GDD™ Exclusive Interview w/ Hardwell at Electric Zoo

Over the past couple weeks we have been re-living the best moments of Electric Zoo (and there are many) but some of my favorite moments were hanging out with a couple of the acts and hearing from them firsthand what they’re up to and what we can expect over the next few months. One of the first interviews I did was with Hardwell. Check out what he had to say about Tiesto, a controversial bootleg package, Sensation and more below.

GDD: We at Gotta Dance Dirty like to start off interviews by asking our traditional question: What’s your favorite drink?
Hardwell: What I like to drink…A lot of water, and I’m a guy from Holland so a lot of Heineken.

GDD: Ok so you’ve done a million interviews by now, what is the worst question you’ve ever been asked? You’ve gotta have some pretty funny stories…
Hardwell: You know, I always laugh at the people asking so many questions about Tiesto, cuz I work alot with him and they know I am a good friend of him. So, yeah there are some interviews with people asking more questions about Tiesto than Hardwell. Yeah its funny to hear “Oh hey, when will Tiesto’s new album be released?” I don’t know ask him! Why you asking me?

GDD: Sorry, but I have to ask, this thing that went down with Axwell and Ingrosso about your bootlegs on facebook. What was up with that?
Hardwell: To be honest, I didn’t think it was a big deal. I uploaded a bootleg package to celebrate 300K likes on Facebook. It was like all the bootlegs I’ve done in the last three years, just to celebrate it, just for my fans to give something back to them. And it was one track from Swedish House Mafia “One” I did an edit of it. And Axwell and Seb out of nowhere got pissed because I uploaded it for free.  And I was like, in the end in my opinion you can’t make any money with this song cuz it’s like old and outdated. So yeah, the package was there, and they tweeted me to take it offline, it was the lowest thing they had ever seen and whatever. You know, enough said,  I took it offline and that’s it. I appreciate those guys, and I’ve got alot of respect for those guys, but I think they could’ve done it private as well and that’s the only thing I want to say about it.

GDD: So I personally always like to ask if you have any crazy items on your rider, and if not what’s something that you want but is too crazy to put down?
Hardwell: Actually, I don’t have something really weird on my rider. I’ve got like, uh, one bottle of vodka, some heineken, some bottles of redbull and bananas and that’s it, besides the technical rider. Yeah this is my whole rider, just the technical stuff, some drinks and thats it.
GDD: Anything crazy that you’d ever want?
Hardwell: No actually not, only blue M&Ms. Haha, no just joking…Actually I’m just a simple guy, just some drinks and that’s it.

GDD: I’ve heard several rumors about you possibly performing at Sensation in Brooklyn in October. Can you confirm or deny and any thoughts on what it means for the scene that sensation is finally coming to the US?
Hardwell: First of all, I have to deny. I am not playing Sensation in the United States. I’ve played like, I think, almost all the Sensations except for the states and Sensation is something different. It’s not a festival, it’s not a normal gig, It’s a showcase of a DJ and a show at once. It is something really that you have to experience, and everybody is dressed in white, thats like, already a huge experience. The whole show is something you’ve never seen before. The DJ and the music is just a part of the whole concept. As I said before, its just something that you have to experience.

GDD: Today you played a daytime set, what are the differences  for you between a daytime and a nighttime set? Do you have a preference for one?
Hardwell: No to be honest, I don’t have any preference. I love festivals though so if I play at a festival, whether it is daytime or nighttime the crowd is always crazy you know. When you play at daytime the people are more fresh than in the nighttime. They have seen, like, all the DJs before and have to look up to all the other DJs that played your songs or like different bootlegs of whatever. So to play in the daytime you can do whatever you want and that’s what I felt like doing here at Electric Zoo and I think that it came out really well.

GDD: So you’ve had your own label for years and you’re a world renowned DJ and Producer. What’s the next step? And what are you working on right now?
Hardwell: I’m working on my own concept. Just to tour around with my own DJ crew and my own concept. Taking a few guys from my label to record with me and just touring, touring and continuing producing music.

GDD: Well thank you so much for your time!

Photo courtesy of Jordan Loyd for