Get to know: Sinister Souls

Get to know: Sinister Souls

Hard Drum & Bass extravaganza on PRSPCT. Around 200 tunes released in the last 13 years. Starting this year heavy – with a BRAND NEW, 4th in a row, album called “Everything Hertz” ! Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get to know Frederick a.k.a. Sinister Souls hailing from Netherlands.

Hello Fred, great to have you here and thanks for doing this. Now let’s get to know you a little bit more.
Woooooop! The pleasure is all mine!

Fred a.k.a. Sinister Souls

So what were you like when you were younger? What kind of music did you listen to? When did you decide that you want to become a producer?
So if we’re talking my teenage years (I’m almost 35 now) then I would say I was quite the party kid. Lot’s of DnB parties, if possible 2 in a weekend. And this was even before I starting DJ-ing myself! Before that (like 13-years old), I listened to Metal a lot; Manson, Rammstein, Korn, SoaD. It’s been a big influence on the drive which is in Sinister Souls.

As for when I wanted to produce? Well, I was always easily distracted, never could keep my attention on anything for too long… Till I started producing when I was like, 12 or 13 years old. Started with just building loops in Acid Pro and after a while I switched over FL Studio (tho it was still called Fruity Loops back then).
Not a lot of people know this but, my love for D&B is equaled with my love for Downtempo and Ambient music. The goosebumps that I get from a good melancholic electronic tune…

You and Adriaan started first with Dubstep and later on with Drum’n’Bass. When and why have you decided to start with drum’n’bass? What would you say your ‘’breaking point’’ was, like a tune or an event?
Well… Drum & Bass is really difficult to produce xD. Trust me, we tried back then. We were both D&B heads through and through. Then when Dubstep came up and was becoming popular, we just thought; let’s try it! The bar with Dubstep was a lot lower, because there was still so much space to work with, so much experimenting to do. Making D&B sound “tight and pro” can be quite an obstacle. Then, a couple of years -more experience and pure determination later – we came to the point where we switched back to D&B, and haven’t looked back since.
I remember the exact moment we didn’t wanna do Dubstep anymore, we were working on a collab with Bratkilla (awesome dude) and we were just staring at the screen; our Dubstep ideas were just done at that moment, nothing original came to paper. And we’d rather make music we enjoy rather than just going through the works.

Fred and Adriaan (last gig together) at PRSPCT XL

In 2018 Adriaan decided to say goodbye to Sinister Souls. How did things change for you? We saw that you are preparing a new album, how is producing music without Adriaan? Are there any tracks on the album that you guys started together?
Yeah that was quite the moment.. After working together for over 12 years, 9 years of those being Sinister Souls together; it was time for Adriaan to move on to other pastures. It was mutual =) we always had a 50/50 agreement, no matter what. Adriaan’s video directing work was starting to become a lot more present, thus it was harder for him to have that focus on DJ-ing and producing. So we made the call. And we both thought it would be silly to end Sinister Souls, end that legacy, by starting something new. We both are Sinister Souls, whether I’m on my own, or with Adriaan. Plus now I just tell everyone I’m totally schizophrenic.

And yes! I’m done with the new album! The previous album “FCKN Hostile” was still partly done with Adriaan, this new one is all my own. But always has a part of him in it, because we both know what style and vibe Sinister Souls is, even if I made the tracks on my own.

Let’s talk a bit more about your upcoming album. What or who was your biggest influence? How come you decided to do an album and not an EP? We are definetly not complaining – by the way.
Well, this is the 4th album! And as said, the first album made 100% by me (with the collaborations of course). It was actually done for a while, but mixing it takes most of the time. Venue testing (testing if the mixage is good in venues and if the crowd digs the tunes) is normally something you can do each week or 2 during gigs. But during the Covid crisis, you couldn’t venue test. So there was no way to really “finish” the album. But now, I’ve been testing, mixed and thrown it at Thrasher’s ears (head-honcho of PRSPCT). Artwork is also ready, made by talented tattoo artist and my lovely girlfriend; Emmy.
Also, the reason I wanted to make an album instead of an EP; I wanted to put down an entire work of mine. For people to hear what Sinister Souls is now. In my opinion, it still sounds the same as it did with Adriaan. But that’s primarily because Adriaan and I worked on the same astro-super-mind-brain level; we liked the same things.
I will make more EP’s and collabs when the album will be released (early this year) but for now, this statement of the current state of Sinister Souls is coming. And it’s D&B, how I perceive it. Plus 2 tunes that are just completely different.

And this is gonna sound cheezy AF. But the biggest influence is you, the fans! *points finger intensely at the screen.*
Fans, crowd, people that listen to Sinister Souls. Watching you go wild, getting messages, reading comments, seeing the Spotify numbers. It’s a warm feeling that there are people in the world enjoying the sound… And the funny thing is, I’m just randomly doing my thing and doing what feels good, I just produce and play whatever I want and if you like it, then that makes me extra-bonus happy!

Which tune was the most challenging to make? Do you have a favourite tune from the album? Are there any stories behind some tracks that you can share with us?
If you mean in general? That’s a tough one.. I think we’ve released near to 200 original tunes in the past 13 years. Perhaps more…

But, the most difficult from the album was… None :D. I hate to say this but; the mixdowns are always hard. Making the tune itself, comes from the heart, is a lot easier (AND MORE FUN). Because it feels good to make, you’re putting a piece of you in each story or drive you create.

Sooo, my favorite tune.. Is a difficult question.. When it comes to dance-energy, I’d have to say “Razorback”. But the collab with “The Clamps” has quite an emotional drive to it. DIFFICULT QUESTION I TELL YOU!! Anyways… there are two tunes on there which are not D&B, one is an homage to The Prodigy (RIP Keith) called “Tasty (It’s an Homage)” -see what I did there?- and the other is called “The Cost of Lies”; and it’s a type of tune I never made before, some 140bpm “4 to the floor/rave” tune with the Sinister Souls flavour kinda tune.

You did lots of remixes and collabs with many artists so far; Pythius, Gancher & Ruin, Shadow Sect, Hallucinator to name a few. Are there some collabs on upcoming album?
The album itself is called “Everything Hertz”, and so is the title tune which features Angie from OA. And HOT DAMN I love her voice… That was a collab that was long overdue on my list. Plus Ogonek helped recording the vocals over in Bulgaria, to get it just right.  Anyways, the tile;  it actually references to me getting older and feeling it. A musical word-play on “Everything Hurts” while at the same time thinking back on all that I’ve experienced for the past 20 years.

Upcoming album

Now “Judge” for example, is another homage. This time to old Tech Itch and Evol Intent amen tunes. Those were the days!! And then there’s “Anxiety”, which speaks for itself :’) And the energetic drive that’s in the collab with Mathizm “Momentum” is how we experienced Techstep back in THA HOOD (read: in 2004 on the couch lounging). Same goes for “Leviathan” with mighty Freqax, techstep rollers FTW!

And then there’s “Threshold” with the Hallucinator boys; I think for most people this is the Sinister Souls they know, the most classical D&B example. But I can’t keep making the same stuff over and over, people change, feelings change and I’m turning gray 😀 THUS, we have a collection D&B- how I perceive D&B.

How did you spend the pandemic times? Developed some new skills? Was it hard on you or did you take it easy? Did you produce a lot or took some time off? We saw some PRSPCT livestreams – you smashed it.

Ispend the last two years cozy on the couch with my girlfriend which clicked just at the start of the pandemic. I developed one amazing new skill: the art of sitting on the couch. Using such powerfull moves as; playing videogames, or BINGING. It was tough.
No but in all super seriousness. Life in Holland wasn’t bad, the government did a hell of job supporting it’s citizens. And we’re lucky, so very lucky, to be living here during those trialing times.. I think I said that at least once a week to me or anyone which I spoke to…
With that said, I took it easy. Like I mentioned before, there were no gigs. So no way to venue test, which hampered the drive to make new dance music. Money from the government kept us standing and I starting doing more graphics work for PRSPCT, help keeping the boat afloat. I also released a new Synthwave album in 2021 under my alias “Arpitect” called “Rise and Fall”. The new Sinister Souls album was actually already done for a while, but I didn’t want to release it during Covid times and without proper venue testing.

I did release a collab EP with Zombie Cats <3 and did a remix of their tune GRRRRRRRRRR (can never remember how many RRRRRRRRR’s are there). And made a tune with Mechanical Vein’s vocals in it called “No Light City”. Oh, and then there’s the collab with Shadow Sect, the EP with OA during the early days of the pandemic… Come to think of it; I actually didn’t sit on my butt the entire time. Also, very glad you liked the streams! I tend to spread them out a bit, so they’re special each time I do.

And now when there are no restrictions, we see that you have lots of upcoming gigs, also one with us, we are super excited to have you here for the first time in Slovenia. So tell us, do you prefer to play on big stages or smaller, more intimate events?
Oh man it feels so weird to have my calendar fill up with gigs again… 5 countries alone in April, and they keep on coming. And yeah! This is my first time in Slovenia! I think Adriaan played there some Dubstep maybe? Once in the distant past? But he doesn’t matter anymore! *EVIL LAUGHTER.

Soooo, when it comes to gig-size, they say that size isn’t important. But it actually is 😛 Playing a small gig; you feel the energy of the crowd in front of you, there’s a certain bond going on there. Quite special. Now a big gig on the other hand, you might not be able to see the bassfaces right in front of you because of the amount of lights which are burning your eyes out of your sockets BUT *gasps for air* it’s just so fckn epic to see that amount of people go wild in front of you. The scale of it… Take the Beats 4 Love for example, you can see it on my face that this was something else. Amazing <3

What was the craziest thing that happened to you during playing or attending an event, that you can tell us?
I think the craziest gig we ever had was the gig we never had.
Cryptic right? I KNOW!
Me and Adriaan were on our way to a gig way back in our Dubstep days, traveling by train and cab. Then when we were just about half an hour out, our agent calls us and says “Turn back… TURN BACK WHILE YOU STILL CAN”. Apparently the conditions over at that gig were SO BAD that he didn’t wanna do that to us… So we headed back home, wondering what hellscape we just dodged.

What can we expect from you in the next years? Do you want say something to your fans?
Well, I’m just honored that there are people in the world that listen to the music that I produce for me, not for them, but they still listen to it. I enjoy what I make, sometimes I hate the music that I make, but only the mixdowns. I always 100% love the stories that I get to tell, the drive that I can put in the music, to see people dance, raise their hands and feel goosebumps.
I keep reminding myself, how surreal it is, that there are people in the world that look at me the same way I used to look at people like Aphrodite, Black Sun Empire or Counterstrike (marry me Justin). I remind myself of that feeling, and don’t take it for granted.

Thank you again for your time! And see you on 15th of April! Horns up!




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