With genre defining tracks like “Dear New York” and “Max Ammo,” coupled with uncompromising live performances, Firebeatz have become a household name in the world of electronic dance music. Comprised of Tim Smulders and Jurre van Doeselaar, this Dutch duo has been around since 2008, earning their fanbase during the formative years of modern dance music.
Even though Firebeatz has toured throughout the world, Miami consistently ranks among their favorite cities, and we can’t disagree. With the amount of fellow producers in town, the hordes of fans, and the vibrant culture surrounding Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival, the atmosphere in South Beach is a DJ’s dream come true.
Despite keeping busy with some creative firetruck branding, partying down to Eric Prydz, and throwing their own Firebeatz & Friends show, we had the privilege of talking with Tim and Jurre about their music, their brand, and what’s going down in 2016.
Check it out below, and enjoy!
You guys are going through a big rebrand, can you tell me anything about Firebeatz 2.0?
Tim: Well, we’ve got a lot of stuff that we’re changing. We’re doing full new visuals, a new logo, a new intro, new website, everything. It’s Firebeatz 2.0, yeah.
What’s the driving force behind this change?
Jurre: We want to build our identity and take it to the next level. We’re not like totally changing our style music wise, but it’s just the development of Firebeatz.
You guys set the standard for electro pretty early on with tracks like “Dear New York.” When you say you won’t totally change your style, does this mean we’ll see more house?
Tim: Well, we’re going to keep things very diverse. We’re going to still make bangers, but also more like a house-y sound and we’re going to do a lot of collaborations with singer/songwriters. We’ll switch up tempos to everything from 100 to 130 and we’re just going to go with totally different styles and not care anymore if it’s house or whatever. We’re just going to make music.
Jurre: Everything is combining and I love that. There shouldn’t be boundaries in music.
So I’ve heard rumors that you beatbox a little bit, Tim! Do you still keep up with that, and are we going to hear any of it in the new material?
Tim: Not at all, but sometimes when I get really really really wasted I’ll get into beatbox battles. Just a few people have seen my oldschool beatboxing. There is actually a track where we put it in, it’s called “Beatbox” and it’s a very old track.
So you did the electro house thing, and you were wildly successful. How are you going to apply what you’ve learned with electro house to your new productions?
Jurre: Well that’s actually a good thing! We know what works on the dance floor as a DJ. That’s what we’ve always liked is the diversity as well of playing in a club and playing more groovy tunes, or playing at a big festival and playing more of the bigger stuff. We have the experience in that and we also know how to make a groovy track that’s still banging enough for mainstage. So we’ll definitely try to bring back the groove more.
Tim: I totally agree and we’ve discussed this a lot of times and that’s what it’s all about: the groove. You have keep the groove, we don’t like that stuff that’s too hard. It has to keep bouncing. Of course you want to rave during parties, but you have to switch it up during your set. You can’t play only bangers.
Do you have some studio time booked soon?
Tim: Yeah, we’ll be in LA for three weeks in April and it’s all going to be collaborations. We have a lot of friends coming by to our house there. Just people chilling in a house, making music, booking studios – it’s going to be great.
Do you have a plan going in?
Jurre: We just want to work with a lot of songwriters and other artists and just get in there and feel each other’s vibe. If it works it works and if it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work. But we’re not going to sit there with a plan that we’re going to make a track like this and like that. We’re going to be open minded about it all.
Tim: Basically, the goal is going to be to make an EP or an album, and we’ll see how much material comes out of it and then according to that we’ll release it.
Are there any collaborations that you know you’re going to get?
Jurre: Well we have so much stuff lined up, but we can’t really say it right now.
Tim: We’re excited to work with Harry Hudson, he’s dope.
Can you describe in a sentence where your new direction is going?
Tim: I think it’s going to be musical, energetic, and refreshing. Fresh fresh fresh as death!
Anything you want to say to your fans?
Tim: We’ve got a new collab coming out with Chocolate Puma with Bishop on vocals. It’s called “Lullaby” and it’s a really cool track, so keep an eye out for that!
That concludes our interview, but we’d like to thank Firebeatz very much for their time!