Catching up with hardstyle duo Psyko Punkz is always a thrill. Sven and Wietse are two rambunctious, overly creative Netherlanders who have an ear for the perfect kickdrum and a talent that is unlike any other. Since their inception in 2008, they have toured the world, released some of hardstyle's most memorable anthems and now, they've created their own label to take things to an entirely new level. Back in 2011, Psyko Punkz was voted as the Best New Face by the Hard Dance Awards and have lived above and beyond that award over the years.
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Their raw energy and love for hard dance not only shows through their outstanding production, but through their words and dedication to the fans. We recently had a chance to catch up with Sven & Wietse and talk about their newest project, Shadow Mask Music, an independent label formed by the brainchild of the duo. Making its worldwide premiere today, Drunken Masta is the without a doubt the most energetic collaborations we've seen yet. Fueled by the lyrical genius of DOPE D.O.D and the unmistakable hard hitting elements of Psyko Punkz, Drunken Masta is compelling, unique and extra heavy.
Hey guys! Nice to talk again! Thanks for taking some time out to touch base with me. Hope you're both well and ready for the summer!!
Thank you for having us! We’re both doing very well and definitely ready for the summer madness that has actually already started.
So, when we last spoke back in October before The Sound of Q-Dace in LA, you were working on establishing your brand in the US -- your North American Psyko Soldiers. Now, you're setting off on an full blown US tour. What have you been up to?! How have you seen your movement spread over the last year?
Yes, we did see a lot of movement regarding to the west side of the world. Including the US, which is really starting to get serious with the harder styles right now. We can say we really worked hard on production, promotion and marketing to get this Hardstyle [message] more spread out to the whole world. We're starting to get results out of it, more and more. If it’s popular in Europe, it's not instantly popular in other countries. That means it's a lot of hard work to get this music known all over the world.
Talk to us about TommorrowWorld - you are going to blow the roof off of the Q-Dance stage, no doubt! Do you have anything big planned for that event? Anything out of the ordinary?
Our job remains bringing the beats and make it an awesome performance for our fans. We're definitely going to blow the roof off! That’s for sure. We've got a lot of new tracks in our repertoire and also a lot of well-known tracks which won't be missed out on this show. We had the privilege to perform there last year as well which was beyond our expectations. Tomorrowworld and especially the Q-dance/Hardstyle stage this year, is going to be an event, which will be one of the highlights for 2014.
Earlier this year you began your own label, 'Shadow Mask Music.' How is it going so far, and can you give us some info its progress? What do you hope to accomplish with your own label?
We must say, it feels really good to finally have our own label in co-op with BDMNR [PR]. This gives us the opportunity to release tracks and do marketing at our own home-base. Business-wise it's always good to have all the authority of releasing your own music and how the strategy is going to be planned around it. Also we can give other talents the opportunity to grow and release tracks at our label. It's a lot of fun actually.
"This is Your Life" was the first release on the new label. The lyrics to this song are very powerful -- it really inspires listeners to be in charge of their own lives and never give up on their dreams. Is this your personal message to the fans about the label?
Would it wipeout all the magic if we say it isn't really meant as a message at first? Our man, Chris Willis and legend MC Lyte wrote the lyrics and vocals to this track when it was already finished as a hardstyle track. The combination of both artists and us made this a very special thing. Later on, we put our focus on the message that was in there and spread that out in the video. We like a song to have a meaning, it makes it more special and easier to remember - but is not always the main priority for a track to have that element. We thought this message was a good thing to get in someone's mind and make some people think... Although it's just as important for this track to be a banger at the dance floor.
Congratulations on producing the Decibel 2014 anthem! "Back Again" is definitely a high energy, powerful track! What can you tell us about the production of this track? What was the series of events leading up to it becoming an official festival anthem?
Thanks a lot! The organization just asked us to do an official anthem for this festival and we did what came to our minds. This festival is all about harder styles, so we did brought some extra energy in to this track which makes it more "Decibel". The sounds and melody are real energetic and gave a good combination for a Dutch Anthem. At the same time it somehow sounds "Sunny". Which was exactly our idea for the track since it’s an outdoor festival. The lyrics from the "movie trailer guy" in a Dutch anthem is very common! Through the years this has become an instant element which give the people the feeling that it is an anthem. It's almost irreplaceable!
Your newest release, "Drunken Masta" is set to release on June 23rd, what can you tell the fans about this track? Is this the 'new age' of Psyko Punkz music, or will you be sticking to your original hard kicking badassness? Give us a taste!
Definitely both! It's a collaboration with the popular and talented guys from Dope D.O.D. The new age thing about this track is that, Hip-hop and hardstyle have collided in one massive track. The kicking badassness is something u can only explain by listening to it. The video clip we did is a perfect example of how hardstyle music should fit in with images. It is really difficult to keep videos interesting all the way to the end of a hardstyle track because of the constant energy level. We have never been this satisfied with the mix of sound and video together.
Beyond the tour, the label and the new release - what can fans anticipate from you over the next year?
That would be top-notch video productions, lots of hard kicking beats and definitely more gig's in North and South America, where a lot of our fans are based so it feels good to finally show them some love and appreciation! There might be even a tour coming up so make sure you keep an eye on the dates. We truly love our job, and our die-hard fans, so hopefully we get the change to bring our music to everyone in the world who has a heart for Hardstyle!