Tiësto: One Note He Ain’t

Tiësto is not only one of the biggest names in dance, he’s also part of the exclusive few who could fill up a concert purely from his name alone. Despite his immense pull as a stadium EDM favourite, the man doesn’t necessarily just opt for the obvious when it comes to furthering his music. Fourth studio album Kaleidoscope saw Tiësto roping the likes of indie favourites Tegan & Sara, post rock deity Jónsi of Sigur Rós, folk act Kianna Alarid, britrocker Kele of Bloc Party and more among the expected staples of the genre such as Calvin Harris and Sneaky Sound System. In fact, his collaboration with left-leaning acts was more predominant on that album, proving that contrary to the preconceived notion one might have about the genre, dance isn’t as one note as you’d think it is. To quote the trance maestro himself, “You’d be surprised to see the wide range of music most DJs listen to besides the dance genre.”

What’s good, Tiësto? Ever get tired of touring? Your schedule is pretty intense…
Yes, it’s quite a rigorous schedule but I’m used to it and wouldn’t do it any other way.

Help us brush up on our history, we read an interview with you where you said EDM was born in Chicago, USA. But back in the days of house’s beginnings EDM wasn’t even a term…
That’s true. EDM is a relatively new term, but for the sake of the interview I used that term instead of house. I think people knew what I meant.

Also, do you think EDM is too all-encompassing of a term? Dance genres can sound very different from one another…
No, I don’t think so. I think you say ‘EDM’ and people immediately know ‘dance music’. If you start breaking things down into subgenres it just complicated things on a wider level.

We read that you were a metal fan.  Does that love for metal translate into your own dance tunes? Or influence it in any way?
I suppose it does in some way. A lot of dance tracks are pretty heavy and fans are jumping around going nuts. I’ve seen mosh pits at dance shows before.

Youu collaborate with the likes of Tegan & Sara, Bloc Party, and Sigur Rós. We dig that! Does it surprise you that regular stadium EDM folks can listen to less commercial collaborators considering the rest of the EDM world is busy with going pop?
No surprise at all. It’s not like EDM artistes have only one note. I guess you would be surprised to see the wide range of music most DJs listen to besides the dance genre.

We’re curious… how does one convince Jonsi to do an EDM track? Is he a fan to begin with?
We have a mutual respect. I love Sigur Rós and Jonsi was really cool into the idea of collaborating. Again, maybe you don’t think this is so obvious from [Sigur Rós’] albums, but artistes have a wide palette of tastes.

It’s been 4 years so we’re guessing there’s going to be a follow up to Kaleidoscope soon. Any left-field collaborators ala the aforementioned acts or sounds that you can hint to us?
I’m actually working on my new album right now. It’s coming in 2014. Can’t discuss the collaborators just yet, however.

We’re glad to have you here again. What can we expect this time around?
I’m really excited to be back in your part of the world. It’s certainly one of the most unique places I’ve played before and love the energy and passion of the fans. In terms of music, fans will get to experience the full Tiësto – past, present and future!

Lastly, we read that you ban glow sticks from your shows. Anything else that is a rave staple you’d like to ban and why? Hahah.
Really, I’m not so picky! One thing the fans do need to bring are a comfortable pair of trainers because I’m gonna work them out!

Future Sound Asia Presents Tiësto went down at Sepang International Circuit on Saturday 5 October ’13.