Joyhauser are a duo of peak time techno artists from Belgium who are soon to drop their debut album.
Taking the world of techno by storm, Joyhauser have made a name for themselves due to their blend of explosive percussion and enthralling synth lines. Their productions have a standout quality and they have featured on influential record labels ranging from Reinier Zonneveld’s Filth on Acid to Adam Beyer’s Drumcode.
When it comes to their productions, Monika Kruse’s Terminal M has been the main outlet for their music, and it’s the imprint that is soon to release their 12-track debut album, In Memoro.
Excited to learn more about their forthcoming album, plus some of their passions outside of music, we invited Joyhauser for this interview…
Hi guys, it’s nice to be talking with you today, could you start by telling us what part of the world you are based in, and what the local club scene is like this time of year?
We live in Belgium. As you know Belgium is divided in 2 parts. The south part is Wallonia, the French speaking part and the north part is Flanders where they talk Dutch (actually, we have a 3rd small part where they speak German as well). We live in Flanders and more specifically, in the north-east region (Limburg) in a small town called Bilzen-Hoeselt near to the border of The Netherlands and Germany.
In our region of Limburg, we don’t have a lot of techno clubs actually, except for the likes of Labyrinth (Area V). If you want to have a good night out you can go to the bigger cities in Belgium like Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. And they have really good clubs like Club Vaag, Kompass and Fuse! During the club season you get very good line-ups if you are a techno lover. We always love to come back and play in our 3 favorite Belgian clubs. Very energetic and great crowds. When the club season is over you actually have good festivals in our region. The festival season always starts with the amazing electronic festival XO Belgium and at the end of summer you have a broader music festival called Pukkelpop which we love so much. We will have our first MEMORO stage this year at XO Belgium with amazing artists like Lilly Palmer, Pan-Pot, Sam Paganini, etc. And with Pukkelpop we will have a special collab too this year but we can’t say any more than that yet. More info soon!
Can you give a bit of background on how the pair of you met, and what made you decide to collaborate on music together?
We’ve been listening to electronic music since we were very young and as high school friends but the Techno bug bit us for the first time at I Love Techno 2006 in Ghent. Stijn already played as a solo DJ and Joris played soccer on a professional level so he didn’t really have much time to combine the two. When we started doing our own parties we played some spontaneous back 2 back sets and we immediately felt a good vibe between the two of us. After a serious knee injury Joris had to give up on soccer and we decided to continue as an official DJ duo in 2011. Our taste in music has always been very much alike, however one of us liked to play the harder, straight techno while the other liked to play the more melodic side of techno. Through the years this developed into the DJ sets we play now, a perfect symbiosis between the two.
I’m told that you are both passionate about food so I wanted to ask what kind you look for in a good place to eat, and what kinds of food you enjoy the most?
Yeah, we love eating! Stijn always does his homework before we are heading to a city and searches for good places to eat. I’m always giving him carte blanche because we have the same taste and I know he won’t ever make a bad choice haha. But in general, we mostly choose light food before the club shows and prefer mostly fish dishes or other light meals. Still, what we love the most is exploring the local cuisine. It’s such an amazing part of our job to eat and try foreign food and culture. You can’t beat that in your own country. If we have to choose our favorite it would be Japanese. We love Sushi and the Japanese Izakaya culture.
I hear that you are also beer connoisseurs, and it would be great if you could recommend some to our readers that you think are worth trying?
We are from Belgium so of course we are beer connoisseurs. We have the most authentic and traditional beers in the world. That’s another cool part about touring a lot, trying local beers! Nothing beats a fresh draft beer! We try a lot of local beers and we have to admit there are really good beers in the world! We were actually quite surprised about several countries.
You guys have a busy gig schedule, do you often drink and party while on tour, and what are some of your most memorable gigs?
Joris: I drank a lot during the first years when dj-ing became our full time job. You can drink easily the because you have always moments where you can drink or ‘celebrate’. But now, over the last few months I decided to drink less and live more healthily because you make it so much harder and more difficult for yourself if you have a busy schedule. From time to time when it’s a good party or we have a lot of fun with the promoter it can still get out of hand. I think it’s important to balance and control it.
Stijn: When talking of memorable gigs it’s really hard to pick just one. We’re always having the best time. It doesn’t matter to us if it’s a big show or small show, club or festival, as long as the energy is present and we have a good connection with the crowd, then we’re happy. A lot of promoters became good friends of ours the last few years. It makes the world a bit smaller and we really like to work with promoters again in every city where we have a good relationship. We will never forget the promoters who booked us several years back when we were small deejays.
Talking of gigs, you are soon to drop a new album. I wanted to ask if you had been road-testing any of the tracks in your DJ sets, and what the crowd response has been like?
Of course, we road-tested a lot of our new MEMORO tracks already. It took us 3 years to finish the album and one of the reasons it took a bit longer is because we couldn’t play them for a crowd during the covid pandemic. In the beginning, we thought all the free time would be a blessing but in the end it was more of a curse because we didn’t get any external feedback at all from people on the dance floor. Our inspiration was at a dead end after months so we were really happy we could play again and test the tracks to see the crowd’s reaction and make some changes where necessary. Not all of the tracks in the album are peak-time techno tracks but the best tracks from the album are definitely WASTED, LIBERTY, BASSDRONE and LXR02. They are the peak-timers of our album!
I’d love to learn more about the album and any singles that are planned in the run-up to its release, was there a concept behind the project?
Our name Joyhauser combines two influential psychologists; Joy Paul Guilford and Marc Hauser. Curiosity about the inner workings of the human mind lies at the heart of our creative ethos, with Joris’ background as a psychologist and Stijn also having a keen interest in the topic. Fascinated by the relationship between the music, performers, machines and the people on the dancefloor, we place great emphasis on the synergy created in this unique dynamic. We are driven by the interaction between physical, mental and spiritual planes within the club environment.
This interest in psychology provides the conceptual framework of our debut album, In Memero. Guilford’s explorations of intelligence and Hauser’s work around primate behaviour form two key pillars of Joyhauser’s inspiration. Music and dancing are rooted in feeling, the creative drive to express and release our emotions. In its purest form, the creative process goes beyond thought, tapping into a deeper intelligence. As many artists will attest, the best music writes itself and, in that often healing process, connects with the listener to provide a source of therapy.
Keeping a busy schedule, do you find it hard to find time to exercise between gigs, and what kind of sports do you enjoy doing?
Joris: I played soccer back in the day before deejaying and exercised like 6 times a week. When our deejay career began I fell into a bad pattern of less sleep, eating unhealthily and drinking a lot. A lot of partying you can say. But now this year I changed that again. I got a personal trainer and I am doing exercise as much as I can. He learns and guides me to eat healthily and what to choose on the road. Even in between gigs I am going to the gym. I do a wide range of sports like running, bicycling, Gym and swimming. It depends what the possibilities are, the difficulty of the tour and the weather plays an important role too. I have to admit it feels better to have this balance back in my life. I now just choose the moments when to drink and party instead of the whole weekend.
Stijn: I take a few walks each year.
Do you have any gigs or other new releases that you are excited to talk about?
This year is all about our album of course but we have some really nice other things in the pipeline. The album will have 2 remix EP’s later on in the future, with some really nice names in the scene on remix duty. We also have plans for a collab with a really well-known Dutch techno DJ, but we can’t spill too many beans on that yet. 😉
Gig-wise, we’re looking forward to a really nice festival summer in Europe: Ikarus festival, Awakenings, Echelon, Sziget, and many more. But first, in June, we’re heading over to South America again to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today, is there a message to fans or anything else you want to add before we finish?
If you have certain dreams: follow them and never ever give up. Hard work and endless dedication are what make you successful.
Joyhauser’s album ‘In Memoro’ is out on the 23rd of June, and you can purchase the first single ‘Wasted’ from HERE.