Laurens Wijers (Mainstage Maffia): “Pleas are not my thing”

Laurens Weijers (Mainstage Maffia) and Marceline 2016
In this edition of My First Gig, Dutch artist Laurens Wijers from Mainstage Maffia. "DJ Reanimator literally to break the equipment."

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

We go back a few years. The interview about Laurens Weijers's debut however, took place only last year. In this edition of My First Gig, I feature this Dutch artist Laurens Wijers from Mainstage Maffia. "DJ Reanimator literally said that it was okay if the equipment broke."

“My love for music doesn’t come from strangers. My parents enjoy music with a high Creedence Clearwater Revival content, but also Cliff Richard and UB40 were played. I was already picking out records at the record store when I was two. My dad would play me a few songs, and I’d say, ‘That one!'” (laughs) “There are photos of me when I was even younger, about one and a half or so, standing behind the turntables. How did I know what I wanted to hear? I picked it up from the radio.”

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Disco and new wave

“When I was about ten, I already had my first turntables. Those were Duals with a pitch. That must have been around 1982. During that period, I was into disco and new wave. My very first concert was also during that time. It was the first farewell concert of Doe Maar.” (laughs)

Standard templates

“However, nowadays I’m a big fan of nu-disco. I love combining it with music from the ’70s to the ’90s. I think it’s fantastic. Super funky! An artist I greatly admire in this genre is the Brit, Michael Gray. Nowadays, I team up with MC Remsy from the Party Animals for a ’90s team. I leave the Party Animals story to him and focus mainly on the nineties. However, the most enjoyable to play, in my opinion, is ’80s music. After 35 years, house music isn’t really a challenge anymore. It’s become too easy. No, I don’t want to abandon hardcore and old school, but even in that, the challenge is somewhat gone. In the past, you could play more by feel. Now, everyone makes music according to standard templates, so everything sounds the same. Fortunately, we all at Mainstage Maffia love all genres, from disco to hardcore.”

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Ben Liebrand

“Anyway, back to the beginning. So, I was happily working with my Duals at home. At one point, hip-hop came into play, which I really liked. Additionally, I was a big fan of Ben Liebrand. I come from Groesbeek near Nijmegen, and Ben also comes from Nijmegen. I thought everything he did was fantastic, and I listened to every tune. He was my icon back then! What I found beautiful but a pity was that he glued everything together. So you’d lose a few seconds of the track each time. I found that a shame. I wanted to connect the music in my own way and thus create longer tracks with more ups and downs.”

Buying records

“I had an increasing need for good music. During the time when I briefly studied retail, things went wrong for me. I got a student pass, and my friends and I were at the station every day with the question, ‘Are we going to school or are we going to…’. It meant that we always went to Amsterdam to buy records or to Rotterdam, Groningen, or The Hague. Because the selection in Nijmegen was quite limited. And so, we skipped school more and more, and of course, that education never finished.” (laughs) “I still remember what my first record was. When I was very young, it was Mud with Dynamite. My first house record was Bomb The Bass by Beat Dis. And yes, I still have those records, and they still occasionally end up on the turntable.”

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Not wanting to look stupid

“At home, I started working with all that freshly bought music. I was playing purely for myself. I wanted to get it right first so that I wouldn’t look stupid somewhere. Also, during that period, around 1988/89, I was in a hip-hop group. I was one of the two rappers, and we also had a DJ. So I found out that I preferred being behind the turntables rather than in front of them. I was about 18 and liked to listen to hip-house. It was also the beginning of house music.”

The Basement

“And so we come to my first booking. That was in 1992. That booking came about through my cousin Wilfried. He knew the owner of a club called The Basement in Nieuw-Bergen. That’s about a half-hour drive from Groesbeek. Decent artists regularly performed at that club, like Gizmo and Darkraver. My cousin told the owner that he knew someone who would outplay them all. Well, I had to prove that.”

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From Psychotic to Recore

“I thought, ‘Let me give it a try.’ So I grabbed my Curver crates and got to work. No, I wasn’t nervous; I never am, actually. Just like I never prepare a set beforehand, only the first record. You can see from your predecessor how things are going and what the crowd is in the mood for. After all, you’re there for the people! They pay your fee! At that time, I was DJing under the name Psychotic. However, because so many DJs were using a similar name, I quickly changed it to Recore. This inspiration came about accidentally when I wanted to type ‘record’ and accidentally hit an e instead of a d. I saw ‘recore’ and knew: this is it! Later, when I looked up what it means, I found out it’s a part of an aircraft. I thought that was fitting too.” (laughs)

Blowing up the mess

“At that first gig, my cousin and several friends were present. Actually, I almost knew all the partygoers at that club anyway. I had been there with my cousin several times. Almost everyone in the region who was into house and hardcore knew how to find The Basement. So did we.” (laughs) “By the way, that evening was the last night the equipment was there. They had ordered a whole new set. So, I learned something, namely what not to do to blow up the whole mess.” (laughs) “DJ Reanimator literally said that it was okay if the equipment broke, and he managed to do it.”

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No begging

“After my set, I received many compliments. Not only from friends but also from Reanimator, who took over from me. This motivated me immensely. I did everything afterwards that came my way. These weren’t big parties or anything. I don’t like having to beg my way in. Pleas are not my thing. Either you think I’m good and want to have me, or not.”

Seven days of hardcore

“I also organized parties in Boxmeer with some former friends. Among others, our old MC Mast-r participated. We also organized events during the Summer Festivals of the Four Days Marches in Nijmegen. Those were the days. Seven days of hardcore in a row.”

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Playing a set together

“In 2012, I met a couple of guys from Amersfoort, Sipke and Tim. When I browsed through their record collections, I literally saw everything I had in my crates. It was like they were mine. So, we decided to do a set together. That became my first gig with Mainstage Maffia. It took place at D-Energy, on Tim’s B-day Bash, for 500 people at De Kelder in Amersfoort. It was a huge success. We just clicked so well! It was definitely something worth repeating!”

Everyone has their own 'task'

“Since then, the three or four of us have been performing everywhere. This includes gigs at Decade, Full Moon Festival, Galaxydrome in Russia, Thunder At, and Arina’s Leuke Oldschoolfeest. MC Mast-r quickly stepped out, and unfortunately, our other MC, Skullcrusher, also stopped. Tim, Sipke, and I are the stable factor within Mainstage Maffia, although we’ve had Remsy in our ranks for a few years now. He actually came in as a replacement for Skullcrusher but was quickly promoted to DJ. Everyone has their own ‘task’ within Mainstage Maffia. Sipke and I produce, Tim handles all the socials, Remsy manages the bookings, and I create all the mixes for the socials and radio stations like Toxic Sickness Radio, where we’ve been dropping a monthly set for several years.”

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“The future looks bright. We already have several new gigs planned. I can’t say too much about some of them yet, but our schedule can be followed via social media.”

This interview with Laurens Wijers (Mainstage Maffia) was originally published in July 2023 on This Is Our House.

Who is Laurens Weijers / Mainstage Maffia?

These four gentlemen bring you a diverse journey through the harder styles of house. With a combined DJ experience of over 100 years Mainstage Maffia know their stuff and always find a way to get the crowd moving by anticipating the flow of the evening.

When these gentlemen met for the first time somewhere in July 2011, none of them could suspect what was about to happen. It was not until 8 months later when they did a surprise set together during D-Energy in March 2012 that they understood the chemistry they had together.

Throughout the rest of 2012 they did several performances together. Then early in 2013 they were booked as a group together at Decade 1990-2000. It was then that they decided they needed a proper name. After some consideration it was decided they would call themselves Mainstage Maffia.

With 2013 being a busy year they also focused their attention on producing their own tracks under the Mainstage Maffia name. In June 2014 Mainstage Maffia released their first record on the legendary record label Point 44. Releases quickly followed eachother with a second and third EP on Point 44. Mainstage Maffia released on Bzrk records after its return and have done several remixes for Brutal Force records also. As of 2016 Mainstage Maffia also focused on the faster newer hardcore .

When in late 2017 Mainstage Maffia teamed up with legendary DJ/MC Remsy their squad was complete. Four energetic artists that know how to get the floor going!

Mainstage Maffia is made up of Craven, Litho, Recore and DJ/MC Remsy. All four of these artist started performing in the early 90’s and as such have a great passion for the early styles but this does not limit their skillset it enhances it. They always push the boundaries of the sets they play. With a no nonsense attitude and in your face style of mixing! Expect the unexpected from Mainstage Maffia.

More Laurens Weijers / Mainstage Maffia?

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