DROELOE Interview: Moving Forward with ‘A Matter of Perspective’ Album Release

DROELOE released the duo’s highly anticipated Anthology Album, A Matter of Perspective. The album will mark the final project for original member and visual artist, Hein Hammers who is leaving DROELOE. Moving forward, Vincent Rooijers (the member behind the music) will solely be taking over the entirety of the project. A Matter of Perspective integrates DROELOE’s three preceding EPs along with seven brand new tracks that blend various elements of hip-hop, electronica, pop, dubstep and classical into a compelling configuration. The duo is also working towards building a virtual release experience with Discord, to take fans through the journey of their anthology.

We chatted with Vincent and Hein to learn about their journey in the industry, to gain insight into their recent album and to talk about the next chapters in their careers.

Individually, what got you into music? Did this have any influence getting you to where you are today? 

Vincent: Both of my parents were jazz drummers and my dad had a friend who was in Information Technology. He showed my dad this software that you could make music with when I was about seven years old. This friend soon after installed this software on our computer. My dad never ended up using it, but I began playing around with it and that’s how I started working in Fuga Loops. 

Hein: I don’t produce music, but I can talk about how I got into art in general. There’s this holiday in the Netherlands called St. Nicholas’ Day, which is kind of like the replacement for Christmas in America. It’s on December 5th and it’s the equivalent of leaving out cookies and milk for Santa Claus. It happens multiple nights leading up to St. Nicholas and it was kind of like if you wanted to have a cool gift like a Nintendo (I used to really want one of those), then my mom would say “well you gotta please St. Nicholas, you gotta give him a lot of drawings.” So I was on this steady regiment of like eight drawings a night, making a bunch of drawings for St. Nicholas to get my presents.

Hein: I think the more logical way it all started was in high school. I started making little DJ mixes. I wanted to have videos for that so I could upload it to YouTube, and that’s kinda how the whole thing started. I just started experimenting. I’ve also always been very drawn to anything visually.

How did you guys decide to work together initially/how did you guys meet?

Vincent: We met in the Netherlands in art school when we were working on a project together. It was a fashion film that we were working on. I was doing the sound design and Hein was doing the visual effect for that project. Together, with the director, we started really crunching down on the video. In the moments that we weren’t working on the video, we just decided to make some dank beats and create some visuals for it. It all started just as a joke.

I know that Hein, you are leaving the group to pursue other interests, and Vincent you will be taking over the entirety of the project alone. Can you explain why you guys agreed upon doing this, or what is the story behind this?

Vincent: I think that we both felt like there was some sort of creative constraint to keep thinking, doing and working in a way that we have been doing until now. It’s also kind of hard to work on something together when there is a lot of distance geographically as well. Apart from that, I also just think that we both were looking for a fresh start and COVID kind of amplified that whole process.

Hein: We both really felt like it was time for something new and something fresh. The constraints of constantly working within this one world so to speak felt more enclosing than liberating at some point. We both decided that it’s the healthiest decision to part ways.

I know that Vincent, you focus on the music while Hein, you focus on the visual elements of the project. How are you going to maintain this brand that you two have made for yourselves moving forward?

Vincent: Yeah I’m still thinking about what that would look like in terms of visual branding. In terms of musical branding or sound, I will definitely just continue to pursue the path that I’ve set up for myself. I’m thinking that this new chapter could also mean a lot of new things. It wouldn’t do justice to the awesome work that Hein had built for the project up until this point, to just find other people to copy that. That would make no sense to me. I think that this is an opportunity to try and tell a different story, but with the same musical context and a different visual representation alongside it.

You mention that the music inspires the visuals and the visuals inspire the music and that they work hand in hand to reach the final cohesive work of art. Do you build the art based on the song or the song based on the art? In other words, do you master one or the other first?  

Hein: Usually the art is based on the concept of the music. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the song is completely done yet, but it kind of means that once there is a conceptual idea in terms of what the song is about, from there we then start talking. “How can we amplify this concept and how can we make this concept bigger than it already is.”

Vincent: I also do the same in the musical sense that I amplify the elements that the concept is right for.

You guys have several international art galleries based in New York, Los Angeles and Amsterdam with art that represents your corresponding musical tracks. Can you tell me a little more about this? Do you have a piece of artwork that corresponds with every song? 

Vincent: Yes, there is an artwork with every song. Even the songs on the EP’s have their own artwork as well.

Hein: Yes every song has an artwork. In the art gallery form, they have been tangible in the form that it is a canvas eventually, but most of them get created digitally so they don’t really have a tangible factor to them. In terms of the art gallery, it’s all out of physical canvases.

I can see that you guys are working to build a virtual release experience with Discord. What inspired you to do this?

Vincent: I can’t say too much about it yet, but we definitely are looking for a way to tell the stories of all the artwork and all the music from another perspective than they are in itself. It is a new representation from a totally different perspective.

Hein: Yes definitely. To get into more detail about what the digital art gallery is, it is going to be on Discord, which is kind of like a Zoom Pro I guess. You have these different rooms in Discord and each room represents one of the EPs that make up the whole album. It then is a virtual walkthrough museum that is narrated by Vincent and that is what gives a new perspective on all of the art pieces in the songs. Basically, we used three different voice channels that stream a video on loop. The people then get into the room, and watch that segment of the museum and then move to the next room.

I know ‘A Matter Of Perspective’ combines your guys’ previous three EPs along with seven brand new tracks fusing elements of pop, dubstep, hip-hop, classical, and electronica. Can you tell me a little bit about what drives you to indulge in so many genres? 

Vincent: To give you the honest truth, I personally do like to think in genres. I like thinking more in terms of “what do these genres build up from, what are the rules that make it that genre,” and then I pick rules from different genres and putting them together to create something that inspires me.

I know you have several collaborations including some with Petit Biscuit, Zeds Dead, San Holo Gryffin and more. How do you go about collaborating with different artists? 

Vincent: It is different every time, but mostly we start during a session or from one of our works in progress. We then just bounce versions back and forth. It never really happened that I created a track from start to finish in the room together with another producer. It’s mostly digitally.

Hein: It’s a couple long ass email threads.

How do you prepare for a show and how do you feel on stage? 

Vincent: I feel a mixture of both nerves and excitment. It’s been a while since we’ve actually done a show, but I used to jump in a weird way before performing. I would jump kick. I would jump really high and then kick forward. That was my move. Get the blood flowing.

Hein: Yes, I think those emotions go hand in hand and true you did do that!

When you drop new music do you pay attention to people’s reactions via social media or do you block it out and why? Does this have an effect on your personal life?

Vincent: I personally don’t really go too in-depth in trying to find people’s comments or reactions. I mainly check the Twitter feed and comments on Instagram. Sometimes I look it up on Reddit, but that’s very sporadically.

Hein: I mean it’s definitely one way to ruin your day. There’s always going to be negative reviews so I think the mentality that we both have is that everything is going to be loved and hated equally as much by everybody and you’ve just got to accept that. The main thing is that if you yourself are not happy with it, then that’s the main problem. It doesn’t really matter what other people think.

Going off of this, do you have a specific idol that inspired you to start making music/creating art?

Vincent: Music, I do not really have one specific idol. I got inspired by a lot of music, but no one specific.

Hein: Of course I have a lot of idols, but I do not have one clear one that would say “Oh that’s the person that got me into doing this.” I think that in the Netherlands, dance music is such a big thing. That made the step into looking into that realm of music a little bit easier than in other parts of the world. Especially when we were younger, Tiesto used to be a national icon. If the Netherlands would knight people for their cultural achievements, then I think that definitely would be Tiesto. I think it was a very normal thing in the Netherlands, to like dance music and to be into all of that.

What genres of music do you listen to outside of making your own music? 

Vincent: It varies a lot, I usually listen to a lot of drum and bass. I love drum and bass. That’s the music that I put on if I have to work on something non-music related. I like all types of music: jazz, classical, world music, house, dubstep. If it sounds great to me then I listen to it. I just listen to tracks, single tracks mostly.

Hein: I’m the same answer, pretty much a bunch of different things. It could range from really heavy dubstep to Harry Styles. It really is all over.

What inspires you to stay motivated. Especially during these times?

Hein: I don’t know, fucking motivation is hard to find sometimes.

Vincent: It is. I guess up until this point it was getting this album done. Finishing this story is what motivated me.

Where do you see yourself after dropping this album? Where would you like to go from here? 

Hein: I think you’re gonna say the same, but I’m gonna chill for the next couple of weeks.

Vincent: Same. Maybe in a couple of months, I’ll have an answer on where I will see myself in the future but for now, I see myself not doing jack shit for the next couple of weeks.

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