Comprising of highly-successful solo acts Hard Driver and Digital Punk, Public Enemies was launched in 2016 with one sole purpose – to fuck shit up! Since their first attack on Q-BASE, the boys have gone on to create the 2017 QAPITAL anthem, as well as perform at Supremacy, Dreamfields, The Qontinent, Intents Festival, Reverze and Defqon.1.
Aside from their hectic performance schedule that entails them carrying around that huge-ass flag, the boys have spent a lot of time in 2017 working on their debut Public Enemies album, ‘OG Sinners,’ which was delivered in quite an innovative fashion. Released on a collector’s item USB stick (as well as in traditional online format), we had the chance to speak to the guys more about their tactics and the album itself!
Read on to find out what Public Enemies are all about!
– Hey guys, welcome to AAN and thanks for joining me! First of all, this month has been pretty high-power for you. Can you share how October has been so far?
After finishing our album last month we finally had some time to kick back and witness what we just did. We are incredibly proud with the overall outcome of the album and everything around it and we look back at it with a big smile!
– One of the biggest highlights of the year (and your careers) has been the release of your album ‘Original Sinners.’ Congrats on this huge achievement! From your perspective, has the album been picked up well by the public?
Yes, most definitely! We worked towards the release with 3 huge gigs; Q-BASE, Bass Events Outdoor and Supremacy. The reactions to the shows where we showcased the album were amazing! Our following, the ‘OG Sinners,’ couldn’t wait for the album to drop and also the reactions from fellow DJ’s and producers were insanely positive. To be honest, we couldn’t be happier!
– We thought that 2016 was the year of albums, but turns out that this year has been even bigger! With this in mind, what tactics did you have to integrate to make your album stand out?
When we started the act, we started to create our own sound. We really wanted Public Enemies to sound different to our solo sounds. We made everything from scratch from the start and only used that for PE and in our opinions, we feel that this unique sound makes the album stand out. We also make the tracks for the live experience and you can hear that on the album too.
– Do you think the heavy release of albums is beneficial or detrimental to Hardstyle?
As long as the quality that you deliver is great, then it shouldn’t be a problem, however if you release an album with a ridiculous number of tracks on it, some of them may not have enough time to ‘breathe’ and become hits. That’s why it’s important to really plan everything around an album or even around as single track and choose which tracks get more attention.
– The album was delivered in the clever form of a USB stick. What’s the whole idea behind this?
Because we have our own solo careers, we can experiment a bit more with PE, so with that in mind, we really wanted to create something unique and collectable for the fans. This way, we could give the online release a lot of attention too.
– Out of the whole album, which track took the longest?
We really have a great connection in the studio. When one of us has an idea, the other gets inspire and that is a great foundation of the act. The album was produced smoothly and without any big hick ups.
“About To Die” took the longest because we had to write the lyrics, create the chords for the melody of the lyrics and then record the lyrics with Szen. After that we were able to create the rest of the track. We thought it was done, but after we played it for the first time we realised that there was a bit more work to be done, so we went back to the studio and created an extra ‘hands up’ moment as well as change the arrangement a bit. After that it was perfect!
– Aaand, I know this is like asking a parent to choose which child is their favourite, but which track of the album do you feel has shone the most?
Freek: I’d have to say “The Incredible,” the track we did with E-Life. The vibe is just so cool and for me as a big hip-hop fanatic it makes sense to pick this one. E-Life delivered some great vocals for this track and he really turned it into a smasher!
Rene: Sounds cliché, but I really like all the tracks! But if I HAVE to choose then I’d say that “About To Die” ft. Szen and “The Incredible” with E-Life are my personal favourites.
– What’s been the most difficult part of launching ‘Original Sinners?’
The design of the USB was a bit of a struggle, but the production company delivered an amazing product. For the rest, it has been pretty laid-back to be honest; we planned everything way ahead of time so there wasn’t a lot of stress.
– Seeing as you both hold very successful solo careers, what are some of the difficulties that come with also managing the Public Enemies act?
Planning the shows! Sometimes a request comes in from a big promoter and one of us is already occupied that weekend with a solo booking.
– Whose studio do you produce most in?
That’s really 50/50 to be honest. It doesn’t matter to us where we make the tracks; sometimes we make two tracks at one place and then we make the following few at the other studio.
– All in all, the act has been going solid over the past year. Can you share some of your most memorable experiences on-stage?
We’ve already created so many great memories. The very first show we played was on Q-BASE’s mainstage and it was really memorable – the support we received from the fans was awesome! During that show we even spotted that a lot of fans had already self-made a lot of merchandise, which was so cool to see!
Another great highlight for us was when we played the Qapital anthem live in the ZiggoDome; the whole place exploded when we dropped it!
– One question that’s been on my mind is: how the f*ck do you guys carry that big-ass flag to gigs?
We bought a couple of donkeys to carry ‘em. It was the only way…
– What’s the importance in creating a whole world that fans can immerse themselves in when listening to Public Enemies’ music or watching one of your shows?
We really wanted to create the feeling that people can be part of our movement, the OG Sinners – we created that in our music, shows and merchandise. Besides that, we really want to give the fans a unique experience; there is so much going on when we get on stage and we aim to give the audience something special every time.
– Where do you hope Public Enemies to be in about 5 years?
In five years we hope to have a huge, next level live production and travel the world with it. There is so much to discover, so much to do and there are so many unknown territories. We can’t wait to check it all out and spread the Public Enemies sound even further.
– Alright, before we wrap it up, can you share what Public Enemies plans are for the remainder of 2017?
We are planning several music videos and releases and aside from that, we are doing shows at Haunted and Shockerz. We are also hitting the studio for new material again soon to make 2018 a sick year!
– Finally, what did the OG Sinners eat for breakfast this morning?
Rene: Homemade smoothie with Banana, blueberries, lemon, spinach and a kiwi… Healthy as f*ck!
Freek: Eggs and toast… and 2 espressos… Had to get pumped for a kick-makin’ session! 😉
Big ups to Public Enemies for the release of their album ‘OG Sinners.’ For those who want to check out Alive at Night’s review, you can click HERE and for those who want to download or stream this bad-boy, you can do so below! Be sure to keep an eye on Public Enemies by hitting up their social pages below.