Hey Brenden! Thanks for taking the time to reply to our interview! How are you doing? And what’s going on in the world of Forerunners?
Brenden:”Thank you for the opportunity to provide a little update on where the Forerunners project is at right now! As for what is going on, in one word, TONS! It’s getting to be a bit much to keep track of these days. Without getting into all the day to day stuff I’m doing, I can say generally this project has really started to pick up steam. People from all along the spectrum of trance and progressive house music are starting to get in touch because of what I have been doing with Forerunners, so there’s going to be lots of new and exciting developments to come.”

We’ve got two major landmarks coming up: your Dutch debut at the Pure Trance ADE Special in Amsterdam + the release of the Pure Trance Vol.5 album which includes your mix! Exciting times, aren’t they?
Brenden:”Yes, these are probably the two biggest pieces of the puzzle coming together for me. A lot of the work I put into music over the past 6-9 months is coming to fruition as we inch closer to the end of the year, I can’t imagine a better way to top it all off than a live set at ADE and a compilation CD! My wife and I often catch ourselves thinking that my debut Lost in Translation EP for Pure Trance Progressive came out well over a year ago, but it’s only been 9 months…it goes to show you how quickly this all expanded to where we are now.”

Let’s start with the Pure Trance V5 mix first. What was the first thing on your mind when Rich asked you to mix one of its 3 CD’s?
Brenden:”I’ve been working with Rich for just about 10 years now, and he’s always managed to throw me a surprise curveball (in a good way) seemingly at all the right points in my career, whether it was a remix, an EP, etc. Each time, his ideas get bigger and bolder for me. So it was a combination of excitement and deep down appreciation for what Rich was handing me when he offered up the idea of mixing the progressive disc on the compilation. He’s both trusted my judgement and stood by my music from the very beginning. With all the different labels, concepts, and projects he’s created over the years, he’s always kept a spot open for Forerunners, so there’s a lot of emotion and passion packed up in this compilation mix I put together for him. I think people will know it and feel it when they hear it.”

What was the process of mixing like? Did it take you a few times to create the perfect one – and when did you know it was time to let it go?
Brenden:”I am very very detail oriented when it comes to recording studio-type DJ mixes. Whether it is for a guest slot on a radio show or a podcast, I think people who are familiar with my mixing style are aware of this. So when I was handed this opportunity, I knew it meant I would have to push myself further than I’ve ever pushed before to really create something lasting and meaningful.
Most of the time was spent really listening to each track, ensuring each one would fit the sound I was going for. These days I am really riding the line between the trance world and the deeper progressive house world, so it was important to get that balance right. Once I had a good feeling for which tracks I wanted, it was just down to mixing and matching, looking for sequences of tracks that matched up with others to create a real journey from beginning to end, where disc 1 would link up with the disc 2 in the set. I’ve got a notebook full of notes and scratched out tracklists as I worked through the process! The hardest part was the time limitation, because it meant having to cut tracks I would have wanted to include.
I think knowing when to call a track or a mix finished is down to artistic gut-instinct. You get a feeling and you know you’ve done the job, and it’s hitting all the right emotions the way you envisioned before you started the process, and you are ready to share it with the world. I can say this mix is truly a journey, and I can’t wait for people to hear it!”

Were there any tracks that definitely needed to be on there?
Brenden:”Yes and no. This was tough because at the beginning of the project, you immediately start forming ideas around tracks that by the end of the project have long since been discarded. I definitely had at least 3 tracks that come to mind that were absolute must-haves in the beginning, and I really worked hard to keep them in the mix all the way up to the end, but then had to be left off due to constraints. With that being said, there’s simply mind-blowing music in this mix, there was no holding back!”

Now that it’s almost time for the album to be released, what are you hoping that listeners will experience?
Brenden:”Let me start by saying I was heavily influenced early on by the Northern Exposure mix CDs, Nubreed, the Balance compilations, Renaissance, Transport, etc. The mixes were journeys. You go and grab your Electronic Architecture 3 CD out of your collection for the next road trip because you know what kind of special journey and experience that mix is going to create. It’s not just a mix of favorite tracks that haven’t been released yet, it’s a real artistic presentation that stands on it’s own.
I hope that when someone pops Disc 1 into their car CD player, or hits play on their phone, they’re going to feel like they’re embarking on a unique experience they can come back to, and dive into again and again. The excitement and anticipation from the first track, to the groove that builds up in the middle of the mix, and then the transition into the more uplifting trance that comes later in the 2nd and 3rd Discs, all high points in my mind through and through. Which leads me to also say, I wanted the mix to really serve as the launching pad for Discs 2 and 3…I think people will feel the energy expand and seamlessly lead them into the next part of the compilation, which is also pretty cool.”

You’re sharing Volume 5 with Sneijder and Solarstone – how do you look up to these guys?
Brenden:”Before I ever became involved in writing music, I was a huge fan of Solarstone’s work. I remember playing all his old tracks when I was just DJing and running a small radio show. To then get to the point where I could work with him in my own career…I can’t say enough about Rich! As I mentioned earlier, he’s been there for me since the beginning when Lifecycle needed someone to take a risk on it.
I’m really looking forward to meeting Sneijder in Amsterdam as we have not crossed paths before! He’s definitely been on my radar, how can he not be? While I have moved a little deeper with my trance music, I still appreciate the faster paced uplifting style he writes, and really enjoy tuning into the music he’s been putting out. I’ve got a soft spot for Pure Trance, and I definitely view him as one of the respected ambassadors for the sound.”

Now, on to our little adventure in Amsterdam! Will you be extending the trip to explore Amsterdam and its ADE experience a bit more?
Brenden:”Definitely will be in town for more than just the Pure Trance event! This is not only my first time playing in Amsterdam, but my first time visiting, so the trip will be extra interesting. Planning on landing earlier in the week and staying through to the end, so there will be opportunities to meet some friends from across the pond and engage in some good conversations I hope!”

Our Pure Trance ADE Special will be your Dutch DJ debut! Got anything special planned for your set there?
Brenden:”Of course! Naturally I’ll have the whole progressive tracklist from PT5 at my disposal which is going to be exciting, but anyone who has been paying attention to my social media stuff will know that I’ve been very active in the studio on all sorts of new Forerunners material as well. Plus I like to think I can do a pretty decent job of crate digging for the odd gem to surprise people. I can promise it will be atmospheric, full of grooving basslines, and plenty of melody swirling around…can’t wait!”

Last but not least – which Forerunners beauties can we expect to be hearing in the remaining months of 2016?
Brenden:”There’s going to be a brand new exclusive Forerunners track included on the PT5 disc I mixed to watch out for, plus a new remix, plus a collaboration that I think people will not be expecting! I urge people to check out my recent release on Luke Porter’s label Temporum titled ‘See You Last Year’, it’s been getting some really good play from the heavy weights in the industry. There’s a remix I made for Massive Harmony Records out soon, another yet-to-be-announced remix for a progressive label, and then another exclusive Forerunners original on the recently released Saturate Audio Immersed compilation to check out. To top it all off I’ve got a handful of new tracks inching their way to completion in the studio that will may find their way into my ADE set…as I said in the beginning of our little chat, TONS of stuff going on!”

Thanks for the interview Brenden! You can pre-order Pure Trance Volume 5 here!