Facing Choices With DROELOE [Exclusive Interview]

Dutch duo, DROELOE comprised of Vincent Rooijers and Hein Hamers have been making massive waves with their inventive sounds and chord progressions. DROELOE got their big break a year into their music careers when bitbird artist BeauDamian introduced them to the label. Eventually the duo released their track zZz through bitbird, and have thrived under San Holo’s label since; releasing multiple singles and an EP in the two years since they signed on.

Since then the duo has not looked back, creating innovating sounding tracks while touring the world with their peers. Yesterday, the duo released their Sophomore EP The Choices We Face. A couple months ago I had the opportunity to chat with them in Washington state at Paradiso.

Festival Squad: How did you guys like playing Paradiso?

Hein: It was fun, it’s our first festival here in the Pacific NorthWest area. We have played a couple shows around here before, so we kind of knew what the vibe was, we kind of found of that people really like bass music so it was fun, it was a lot of fun.

Vincent: Yeah it was dope, the crowd went crazy. There were nice clouds that made the sun a little bit bearable, and the view was amazing.

Festival Squad: Both of you were at the bitbird retreat in the Netherland’s, can you tell us a little bit about that experience.

Hein: We were on a farm in the Netherlands in the middle of nowhere. It was literally an hour drive from the nearest train station, it was a lot of fun.

Vincent: It’s weird as far as an American concept, but in the Netherlands that’s far.

Hein: … like 5 miles out of shit nowhere *laughs*, but it was a lot of fun. It was good to see all our friends again who release under bitbird. It was just really nice, friendly chill vibes I guess.

Billy the Goat: Photo was taken from DROELOE’s Instagram

Vincent: Friendly chill goats as well.

Hein: There was a really nice goat, his name was Billy.

Vincent: Billy was alone; like he had a whole piece of grass for himself. There was a lot of goats and they had to share but Billy had it all, Billy had it man.

Hein: Billy was the apex goat.

Vincent: Apex goat, hell yeah.

Festival Squad: You guys play everything from your own stuff to San Holo, what is your favorite song to play live?

Hein: Recently one of our favorite tracks has been the Hex Cougar remix of Chemicals by KRANE.

Vincent: At this point, it’s my favorite electronic track…

Hein: We play a lot of Taska Black stuff as well, really love that guy. Like same as the Hex Cougar remix, it just sounds so visceral. So hard, but also so emotional.

Vincent: Yeah its a combination between raw power and more emotional stuff which is…kind of rare these days.

Hein: Yeah I would rather play that than throwing elbows or something.

Festival Squad: You two make a lot of creative sounds that most people wouldn’t normally here, how did you come up with the sound that most listeners associate with your music?

Vincent: I think it was more of an evolving thing than just finding it out. We both made some beats before and…

Hein: It has also been a grind, stuff like that doesn’t really come overnight. We have both been making music for a long time, like Vincent’s parents were both jazz drummers, and I think a lot of people sometimes underestimate that. Like “I’m gonna become a producer now” or in a week they think “oh I have found my sound”, no you have to really really put in the work.

Vincent: Experiment a lot!

Hein:  Experiment a lot, don’t get stuck in the EDM bubble so to say.

Vincent: Don’t listen to too much EDM.

Hein: Cause you’ll be making EDM. Try and get cultured and try and get inspiration from other pieces of music and also not even music, just other things.

Festival Squad: Where do you guys find inspiration for your music?

Hein: Tinder profiles! *laughs* No just kidding. I think for us a lot of our inspiration comes from really personal moments and things that we’ve witnessed. Like it could be the tiniest moment, one of our tracks Sunburn was about a moment where we were doing our first tour in the U.S. And everything was going great,- we were finally on big stages and stuff like that, but then we were at the airport every day trying to discuss, “should we buy water or vitamin water? We can kind of only afford a bottle of water right now.” It was kind of that duality that really inspired us for that track. There are a bunch of moments where something just inspired us for a specific track.

Festival Squad: How did you guys come up with the name DROELOE?

Hein: *laughs* *gestures to Vincent* You take this one.

Vincent: *laughs* Okay okay. Well in the Netherlands we pronounce it as (DRRU-LEW).

*the R comes from the back of the mouth*

Vincent: It kind of means being drunk or uplifted in a way, but it also means actually shit so the best way to translate it would be to be shitfaced I guess. But apart from that we are not… *looks down at beer in hand* well I had a beer already, but *laughs* I don’t drink that much, we don’t drink that much. It’s a joke.

Hein: This whole project started as such a joke, we met each other in art school. We were working on a project together and in the after-hours, we were just making music. At some point we decided, “hey wouldn’t it be fun if we just started making something and putting it out there” we were just joking around. That kind of got really serious really quickly so…

Festival Squad: You guys recently came off of tour with San Holo, can you tell us a little about that experience?

Hein: It was a lot of fun, really exhausting though. We did a full world tour and it does take a toll on you mentally especially. You feel mentally at some point so depleted that every show becomes so much more intense because you are really hanging on to that moment. That’s the first thing that comes to my head it’s such a journey of going on such a long tour. It was honestly one of the most amazing things ever.  I always say if I get hit by a car or something, they cannot take that away from me like that’s something that we did.

Festival Squad: Is it the lack of sleep?

Hein: The lack of sleep…

Vincent: The lack of sleep, the impulses, the people you meet, the amount of people you meet especially.  We want to be nice to everybody you know but to be nice sometimes… you are just a little bit a grinch because it’s early or whatever the reason is but…

Hein: Or like the show was not as good as you planned it and people are like, “oh that was the most amazing show I’ve ever seen” like no man, no… we could have done better. You still have to be nice and representable at the end of the day.

Vincent: Yeah, but in the end, it’s worth it, it’s totally worth it.

Festival Squad: Do you guys have any collaborations in the works?

DROELOE: *both hissing excitedly*

Vincent: Ohh yes!

Festival Squad: Any hints as to who?

Vincent: Aww no, sorry, it is going to be cool though!

Festival Squad: Potential dates maybe?

Vincent: No nothing.

Hein: Its kind of like Game of Thrones, dragons are coming but you don’t know when!

Festival Squad: Well I can definitely say we are excited to hear that!

Festival Squad: Last question for you guys, whats the best food you guys have had while touring?

Hein: Fried rice in Jakarta.

Vincent: Ohh yeah, that was really good. I really like Tatsu Ramen in LA.

Hein: The best food I had was definitely McDonald’s man. *laughs* That pizza in Italy, we recently played a show in Italy and we were really lucky because our hotel was right across the street from the best pizza place in that town.

Festival Squad: Thanks so much for sitting down with us, we cannot wait to see you guys again!

Hein: Thanks.

Vincent: Thank you!

Since the interview, it has been apparent that the duo has been hard at work creating even more stylistically adventurous choices to expand their style. Their second EP includes vocals from Nevve and Iris Penning who compliment their respective tracks by adding depth through their vocals. Although each track has a DROELOE feel associated with it, the duo takes some liberties to break down genre barriers with songs like LIMBO which focuses on a darker, bass-heavy sound. Listen to the new EP, The Choices We Face, below.

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