On Friday, October 30th at Insomniac’s Escape: Psycho Circus, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tim and Jurre of Firebeatz to chat about their upcoming collaboration with Chocolate Puma, producing, and everything in between.
Currently ranked among the Top 100 DJs by DJ Mag, this Dutch DJ/producer duo has worked with the likes of Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, KSHMR, and Tiesto to name a few. With their most recent collaboration being “Ghost Child” with Apster, which launched Spinnin’ Premium (a new subscription-based sublabel of Spinnin’ Records).
For making this interview a reality, I’d like to thank Tim and Jurre of Firebeatz, their tour manager Blake, Katie of BWR, and Insomniac Events, you were all absolutely amazing.
Where did the name Firebeatz come from?
Jurre: When I was a child, I was arrested. Little arsonist.
Tim: Little arsonist. No seriously. When it was fall and shit he would set leaves on fire, we used to play when we were kids and it happened.
Jurre: They would always call me little fire man and he was with beats. So we were like Firebeatz.
Tamlyn: Everyone was saying that it’s because your beats are straight fire.
Tim: Well that comes with…
Jurre: It comes with the package.
You two met each other in “Rockacademie” class at the School of Arts in Tilburg, Netherlands and from there you became creative partners. During that process, did you guys always get along or did you have creative differences?
Tim: Every day.
Jurre: Every day.
Tim: But it’s good. You stay sharp, you try to fix each other, and make better music.
How did you guys handle creative differences?
Tim: Three rounds of two minutes of straight bare-knuckle.
Jurre: But, he’s big
Tim: So he always loses.
Tim: I mean we’ll just talk about it. We always figure it out.
Jurre: Rock, paper, scissors.
How did you guys first get started in the EDM community?
Tim: EDM that’s a good one. No, we didn’t start out in EDM, we started out making house first and like tech house. I think EDM started when we were playing in America for the first time. Which show was our first EDM show…Nocturnal three or four years ago.
Jurre: That was our first festival.
Tim: That was when EDM was just starting to go here. So I think that was the first time I was introduced to that whole thing.
Tamlyn: Did you guys go to any small shows yourselves?
Jurre: We have a lot of house or actually EDM kind of music, but not like EDM rave-style over here. That’s actually why I think they gave it the name EDM because it’s broad actually.
Tim: Yeah sneakers house that was the shit.
Jurre: That was the shit.
Tim: That was Fedde Le Grand, Sidney Sampson, everybody who was big here in the states.
Jurre: Netherlands actually.
Tim: That was our shit and it wasn’t called EDM.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Tim: Fedde is my f**cking personal favorite.
Jurre: Chocolate Puma.
Tamlyn: You collaborated with them on “I Can’t Understand.”
Jurre: We have a new one as well.
How do you guys decide who you are going to collaborate with? Is it arranged by Spinnin’? Or more like buddies?
Jurre: More like buddies. Or like when certain artists for instance we did a collab with Calvin Harris, he supports a lot of tracks of us, he asked us “do we want to collab.”
Tim: We have to feel comfortable on a personal and on an artistic level with those people. We don’t just let somebody tell us who to work with, we really have to feel comfortable. I think that’s important.
How did you guys come to work with KSHMR on “No Heroes”?
Tim: We really loved his track “Megalodon.” We didn’t know him personally, but…
Jurre: That one came actually through Spinnin’ a little bit.
Tim: Yeah we met him and it was a click right like that and we finished the track in a day. So it was pretty good.
Are there any future collaborations in the works other than Chocolate Puma?
Tim: Jay Hardway.
Jurre: We are working on one with W&W and we’re going to do a couple more, but it’s still in process. We’re just not finished yet or we made an appointment, but we don’t know yet what’s going on.
Seeing that there are two of you what is the workflow like in the studio in regards to producing?
Tim: Like you mentioned before we both met each other at school to produce, so technically we know the same stuff. We have two studio too, so we can work separately, pick ideas, and we finish it together. So basically it’s kinda the same thing, where its not that one is producing more than the other. DJing too. Same stuff.
Jurre: Everything together.
Tim: We have totally different backgrounds, that’s what makes us different.
What kind of backgrounds do you have?
Tim: Punk, drum and bass, dubstep, hip-hop, old school hip-hop.
Jurre: Old school house, classical music.
Tim: Totally different.
What motivates you guys when you’re on the road for extended amounts of time?
Tim: Shows. Playing our new tracks out and seeing the reaction and just being busy with that is amazing.
Why aren’t you guys playing your 2013 single “Max Ammo” anymore?
Tim: Yeah no, that one is super loud and sometimes it’s kinda hard to get it in the right spot. And honestly, sometimes we forget to play it cause we have so many tracks.
Jurre: The problem is we play one hour and we mix f**king quick in our sets, so we try to play 25 songs.
Tim: We only have four or five from other artists it’s all our own stuff, so sometimes one slips through.
I had a few people that said they saw you three times this year and they haven’t seen you play it.
Tim: Are these people here tonight?
Tamlyn: No, but I’ll record it.
Tim: That’s good, I’ll do that.
Jurre: Last big show we forgot to play “No Heroes.” We forgot to play “Invincible.” Yeah like we said there are so many tracks, we don’t prepare our sets we just go boom boom and go with the flow. And sometimes “f**k we only have five more minutes” and “oops.”
Tim: Oops sorry.
What is your personal favorite track?
Tim: “Dear New York”
Jurre: “Dear New York” is where it all started, definitely a special track.
Tim: Every song has a different story.
Any closing words?
Jurre: Any closing words?
Tim: I want to thank my mom and dad for making this possible, love you fam.
Is this is the Oscars now? [Laughs]
Tim: The tears and like ahh. Thank you guys for the interview and thanks to everybody that is checking the interview out and coming out to our shows.