Black Sun Empire Interview


This is Dog Fort
VIP Junglist
Nov 29, 2001


(From left to right: Micha, Milan, Rene)

dnbforum had a chat with one of Holland's darkest Drum & Bass exports, Black Sun Empire. With releases and forthcoming releases on labels such as Penetration, DSCI4, and Transparent, things are certainly looking good for the trio from Utrecht, Holland.

1. Individually, how old are you?

rene: 26
milan: 26
micha: 23

2. How did you all meet?

well me (Micha) and Milan are brothers, so our parents made the call on that one and we met Rene arround 1992 in highschool..

3. Where are you from?

Utrecht 4th biggest city in the Netherlands but actually quite a small town (bout 300.000 people)

4. Do you think your location has affected your success in Drum & Bass?

Well the scene in holland is small compared to the one in england, so if you wanna build up your name you have to go abroad... and that can be difficult... i think its deff not about making just one good tune... you will have to keep a certain level of quality

5. What are your first names?

Micha Heyboer, Milan Heyboer and Rene Verdult

6. How many are there in Black Sun Empire?


7. Where did the name Black Sun Empire come from?

being contacted with the illusionary world of Star Wars in our childhood, this space fairytale is still in the back of our heads, so we actually opened this old star wars book and randomly took some words which in the end formed "Black Sun Empire"

8. What are your solo DJ/producer names?

Micha: “Hi you’re micha right? I heard allot about you, but what’s your real name”
Rene: Whats he’s trying to say is we dont have individual dj-names ;)

9. How long have you been working together for?

we decided to start making music together in early 1995 and after we had been floating between all these types of music for a couple of years we finally found our musical direction around 1997, which resulted in the formation of Black Sun Empire....

10. What is the Drum & Bass scene like in your area?

The scene is kinda devided. There is not much unity between the various cities. Most places have some good dnb nights and usualy the bigger clubs have Djs coming in from the UK.
There are some labels like Citrus and RuffTeck based in Rotterdam, Purified Audio in Amsterdam and A New Dawn in Nijmegen. But we’re happy with the things we’re able to do,
Running a label and a big label night!!

11. 2003 looks to be a good year for Drum & Bass, where do you see it heading?

Think it’s gonna be more global, because you see allot of new good producers from outside of the UK that gain allot of respect worldwide like: Concord Dawn, Illskills (dkay), skc & chris su, bullitproof, hive, sinthetix, rawthang, icbm, benjie.... I think this is just the beginning of a new era :P

12. Do you have a web site?

13. How long have you been producing Drum & Bass?

We’ve been producing d’n’b since 1997

14. Individually, do you all DJ, and how long have you been mixing for?

Milan and Micha started mixing in 1999 or so.. Rene started a little later

15. What are your Drum & Bass influences?

Ed Rush & Optical, Matrix, Trace, BC, Tech Itch, Kemal, Underfire boyz

16. Do you have any other musical interests?

radiohead, tricky, SOaD, portishhead, KFL, coldplay, dEUS, NIN, dj shadow, underworld, the orb, mos def, orbital, aphextwin, rawkus, prodigy, autecre, philip glass, tom waits, prince, talib kwali, missy elliot, nick cave, FSOL, primus, leftfield, front 242 etc.. there is good music in every genre

17. How did you become involved in the Drum & Bass scene?

well in the beginning we all had our solo projects varying from triphop to techno to hardcore,
but around the year 1997 we got heavily influenced by releases from the darker labels
such as No U Turn, Prototype and Virus, so drum'n'bass has been our main focus from then on.
We still play with different types of music, but drum and bass is in our vains. the smile on your face when the reese hits you full frontal, its a nice contradiction hehehe

18. Individually, what did you do before Drum & Bass?

Micha : Play the drums and try to sing in a band
Milan : “don’t remember”
Rene : I always been the techno kid, making tracks on pc/synths.

19. Individually, what do you do when your not playing out or in the studio?

Micha : listen to other types of music, write, watch movies, go drinking, hang arround with people that don’t like d’n’b ?
Rene: I read books, confuse waitresses, listen to system of a down while screaming, talk to friends while drinking (and try to forget what they’re saying so we can do it again the next day)


1. Hardware or software?

A little bit of both ?

2. What hardware/software (use as applicable) do you use to produce?

for sequencing we use either logic, fruityloops or both at the same time with allot of plugins and softsynths. our studiosetup is : genelec 1031a monitors, 2 nord modulars,
yamaha 02r digital desk, akai s3000 xl sampler, 2 TC unity's, roland jv 1080,
quasimidi technox, RME 9652, distortion pedal and some old compressors.

3. CD/MP3 or vinyl?

Both, I like the technics but the cdj 1000 is great.. most of the time we have a technics and a cdj and do a 50% 50% set... but not playin with mp3s/Final Scratch ...

4. Can you describe your sound?

Never too soft and always with a techy edge, besides that there is only one rule “we all have to like it”. we did horror tunes like the unicorn remix and funky tunes like the rat

5. What projects are you currently working on?

Working on a BSE LP for our own label :X

6. When is "Gun Seller" coming out?

Not sure that’s up to Friction and Skinny, but the Tp’s are on their way

7. What future projects are in the pipe line?

DSCI4 : sinthetix – cryogenix (bse remix) / b’negative (illskills remix)
Citrus: eye-d – unicorn mf (bse remix ) / bse- skin deep (eye D remix)
Transparent : bse – gunseller
Protogen : Typecell – bad illusions (bse remix)
BSE005 : Rawthang – scorned / dunno yet
Kemal is remixing “the rat” for the LP
Tech Itch is gonna remix “rawthang – scorned”

8. Do you plan to tour soon? If so, where?

Second american tour is planned in june not sure about the exact dates yet...
Besides that some european gigs in Norway, Scotland, Belgium, Germany etc..

9. Are you working on any other genres other than Drum & Bass?

Maybe... hehehe

10. Are there any Drum & Bass artist(s) you would like to work with?

I’d like to do a tune with skynet and techitch allready working on a tune with kemal and another one with concord dawn

11. Are there any non-Drum & Bass artist(s) you would like to work with?

Would like to do some music with: kari (haha), tricky and his female vocalist, coldplay singer, “tom barman” singer from dEUS and many more

12. Individually, what Drum & Bass choons are currently at the front of your record box?

We only have one record bag hahaha:
rawthang - scorned
bse - gun seller
illskills - soulshaker
skc & chris su - blackout remix
illskills - illbethere4you (concord dawn remix)
tech itch & kemal - calling VIP
skynet - silverback
ICBM - monaco
benjie - Ai
kemal - anthem remix
hive – neo
kaos&diesel – submission
and more!

13. Turntables.. Technics or Vestax?

Technics, only because you see those the most, vestax are very good aswell so it doesnt really matter

14. MCs.. yes, no, or depends?

Depends, rymetyme and verse are hot ?
Rene: A decent MC can make a party better, a shite one can singlehandedly fuck one up...

15. Dubplates.. 10 or 12 inch?


16. Computer format.. PC, MAC, or both?

We work on a PC now, but they stopped making logic for it so might have 2 switch allthough a Mac can drive me nutz

17. Bootlegs.. yes, no, or depends?

Depends, most are shit but you know ? “we are living in a yellow submarine”


1. Individually, what is your favourite colour?

Micha : Not one in particular but Natural colors like brown, sand, olive, babyblue hehe (damn that sounds gay)

Milan : issnt that a bit personal, why dont you come over here and ask me that in the face :p

Rene: Red....and white....and yellow....and brown...and red.....and green...and green...and purple....and yellow...and white.....a n d B L U E

2. Individually, if you could move from Holland, where would you move to?

Micha : I like holland allot, everything is possible... “candy said she wants me with her down in candyland”
Milan : Wouldnt leave this place, like to travel but ill always comeback
Rene : Going off somewhere is fun, but its always nice to come back too, guess i’ll stay right here

3. Individually, do you drive, and what do you drive?

Micha : a bike
Milan : I drive micha insane
Rene : Nah

4. Individually, what is your favourite film?

Micha : fucking amal
Milan : damn ... dunno too many
Rene : Chungking Express, Snatch


1. Any shouts or final words?

We’re always looking for new talent so if you think you’re better then me send us a demo ?
You can find the adress on our website....and if you have a better voice then the people we wanna work with!!! Please wake me up ....

I would just like to thank Black Sun Empire for taking the time out for the interview - Bigups from the massive :slayer:
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