We sat down with the legend Sander Van Doorn to discuss his latest music including his D.O.D collaboration, how he spends his average day – listening to hundreds of promo a week, his alternative alias ‘Purple Haze’ and more! Check out his latest remix embed at the end of article.
You’re label Doorn has been around for a while and is still doing very well. What’s the secret for a label to have success in the long term?
I think it’s all about the identity of the label, and the identity of the label is very broad genre wise. I don’t really mind if its very slow or fast or one particular genre, as long as its original and comes from the heart. Funny enough, a lot of the artist I’ve signed right now are all from Italy and they have a little bit more of a dark touch to their sound which works well for the label. I think it’s the combination of consistently releasing tracks that are originally produced which makes the label very strong.
What artists are you most proud to have signed?
You know the greatest thing about the label is the people that release tracks always come back to the label. They always enjoy realising stuff and I always take them on board to my different parties. Guys like Promise Land have always been loyal to the label as well as the newer guys like Bottai. They are really amazing, so for me its most important that people love coming back to the label.
You have an alias as Purple Haze, what inspired you to create it?
Yeah it’s been one and a half years since I revived the project that I started 12 years ago. I was brought back to it to have more of an outlet to produce more underground music, more of a darker sound – I also decided to make it a live act. It’s a side of me that I discovered, a different way of producing tracks. Sometimes you feel like doing something different in the studio. Overall it’s also creates more inspiration just in general for both names so for me it works out well.
You come back to the melodic progressive style with ‘No Words’, what inspired you to return to this sound?
I would say there was a time where the whole scene exploded, I had the tracks ‘Into The Light’, ‘Nothing Inside’ and ‘Love Is Darkness’. I always found tracks like these always had a special place for me personally, ‘No Words’ brings me back to those times – and it was a really good time! That’s why I decided to finish ‘No Words’ because I had already been working on it for a few years. I made like 5 different versions and I wasn’t happy with them and then all of a sudden I found the right way to finish the track, I’m happy how it turned out!
Your record ‘Nothing Inside’ from 2012 seems timeless. Do you still play it and do you remember producing it?
Yeah I remember it, for me it was a particularly hard project because the breakdown is a lower BPM then the actual climax. But I didn’t want people to be aware of that so it needed to feel very natural. But it still had it’s original tempo for the vocal as I didn’t want to speed it up because it wouldn’t sound right. Especially in Logic you don’t want to change your tempo on the project because it creates a nightmare! So it took a while to get it right, you’re always so busy in the process of producing the track that you actually don’t listen to the final result. But when it was finished and rendered, I listened to the whole track and I was like wow I’m really happy with this.
Your new track with D.O.D is awesome, it’s got D.O.D’s signature ‘future jack’ feel to it. Was his style an important factor is your decision to collaborate with him?
I’ve been playing his tracks for the last few years, I’m a big fan of his sound. When he came to me and said let’s do a collaboration, I really felt my sound and his sound would fit well! I particular love doing the whole baseline thing and with his jacking house sound. I actually played at the ‘D.O.D and Friends’ party with him! Overall though it felt very natural to do a collaboration with him.
As a label owner and an individual with two artist projects, how do you go about balancing your time?
I also do the radio show as well! So I’m working with new promo and demos, it’s a lot of music! Thankfully it gets filtered a bit for me, however I still get around 150 tracks a week – they’re either for the label or the radio show. It’s all about finding the time, producing a bit on this record then, listening to new demos after and playing my show later! Luckily now we have it covered and I can find time for everything.
What’s an average day for Sander Van Doorn look like?
Well I would get up and get a very strong cup of coffee, I usually go straight in to the studio, which I luckily have in my home. Just producing away. Tuesday for me is radio day so I get that done and with that comes promo day. It’s very dependent on what people send you. So when ever I get the chance, I spend time listening to promos – same goes with producing. But it really changes everyday obviously the weekends is all about the DJing.
Could you maybe drop some hints on some new music coming soon?
I have just released my remix for ‘Discopolis 2.0’, that one is on Armada. I also just released a remix for Frontliner’s track ‘I’m The Melodyman’, the was original is a hardstyle track. Actually my wife originally introduced me to hardstyle a few years ago and she was like; “listen to this because it’s really good music!” so I started listening to this particular genre. I found that the tracks they produce are very intelligently produced. I was listening to a lot of tracks and I came across ‘I’m The Melodyman’, it was the perfect track for me to remix. So I got in contact with Barry (Frontliner) and we actually just finished a collaboration as well! The funny thing is, it’s not hardstyle – it’s like a mix between us, we kind of created a new genre with this one! I’m always open and keen to listening to different genres of music because it inspires me.
Sander’s remix of Frontliner’s ‘I’m The Melodyman‘ is out now! Stream below