During EDC Week—among the fireworks displays, massive stages, and the sparkling lights of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip—one giant image was etched into the minds of hundreds of thousands of Headliners.
“My big face!” jokes Dash Berlin frontman Jeffrey Sutorius about his larger-than-life Jumbotron marketing campaign. “I was all over the place; it was an ode to Vegas!”
The heavy street marketing and fluorescent multimedia advertising campaigns were truly representative of Dash Berlin’s star power, with nods of a DJ Mag cover, a residency at Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, and a main stage closing set at EDC Las Vegas. With the release of Dash Berlin’s new album, We Are (Part 1), we chat with Sutorius and discuss the friendships within the group, relationships with fans and, of course, their new music.
Let’s talk about all the advertising we saw in Las Vegas during EDC Week and elsewhere. All that Dash Berlin marketing was obviously a strategic business move.
I think it was sheer genius, but I won’t take credit for it. I’m not a business guy; I’m a music guy. All of us in Dash Berlin are friends, and I can hand over things to them, and I don’t have to think about it. It’s a compliment to my management for doing a great job with the advertisement.
Dash Berlin have been friends for a long time now.
We started when I lost my job at the record shop, when the days of vinyl were over. We had built up a friendship, and then we started making music just for fun. “Till the Sky Falls Down” was spotted by Armin van Buuren, and he played it on A State of Trance, which was a huge thing. And from that point on, people were asking who or what Dash Berlin is.
And who or what, exactly, is Dash Berlin?
Dash Berlin perfectly fits the album title We Are. Not only am I part of Dash Berlin, the people around Dash Berlin are what makes us who we are today. The people at the airport who are picking us up are part of the team, and the people in the crowd, and the bloggers. Everyone is connected.
We [Dash Berlin] are still friends, and that’s what makes this work. The guys in the studio, they’ve been doing this for over 20 years and know what they are doing. And they also know my true passion is DJing. We made a pact that we can work on the music together, while I go out and travel the world. It takes a team effort to accomplish things in life.
I’m one of the people on the dancefloor. I just happen to be standing on the other side.
Are your fans, the Dashers, part of the Dash Berlin team, too?
No Dashers, no Dash Berlin; it’s simple. I’m always there for my fans before, at the party, and after. Even if we have a flight coming, I always try to take a half-hour to an hour to take pictures or do autographs and meet the people who took the time to come to the show.
While your approach to Dash Berlin hasn’t changed since the beginning, your sound has on We Are (Part 1).
It definitely has changed. Some of that has to do with collaboration. People have a different way of working, different set of ears, or a different set of sounds they really want to use. It’s still Dash Berlin, with an upgrade. The tempo shifted, and the sounds became more friendly. You could maybe hear one of the new tracks from We Are on the radio.
Radio play would mean mainstream crossover success. Does that play a factor when you’re creating tracks?
Not specifically. What Dash Berlin stands for is the dancefloor, and the dancefloor isn’t necessarily what’s considered mainstream. Making music is a creative process. You don’t go in the studio planning to make a track for the radio. From day one, people were saying Dash Berlin is mainstream, although at that time we were still trance. People look back at it now and think [it was] really trance, but our ingredients always go back to the dancefloor. The people that listen to our music are on the dancefloor, and it’s about them in the end. And there, you have this bulb of emotions and energy, and that’s what fuels a Dash Berlin show.
What types emotions and energies do you feel while performing?
I’m the biggest party animal. I’m one of the people on the dancefloor. I just happen to be standing on the other side. I experience the music exactly as they do, so we are the same, but my position is different. I’m just one of the guys who’s in the lucky position to play. I’m just trying to do my best with what I think is interesting for people.
We Are (Part 1) is available now on Armada Music.