Amidst Amsterdam Dance Event, we had the pleasure of sitting down with the dynamic duo, Drove, comprised of Teun Wouters and Eli Salomons. After meeting while attending nearby high schools in their native Den Helder, the Dutch duo initially bonded over a shared love of music. During the pandemic, the duo got serious about making music, developing their sound in the studio during lockdowns. They made their debut in 2021 and have not looked back since, unveiling EP after EP.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! How does it feel to be back at ADE?
Teun: It’s really good actually. It’s great to be back because we’ve missed a lot of friends, so it’s just kind of a reunion. You see all the people that you met at last year’s ADE, and throughout the year, you meet many people online and finally, when it comes to ADE, it’s the time you meet up. I think that’s really nice about ADE.
Eli: I fully agree. This is the year where ADE really seems to be back to full effect like it was before the pandemic. So it’s just a lot of fun. A lot of parties and some fun meetings.
For those people who have not attended ADE before, can you describe it?
Teun: I think it’s so many things at once. It’s good if you want to improve your network or meet new people, and if you just want to party of course.
Eli: I think if you love electronic music in general, you should go to ADE at least once in your life because literally everybody’s here. It doesn’t matter what type of electronic music you enjoy, if it’s house, techno, everyone who is in the electronic music space is here.
Besides ADE, what’s your favorite thing to do in Amsterdam?
Teun & Eli: Go to a good restaurant. Have some good food.
You played at the Dillon Francis x Bootshaus show in Club Prime this week, did you prepare differently for this show compared to your usual shows?
Eli: A little bit, but I feel like it’s more so because it’s Dillon Francis’ night, and it’s ADE, so we have to turn it up a notch which we also enjoy a lot. Sometimes depending on where we are, and the vibe of the rest of the show, we switch up our sets. Our music is a bit more indie electronic, but we make club records as well. So playing at this event was the perfect chance to really showcase that side of us and just go a little bit harder than then the usual Drove set.
Teun: And as you just said, we do kind of take a different approach. A slightly different approach is important for us as artists to be open to trying new things, switching it up just a little bit, but staying true to your sound.
The Drove project was launched in 2021. Did you feel any pressure or stress while launching it?
Teun: No, it actually all happened so naturally. It was during a the pandemic, we got frustrated and wanted to make some new stuff because we weren’t allowed to do anything else, like go into clubs or anything. So we got together, said forget about everything else and just make music we love. Once we started doing that one thing led to another and then we basically had a first track in the first week. The second week, we had almost all the tracks that eventually made it to the first EP and there was no pressure because we were just making the things we love to make without anyone else telling us what we should do. Then the first EP got picked up by STMPD RCRDS which was incredible, them saying, you know, “we love this guys, we wanna release it” and from there it all happened quite naturally actually.
How much did the belief from record labels help you in the growth of this project?
Eli: A lot. The help and belief from the labels give you some reassurance which gives a lot of confidence while working on the music.
Teun: I think for us, they are also really helping to shape the project with us. Right now, we want to take it from being a DJ project and move it more towards live music. Now we have a great partnership with Palm Tree Records, where they almost have a bit of the blueprint ready for us to reference. They said, “what can we do to make this project grow for you guys?” They’re really trusting in our vision as well. So yeah, it’s really reassuring when the labels are excited as well.
You’ve also been super consistent with your releases, how hard do you find it to keep releasing music?
Teun: I think it depends on the period. Of course in the studio, sometimes we have weeks where not much is happening, and then we start to worry but somehow at some point, it all just clicks and everything happens so quickly again.
Eli: I do think taking enough breaks sometimes is healthy, especially with us because we’re always trying to tell a story. Sometimes we get too much tunnel vision and you see all the different paths you can take. So we always ask ourselves “what’s the story we want to tell now?” and then after we just try matchmaking the ideas to that story.
Do you have any plans or goals for the future?
Teun: We’ve done a lot of singles and EPs in which we try to tell smaller stories but the big thing we still want to do is making our debut album in which we are able to tell a story with every song, but also tell a bigger story with the full album from beginning to end. I think that’s high on the wish list to really make that happen.
Eli: I think that’s both something exciting and challenging that we really wanna do.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, is there anything you’d like to announce to the readers?
If you haven’t already, check out the our new EP “Take Me Somewhere” with accompanying live performance video that we recorded on Montjuic in Barcelona, which is out on our YouTube @thisisdrove.