Interview with Showtek [Hardstyle Edition]

After their performance at Knockout Outdoor, we had the opportunity to interview Showtek regarding their next hardstyle show at Qlimax.

If we had to define Showtek about hardstyle it would be under the word 'legends'. What hardstyle is now was built on foundations that they themselves built along with a few other artists. For many years their return was always rumored, and after two performances at Knockout Outdoor, it's time to finally see them perform at Qlimax, one of the biggest stages in Europe.

We have had the opportunity to interview them, more specifically regarding their upcoming performance at Qlimax and everything that is to come. Thank both Showtek and their entire team for allowing us to conduct this interview despite being in the midst of releasing their new album '360 Yellow' and we can't wait to finally see them in action this weekend. It's going to be a legendary set!


1. Welcome Sjoerd and Wouter! This is possibly for us, our most special interview. You are respected by all the hardstyle elite and your return to both Knockout Outdoor and Qlimax has been one of the biggest news in the genre this 2023. If there was a 'Hall of Fame', Showtek's name would appear very big. How did Showtek decide to return to hardstyle for some shows after several years away?

Hi and thanks for having us. We are happy to be here and answer as many questions as possible.

During the pandemic we had some time to reflect and think of what we really wanted to do, as Showtek but also for ourselves. We realized that the last couple of years touring and making music wasn’t always exciting for us anymore, it became a bit emotionless. The time off was actually great, it gave us time to figure things out and to brainstorm. We had this phone-call in 2021 (we didn’t see each other for like a year or so) and the outcome of that was; Let’s bring back the fun.

We want to make the music love; without boundaries and be excited about what we are doing. We felt going back to our roots was part of that, and not necessarily in terms of hardstyle but as being like kids. Just make music and be creative as we were when we started. We found some new excitement in hardstyle and playing some shows, so why not. Secondly; we felt that scene could use a bit of Showtek again; lol! If you do something, you have to do it with full dedication, and passion. That is now there on another level, hence why we felt we could contribute to it again, and add a unique element.

2. Such a comeback at Knockout Outdoor, right? 65.000 people in a sold out arena. No better way to be back. What was going through your mind at that moment?

We were very excited and a bit nervous! First of all, we have a massive fanbase in Australia, which varies from kids to adults. We had old fans who were really excited to see us; but also kids who knew our music but never saw us perform because they were too young to attend festivals at the time we were releasing our earlier music. When we started playing, the energy was just from another planet; like it was out of this world. People were singing along and having the best time ever. It meant everything to us and we can't wait to come back soon!


3. It's finally Qlimax month. For those of us who couldn't make it to Australia, it's time to enjoy this very special set. Personally, it's one of the best line ups in recent years, combining both legends and artists called to lead this new generation. How does it feel to be back at Qlimax after 15 years?

It’s hard to describe. We can still feel how nervous we were back in 2006, when we played Qlimax for the first time. We will be nervous again this year; since it’s 15 years ago we played it last. We have been preparing for the show for the last couple of months and it’s gonna go crazy! We are super excited!


4. Recently, on your Instagram, you were talking to a follower regarding your return with a 'Qlimax is the first'. Are you planning to continue with hardstyle performances or thinking about a minitour?

We will release our first album 360 ‘ Yellow’ on November 17th, the day before Qlimax. This is not a hardstyle album but a Bigroom and ianstage type of sound. The day after, yes there is Qlimax, it will be a Hardstyle show, and surely it will not be the last one. We are working on a very broad and diverse identity, we work and are working really hard to make every Showtek edm or Hardstyle fan very happy as well. So let’s see what happens next year.

5. Besides your 'hardstyle edits' to both your new tracks and classics, you premiered a D-Sturb remix to your well known 'We Speak Music'. Previously The Prophet also remixed 'Cannonball'. Can we expect some more premieres at Qlimax? Maybe a solo track?

We have made a few remixes and edits but we won’t tell you what will be showcasing at Qlimax, it will remain a surprise until the moment we go on. We can confirm we will play that “We Speak Music Remix” by D-Sturb, it’s a big one!!!

6. With Qlimax being a themed festival and classics sounding twice as good, we are sure that when FTS is played it will be one of the most special moments of the festival. It is still played by many artists, even outside of hardstyle. Why do you think this track has aged so well?

The message, the story, the emotion and the realness. We wrote the lyrics from a true perspective, and with a message that still resonates with people because it’s an infinite inner voice.

As Showtek we always try to implement different genres, cultures or elements to make the record a bit more special. FTS is that song that translates beyond any genre or musical preference, so more then Hardstyle only , it became so big even non hardstyle fans know that song.

It opened doors to other countries where hardstyle didn’t even exist; like in The USA: FTS was the song that crossed over and put us and the scene on map. It’s the most timeless hardstyle song (we have) ever made.

7. In the introduction to this interview we mentioned that you are respected by the whole scene and both at that Defqon.1 Legends and at Knockout Outdoor these last 2 times, the response from the fans has been insane. Do you think there is a special link between Showtek and hardstyle?

We contributed a lot to the scene, that’s where the respect comes from. We really gave our hearts and soul to it: There are a couple of artists that did big things for the scene and we are blessed we are part of that. We also had our own fanbase within the scene because our style was bit different; less hard, more melodic, emotional and in the often very gimmicky or thematic. A lot of fans associate with our music and that’s amazing. We love our fans and for those waiting for us to come back, we promise we will give them something special.

Just be patient…

About Erik

One summer of 2014 I wondered what an electronic music festival would be like and 5 years later, I wonder what would become of me without such a festival regularly..

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