Launching the year with the release of the live-mixed CD Universal Religion 2008, Armin Van Buuren is busy balancing a rigorous touring schedule with production of an artist album. Add to that his weekly "A State of Trance" radio show and tastemaking Armada record label, its easy to see why his fans gave him the ultimate compliment – voting him #1 on the annual DJ magazine list.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Congratulations on getting number one on the DJ list.
Armin Van Buuren: Thank you very much.
RS: What was your reaction?
Armin Van Buuren: Well, you know, it's like winning an Oscar. It's that big.
RS: If you were to get an Oscar award like that at an award show,
who would you thank?
Armin Van Buuren: Well, the special thing about this is award is that it's an award from the clubbers, so I would thank them, because they are the ones that voted for me.
RS: Your new mixed CD, Universal Religion, was recorded live.
What was it like doing it as a live mix?
Armin Van Buuren: It was amazing. I only decided to do the CD at the last minute, because I brought my laptop and my microphone to record the set for my radio show. I was so happy about the mix that we decided to do it as a compilation CD.
RS: Was it difficult to clear all the songs that you played that night?
Armin Van Buuren: Well, it was only fourteen tracks and yes, with one song we had a little difficulty, but not too much. We were able to clear them pretty quickly.
RS: Very cool. How did you choose the songs? Was it just
following the crowed or what was your theory of the programming on
Armin Van Buuren: I had a few tracks that I wanted to start with, but from there it was interaction with the crowd, as you can hear. The mix is almost perfect because I'm mixing it live. You can actually hear me mixing and it's definitely a one-take mix.
RS: The live mix is a nice change from all these studio-mixed CDs
out right now.
Armin Van Buuren: Yes, exactly. The whole idea behind the CD is that you actually have to imagine yourself with that crowd, so it's really a kind of special experience I think.
RS: I read somewhere than when you did the live set for Universal
Religion, that you went out and actually bought the gear yourself.
Armin Van Buuren: Yes, I did. Well, I was sort of sick and tired of all these sound guys who you have to pay a lot of money to and they never show up on time. I'd just recorded it myself because I wanted it to use on my radio show as well. And I thought I'd bring the microphones and a laptop, I'll just record my set every week, and if I'm happy about a set I might even release it on CD. And that's what I did.