MxCx Interview#19 "DROON"


Droon! Your favourite Belgian B-list Breakcore Live Act! MIG-helmet? Beard? Makeshift keytar? That's the one. His improvised gabberkick mashup breakcore topped up with ample chipmunk bastard pop sprinkles, country nuggets & metal shards has brought him to Osaka, Moscow, Sydney, New York, Sao Paulo Beijing and Maldegem! the biggest "actual talent" vs "gone places"discrepancy in showbusiness!

Where are you from? you live in belgium all the time?

I grew up in a small village to the west of Brussels. Sheep. Corn. Catholic processions. That sort of stuff. I was an altar boy in the parish church! I had a great childhood and many of my best friends are still from that little rural area. Then I moved to Ghent when I was 17 for university, and to Antwerp in 2006 to go live with my girlfriend. So yup, always in Belgium. I’ve travelled a lot though.

When did you start making music from?What music you made first?
and When did you start "Droon"?

I started making music in high school on “trackers”, early music making software .. This was 1996? 1997? I cot a copy of Scream Tracker on a floppy disk from my buddy Jeroen.. or Sven. I forgot.. It took months before I found out you could change the bpm, so the first "genre" I made were 125 bpm tracker songs using samples from the demo songs. Later I got into darkstep and jungle and tried to copy it, but all my attempts sucked. Things only became better when I got much noisier, with the first tracks where I call myself “Droon” in march 1999. By that time I was mostly using Soundforge, a .wav editor. Very wierd way of putting tracks together. My first performance as “Droon” was on the first wood party, in 2002. I played 15 minutes of my own tracks and 15 minutes of mp3’s I think. I remember playing this track:

When did you know the "Breakcore"? Do you remember the first impression of Breakcore?
Please tell me the Breakcore artist that you were affected.

Back in 1999, I thought I invented Breakcore!  I was listening to Thunderdome compilations, went to Drum&Bass parties, and figured if I combined the two, I’d have something new. Breakbeats with hardcore. Break-core.  I looked up the domain name and some japanese person had registered “”, I think a record store in Osaka, so I thought: ”They're just crazy Japanese people, never mind them, and etc are still available!” So that was proof for me that no-one had thought of it before. And I registered Of course, when I looked a bit harder in the months and years that followed I learned that I wasn’t the first, not even close :) ... I believe the first crumb on the trail I found was a Low Entropy mp3 on AudioGalaxy or Napster or something with “BREAKCORE” in the file name, and that led to the, when a lot of Low Entropy tracks were hosted, and on the forum I met the future Breakcore Gives me Wood members like Sickboy and Tim Terror and the Blunted Beats guys.

Please tell me about the music scene in Belgium.Were you playing at any place at the time of the teenager?
Did have Breakcore scene in Belgium before BGMW?

I was a big Drum&Bass fan, went to a lot of big jungle and d&b parties in 1998-2001,  There were big UK names every weekend. Ed Rush and Optical, Grooverider, Storm, Andy C, I saw them all play many many times. There was also a hard acid scene with squat parties in Ghent, Funky Green Aliens was a big crew, there were some other crews as well that booked acid and breakcore and IDM acts around Ghent: Mutate, Cyclone, Dionysus, Duplox,.. But I didn’t know about them until I met Sickboy, he brought me to those parties and played my tracks in his DJ sets. I remember hearing my own track on a big soundsystem in a squat with everyone dancing for the very first time, that was such an euphoric experience, I went around to whole room, looking at everyone’s face to try and see if they liked it or not. 

That was “Hold the west”

Why you start doing the BGMW? Please tell me the origin of the name of the Breakcore Gives Me Wood.

Like I said, we all met on the Eiterherd’s forum, we figured out we all lived in the same city (Ghent) so we decided to organize a party together. There was a crew running underground reggae and punk nights in the squats of ghent called “SmartArtMovement” they liked the leftist anarchistic side of breakcore. They organised a punk festival in a big squat in the fall of 2002 and we did one of the parties that was part of the festival and invited Eiterherd to play. That was the first party we did as a crew, the first real stand-alone Beakcore Gives Me Wood party was a few weeks later, on 26/10/2002. Then came one after the other, always in squats we could use thanks to SmartArtMovement.

The origin of the name "Breakcore Gives Me wood". Ok. Do you know what a “sausage fest” is? It’s a party with mostly guys, A lot of the earlier parties I went to were like that, 80-90% guys. I thought that was one of the most ridiculous aspects of the underground scene, so, ironically, I gave the party the most absurd masculin name I could think of. "Breakcore gives me an erection". What I was trying to say was “We’re so ridiculous, some dudes in a basement acting tough. Sad!”  What I’ve learned however,  is that self-depreciating irony doesn’t really translate to bigger audiences, most people just take it seriously and really quickly, it became a “brand” and the original meaning got lost, if it was even understood at all. I think most international acts just figured we were really bad at English..  So the irony didn't really work and without it, it was a pretty stupid name. Luckily everyone just called it “wood” so we didn’t have to be reminded all the time how stupid the name was. The  choice to put the word “breakcore” in the name of the party was also sort of ironic, it wasn’t a real genre, most of the people we booked didn’t want to be pinned down in a genre, they just did whatever they wanted to. It sounded tough, it compactly described what happened in a lot of the music: BREAKbeats and HARDcore  and it had this secondary meaning of breaking rules, not just breaking beats.  Of course, it really helped our “brand” to put the “genre” so clearly in the name of the party. I don’t think we would have gotten so big without our dummy-proof name.

It’s the same with the BGMW t-shirt “My subculture can kick your subculture’s ass anytime 24/7”. Of course, that’s just an ironic statement, making fun of how seriously people take their subcultures. Breakcore was such a welcome release from that. People from all sorts of scenes came to breakcore parties, I came from Drum & bass, there were gabbers, metal dudes, crust punks, hard acid guys, all sorts, But I think waay too many people take that t-shirt serious as well, they feel better then others when they wear it, which was not the fucking point.

 Maybe it's sort of similar to what's happening with the alt-right and pepe memes right now.. I think a lof of that is young insecure guys that needs double-tripple layered irony and self-depreciating ridiculousness as armor so they can go out there and express themselves. You're immune for criticism if it's all a joke anyway. So I kinda recognise my younger self in that mechanism, irony as substitute for self esteem, but I hope what we did was a lot more positive. Maybe positive intentions reap postive outcomes... either way, when it took on a life of it's own, it was a fun ride to be on.

How did you promote party doing?
I think that the beginning of 2000, everyone did not use the Facebook,myspace,twitter,etc. How did told the party information to Breakcore listener/Underground electronic music community?

Message boards. By that time, most people had access to the internet, it was completely different from just a few years before, we rose together with wide spread internet availability, that’s how we got such a wide roster of international artists, that wasn’t possible 4-5 years earlier, when you needed  to actually call the telephone numbers you found on record sleeves to get to tour promoters and booking agents.  And I designed posters and flyers to put up at underground parties and in record shops and local schools etc.. I made my posters in Balc and white anso I could copy them on copiers, ofter there were 2 A3 parts that fitted together. I made my posters very long and thin so I could put them on long thin objects like lampposts and the sides of electricity cabinets in the street. There were posterwars going on between the big techno promoters, so you had to put posters up outside of their turf, they had big A2 posters on the official poster sports, we took the leftover spaces, but my posters stayed up for weeks, months, theirs only survived a few hours. Later, when we went legal and started printing big A2 posters as well, it was just hopeless, our A2’s got covered by other posters immediatly, while some of the small narrow older ones stayed up for years and years.

Please tell me the best memories of BGMW. What is the best BGMW party for you?

For me, the BGMW parties were really stressfull affairs, you're just running around all night filling generators with petrol, and beeing worried about cops showing up or worried that a visitor will have an accident or something. Then, later, when the parties became legal, there was more hanging out in the backstage and less stress, but I didn't really party, still a lot of walking around putting out fires, the best part was always when I got to play. That and seeing people arrive and seeing the room fill up. Knowing that all that hard work payed off. It's hard to think of a best one. I'm most proud of Wood 9, 3/9/2004 . It was in an old leather factory, a location never before used by anyone. The party itself was a bit of a mess, with the line-up hopelessly delayed, but it was a pretty epic endeavor getting the venue in order and pulling it all off.

BGMW is absolutely essential for Breakcore scene. Did you feel their influence for Breakcore scene?

No, at the time I never really thought that what we were doing was influential. It was just something fun to do with friends. 

I've heard that the BGMW had come to 1000 people or more. And, Breakcore/Underground electronic music is still popular in belgium even now. What do you think why Breakcore is thriving in Belgium?

More then that, up to 2000 people! The strange thing about Breakcore is that it germinates best in populated but not very central areas. B-list cities... Not Brussels but Ghent. Not Paris but Rennes. Not New York but Milwaukee, Not Vienna but Graz, etc. Belgium of course is a pretty special place when it comes to electronic music. It's everywhere here and has a long history with a lot of people involved with underground music. Punk, Straight Edge Hardcore, Techno, New Wave, Industrial, all those scenes were very active before us. It's a very fertile soil for something crazy and fast like breakcore to get a big following quickly, especially in a univercity town like Ghent where a lot of kids are exploring their new freedom, away from home and are actively looking for new things. Those conditions never changed, so breakcore still exists. We're also very central,  almost every internationally touring artist in Europe will automatically pass by Belgium, so there's always new and interesting artists on the line-ups.

Please tell me about the process of music production. what equipment you are using?
How did born to "Cripplefight"?

I’ve always made music on cheap pc’s and cracked software with cheap heaphones, borrowing the stereo from the kitchen for my mixdown.. . No budget. First trackers, then Soundforge, some Fruity loops, Sony Acid. That’s it. And then for my liveset I just stick an old PC keyboard to a piece of wood, and use it to trigger loops on this freeware program used for theater sound effects called "soundplant"

Remember my buddy Jeroen that gave me Scream Tracker? One day he came to my house: “William! You gotta use this southpark sample from last week's episode in one of your tracks!"  And he let me hear Cartman yelling  "Cripplefight!"  So I did what he said. Cut up the sample, I used a build-up old bassline from an old sucky drum and bass track I made maybe .. 4 years before?  Put some choppy breaks into it that I'd been practicing at on my previous tracks, a Belinda Carlisle acapella I found and voila..  

Since when do you have the work of the designer?What are the design work that you have first made?

I went to school to be a designer, that’s my degree, Master in Graphic Design. I started off in univercity doing something else, studying Sanskrit and Hindi, but that was too hard. And also completely useless. During weekends at home and I was spending a lot of time with design software, really liked doing that, so I switched to Graphic Design, graduated in.. 2004 I think?

My earliest designs? I used to play around with a program called "paint shop pro".. let me see. I found this little .GIF on my harddrive.. from 1998. 

Please tell me the production flow.First do you make the sketch?
Where do you get inspiration?

I never make sketches, I can’t really draw, I just start with an idea, something technical I’ve been meaning to try, a trick I discovered, then hopefully it’s a pretty straight line to the finish. Just keep adding stuff. 

Do you change the consciousness of creativity in sound and design?
Have you put a political thought in your work?

I don't have a very high opinion of creativity as a concept.. You just do stuff and you get better at it after a while because it's fun to do..

I think art is a very innefective way to influence people's political opinions. I feel like you can only reference the medium itself or the people in the audience.  So some my tracks are meant for people to stop taking music seriously and then maybe stop taking themselves seriously? If there's any message in there, that's it... Really I just want people to have a good time. I'm at their service.

Please tell me the charm of Belgium.Where is your recommendation of the place?

The best thing about Belgium is how easy life is here.  Good cheap healthcare, good cheap education, pretty easy to get a job, buying or renting a house is relatively affordable. There’s no culture of overtime, on the contrary, there’s more and more options to work shorter hours, take months off. There’s also a few ways to be an artist and survive of it, so there’s a lot of young active creative people. If you come here... look for a few underground parties to visit, there's always some wierd stuff going on somewhere, a lot of young a fresh things are happening behind the old stuffy facades.

Please tell me about your future schedule.

Go to work. Take care of my kids. A small local show now and then.  That's it really.