They made the first musical steps somewhere in the mid-eighties - Bert on guitar, Maarten on drums and followed their dream of becoming rock stars. But that didn't last too long and after a while they figured out the easiest way to play in front of thousands of people all over the world was to become dance music producers.
In '98 the brothers start their proper career in dance music at the Belgian record label Headroom Music. Label boss Bart Grinaert sees the potential and takes them under his wings. After a few releases under several names, they decide to stick to the name "Filterheadz". Soon after that they start working on remixes for important labels like Hooj, Platipus, Nebula & Deviant, quickly becoming the "first call" remixers from Belgium. Their smashing record 'Sunshine' released on Carl Cox's Intec label, described as a 'latin techno track', ended up to be the Ibiza favorite.
In 2004 Bert and Maarten release their debut mix cd on Belgian label N.E.W.S., a collection of tribal monsters, tech beats, spacious overtones and some downright offbeat stuff. Nowadays they work on their new label Love Distortion launched in October 2005, together with their old budy from Headroom Music - Bart Grinaert aka Housetrap. After the first release "Cartagena", Filterheadz already announced the second one – "The Way" by Housetrap, which contains two mixes from Housetrap and a Filterheadz remix. BeatFactor has recently caught up with Maarten to discuss about the new label and various aspects of their career.
Filterheadz: We always wanted to be a rock stars. Maarten wanted to be animal of the Muppet show and my hero was Eddie Van Halen. I started playing air guitar at 5, real guitar at 13, must say, a bit harder than I thought. Around 17-18 I wanted to be the fastest guitar player in the world but after a while I became extremely bored with that so my chances of becoming a guitar superhero became increasingly grim with every passing day... In the end we realized that the easiest way to play in front of thousands of people all over the world was to become a dj/dance music producer. In all honesty, I can't think of a better job.
BF: What other interests do you have besides music right now?
F: Travelling, seeing the world. So that goes really well with dj-ing. South America & Asia are my favorites. Apart from that I really like to cook! I'm working hard at perfecting my sushi skills.
BF: Do you consider Headroom Music being a catalyst for your careers?
F: Absolutely. Headroom Music has always been more than just a label. It was a perfect place for us to grow as producers. They gave us the chance to find our sound and direction. Plus the effect of always other producers & djs around like Housetrap, TDR, Zzino, Dave Kane, Marco Bailey, etc surely helped a lot.
BF: You have released music under several names before choosing "Filterheadz". What made you decide to stick to this alias?
F: 1. it's a cool name and 2. I think it's really important to stick to one name. Having 20 aliases has never helped anyone's career.
BF: You have recently launched a new imprint - Love Distortion - together with Housetrap and its second release has just been announced. What does your new label aim to promote? What do you plan for it?
F: Love distortion is in the first place an outlet for all new Filterheadz & Housetrap music. We both always had our own sound, some kind of melodicdirtyhousetechnobeats style. So Love Distortion is really a reflection of that sound as a label.
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F: We been great friends since the first day we met. We've worked on several projects together over the years. We've always encouraged & inspired each other to get better at what we do.
BF: In your opinion, what does it takes for a new label to breakthrough the dance music industry in these days with so many labels out there?
F: Quality, originality and good promo. It needs to be good stuff, it needs to be something people can only get from you and you have to let everyone know you're selling it...
BF: What are your thoughts about the digital downloads?
F: I love them! It means that I can get new music anytime I want and from anywhere I want. These days I'm buying tracks on a daily basis from all kinds of mp3 stores. Sometimes up to right before we leave the hotel for the gig.
BF: Tell us what has been the highlight of this year for you so far.
F: It's hard to pick just one: Obviously our first release on Love Distortion, it had been a while since we did any new Filterheadz music. But also both Zouk parties in Kuala Lumpur & Singapore and last but not least a huge gig in Kazakhstan.
BF: What technical innovations are you currently using in your sets/live acts?
F: Ableton Live! I feel that it is by far the most inspiring software for both live, dj & studio work. We're currently using the new Nuo4 from Ecler as a mixer/controller. A truly fantastic piece of gear.