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Sander van Doorn

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Combining trance, techno and house, Sander van Doorn has made a global impact on electronic music. He reached the No. 10 spot DJ Mag’s 2009 Top 100 list, and almost all of his releases have reached No. 1 one on Beatport. The Dutch DJ took a break on his U.S. tour speak with SF Station and discuss his latest release Dusk till Doorn. He performs at Ruby Skye on August 20th.

SF Station (SFS): What was the first big achievement in your career?

Sander van Doorn (SvD): Someone allowing me to play music in their club for money! It changed my whole life! (laughs)

SFS: Why the name change to van Doorn?

SvD: My real name isn't too easy to pronounce in English, so a colleague suggested that I have something that is easy to pronounce, and we stumbled on Van Doorn. “Van” means “from” in Dutch.

SFS: Tell us about your album, Dusk till Doorn.

SvD: Well, it's a two-disc compilation of my club night concept of the same name. I start a bit more progressive housey and go through the night until it gets pretty crazy. The double album is my way of giving fans the Dusk till Doorn experience whenever they want! I’m very excited about it and I hope the fans will be too.

SFS: Out of house, electro and trance, which do you think is the most prominent in your current mixes?

SvD: I can’t say I play a huge amount of electro, but I play anything that's good! Trance is, of course, a big part of my sets, but there's great music across all genres so I try to never limit what I play.

SFS: Trance gets a bad rap for "sounding the same" all the time, what do you think people are missing or not understanding?

SvD: Well, trance does sometimes sound the same. As with any genre or style, people copy and don’t originate. That’s the real problem, but trance has stood the test of time and is still one of the most popular genres around. I try not to stick to the one genre because that would limit what I could play, and I want to play great music regardless of genre.

SFS: Since you are an international DJ and constantly traveling, do you keep anything with you to remind you of home?

SvD: Home, where's that? My iPhone is probably my best tool for keeping in touch with home. Obviously, I have to travel light so that I don't get stuck waiting for bags when I get off a flight.

SFS: How do you think your sound has evolved? Does it parallel your traveling experiences and the cultures of the world?

SvD: Yes, we're all sort of absorbing our experiences and there are always things about all the great places I play that inspire me. Usually I don’t realize it until I’m writing and I think, where did that come from?

SFS: Anything you want to do in San Francisco?

SvD: Well, I would love to check out Dave Smith Instruments — I think he's nearby. Sightseeing or a cable car might be in order, and maybe Alcatraz. This would all be possible if I wasn’t doing interviews, listening to promos, getting my tracks prepared and having meals or meet and greets with prizewinners — that is much more likely!

SFS: If you weren't a DJ, what would you be doing?

SvD: I would probably be working in an aluminum factory back home in Eindhoven for my brother!

Sander van Doorn performs at Ruby Skye on August 20th. Tickets are $20 and doors open at 9pm.