. When I made the decision of just going for it. Everything that came with the album, like the event, new merchandise, my new logo etc. it all was such a good experience.

Can you maybe give us a glimpse into the creation process of “The Edge Of Insanity”? How long did you lock yourself into the studio to get this album finished? Where did you get the inspiration for all the tracks, and what would you do to clear your mind in times of frustration or a dead end on a project?
It took a lot of time and work. I started around July/August with making the first tracks for it. I also did some collabs of course, which are important for inspiration and to also bring different kinds of sounds on the album. My inspiration comes from a lot of different things, but the biggest inspiration I always get from the crowd at events. To see and hear what they like motivates me to make new music.

When taking a look at the tracklist of “The Edge Of Insanity” it feels like a great combination of your own signature sounds, as well as some powerful collaborations. How did you come to choose the artists featured on this album, and which one were you most excited to work with?
That’s exactly what I wanted. On an album you can do some things which you normally can’t do on a solo release. I really like to search for the boundaries in hardstyle, and with this album I defenitely did. The collaborations I did are with people I really like to work with, such as Radical Redemption, D-Sturb and Warface. I also think that it’s important to have enough “new generation” artist involved, such as Devin Wild, Sub Zero Project and Rebelion.

© photo by @[473836935971764:0]

Some artists would say an album should feature only their music, because it is their vision, and their work. What are your thoughts on this statement, and what would you say is better by working with others on something so big?
Of course it should be your own music when you’re doing an album because it’s a great way to showcase what you got. I did some collabs on the album, but if you listen to them you’ll hear my signature sound in all tracks.

There are a lot of artists that have created a new sound in the Raw Hardstyle scene this year that fans are calling Extra Raw Hardstyle. What are your thoughts on this, and are there any newcomers to the raw scene you’d like to work with soon?
I like this! I always support new influences within hardsyle, that’s what it keeps it interesting. If everybody just keeps following the same patterns as always then it would get pretty boring. On my album I also did some experimental tracks; like Stresstest. The response on this track at HardBass was crazy!

How did you come to think of the name “Edge Of insanity”?
Reaching to the edge of insanity is a feeling that I want all visitors of a DJ set from me to experience. Thats also the feeling I wanted to bring on my album.

Word on the street is when you start a project in the studio you don’t leave until it’s finished. What was the longest amount of time you spent in the studio working on the album, and do you have any funny stories from either the studio or about other artists you worked with on the album?
That’s not really true. I’m in the studio when I want to be, and when I have the inspiration and motivation for it. I’m not the type of producer who’s always in the studio. The way I produce is affected a lot by how I feel, so when I feel good I can be in the studio for a long time, but when I’m a little bit tired (after a heavy weekend for example) I can stay home for a day or two.

At this time we’d like to ask some more personal questions. How do you handle the DJ life, producer’s life and your personal life? I would imagine it would be stressful! So, what does a normal week look like for you?
It can be stessful yes, especially with a busy schedule. But the good thing after a busy weekend is that you normally have a few days off to relax in the studio. Normally I always take a day off on Monday, and the rest of the week you can find me in the studio to produce new stuff.

As an artist of your caliber, what would you say is most important about having a trustful management team surrounding you?
It’s very important for me. It’s a very “relaxing” thought that there’s always someone working for you and taking care of all the things that just have to be done. I’m a producer and a DJ, and that’s what I want to focus on. When your career get’s bigger you have to deal with a lot of different partys like booking agents, promoters, press, labels etc. If you have to take care of all business related stuff yourself, then you simply won’t have the time left to produce your music in the studio. So yes, management is a very important factor to make it possible for me to do what I love to do!

Many people simply see the artists they love touring and bathing in the glory of all these events. What can you tell us about the hardships that can come with fame, and is it all worth it?
It’s hard working, and it never stops. What most people don’t see is that we spend almost every single minute we got building new music in the studio. We work very hard for it. You can find me more often in my studio than you find me at home.

What are some tracks that have caught your eye lately? In and out of Hardstyle or Electronic music as a whole?
There is a lot of new talent coming up lately!
Which is a good thing! But I think I’m stuck with noisecontrollers forever… haha! Especially his older work, it still inspires me a lot!

If you could choose one super-power which would it be and why?
I don’t know if you can call it a superpower, but I think I would choose wisdom, because after that you will always make the right choices..

Gert-Jan Kusters-9527

And here we have some final questions from the community:

1. What are your plans as part of War Force right now, and where are War Force headed at the moment?
We’ve done some very cool gigs in the first year we had with War Force, and for next season this will be even bigger. We’re working on a lot of new stuff in the background to renew the act, and the most important thing is new music of course. Within the next months I’ll go into the studio more often with Warface to build new stuff, so you can expect new bangers very soon!

2. What is your biggest dream as an artist? Playing at Qlimax or an X-Qlusive E-Force for example?
I already have a lot of highlights in my career as a DJ\Producer. And I’m so thankful for that. I don’t know what more I can wish for at this moment. Maybe another event of my own, with my dedicated fans!

3. Which track on ‘Edge of Insanity’ are you most proud of and which one do you think is the hardest?
I’m proud of every single track I made, or else I wouldn’t release it. But I think the most powerful track for myself is Stresstest. It was a lot of fun to make this track, it was actually inspired by Justice – Stress!

4. What happened to tracks like Silence, the collabs with Regain and Chain Reaction, as well as the Crucifix Edit?
Sometimes the flow is not what you expect of it, like I said before if I don’t feel it I don’t release it. I know some people still want to have those tracks..
But mostly when I don’t feel it, I leave it that way and start over from scratch again.

5. Are you planning on making more tracks with gated kicks and/or Schranz- or Psy influences?
Well in my opinion it’s always good to break boundaries! I think it’s a good thing that music evolves.. for me as a producer I always wanna try to create new things.. and this influences really open new doors for me..

Last but not least: Do you have anything else to say? Any exclusive information about future projects? Or perhaps some words to your fans, family or maybe your mum?
I’m really thankful for all the support I get along the way from my fans family friends.. i’m really grateful for what I’m doing..  and want to thank every single one that believes in me!
Thank you again for speaking with us and we look forward to the future of your music.
Thanks again for having me and see you guys soon!

 

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Pictures: XXLerator/Matrixx Events, Art Of Dance, b2s, Q-Dance

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