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INTERVIEW with Ruben de Ronde X Rodg for their album TogetheRR

Rodg & Ruben de Ronde - Togetherr
TogetheRR is the brilliant progressive trance album by the hands of Ruben de Ronde and Rodg released with critical acclaim and public approval on Armada Music. 

Ruben de Ronde
Synthesizing the landscape surrounding him, Armada Music’s Ruben De Ronde keeps his progressive, trance, and chilled-out mindset in overdrive striking a signature musical balance. Surpassing expectations with each release, the celebrated Dutchman takes his studio projects to screaming crowds, playing at Armada Nights, festivals, and ASOT tours around the globe with Armin van Buuren. DJ, producer, and Satement! Music! owner, Ruben has all his bases covered, constantly taking his musicality to the next level.

In the studio, he's no victim of the genre black hole – he breaks the mold of progressive house and trance, while taking chilled-out creations for a ride. His global recognition has hooked dance floors of the ASOT world, and his solo efforts saw him collaborating with acclaimed artists like Tenishia and the Ukrainian starlet Aelyn. ‘Bright’, a collaboration with Danny Chen, was released on Armada, and the influential tunes ‘Remain Different’ and ‘For Granted’ ignited 2013. Following up with remixes for Alex M.O.R.P.H and Above & Beyond, his studio barely has time to rest. A milestone in itself, the album ‘From Sao Paulo To Sofia’ went from the ASOT600 tour to the hands of Hardwell. It was featured in the I Am Hardwell tour, and given a chance to shine in the fellow Dutchman’s documentary. Ruben’s track ‘Stoer’ walked into the hands of Joris Voorn’s Rejected Records, where it saw the tech-driven artist embrace its arrival.

Step outside the studio, and Ruben De Ronde unleashes on the clubs while on stage, dominating top-bill spots at Dance Valley, Nature One’s main stage, Kazantip, Sunrise Festival in Poland, and of course, the inimitable ASOT events in Moscow, Yekateringburg, Buenos Aires, Sofia, and Sao Paolo. He also played in front of half a million people on NYE in Hanoi. As DJ Mag’s trance reviewer in Holland and crowned boss of the ‘Sound of Holland’ weekly radio sessions on Afterhours FM and Sirius, Ruben strikes a nerve within the electronic music industry. He was also a big part of ‘Tomorrowland Radio’ in the summer of 2013.

In a world jam-packed with one-hit wonders, extremely consistent producers of dance music have always been sought-after. And that makes Rodg one of the rare-breed. The humble Dutchman is one of the best kept Armada Music secrets, delivering top-notch releases on a regular basis.

An impressive string of features on various Armada compilations proved to be the stepping stone for Rodg, renowned for a sound that sticks out. Since, he has put out a slew of genre-defying cuts, changing the game entirely through massive collaborations and solid remixes for artists such as Paul Oakenfold, Armin van Buuren, Solid Stone, Cosmic Gate and Ruben de Ronde.

Thanks to extensive support from a gamut of top-tier performers (e.g. Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Above & Beyond, Max Graham, Markus Schulz, and Ruben de Ronde), Rodg has been getting the recognition he deserved, even touted “One of the best producers of 2016” by Armin van Buuren. Seeing his in-studio diligence pay off, Rodg released his debut album in mid-2016 and grabbed early support from Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery and Above & Beyond, all the while title track ‘High On Life’ rode the US air waves and accumulated over a million streams on Spotify.

The Rodg sound has become inseparable from Armin van Buuren’s live sets and the Dutchman himself has since brandished his own sonic blend at A State Of Trance shows in Utrecht, Ibiza, and Mexico, Armada Nights, and various other unforgettable shows. He is the workhorse of the Armada family and a mainstay on countless worldwide Dance compilations. He is the present and the future of Electronic Dance Music, yet seemingly always underrated. He is Rodg.

There’s something about Ruben de Ronde and Rodg that makes them stand out. When apart, they dish out boundary-busting tunes left and right as the most prolific luminaries in the Progressive Trance scene. But when paired up, they come up with songs so special it puts shame to even the most on-point productions. And that is why their brand-new body of work will leave everyone speechless. With ‘TogetheRR’, the two Dutchmen form a twister with their signature sounds and churn out sixteen records that set the bar insanely high. Composed of stellar originals and head-turning collaborations with the likes of Ben Gold, Genix, Hal Stucker, Orjan Nilsen, Patrick Baker and more, the album is not just a testament to their game-changing production skill, but also to their ever-positive can-do attitude. ‘TogetheRR’ is not just an album from two excellent artists. It’s a synergistic body of work that unites worlds. ‘TogetheRR’ is where two great minds collide. ‘TogetheRR’ is where it all comes full circle.

WE requested an interview with Ruben & Rodg and they decided to reply TogetheRR with common answers. Enjoy their responses mainly about their album TogetheRR.

Interview is written and conducted by Dimitris Kechagias, Music Journalists and radio host at 1mix radio.

Dimitri: Firstly it would be fantastic to tell us when and why you decided to collaborate for TogetheRR album?

Ruben & Rodg: Well we got booked for the ASOT 800 show in September, and that’s when we decided to do a special project with just our own music for the show, and bundle that as an album!

Dimitri: How long it took you to produce TogetheRR and did you manage to meet the deadlines and have it ready for release on time?

Ruben & Rodg: We started in September, and as the album was in pre-order on the day of ASOT 800 we made the deadlines. It was tough and close, but we made it.

Dimitri: Do you recall the production period as being just fun or there were some difficult harsh points as well?  

Ruben & Rodg: A lot of fun! Of course it’s hard work and it’s difficult to blast out 16 records in such a short period of time, but overall it was a great and fun experience. The key thing about working together was also that we feel the same way about music, and aren't afraid to correct each other!

Dimitri: Is there a specific incident that happened during the production of the album and you will remember it for a lifetime?

Ruben & Rodg: Yes we bumped into a corrupt project file when we were close to finish up a record… Took a couple of hours and some sweat to get it restored, but it was a close call!

Dimitri: Can you explain us the production process? Did you work always together in the studio or you produce separately and then you merged your individual ideas?

Ruben & Rodg: A bit of both actually. We both did some creative work from our own studios, and swapped project files, on other projects we did it all in 1 studio together. It is great to produce in these ages, because we simply doubled the productivity by working in our own studios, at the same time, on the same projects.

Dimitri: Please describe the studio that you produce the album with. Is it personal studio or is it based at Armada offices? What software and hardware you mainly use for the production of Togetherr?

Ruben & Rodg: We both work in personal studios and completely in the box. Ableton Live is the key to our collaborations.

Dimitri: Which track on the album was the most easy and quick to produce and which one was the hardest to finish and why?

Ruben & Rodg: None of them were easy ;-) And the record that got a corrupted project file definitely gave us the biggest headache! The easiest was probably the collab with Orjan. He delivered some great parts from his side, so we were able to nail it from our side!

Dimitri: You include brilliant collaborators in your album. Can you please give us a short comment about each one of them and also to comment on the track you produce TogetheRR.

Ruben & Rodg: 
*Orjan Nilsen - Booya
Big fan of Orjan for years, so super happy to be able to work with this guy on a record!

*Genix - Midnight Blue
This one is a really banging record and always gets the dancefloor moving.

*Ben Gold - BombSquadKittens
Another record that works really well on the dancefloor, super happy to be working with Ben Gold on the album!

*Hal Stucker
An alias of David Forbes, that focused on the deep progressive stuff. A perfect track to open our set with!

Dimitri: Which tracks from the album you adore a little bit more than the rest of tracks and why?

Ruben & Rodg: It’s really difficult to pick one as they’re all so different! Every record could be placed on a different moment in a DJ set, that’s why it’s so difficult I guess.

Dimitri: You perform every weekend in many clubs and festivals worldwide. Did you had the chance to roadtest all the tracks before the actual release date? Did you made any big changes and improvements on any of the tracks as a result of crowd reactions?

Ruben & Rodg: Not all of them, but some of them we tested out a little bit. The fact we could not test them all made us quite nervous before the ASOT show. Whoop has been the one that got roadtested the most, starting in Romania. That's why the working title was Bucharest for a while!

Dimitri: You perform usually b2b with great success. How do you organise your b2b DJ sets which common performance was the finest until today and why?

Ruben & Rodg: Obviously the ASOT 800 set as we played 100% music we made together!

Dimitri: Lastly are there plans to follow Togetherr with the remixes edition as well and if yes when this is planned to hit the stores?

Ruben & Rodg: Yes! We are working on remixes and are already playing some out in our DJ sets. No idea when that will released yet...

Ruben de Ronde & Rodg
Dimitri: Are you close friends and do you share intimate secrets as well or your relation is more professional on the work basis without any deeper friendship contact? Do you believe that this type of relationship has influenced the actual output on the album?

Ruben & Rodg: Absolutely, we know each other very well and that is a great basis to be working on such a heavy project as putting an album out in a short period of time!

Dimitri:   Finally please  fill the missing dots: 

Ruben & Rodg: Togetherr we are.... moving you on the dancefloor ;-)

Thanks to Lisanne Krouwels, PR Assistant at Armada Music for her support to organise this great must read interview. 

TogetheRR tracklisting
1. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Sir Notch - Larger Than Life (03:11)
2. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Orjan Nilsen - Booya (02:44)
3. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Genix - Midnight Blue (03:09)
4. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Ben Gold - BombSquadKittens (03:44)
5. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Patrick Baker - Forever Searching (03:35)
6. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Estiva - Intergalactic (03:26)
7. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg - Strobe Machine (02:39)
8. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Chadlantis - This Is Not (02:26)
9. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Louise Rademakers - Riptide (03:30)
10. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg - Pull A Lewie (03:24)
11. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Chloe - When You're Gone (03:05)
12. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Hal Stucker - (L) (03:04)
13. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg - Whoop (03:08)
14. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg - Stacker (03:26)
15. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg - Little Drummer (03:13)
16. Ruben de Ronde X Rodg - Alone (03:17)

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