The Dutch electronic music duo Vicetone, formed by Ruben den Boer and Victor Pool have been working on music for quite some time now, however, in the internet era everything is possible, and Vicetone saw one of their songs being launched to the top of the charts, the collaboration with Tony Igy Astronomia. In a time where lockdown was starting to become a reality and the duo was cancelling all their plans, the coffin dance meme came up and blew up the internet. “It was a wild time, and we felt very excited, with a healthy mix of confusion as well,” says the duo.
Despite this crazy event, Vicetone follows with their philosophy, creating music that they love. They have launched their latest single No rest, from their debut album Legacy, coming April 2, and they have more projects in the works we hope to see soon. For those interested in being as successful as Vicetone or those who might be considering to start a career in music, they have a great tip for you at the end of this interview.
Music is a really important thing in our lives and it makes us feel alive. What made you two come together and form the electronic duo Vicetone? Were you both music lovers from an early age?
Music was very important in our lives from an early age. Both of us grew up with a wide variety of musical influences, not just dance music — Victor had posters of Justin Timberlake and NSYNC in his bedroom, while Ruben had pictures of Eminem on his wall. But we were both introduced to dance music at a very young age too, listening to pioneers like Tiësto and David Guetta when we were around 11 years old. Our shared passion for music, and dance music, in particular, is what formed our friendship when we met in high school. Making music together was an easy choice and almost felt like a given honestly since we were both already making music individually. So, when we teamed up, we knew we could create something special.
Some people might know you by some of your songs such as Pitch Black and Way Back but the one song that really launched you to international stardom was the cover of Tony Igy's song Astronomia, the viral coffin dance meme. How did you feel about this when you found out your song became viral?
It was a crazy time since it was right at the start of the lockdown and we were in the middle of cancelling all our summer plans and dealing with the reality of that. And then the meme happened and Astronomia blew up like crazy. It was a wild time, and we felt very excited, with a healthy mix of confusion as well – how on Earth did this happen after all these years of this song being out?
Do you think memes and TikTok trends are more powerful than standard music releases these days?
TikTok is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, which is indisputable. But as with all social media and internet apps, things come and go really fast in a matter of years, so we don’t like to really speculate on it and follow it every day – our mentality has always been to make music that we love, and the rest will fall in place naturally when the music is good.
I’m sure this opened up many opportunities for you, with the launch of your album Legacy and a new single with it called No Rest. Could you tell us more about the project?
We always wanted to make an album down the line, and in 2020 we felt the time was right to finally make one. We felt ready for it, and originally we had scheduled to release the album in 2020. But then the global pandemic happened and then Astronomia happened… So we postponed it a bit, and the extra time actually helped us to fine-tune some of the records, so all turned out well in the end. We now have a product that we’re really proud of and feel confident in. We hope our fans will appreciate the album too and connect with it.
Having heard the single No Rest I can sense these good vibes we all desperately need right now through your sounds. It is also clear the lyrics encourage everyone to do what they love. What’s the story behind this single and its lyrics and what inspired it?
No Rest came together after we heard Solly’s vocals. We loved the hook, and we created the instrumental around the hook in a day. We then immediately contacted her and her team and asked if we could keep her voice on it. Luckily, she said yes, and then we worked directly with her to re-do and re-write the verse parts.
Solly is incredibly talented and hard-working, and working with her was such a breeze. We resonate with the lyrics a lot, especially in the early years of our career; the phrase “Ain’t no rest when you’re winning,” felt like an accurate description of how we felt when we dropped out of college to make music full time, haha!
The title of your album is influenced by life's unpredictability and the passing of your hero Avicii in 2018. What can you tell us about this new album and the songs it will include?
Legacy will be an album that represents the core Vicetone sound — energy, melody and emotion. We have some more experimental songs on there, and some songs that will feel very familiar to our fans, and our goal is to have something on the album for anyone — old fans and new.
“How on Earth did this happen after all these years of this song being out?”
There is no doubt Legacy will be a very successful soundtrack for 2021 because the world needs to forget this awful year and start living again. However, 2020 has been pretty awesome for your career. How has 2020 treated you and what do you expect from 2021?
One of the things we realised in 2020 was that despite the obvious downsides and challenges, we were going to appreciate the positives that the year brought. For example, we got to spend less time in aeroplanes and more time at home, and we felt like we lived a more normal life for once, which was honestly kind of enjoyable in the beginning.
Now we really miss touring and we can’t wait for this all to be over, but in the beginning, we tried to see the positives of it all. And career-wise, last year has been good too, with successful singles and Astronomia completely blowing up. Hopefully, we can go back on the road again this year.
How do you see yourselves and the duo evolving in the near future? Do you have more projects in mind for the following years?
We have a lot of new music in the works and there’s a lot of exciting plans, but we don’t want to plan too far ahead — right now, the goal is to release and promote the album and get vaccinated. After that, we want to go back on tour again and make up for all the lost shows!
Being a professional DJ is really attractive and it’s a dream job for many people and teenagers because it combines music, huge parties and what seems like a luxury life. Is the DJ’s life as great as it seems?
Yes, for us, it is. All the flying and travel you have to do is usually the hardest part of the job, and it’s just the price you have to pay to be able to do this work. But for us, this is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things, as this is our dream job for sure. You get paid to travel, play in front of amazing crowds, and play your own music. There’s nothing more rewarding than this lifestyle to us.
What is one thing you would have liked to know about the DJ industry when you were starting in it? Or in other words, what piece of advice would you give to those who want to be successful in this industry? 
The biggest thing we’ve learned throughout the years is to always stay true to the music and sound you want to make, not follow what is popular right now or what labels want you to make. We feel that this mentality has given our careers longevity and extended the lifespan of certain songs, like Nevada, for example, which 4 years after release is becoming more and more popular and cleared more than a hundred million streams on Spotify a few months ago. We loved that record, and it didn’t really sound like anything else when we released it at the time, and nobody had particularly high expectations. And it blew us all away. The lesson we took away from it: always make what feels right to you, and never let others dictate your music style if you feel confident in what you’re creating.