Published on April 9th, 2012 | by EDMinsider1
EDM Insider Exclusive Interview with Dabruck & Klein
Stefan Dabruck and Frank Klein, also known as Dabruck and Klein, have been rocking dance floors worldwide for over a decade with their infectious melodies and incorporation of powerhouse vocals. Recently signed to Armada, the German duo have been busy in the studio recording their new album, collaborating with the likes of Morgan Page and remixing rock legend Lenny Kravitz. Equally as important as the proper house hits they produce, their jokester personalities light up whatever room they enter. Incredibly talented, hard working, laid-back, and always entertaining these two will, without a doubt, continue to make people dance, sing and laugh out loud for years to come.
EDMInsider 1: Your first album as a part of the Armada family, 2:48 AM, features so many powerhouse vocals and proper house hits. What is the significance of the album title and what was the recording process like for this album?
Stefan: We have told 500 different versions of this story, but the official version is that 2:48 AM is peak time in the club. We also have a broken watch in the studio and the time on the broken watch (which has been broken for 10 years) is 2:48. It’s a running gag that we look at the watch and complain that it’s already that late. The recording process was very long, but it was a lot of fun for this album. We have a very cool team around us and we always laugh a lot in the studio so we never feel like we’re “working.”
EDMInsider 2 : What can you tell us about your latest collaboration with Morgan Page, a potential collaboration with Emma Hewitt and other remixes you’re working on?
Stefan: Morgan visited us in our studio in Germany for 3 days and we’ve already finished two tracks, which will be released soon, hopefully. A collaboration with Emma hasn´t been finalized yet, but we hope that she will visit us soon. We recently did a remix, which we really like, for her single “Rewind,” which should be out soon. Even though we are primarily “house guys,” we really love Emma. There’s something very special about her. We also just did a remix for Lenny Kravitz and we’re working on some summer stuff.
Frank: This summer we’ll play all the big festivals in Europe – MAYDAY, Electronic Family, Soundtropolis, etc.
EDMInsider 3: You’re also currently working on your next album. What can fans expect this time around? What direction are you taking this?
Stefan: We’re not sure when it will be finished, but the plan is to release it early summer, but it could be released in September/October. We are very happy with what we’ve done so far and already have some nice collaborations for it. There’s still a lot of work to do, though. Our goal with 2:48 AM was to show everyone we like all kinds of electronic music. There is an electro track, “Motorcycle”; a house-trance track, “Heartbeat”; progressive stuff like “2:48 AM”; and even a hip-house/poppy track like “All About You.” Our next album will be 100% for the dance floor. We have always been DJ’s, that’s where we come from and it’s what we love the most.
EDMInsider 4: What is it like to be a part of the Armada family?
Frank: We’re not allowed to speak about it. (laughs)
Stefan: We’ve met so many people in the industry throughout the years. And a lot of the wrong people want to be inside, but everyone at the Armada family is so professional and nice. At first, we thought where is the handicap? But there isn’t one. They’re great hard-working people and that’s spectacular.
EDMInsider 5 : You’ve managed others for a very long time. How is it being on the receiving end of management?
Stefan: We have always been the guys making things happening for other people and no one did anything for us. And we are so grateful that now someone is doing something for us. The two tracks we did with Morgan Page would have never happened without Armada.
EDMInsider 6: Touring, while certainly rewarding, can be grueling. Especially when you have a family. How do you balance family life and touring?
Stefan: We just don’t see them that often (laughs). It’s pretty hard. When we fly to Japan (which is a 12 hour flight) we play one or two gigs and then fly home. The longest time we want to spend away from our family is 10 days, but sometimes we take our families with us. We took them with us when we toured in Australia. It sounds worse than it is.
Frank: I think it’s worse if you’re a businessman. If you’re a broker or banker you have a similar problem.
Stefan: The “weekend” we have with our families are Monday and Tuesdays not Saturday and Sundays. And when we’re not touring, we can work from our house so we can take the kids to the zoo or something.
EDMInsider 7: Do your children understand what you do for a living?
Frank: They’re not really interested in what we do. My son is really proud and he likes to impress his friends by saying, “look my father…”
Stefan: Look at my father’s good-looking friend! (laughs)
Frank: They’re impressed, but they’re not really interested.
Stefan: My son is 8 months old and I have the feeling he likes it, but I’m not very sure. I started playing him music when my wife was pregnant. When he’s lying down, you can tell he’s really listening to it, but of course he doesn’t understand it yet. His favorite things at the moment are food, boobs and food – like his daddy.
EDMInsider 8: Where is one place you’ve never been, but you would love to perform?
Frank: Mexico. We’re curious about it.
Stefan: Same thing with Argentina. We’ve traveled nearly everywhere. Mexico and Argentina could be interesting.
EDMInsider: You need to learn Spanish then!
Stefan: I used to live in Spain when I was young and worked at a hotel in the Canary Islands. I understand a little bit of Spanish, but I’m not fluent. Last year in Ibiza, we met the owner of Pacha and I tried to impress him by speaking in Spanish and he replied in perfect German. So my Spanish-speaking career is over, but if somebody books us for Mexico, we will learn Spanish. We’ll even wear Mexican costumes if they like.
EDMInsider 9: We’ll help start a campaign to get you to Mexico. The scene here in America has changed significantly. You’ve been coming here for twelve years now, how has this changed from your perspective?
Stefan: When we think back when we first came here (Miami) twelve years ago, we all gathered at the National hotel. We’re happy that it has finally come to the US in the past two years. We have a feeling that it’s getting bigger than hip-hop.
EDMInsider 10: What do you think the transition point was in America?
Frank: When David Guetta had his success. He opened the door for everything.
Stefan: It’s not necessarily our favorite stuff that we play, but there’s a lot of respect.
Frank: The collaboration with Kelly Rowland (When Love Takes Over) was huge.
Stefan: You can also feel the crowd is much more educated. The first time we played in the US was in NYC in 2000 at Webster Hall. They didn’t know the music. We even had the feeling that they didn’t know how to dance to it. When there was as breakdown, people used to go to the bar.
Frank: They’re just more educated and interested now.
EDMInsider 11: That certainly was a huge turning point for the industry here in the States. What would you argue has been the biggest turning point in your own career?
Stefan: Many people don’t know that we have a big label in Germany called WePlay. We owned Superstar Recordings, which was one of the biggest branches in Germany for 10 years. We had releases from Laidback Luke, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, among others. For us, the biggest change has been to join the Armada family. It has changed everything.
EDMInsider 12: You’ve actually just released WePlay Club Essentials Mix Volume I. What were the criteria when compiling these tracks? What inspired you to create WePlay years ago?
Stefan: Before we decided to do WePlay, we had been working for another label. We had a lot of success with the old label and made 98% of the decisions, but at the end of the day it was ours. We opened WePlay as we wanted to sign 100% what we liked. We didn’t want to end up waking up one day and hate what we’re doing. We’re really happy with what we’re doing now. The WePlay club essentials is a mix of what the label stands for – cool, party and overall good music.
EDMInsider 13: You’ve already accomplished so much throughout your career. What else would you like to tackle?
Frank: What we would like to do is more touring in North America for an extended period of time – maybe 7 or 10 days in a row.
Stefan: When we accomplish something, there’s always going to be something else. There will always be a new goal. We just do what we love. We’re working on our American visa, which is not the easiest thing in life. It’s happening in the next two or three months.
EDMInsider: We hope to have you back in NYC very soon.
Stefan: We’ll never forget when we arrived in New York at Webster Hall, we saw Dabruck and Klein from Berlin (we’re from Frankfurt, Germany). We thought, “alright that may be the only city they know in Germany.” This is where we had one of the weirdest experiences in our lives. We were in the DJ booth at Webster Hall and someone asked if he could take a photo of his girlfriend. And we said, “of course!”
Franc: And we thought he wanted to impress her with putting his hands on the mixer or something like that.
Stefan: But they started taking, um, inappropriate photos, but we didn’t see it because of course we were Djing and I turned around and I was nearly blinded. I still sometimes wake up dreaming about that.
EDMInsider : Was the couple American?
EDMInsider 14: Figures. You can’t take them anywhere! What else has been a little crazy?
Stefan: There have been a lot of crazy experiences over twelve years. Another thing was that there was a Rotary mixer in the booth (a very old fashioned mixer that some house guys used it in the 80s or 90s.) and it was the first time we saw a mixer like that. And it was like the first time we had ever seen a helicopter or something.
EDMinsider 15 : It’s fair to say you two don’t take yourselves too seriously judging from your music videos and also our conversation. You have fun with what you do and your fans pick up on that and in turn have fun as well. What would you argue has been the most fun thing you’ve done together in your career?
Stefan: (laughs) Yes, sometimes we should take ourselves more seriously, but in the end, we produce dance music and we want people to go crazy when we play. We want to make sure they have a good time when they listen to our music or sets. We are incredibly thankful and happy that we’re able to do this job. Of course, it’s a lot of work and a lot of traveling, but in the end we are allowed to do what we love. We could write a book about all the things we’ve seen in 13 years – from nearly getting arrested at a party with” Prince Albert from Monaco” to Frank flying home too early from China because he was very drunk.
Frank: Lately there have been some pictures on the Internet that Stefan should stop playing topless in the clubs when he is drunk…
Like Dabruck & Klein on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dabruckandklein
Follow Dabruck & Klein on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Dabruckandklein
Listen to Dabruck & Klein on Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/dabruckandklein
Article by: Meryl Luzzi