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Last December, the Bingo Players lost Paul Baümer, who had been battling cancer. It was a trying ordeal, as the outpouring of love and support for Paul really showed the world how much of an impact this duo had made in their time in the scene. It was great to see Maarten announce that he was keeping the Bingo Players going, but it's another thing to actually follow through on it. With "Knock You Out," Maarten does both. He keeps Bingo Players plural and relevant, and drops a track that helps him deal with his loss. You're talking a 15-year friendship and partnership that he's now keeping afloat on his own. We caught up with Maarten to speak briefly on everything from memories of Paul to plans for the "Knock You Out" remix pack, among other things.
It’s hard to not speak to you without speaking on losing Paul first. You’d been working with Paul for the better part of 15 years, right? What are some of your fondest memories of working with Paul?
Yes I’ve known him for over 15 years. There are so many good things that come to mind... One of those memories is when we just got signed to our first booking agency. We were so stoked! Also, playing Nocturnal Wonderland in California a few years ago was something we were talking about for days after the gig. It was the first time playing for such a big crowd, we couldn’t believe it. When Paul called me early last year, when I was on holiday, and told me that "Rattle" debuted at #1 in the UK charts, that was a special moment, too!
We know you said that you had a lot of material that was produced with Paul set to be released. Roughly, how much material from you guys as a duo is set to be released?
I still have a lot of concepts and ideas laying around, some dating back from 2008! I'll be picking the best ones out and finish them on my own, so there’s a lot more Bingo Players music coming... some vocal records like "Knock You Out" and some more club-leaning instrumentals. I’m always thinking about what Paul's input and ideas would be on a track.
There was a massive amount of support for you when Paul passed, from praise online to guys like Skrillex paying tribute during his sets. Did any of that help ease the pain?
Yes, all the love and support has been overwhelming, I can’t thank everybody enough for that. It helped a lot knowing people were empathizing with what Paul’s family and friends were all going through.
We know that you took a holiday before realizing that you needed to heed Paul’s word and continue to release Bingo Players material. Were you ever close to calling it quits?
No, not really. I just needed some time to clear my head and think about what this would mean for the future. Would I be able to do it by myself? Could I live up to the expectations? I’m glad Paul and I talked about continuing Bingo Players and he gave me his blessing to continue if I could do it.
One thing we noticed was that a LOT of producers, both established and up-and-coming, seemed to cite you two as influences. Did you realize that your peers looked at you in that light?
One of the things that I think is so special about our community, both with the fans and the artists is that it’s incredibly tight knit. It’s a huge compliment to hear other people tell you that they were inspired by you to start making music themselves.
Talk to us about “Knock You Out.” Hows it feel to be releasing your first single without Paul there to back you up?
Well, obviously it’s a little strange, it’s also the first single we’ve released on the new label so it’s all pretty uncharted territory for me, but it feels great! The most important thing is that people really connect to this song… I think the lyrics speak to everyone in one way or another.
The video has a domestic abuse storyline in it. How did that come to play?
The whole song revolves around the theme of overcoming adversity… it could be anything and the video director we worked with chose to highlight this issue as the challenge that the main character overcomes. It’s a very powerful video.
This is taken from a forthcoming EP. Talk to us about what we can expect from this project.
We’ve got some amazing remixes of "Knock You Out" coming out on June 17 from my friend Hardwell, [as well as] Gorgon City, Champion, and Flaxo.
What are your plans for the future of Bingo Players?
To carry on what Paul and I set out to do when we started Bingo Players... make the music in our hearts and connect with people across the world!
Do androids dance?
I think they do ;)