A Trance chat with Matt Hardwick

Known world wide for his tough, deep and progressive, moving towards energetic trance long sets, Matt Hardwick is a DJ and an artist in his own right. Matt's illustrious association with the global phenomenon that is Gatecrasher is something which has been well documented. Such association would be seen by many as an accomplishment in it's own right. It has seen Matt to play some of the greatest events the world of clubbing has to offer.
Whether it be playing at the sell-out Don Valley stadium gig in front of 28,000 people on New Years Eve 2000 or playing to 15,000 people at the amazing Gatecrasher NEC events- Matt has seen it all. His collaboration with production duo Smith & Pledger, entitled Day One, released last year on Anjuna Beats, has already won support from the likes of Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten and Scott Bond. The track has been included on a number of high profile compilations, including the prestigious Ministry of Sound-Ibiza annual.

Deejayz Area: Hello Matt, thanks for sharing some moments with us. How's it going lately?

Everything is going really well at the moment. My djing diary is busier than it has ever been and I am really working hard in the studio. There doesnt seem to be enough days in the week at the moment...I need a holiday!

Deejayz Area: Tell us a bit about yourself. How can you describe your style for the people who haven't yet got the chance to hear you?

I would say that my style could be best described as progressive trance. I prefer to play long sets so I can really work my way through different styles of music and build my sets. The longer the set- the more fun I have. I really like to experiment with sounds and try and take the crowd on a journey (pardon the cliché).

Deejayz Area: You've been a footballer for Sheffield Wednesday club, right? How did you get into the dance music?

I played professional football for two years - but music was my calling.
I always DJed. I started off playing on various pirate radio stations. At the age of 15 I would go to various high rise tower blocks in undesirable areas on my push bike and play to the listeners at strange times- e.g. 1-3am on a Tuesday morning. It was like a good way to get my name out to the largely underground scene which was in place in the early 90's. This soon lead to several residencies and from then on came the guest slots at the bigger clubs.

Deejayz Area: You completed last year a great track with Smith & Pledger on Anjuna Beats that received massive support, including a remix from Above & Beyond. Can you tell a bit about this collaboration?

I was a fan of the guys and the label contacted me to see if I would be interested in colaborating. We have just completed our second single called connected which is a vocal track and we are hoping for big things with it.

Deejayz Area: What was your favorite place you played at in 2003? You got any place that you didn't play yet and you would love to?

My favorite gig in 2003 was Centro in Singapore. The reaction I got from the crowd was nothing short of amazing- and it was only the second time I played there. I also loved Inside Out in Glasgow and Promise in Newcastle. I would really like to do a lot more European dates in 2004. There are some exciting scenes which I would like to check out.

Deejayz Area: How do you perceive the trance scene in UK for this year? Is it going to rock more then last year?

The scene is going more underground which is a great thing. With less commercial pressure the quality of the music comming through has never been better. Will it rock in 2004- definitely!! Watch out for the new up and comming clubs which are going to massive in 2004 -eg Promise in Newcastle.

Deejayz Area: You recently opened up your own website. Do you think the Internet is an essential factor for the progress that electronic music had these last years?

Yes- it has enabled so many new people to get exposed to the scene. I receive emails through my site from people who would not otherwise have the access to the music. It is indeed a catalyst in the development of the world dance scene- and sites like yours are certainly helping that.

Deejayz Area: What do you feel about the mp3's flying over the net?

There needs to be control. At the end of the day artists still need to make a living. However, it can be an excellent promotional tool especially for the young up and coming producers. I get about 5 or 6 MP3s a day and its a great way to get the material direct to the DJs on the day of a big event to be played that night.

Deejayz Area: What are your plans for the coming future? Any new productions coming up? Where can people catch you spinning in the coming weeks?

As I said, the next production entitled connected is finished and we are looking at an April release date. In the coming weeks I am playing at Promise in Newcastle, Heaven for Gatecrasher, the telewest arena for Godskitchen and I will be playing Passion at the end of the month. Internationally, i am playing in the Lebenon this month which should be great and at the end of the month I will be in Shanghai.

Deejayz Area: And finally, any last words for your fans reading this interview?

Thanks to everyone for their support and check out matthardwick.com for more info on my nighclub manoevers...cheers!

Click here for more info on Matt Hardwick

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A Trance chat with Matt Hardwick

March 5, 2004 at 5:37 PM CET


Andrei Rusu

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