Interview – DBN

DBN are a trio of DJs from Hamburg who have been fusing house, trance, electro and everything inbetween since 2005. M3 spoke to the guys about their views on the future of music distribution…

M3 – First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself, and what it is that you do?
DBN – DBN are three artists, producers & DJs. The brand DBN stands for high quality electronic music, which is very well received through out the industry and the crowd on the dance floor all over the world.

What inspired you to focus on music? What is your own musical background?
One word: electronic music. All of us started to spin records at an early age. First we amused ourselves at the expense of our parents at home and later on (end 90s) at parties or in the clubs. Two of us also learned how to play the piano when we were kids (mainly classical) and even know how to read music – yes people: SHEET MUSIC! :) One of us even ran a radio station from his room at home! :)

We’ve tried different things like being in a boy band or producing bubble gum pop music, music for brands or TV-commercials for a period of time… At the end, we came back to our first love, which is probably going to be the last: electronic music!

Many people have claimed that there is no longer any money in record sales, and that touring is the most efficient way to earn an income as a band. How much truth do you think there is in this sentiment?
A lot of truth is in this sentiment! Nowadays you earn a lot more of money with touring than with record sales. The imbalance between the touring fees and the record sales is tremendous! Especially if you’re producing specific music like us, it’s impossible to make a living only by record sales anymore.

What would be your preferred medium to listen to music (eg. Vinyl, CD, tape, MP3 etc.), and why?
As DJs we’ve spinned vinyl, then CDs and these days we use MP3, due to the fact that playing via USB-sticks is much more comfortable in terms of travelling and so on.
Our preferred medium to listen to music is a bit hard to say – if you travel a lot, it’s much more easier to listen to MP3, but if you’re at home there’s nothing better than to open a bottle of wine and listen to the good old vinyl :)

Do you feel the idea of an album, as a piece of art that people will listen to from start to finish, has been undermined or forgotten about in the digital age?
Possibly, but we take the view that also in the digital age an artist album is something special that you have to pay attention to. It doesn’t matter which age – an album was and will always be a kind of journey from the beginning to the end.
But of course due to this digital age the half life of a track is quite short because it’s so easy to get fresh music every day. Or you just listen to it on youtube or something of the sort. In the past, songs lived much longer but nowadays a number one hit is forgotten after a few weeks!

Much has been made of the supposed death of the record store in recent years. Do you believe the digital age has killed the record store, and if so, do you think that this is a necessary part of progression, or a tragic loss?
For us, it’s a loss, because we loved to play with vinyl. It was always a great feeling to hold the record in your hands! It was tangible and above all if you don’t know the name the track you wanted to spin you at least recognized the artwork :)

What is your take on the current SOPA/ACTA controversy?
Puh… it’s not that easy! Of course we’re reading & talking about it, but to be honest this controversy is a bit too complex and even people who are more educated in it couldn’t really explain what it’s all about. In our opinion this debate will not stop in the near future. It’s not about stopping piracy anymore, it’s more about moving forward finding new trends to jump on.

In a few decades time, what genre or sound do you think will come to define the 2000’s?
Lady Gaga Rave Shit :)

What do you personally believe the future of music distribution will look like?
New designs like Simfy, Spotify and so on could be a good way of music distribution if they manage it to involve the artist, composers & writers and let them participate on the income in a fair way! It remains to be seen if it works…!

Finally, what does the future hold for DBN?
We’ve just established our own imprint called “RUN DBN Records” to be more flexible on the one hand and to act a bit faster on possible market changes on the other hand!
Moreover we want to build a platform for fresh, young and talented producers to enable a smooth and easy transition into the music scene.

For more information on DBN, you can visit their official website and find them on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.


About M3 Event

The music industry is rapidly changing. The internet has enabled widespread piracy, as well as a variety of new business and distribution models. We want to offer an engaged audience in and around the Euregion an opportunity to develop a coherent and detailed picture of the future of music distribution. On the 31st of May 2012 a music conference in Maastricht, consisting of oppositional debates, creative workshops and lectures, will provoke opportunities for intellectual stimulation, debate, as well as networking. We hope to utilise the skills and ideas of some of most forward thinking minds and operators in the industry in order to highlight some promising new ideas and areas which can be improved upon.

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