The Sherp had a long chat with the world’s leading hardcore act Angerfist, who is all set to headline India’s first Hardcore festival this January. Angerfist, also known as Danny gives us insight into the world of the hardcore genre, his rise to fame and how he goes about naming his absurdly-titled singles.
For those of you who don’t know, Angerfist is the world’s leading hardcore act, underlined by the fact that he received the prestigious 37th spot in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ edition of 2014. Being the first hardcore artist ever to hit the chart. Angerfist was founded in 2001, when he dropped his first EP on Overload Records, the former sublabel of Masters of Hardcore Records. After that EP, he has produced an impressive continuous streak of hit records on Masters of Hardcore.
Hey Danny, welcome to India. As one of the major propagators of hardcore, how far do you think the genre has come in terms of production and talent?
Hardcore is changing constantly. If you listen to tracks from 5-10 years ago, the difference is huge. Nowadays it’s much more violent than in the earlier days. But that’s just the evolution of music, and it’s a good thing. Also the styles within hardcore constantly change. For instance, Crossbreed (a mix between hardcore and drum n bass) emerged from nowhere a few years ago. It became popular pretty quick but lost it’s popularity pretty quick too. In Europe there is currently a wave in popularity in Frenchcore and Uptempo. It’s cool to see these constant changes in the genre. It’s so diverse in sub-genres and styles that it will never die.
What’s the story behind your moniker ‘Angerfist’ and the mask you don during performances?
The name Angerfist of a brainstorm where I was thinking of a cool name for the project, which is short and aggressive. About the mask, I love being able to walk around a rave and not be recognized. Being anonymous is perfect for me. But of course the mask is an important element of the success of Angerfist. People love it, and it fits well with the music and vibe I want to create. Of course the most important part is music. You can have a great image and all your project planned till the smallest detail, but if your music sucks your project sucks.
You and MC Prozac make a lot of music together, how did you first hook up?
We don’t make music together for Angerfist. That’s just me. He is MC for the Angerfist live act. We do make music together for the industrial project Bloodcage, where he performs the dj sets. We’ve known eachother for many years. We met in high school and have been friends since.
Your version of hardcore has its own unique drum n bass edge to it, how did that come about?
– Drum n bass, hiphop, breaks. Those are all elements I like to put in the music. I just like the vibe of it, especially that L.A 90s hiphop atmosphere is priceless imo. Like in “Just Like Me” with Tha Playah & MC Jeff.
Who are your musical influences currently? What music would a playlist on your ipod include?
The list is endless. From hiphop to rock n roll to breakcore. I like old music a lot too from the 50s 60s 70s. If I’d have an ipod there would be a lot of Johnny Cash, Elvis, 90s gangsta rap and 80s pop on it. Quite an unusual combination right there.
Electronic music has evolved in a major manner over the last several years, with several sub-genres under it. What would you say about the contemporary scene in electronic music and what do you think is the future of hardcore?
It’s growing worldwide. In the past it used to be a lot around Holland and Italy. Over the years the rest of Europe also got more into the music and the past years it has gone much more worldwide. It’s great to see that people from cultures all over the planet like it hard. I have great hopes for the future.
Hardstyle’s popularity as a genre is just about picking up in India, what do you have planned for your set at the Hardcore Festival?
I will do what I always try to do, bring energy and good vibes into the crowd. I’ve played in India before with Bangalore as the highlight, and I expect the Indian partyheads to go just as crazy as last time.
Your singles come with catchy, unique and sometimes macabre names like ‘My Critic Fetish’ and ‘Maniac Killa’. How do you go about naming your music?
Usually the titles are connected to the vocals in a track. Obviously I prefer it to be rough and / or obscure. Horror movies and old, dusty hiphop records are the main source.
What projects are you working on currently?
I recently released my “Raise & Revolt” album and did the album release event in The Netherlands. Right now I’m focussing on the many upcoming tourdates, including Goa
Lastly, if you had to give one advice to young producers interested in dabbling in hardcore/hardstyle, what would it be?
It might sound cheesy, but be unpredictable and try to find your own unique sound. That’s the best advice there is.
Grab your tickets to Hardcore : Invasion now!