Rob Hes: “Trouble getting the needle on the vinyl”

DJ Rob Hes playing at his debut
Rob Hes has to rack his brain to remember his first gig. He does know that he played with vinyl, which is still a big love.

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Tunnel pariss - Rob Hes: "Trouble getting the needle on the vinyl"

Rob Hes has to rack his brain to remember his first gig. He does know that he played with vinyl, which is still a big love. "Those were the good old days."

Rob Hes has to rack his brain to remember his first gig. He taught himself how to play the turntables and practiced endlessly in his bedroom. After having worked under various aliases, he nowadays operates under his own name. After fifteen years, Rob Hes finally plays as Rob Hes.


“To be honest, I don’t exactly remember what my first real gig was. It must have been when I was seventeen. Since I was fifteen, I had two turntables at home, on which I practiced every day. In that period, I didn’t have any hair, as you can see on the photo, and I played around 180 BPM. Those were the good old days when you could only play vinyl. My stage name was Devillien. Under that alias I experienced highlights as Defqon 1, Q-base, In Qontrol, Speedrazor, Hellbound and Project Hardcore.”

Shaky hands

“In think my first gig was in Boxmeer (Noord-Brabant), far away from my own hometown, Hoorn. What the party was called or what the location was? I really don’t remember. I do remember that I had to open in the second area. Although… area… It was more of a pub. I had trouble getting the needle on the vinyl properly because my hands were shaking enormously. I was that nervous. There was almost no audience. In hindsight this was probably a thing good for this first gig with shaking hands. The mixer was also different from the one I had practiced with at home. Also I had to get used to the monitor sound.”

WHC220404 063 - Rob Hes: "Trouble getting the needle on the vinyl"


“In those days, when I knew a gig was coming up, I always went to the record store to score the latest tracks and used those in my next set. I believe that the fresh records arrived on Thursday and every week I was present and waiting while the staff unloaded those vinyls from the boxes.I didn’t have a teacher or friends who were playing, so I had to learn everything myself. In the beginning this took a lot of time because there was no YouTube or something comparable back then. I believe it took me eight months to realize that you had to pitch the records!” (laughs) “Once I understood that mimor detail, I was practicing even more often in my bedroom.”

Hear, see and copy

“At this point I discovered the videotapes of parties like Thunderdome. By watching them I could hear, see and watch what the DJs did. I totally wore out those tapes and learned all the tricks that way.”

“Right now, fifteen years later, after a lot of aliases I finally started playing under my own name: Rob Hes. I’m in a phase in which I feel closer to myself than ever before. Producing music provides me with a lot of energy and the strength to push myself even more. This results in releases on increasingly fabulous labels. Therefore, more and more often I am offered the opportunity to perform with my own music, for people from home and abroad. This gives me an incredible sense of happiness and satisfaction.”

This article was originally published on Thursday December 18th2014.

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