Flashback: Leon Bolier – Back In The DaysDecember 17th, 2008
Back in the days. What a fitting title to a timeless and memorable classic in trance. In this time of hasty downloads and quick hits, it’s a big accomplishment if your track lingers in the heads of dance lovers. Though not even 3 years old, ‘Back In The Days’ has proven to be a true classic, or at least a classic-to-be. Man behind it? Dutchman Leon Bolier, who over the years has remained true to his own sound and followed a path of hard work that required inspiration, a big dose of talent and skills to pour this all out into classy productions, set and ready to move the crowd. Luckily, he had all of these factors in store and made his way up. Time to look down the road and see where else it might lead Leon.
Armada: Ever thought people would define it as a classic someday? Actually, what’s your definition of ‘a true classic’?
Leon: ‘A classic for me would be a track that didn’t lose its strength over the years, and hence still appeals to people. Sometimes a track could be a classic for someone, while someone else never heard of the track anyway. I guess it’s all a matter of perception and personal taste in the end. If you’re referring to ‘Back in the Days’, nope! So, if people define it as a classic, I’m very flattered!’
Armada: Why did you use the Surpresa guise for it?
Leon: ‘Because at that time I signed some other tracks to other labels, using other guises. The word Surpresa kinda connected to what I had in mind for that guise; dreamy melodic trance with sparkling melodies. Still planning to produce some more Surpresa tracks in the future, but in the meantime I have been focusing on an artist album and DJ gigs as well, and ended up being more busy by the day!’
Armada: How did it end up at Armada?
Leon: ‘Through Armin, and then Maykel Piron. Armin made Maykel contact me for a publishing deal, and when they started Armada together with Dave Lewis, Maykel asked to do some remixes for Armada, and in the end I ended up doing a couple of releases on the ASOT label!’
Armada: Do you still remember how you came up with the track? Or did’the magic’ just happen?
Leon: ‘Well, the beats, atmosphere and structure were created pretty smoothly but I remember I was playing around for a bit before I had the feeling that you have when you create something that might be bigger, and you know it’s gonna be! Kind of a ‘Eureka’ feeling or something like that?’
Armada: What, do you think, was the key to its success?
Leon: ‘The very melodic and atmospheric feeling, melancholic with hope shining through I guess, that’s what I felt with that melody anyway!’
Armada: What special memories has the track given you?
Leon: ‘I produced the track right after I heard one of my tracks ended up on the ‘In Search of Sunrise’ series by Tiësto. Gave me some kind of a natural high, and that’s when I produced the track. I still remember Armin referring to the track as ‘the perfect summer track’ or something like that on ASOT. By that time I started doing my first DJ gigs for a trance audience as well and the people on the dancefloor recognized the track, that was pretty new to me. They knew it was my track I was dropping!’
Armada: You’ve grown out to be a fully fledged DJ/Producer. How has your style evolved over the past years?
Leon: ‘I think people can still hear when a track is mine, though I experimented with techy, minimalistic and proggy productions as well. Main focus still is melodic trance, with good melodies (those tracks are released under my own name). My personal taste pretty much reflects in the melodies I write, especially for the melodic trance tracks. Over the years, when gaining more DJ experience, the melodic trancers have bit of a tougher edge to it to make it appeal more to the dance floor, hence I liked producing my album very much. It gives you a bit more musical freedom instead of having to keep the dance floor in mind all the time. Both production approaches have their charm by the way. Writing melodies for the creative satisfaction it gives, and producing/engineering a big climax, so that you know this is going to wreck the dance floor when I drop this one this weekend.’
Armada: What’s to expect in the near future? Any more classics coming up?
Leon: ‘Haha, you never know what’s gonna happen! I think people still remember ‘Ocean Drive Boulevard’ which was released early 08. I have 2 follow-ups lined up already which are kind of in the same league as Ocean Drive Boulevard and its predecessor ‘Summernight Confessions’, bigroom melodic trance with a personal touch to it! At the same time I’m working on other stuff as well (techy stuff and some deeper tracks), I think I’m gonna release those as EPs together with the big room tracks to offer some variety to the audience and my DJ colleagues.’
Download ‘Back in the Days’ here