After his debut album “Training Sessions” which dropped in 2014, Theracords head honcho Thera has recently let his second album “The New Era” out of the cage, releasing it last week at Beat The Bridge Kingsnight. Focussing this new bundle of music on revealing a new, multi-dimensional sound, Thera has revealed some interesting, musically challenging productions to his fans.
This surprising, new album is set to do great things for his already-thriving career, so we thought it was the perfect time to head over to Meijel to visit Mr. Theracords’ private bunker at Limitless Agency HQ and get a rundown about “The New Era,” the story behind it and his sci-fi fantasies.
– Hey Pieter, thanks for the interview and congratulations on your forthcoming album ‘The New Era.’ Tell us, when was the moment that you decided to start a new album?
It came about last year when I was really searching for my ‘own sound’ and for a way in which I could incorporate emotion into my music. I began reaching into this sound with my tracks “The Paranormal” and “Desolation,” where I took a slightly different route. These tracks were a little more trancy and melodic, however they still contained rough kicks!
I continued experimenting with this new direction, resulting in a new track called “Under My Wing,” which I tested out at Defqon.1 2015 in the Blue area. It worked so incredibly well; the crowd’s response was amazing, making it a big ‘WOOOW’ experience for me! After that moment, I knew that this was the exact sound I wanted listeners to connect me with. In my opinion, my new sound is a blend of music that works well live, but is also suitable for listening at home.
To be honest, I wasn’t really considering doing another album at first, however I found myself on a roll in the studio creating this sound. At some point I had 6 finished tracks and about 30 track ideas all in a similar kind of setting, which ultimately made me realise that this would work perfectly as an album.
I’m very proud about the result, especially since I’ve tried to incorporate as many musical influences as possible. I mostly see myself not as a technical producer, but as a musician; I want to create moments where people get goose bumps during the breaks and go completely crazy in the climax. Personally, that’s what I’ve tried to create and I hope that my contribution with the album is bringing back more feeling and a musical side in the harder styles.
– What’s the main difference between your previous album ‘Training Sessions’ and ‘The New Era?’
“Training Sessions” was an album that showcased extreme diversity. It starts with Hard Trance and ends with Hardcore, which of course was awesome for open minded listeners. All in all, I was very happy with how the album went down. However, it was also a big quest to find out what I really loved making and with the last year in mind, you can definitely say I’ve now found my own signature sound – making it a perfect ‘new era’ for me!
– Can you talk about some of your most cherished tracks on ‘The New Era?’
Of course I am very proud of the entire album, but yes, there are definitely a few tracks I’d like to point out. The two tracks on the album that contain singing vocals (Starfleet and Going Under) really mean a lot to me. With the vocal qualities of Yuna-X in “Starfleet” and Tessa Belinfante in “Going Under” the tracks are enhanced with an extra emotional dimension. Seeing fans getting emotional when I play these tracks is like the highest compliment form you can get as an artist…
Another cool fact is that the album contains the full versions of the tracks, however with some tracks this means they are actually further extended than what you would expect from a so-called ‘DJ version.’ Some tracks have orchestral intros or outros, making the album fit together perfectly.
– Earlier this month at Qapital you showcased ‘The New Era’ for the first time. How was this experience? And can you tell us more about your special live-act suit?
It was so incredibly exciting! I showcased my new sound, but not all album previews were out in the open, so how the visitors would react to this new material was a bit nerve-racking. Besides that, my album consists of 75 minutes of music, however the live act only lasted for 30 minutes, so it was very hard to cut into tracks seeing as I wanted to showcase as much music as possible. Nevertheless, I’m really happy with how it went down!
A big highlight was when Tessa Belinfante performed “Going Under” live; all the equipment worked and didn’t fail, haha! Overall, it went great and the comments I received afterwards were heart-warming.
About my live suit; the idea behind this futuristic styled suit is that I’m a man from the future who’s traveling back in time, giving people the sound of the future and creating a new era in hardstyle music. If we combine that with the album and the story it tells from my own artistic point of view, then I could easily write a book or a movie script out of it. To open doors further, I’m obviously a huge fan of science fiction movies, so for me to take the role of a sci-fi character is really epic!
I recommend that everyone listens to the album itself and experiences the story for themselves…
Besides producing the tracks, what else is important when making an album?
For an album, it’s vital that the artwork, logo, concept of the previews are all in the same setting. Everything should be connected to the album’s story. I’m happy that the album is completed just in time for the festival season; I can’t wait to play tracks like “Starfleet” at the (hopefully) sunny festivals!
– You’ve teamed up with quite a few artists for this album. Can you explain why you chose these artists?
Caine, Delete and Regain are all producers who produce awesome and in-your-face Raw Hardstyle. I was fascinated and very excited to try combine their sound with my new sound; resulting in melodic and interesting collaborations! In my opinion, these collaborations showcase the best of both worlds, however the collab with Ophidian is a different story… He’s one of my biggest Hardcore heroes and is always combining brilliant atmospheres with melodies and massive kicks. When working together we stayed completely open minded and managed to create a 6 minute track that explores the boundaries of (raw) Hardstyle and Hardcore. I also wanted to collaborate with a euphoric artist too, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet… The New Era is just beginning, so this will hopefully happen during the next voyage!
**Thera and his bearded-m9 Caine**
– So, what’s next for Thera?
The official CD release was at Beat The Bridge on Kingsnight and it was awesome! I’m still so overwhelmed by all of the positivity I received that night and couldn’t be happier. I was also honoured to have produced the official anthem “Bigger, Bolder, Better,” which is also a part of the album. And again, I’m so looking forward to the festivals so I can play all my new tracks at amazing parties!
As for ‘The New Era’ live-act, my next performance will be at Fatality Outdoor Festival. This act won’t just contain album tracks because The New Era has only just begun!
Thank you so much for your time and inviting us to your studio, Pieter! We have really enjoyed this amazing album and we will see you soon! For those who haven’t yet grabbed their copy of “The New Era,” you can purchase it at From The Hard.