DJ Ron: First I want to ask you, why do you use all the different names - Armin, Rising Star, Perpetuous Dreamer?
Armin van Buuren: Well, basically these were all of different projects of mine. Perpetuous Dreamer was an act I did with two other guys who were the writers of the lyrics and I did the production of the "Sound of Goodbye," so I wanted to do that under a separate project. It is an Armin van Buuren track but it's under a different name.
DJ Ron: Very cool. Were you a producer first or a DJ first?
Armin van Buuren: I was both. I've DJed ever since I was very young, you know at school parties, but never professionally. I think through my productions, people ask me to play aboard as well. Internationally, I started in 1998, "Communication" got to the sales charts in the UK, so that helped my career a lot. And the rest is history as they say.
DJ Ron: How do the two roles work together for you?
Armin van Buuren: Well, I don't think there's much of a difference. I really like being a producer, because it gives you the freedom to go in your own mind and create what you like. But I think all the top ten DJs in the world nowadays release singles and release albums as well as mixed compilations, so there's not a real big difference.
DJ Ron: For example, do you use the dance floor to test records you're working on in the studio?
Armin van Buuren: Yes, sometimes I do. I usually have one or two tracks I'm currently working on which I'm testing if the night is good, and I want to surprise people with something new. But on the 76 album there's also some downtempo stuff which I obviously didn't test on a dance floor. So there is a difference between being a producer and a DJ, because as a producer I try to create a different sound that would be interesting for me as well, just a chill out track.
DJ Ron: How do you prepare for one of your massive twelve-hour sets?
Armin van Buuren: That takes a lot of preparing actually, I do a lot of special edits for those sets, make extended versions, put acapellas on top of existing tracks and stuff like that. So it does take a lot of time, a twelve-hour set, and it's something special. I don't do that every week because it takes a lot of energy to do that and to keep a crowd interested for twelve hours. You really have to come with not only the known and the hit tracks but also create a vibe in which you can basically play everything. That's very difficult, it takes a lot of thinking and manipulating records and building a certain atmosphere which can exist for more than twelve hours.
DJ Ron: Talking about numbers, where does the title 76 come from?
Armin van Buuren: Well actually I had several titles for the album. I was thinking about calling the album "Yet Another Day" because I really like that title. But when I put all the tracks together for the album in February and it was about to go to the mastering, all the tracks together took 76 minutes. So I say hey, that's a coincidence because 76 is also my year of birth and the year Jean-Michel Jarre created his album Oxygene, which obviously influenced my album a lot. 76 was also the year the first Mac computer existed, the Apple I, which you could buy for six hundred and sixty-six dollars, I still remember that. And the Apple Mac is one of my favorite computers because I use that a lot in my productions and so forth.