After meeting up in 2007, Willem van Hanegem and Ward van der Harst came together to form W&W and haven’t looked back since. The Dutch duo have transcended the boundaries of genres and traversed the world with their globally acclaimed music and iconic live performances, becoming one of the most sought-after duos the world of electronic music has to offer. We had the pleasure of speaking with the duo shortly before their mainstage set at SAGA Festival.
Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! After over a year of lockdowns and festivals being canceled, how does it feel to be finally back?
“Great. Like we can’t wait like also this one of the first festivals we play again. looks big looks amazing. Can’t wait. I think this is the fourth show of the year we’re playing. And so far you see that the crowd has been like it’s never been before because everybody’s just sitting at home and you really feel that they have been wanting, you know, the waiting for this moment for so long and now everywhere’s going absolutely crazy. So I hope that it will be the same and expect so.
Finally, we’re back to normal. What did you miss most about festivals?
“I think the energy of the people because like when we make songs, usually, we played them out and we see like if it’s good or not. So we’ve missed that for like a year. So we’ve been releasing music and we have no clue how it will go on the dance floor how people will react to it. So right now, we can just play it out again, and then we see like, like the back and forth of the energy with the people. And I think that’s what I missed the most.”
Throughout the pandemic, you’ve released a lot of new music. Was the process different than before because you couldn’t test it in front of a live crowd?
“Yes and no. We released a lot of stuff that we would say like maybe we would normally not play i. Back in the days, everything we playtested because especially music is all about like, energy and how it works. Like in our DJ set, that’s how we usually make music but, right now, we released stuff that we didn’t even playtest, and maybe probably some might not have made it if we would have played like every week, so it’s kind of different.”
You just released a new song with Nicky Romero. How happy are you guys with it?
“Really nice. So we did another song with him a couple of years ago called ‘Ups & Downs’, and we always work nicely with Nicky. It’s always great because really, both songs were actually made online, we’ve never sat together in the studio. It’s either, he has a set up and we work on it or the other way around. And it’s just really convenient to work with him pretty happy with the song as well. And so far, it’s been doing really good. I think for me, it’s doing well.”
Throughout the years, you’ve worked within trance, big room hardstyle, progressive, pretty much everything is there any new styles that you’ve not worked within that you’d like to try?
“That’s difficult, I think not necessarily. On the side, we’ve also been producing a lot of styles that we usually don’t produce, but to release we will probably just stick to the process about the melody and the energy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big room, trance, hardstyle, happy hardcore, or BPM or like the kick drum, these don’t really matter. It’s more of the energy it has and the emotion it will give to the people that are on the dance floor. That’s all that matters. I think it’s a good example like sometimes we never release stuff. And then sometimes we make like Drum and Bass stuff or something but even that has the same melodic overwhelming feeling. And that’s the message and just the style it is produced in it’s just packaging right.”
You recently launched a new virtual live show Rave Culture Live. Did to pandemic kickstart that and do you feel there’s a future for online virtual shows?
“It actually did because like back in the day, people were looking forward to the W&W Tomorrowland or Ultra set, like new music, what’s gonna like be released in the next few months. So we felt the need to create a central point where people can just listen to new music like that. We’re gonna put out the artists on the label so that’s why we created Club Mythic, our own virtual nightclub where we play our show, which is rave culture live and we will probably keep doing that. We just play all new music from all the young artists and everything. And when I used to be a listener, I loved that because I used to listen to all the radio shows to listen to what’s going to come. Also with the streams, you don’t have to worry so much about what you play for a real crowd. You think how will the songs work on the people, right? And if you do a stream, you don’t really have to worry about it, you play in front of a green screen, right? So you have more room to experiment a little bit with new songs. You can premier stuff from the label so it offers a little bit more freedom.”
Have you been saving anything special for the return on festivals?
“We have a lot of festival music we have not played on Rave Culture Live or anywhere and we’ll be playing it live tonight.”
Thanks for your time. Is there anything you’d like to announce with our readers?
“We just had the song with Nicky Romero, we have a new song coming with Blasterjaxx that’s coming up, there’s a lot of new stuff! We used to be very slow, releasing like three songs a year and now it’s almost every month. So the schedule is already full till the end of the year and then a couple of months in next year. So, a lot is coming.”
Check out their latest single ‘We’re Still Young’ with Nicky Romero below: