Artist Spotlight – 4Strings
Alias: 4 Strings
Real Name: Jan De Vos
Hometown: Numansdorp, Netherland
Affiliations: 4 Strings
Generational comparisons are like apples and oranges
In the world of social media, the admiration of a long-lasting relationship is hard to deny and for the members of 4 Strings – Jan de Vos and Carlo Resoort, they have not only maintained a working partnership for over 30 years, but a friendship as well. They have stood the test of time and became legends in the trance arena. 4 Strings is responsible for creating the soundtrack of our lives, with classical hits that can play with your heartstrings and can bring you down to your knees in the same track. Humbled, true to their roots, and absolutely brilliant, 4 Strings is not just living in their past greatness but creating tracks that will not only stand the test of time but keep 4 Strings on top for decades to come.
Editorial note: Interview with Jan de Vos
Hello, it is very impressive to see a trance group stand the test of time and stay together for over 2 decades. How have you guys managed to work through the ups and downs and maintain the group over the years?
We know each other for over 30 years. So we were friends. Because we were really, good friends from youth it is easier to incorporate each other. So that is the secret and we both very different. I think we are 180 degree different, so that is a good thing, it is better than you always say yes to the same, there is no argument. It is better that sometimes one or the other is not happy with something and you get feedback. It doesn’t always have to be good. So because of our long friendship we know each other deeply, we know our parents, we know our siblings, everything. So now, we have our own children and we just good friends. For us it is impossible to get a big argument, because we solve it before it becomes big.
After 11 years in 2017, you guys released a studio album Sunset Aftermath. What inspired you to come back after a long hiatus?
Well, it’s a label change, that’s first. It’s more freedom, less interference from the label. So it was us again who can decide what we want to release. We left Spinnin’ Records and we went to RazNitzan label, also a lyric writer. Carlo knows Raz for over 25 years, so they know each other way before even 4 Strings was a project, they know each other.
So that was already like a good place, and he love to write all our melodies, so it was like chemistry coming together. We had somewhat songs done and trance is coming back luckily. I was already saying this for three years, because EDM could never manage to stay up that long. Now we see that trance is coming back and people want some emotions again in the music. In the dance music, not only jumping around nonstop, no. And that all together with the label change, the trance was picking up again, and the idea of the label was to do this album. It was at this point many tracks were already [done], but it was just to show again the people what we are doing. Because now a days a track is only one or two weeks and then it is gone. So it was to make awareness that we are back. Now we continue, and it is going really well.
My partner is not made for different types of music. He is trance in his soul. And me too. In my set, I try to translate how we feel in the studio. We want to have emotions going on and sadness, happiness everything has to go.
But in the end, it has to let you go, because on Monday you have to go to your job again happy.
We try, that is our whole idea.
Take Me Away is your biggest track to date and arguably one of the best in the history of trance. It has been remixed countless times, including recently by LA local Dave Neven. What are your thoughts when you hear your tracks being reborn decades later?
Well, we feel privilege that people still want to do the remix. This means the original is so good that everybody wants to give his or her own go to it. And the new generation producers in trance still want to remix it, so for us it is like an honor. It is a big achievement I think when you produce a track in 2001, and in 2018, it is still being remixed. Now everyone is playing it. So for us it is an honor that people still want to remix it. And we also remixed it in 2015 and it took us more than 10 years, because we could not come up with anything that we thought was good enough.
The trance sound has changed since you first stepped on the scene. What are your thoughts of the new sound? Has this new sound influenced you in any ways? Is it important that you maintain your “classic” sound? Why or why not?
In the studio, we just sit and we work the same like we did in 2001. So we have the same ideas, so in the studio we not really influence by the latest stuff, tonight I played a new remix of Ourselves off the album. That is a little bit in the newer stuff, but we only do it if we really feel happy to do that. Then we have a go at it, but it is probably coincidence that we might end up with a line or a part that sounds like the newest style. But the melody wise we always want to keep the classic, the warm melodies that people feel something in it. The nice vocals but that is the chemistry now between our new labels we feel each other perfectly. So yeah, I think in the studio we still the same as 2001.
4Strings are world renowned DJs and producers who have stood the test of time, what is next for the group?
At this moment, what I play tonight I Need Your Lovin’, it was one of our favorite tracks back in the day. It wasn’t a dance track back in the day; we have a lot already lying around so our inspiration is you took the moment.
The support is bigger than ever because all the big trance DJs, they pick up our music and they are really happy with that. And it gives us an extra boost and we want to remix a lot of our classic tracks. That is what we are working on now. Working on agreements with the labels, all the legal stuff, but definitely yeah, we’ll now and then remix like an old track, so like an old trance track like I Need Your Lovin’ was a classic track. But we also already did a few Markus Schulz, picks up a lot from us. So we want to keep doing the vocals, we want a very melodic track with a long break down, very emotional. So I think we are going to make a circle with styles, but it is not that different the change. It is not that we are going for a total different music style. Sometimes we want to just be jumping and sometimes we want the people to be like I Need Your Lovin’, we call it an emotional roller coaster. People hear the vocal, they think deep inside of their self-misery, then the instrumental part is so uplifting that it just breaks them down and it is like a cure for all the misery. And it just goes and that is how we are in the studio. We just have to give that energy at the end of the track. But yeah, we want to bring emotions, bring soul, feelings, and that is what 4 stings stands for.
If you could live by only one motto, what would it be?
I think for me and my partner it is the same, “live by the day and do what you love to do”.
Courtesy of 4 Strings