Ruben and Victor of the Dutch dance duo Vicetone epitomize the EDM success story. Having only released their first unofficial free remix in 2012, four years later the pair have already played Ultra Music Festival in Miami three times, collaborated with the likes of Nicky Romero and put out records on some of the genre's biggest labels. No longer a fresh new act, they enter a period of transition from the upstart newcomers to known commodities who are looking to experiment and expand on their upbeat, melodic brand of commercial house music.
The pair have a very bright immediate future with songs on the way with the likes of KSHMR, Youngblood Hawke, A-Trak and others. The ID floating around the internet of them and KSHMR is not the one they did together, but another one is coming.
We had the chance to catch up with the pair to discuss this period of transition in their career, cooking, FIFA, favorite labels and much more.
Listen to their new 5-track Aurora EP, their first longer project and something the pair hope to do more of in the future. Pick up Aurora on iTunes here and listen below.
Music Times: They say there's no overnight success in the music industry. How long were you guys making music before you came together because a year after once you first put out the Adele, Flo Rida and Ne-Yo remixes you were getting picked up by Nicky Romero.
Ruben: Those remixes you mentioned that was within the first 12 months of us working together. The first track we ever made was finished in April 2012, so it was basically four years ago when Victor & I started working together for the first time. A year later we transitioned from remixes to full on originals and tours and multiple labels rather than just free releases. It's funny because we've always had that new act tag for the last three years and now we're getting to the point in our career where we aren't the new act any more. People in the dance world have either heard of us, know one song or have vaguely heard of a track we have done. We're not a new act anymore but it's definitely not been overnight it's been a couple years in the making, but once we're making new music things started moving pretty fast for us which we were lucky with.
MT: Have you found an advantage to not being a new act anymore or did you like being a new act?
Victor: I think it was nice being a new act because people were constantly checking out your music and seeing if you have new stuff out but...
Ruben: You basically just get more used to life on tour and just the life of what you have to do both studio-wise and touring-wise. Things don't surprise us as much anymore, we've kind of seen a lot of sh*t, a lot of good things a lot of bad things. So if you suddenly get really bad news or something it doesn't ruin your night anymore, you're kind of used to the of the music industry. I guess that's the biggest benefit.
MT: You guys put out a lot of music pretty consistently, how long does it take for you guys to finish a song?
Ruben: It really depends. I think for the Bob Marley remix we did in January it was 3 or 4 days to finish it from beginning to end. Sometimes when you are working on original music and you have a good top line but not really the right voice for the top line it will take maybe a few months longer to find the right vocal or to try and get a good studio session in for that track. You never really want to rush to finish a song but for some songs it gets finished in 3 or 4 days.
Victor: Some remixes are really fast as well because you already have the topline. We did a Prodigy remix recently that we haven't released and we don't know if we are going to release it but we just made it for our sets. We played it at Ultra this year and we got so many reactions about it but I literally made it in one and a half days. It was very fast so some tracks come together really quick when you get lucky with the sounds you're trying to produce and some tracks take months it really depends. But usually if we're in the flow we get songs done in a week, week and a half.
MT: You guys have bounced around from various labels such as Protocol, Spinnin', Monstercat and Revealed. What advantages have you found doing that versus sticking with one?
Victor: Every label has its own kind of demographic people that listens to it. Monstercat has a lot of North American listeners that are very open about different types of music. They don't just like big room house music, they also like dubstep or melodic trap. We really like the Monstercat family for that reason because they're very open minded people and they have a very strong fan base.
You have Spinnin' for example obviously who are huge as well and have had so much success in the last three years with so many different types records so I think the biggest difference is usually demographics. Spinnin' is more worldwide, very Europe oriented and Monstercat is a bit more American but not just there are a lot of European fans as well, it just attracts different types of music listeners.
MT: This EP is first time you are doing a bigger project beyond a single or a remix. Why do an EP now?
Victor: We finally realized that that there was no way we were going to release all of this music we had finished single after single like we've been doing our whole career. You know we don't have enough time in the year unless we want to release a single every two weeks or every three weeks that's just too much for everybody and people will not be able to keep track. In an EP we're allowed to have a little more creativity. We are unconstrained to a label or anybody saying listen "we need to make this a little stronger to work as a single." We have tracks on there that our old school fans might not recognize which we think is cool. We want to improve our sound and showcase a different aspect of the sound people are already familiar with.
MT: Do you plan on doing more EP's or potentially an album?
Ruben: Yes, album we're not sure yet when that will be but we really love the concept of EP. They're like mini albums basically.
Victor: We still have so much music that's unreleased and the EP is a good way of releasing that, so probably.
MT: What do you have coming up beyond the EP?
Victor: Yeah we have a song with Youngblood Hawke, which doesn't have a release date yet.
Ruben: Yeah we have a collaboration with A-track that we're finishing up soon that might come out this year it kind of depends on A-track and what our schedules are like. We also made kind of a remake of "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer and that's going to be our next single after the EP.
Victor: Yeah we sampled her voice for that and we're really excited for that because that's a really funky track, it works really well in our sets it's called Hot Stuff and that's going to be in May and we're also talking to Monstercat about releasing a new single this year because we just love those guys so much
MT: What is something people might not know about you guys?
Victor: Maybe people see us as a DJ rock stars touring the world and going crazy every night.
Ruben: But we're very focused on the job. Maybe people think we do drugs or drink a lot of alcohol but it's the exact opposite while we're touring and in the studio we're very focused. We never take drugs I mean.
Victor: We don't get drunk anymore. That's kind of a thing of the past. We're 24 now. We used to do that when we were 20, 19 or 18. We also like cooking that's maybe a fun thing people don't know about us.
MT: What do you cook?
Victor: We cook a major macaroni. It's insanely good macaroni with vegetables.
Ruben: I cook a lot of steaks, pork, and potato gratin. We live together in a home and you can get take out here like pizza, but we would probably get fat really fast so we thought why not get into cooking.
MT: Who is better at FIFA?
Ruben: Victor's better at FIFA. When Victor and I were 15 years old, we went to the same high school class together so we had all classes together and we became really good friends with another mate of ours so the three of us we started playing FIFA 08 or 07.
FIFA that year added this mode called "My Club" where you could create a club with you friends and play together against other people. They had a ranking list of the best clubs in Europe and our little team of 14/15 year old guys got so f*cking good at this that we were once in the top 10 best teams of Europe in FIFA.
Victor: Yeah like top 5.