[Interview & Review] Dyro and Bassjackers Heat Up Minneapolis

Holland is pretty small, yet it carries a huge electronic stick. It seems that more world-famous DJs come out of the tiny country than anywhere else in the world, and they’re often the hardest-hitting producers out there. Dyro and Bassjackers are no different. In their time headlining a tour together, it’s become clear that these two Dutch dance lovers’ personalities are on the opposite sides of the spectrum, but they bring the same energy to the stage.

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Getting the opportunity to interview an artist is always a great thing, yet the lead-up to the conversation (introductions, handshakes, etc.) can sometimes be a little awkward. One is forced to get comfortable with a complete stranger within a few seconds to ask them questions they’ve probably heard and answered a million times before. Making a point to ask more unique questions could get risky. To add to the weirdness of the situation, the interviewer knows who the artist is but the artist probably couldn’t care less about the interviewer. My interview with Dyro and Bassjackers came after a truly awkward interaction: The Meet and Greet. The stage was set for a potentially uncomfortable conversation.

So, how was the meet and greet?

Marlon: The meet and greet was fun. There were some interesting costumes. I thought it was for Halloween but the guy said “It’s always Halloween,” so yeah.

Jordy: Of course it’s really awkward for me. I’m not a very social person, but you want to treat them like your friends. They want to take a picture with you, they go out of their way to get to the Meet and Greet, so you’ve got to just do what they want. But it’s still uncomfortable. Were you sitting up there?

Yeah, I was off to the side.

Marlon: It’s always different. Sometimes there are fans that ask a lot of questions, but this time it was really passive, like “What are we gonna do?…What’s gonna happen?…” So then someone asked if we wanted to take a picture, so we took some and I think everybody’s happy. They’re here for the music so that’s the most important.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you during a meet and greet?

Jordy: I have a good one. I was in Italy after a show, taking a picture with a couple of fans. I did about ten or twenty and at some point this girl walked in and was like, “I don’t really  like your music, I don’t know who you are, but I do want to take a picture with you!” That was the weirdest thing.

Marlon: It’s because you’re cute.

[I then laugh, because it was a correct assumption.] What about you?

Marlon: I had a few times someone ask “Can I have your number?” And you don’t want to be mean–

Jordy: [Playfully states] So you give it to them.

Marlon: I always tell them I’m married…but I’m not. I mean you want to be nice. “I don’t have a number.”

What do you think is the biggest difference between the Dutch dance scene and the American dance scene?

Jordy: [The Dutch dance scene] has been around for a little bit longer, so the Dutch are a little more educated, a little more spoiled in a way. They’ve seen it all, they’ve seen the biggest guys, so we play in Holland and people are like “Meh, he was in school with my niece. I know him.”

Marlon: Recently I’ve noticed a change because we’re rarely there now, we’re always touring the world.

Jordy: I think it’s also because the American scene has changed, the music style has changed to more Dutch or European style, so there’s more respect.

Marlon: Also if you’re touring here, you’re cool again in Holland. So when we come back, they’ll be really stoked for a show. In the past we used to play in Holland every week…now we’re international DJs so the Dutch appreciate us more. It’s kind of nice.

How did your radio shows get started? Daftastic and Jackin’ Da Bass?

Jordy: Because his management told him to [laughs].

Marlon: No!

Jordy: It’s a actually kind of a cool outlet, you’re always playing these live shows and obviously the energy has to be really high but there is a lot more music that you also might support. So, a radio show is a really cool way to play music in there within your boundaries of what you might like.

Marlon: It’s also  great platform for being broadcast, for example on Sirius XM. People that have never heard you before are going to be like, “Oh, this is some cool music, who is this? Oh, Bassjackers’ radio show, they’re playing here next week, let’s check it out.” You can also play different music than you play at shows and you can promote your new track. It’s a nice platform for your music.

So what would be the biggest difference between what you play at your live shows and what you play on your radio shows?

 Marlon: For us at our shows, we play live, we play mostly original tracks and edits, but obviously you can’t play these every single time you have a radio show, so what we do is select some new releases and some promo material, and we mix it up and create new mash-ups. It’s not necessarily music that we would play live, but it is music that we enjoy.

Jordy: Yeah, that’s probably the biggest difference. When people come to your show, they want to see you and they want to listen to your music, they’re your fans, they want to hear your songs. You’re not going to play every song that came out last week, you’re going to play your stuff. And  the radio show is more extensive, it’s more going on music-wise. Plus, 80% of my songs are mash-ups, so with a radio show there’s a lot of new music. I can also put out a couple different styles, basically music I want to show to people.

Do you consider yourself more a DJ or producer?

Jordy: Producer.

Marlon: I’m obviously a DJ, and my partner Ralph is the producer. So I consider myself a DJ.[Bassjackers is a pair, yet Marlon is the only one that goes on tour.]

Where did you come up with your names? 

Jordy: My name is actually taken from my first name, just the letters are moved around a bit J-O-R-D-Y, D-Y-R-O.

Marlon: We made our first track and wanted to send it out to other DJs, so we needed a name. It became a brainstorm session, and at the time it was like Jack and House, which was a big inspiration. Guys like Switch and that kind of stuff. We wanted to do something like jack or jackers and then I typed in Bassjackers it looked pretty cool. So, that’s where it was.

It seemed as though Marlon held the interview while Jordy waited for the whole thing to be over. Some of the most musically talented people are extremely quiet, and Jordy seemed to be the perfect example of this. However, often we ignore what a person’s day might have been like before meeting them. It could have been an off day for Dyro, and it’s to be expected that being dragged around the country talking to strangers and never getting a full night’s rest would take a toll on anyone’s demeanor.

Following the interview was the show. The venue was called The Venue, and it was an old arcade bar turned into a nightclub. The Venue is a near perfect replica of another spot that shut down recently in the city called Epic (due to one too many violent uproars in the club, Epic closed its doors earlier in the year). Kenneth G, whose versatile style smoothly transitioned between deep house, techno, and big room, opened. His stage presence was a little boring, as he slowly paced back and forth across the stage, but it was easy to tell that he was having a great time. The date of the show fell on a Tuesday night, so the turnout wasn’t the best that it could have been, but by the time Bassjackers came on stage, the club had filled out a little more. Two sexy dancers in pinup girl get-ups livened up the night with their platform shoes and bright red shorts. Even the smallest stages look a little more epic with hot chicks dancing on them.

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As explained above, Bassjackers was only a one man show in a live setting, but his energy far exceeded anyone else that night. Marlon clearly loves what he does. He wants the world to dance and he very quickly succeeded in that venture. It was easy to tell that this guy was a headliner. The Venue’s atmosphere completely changed as soon as he came onto the stage, and the entire dance floor lit up. Even the usual wallflowers got up to move a bit once Bassjackers came on stage. As with Bassjackers, the crowd warmed up to Dyro quite quickly. Dyro’s quiet demeanor belies the intensity and energy of his performances. The bass boomed, the people danced, and The Venue went wild. Each song was another banger, and each drop seemed harder than the last. It was difficult not to jump around at this show, and by midnight it was impossible to tell what night of the week it was. Jordy truly shined on stage, with a huge smile that stayed on his face for the entirety of the set. His entire being lit up when the crowd cheered. While he may have been more held back during the interview, it became clear that he puts himself through countless awkward interactions because he is passionate about making music and playing it for the world. Everyone was having a roaring good time, and it’s easy to see why these two groups are on a world-wide tour together.

The lighting at The Venue was intense and stimulating. The bar, the walls, the VIP stairwell, and the entrance each had their own color-changing lights. After the dance floor started to get hot, there was a handheld CO2 cannon on deck for those extra special bass drops. It was the biggest party I’ve seen on a Tuesday in Minneapolis. Regardless of how awkward or uninterested Dyro and Bassjackers seemed to be, they made the best of a tiny venue on an off-night for partying. It goes to show that the Dutch are truly the masters of electronic music.

Ashley Cizek

Went to school at UW-Madison, graduating with a BA in psychology. I hula-hoop, I write, I enjoy sunlight.

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