KM: As a native Hollander, your country is stocked with brilliant producers kicking out some of the biggest tracks in electronic/dance music. What was your introduction to electronic music? Do you remember what inspired you to get involved and begin producing your own tracks?
Richard Durand: When I was 18 I experienced ‘dance’ music for the first time, I was at clubs once in a while in Amsterdam and when I saw how the crowds reacted to the DJ I was so impressed and I just knew that I HAD to do this too!
KM: On Wide Awake, you collaborated with a lot of different artists. Was there a particular artist who was a big thrill for you to work with, or whose style pushed your own creativity?
Richard Durand: I always have a great time in the studio with Alex O’rion. We are able to have a lot of fun together and still be critical of each other’s work. That has a great effect on any new productions we’re working on.
KM: Were a lot of those collaborations on Wide Awake set up by your label or management, or did you go out and seek some of your favorite tunesmiths, or even heroes of yours with whom you wanted to work?
Richard Durand: Unfortunately it isn’t that romantic. [laughs] Over time you just kind of run into new people that you want to work with, which is also what happened for this album. And sometimes I go out and find people to collaborate with myself, other times management tracks them down.
KM: What was the collaborative process like? Did you have to send rough cuts back and forth through email, or did you get a chance to work hands-on in the studio with each other?
Richard Durand: That is the way it works a lot of the time, sending cuts to one another from a distance. Sometimes I get the vocals sent to me and I put it to music, which turns into a track for an album. Other times I send music to a vocalist who writes lyrics and records them. Then they send it back to me and presto! Kash and I did work together in the studio and within a day we churned out “Explode.”
KM: Are there any big names left on your list of artists with whom you want to work?
Richard Durand: I don’t think a name has to be big, if someone has a quality that I don’t have (and there are plenty of those) I like collaborating with them. Who knows, maybe I’ll work with someone who has a completely different style to mine next time!
KM: In the press release for Wide Awake, you said that you didn’t want to make Always the Sun Part 2. What sort of musical evolution sets Wide Awake apart from Always the Sun?
Richard Durand: I think the second album’s sound is a bit rougher. The tracks are meant for clubs. Always the Sun was more laid-back and the tracks were meant for at home or in the car.
KM: How was the actual creative process behind the two albums different? Were there different label or time constraints?
Richard Durand: I don’t think the processes were really different. I come up with tracks everywhere. On my way to a gig or at the hotel, so I’m not limited to the studio, which is also why they have different sounds, I think.
KM: Were there any particular styles or artists who really had a major influence on you and your sound during the completion of Wide Awake?
Richard Durand: I always get inspired by other music genres and artists, but I can’t mention one thing or person in particular.
KM: What was the first track from Wide Awake that you started working on? Did your aesthetic change over the duration of the album’s completion?
Richard Durand: “Airwell” was the first track, which I did last summer. I think that the process always changes… One day you feel mellow, so your production is also mellow and another day a track has to be high energy and rough!
KM:How have fans been reacting to Wide Awake? Are there any particular songs that have had a surprise impact, or cuts that you knew would be dancefloor favorites?
Richard Durand: I’m really happy with the positive reactions I’ve got so far, especially the track “Wide Awake” seems to be really positively received by the fans, which is the best compliment you can get!
KM:What do these next few months following the album’s release have in store for you?
Richard Durand: I’m really busy working on the new In Search Of Sunrise9: India (Black Hole). Collecting material and I’ve just finished two new tracks for on the album.
KM:It appears you stay active and keep in touch with fans on Twitter. Do you like that social media function of quick, bursts of info that keep you connected?
Richard Durand: I like being connected with fans like that, especially after an awesome gig… it’s great to be able to share that experience with the people who made it happen!