American artist Mrotek was born to bring a whole new level of madness to dark and extreme music. Throughout his earlier years, deathcore and progressive metal held his creative focus. In 2009, he redirected his sights to Hardstyle music, drawn by it’s powerful sound and high production value. Twenty years of experience in the creation of music came to fruition when he began producing his own tracks in late 2013. Working closely with widely known artist “MC Heretik”, he aimed to combine his knowledge of music theory with his passion for Raw Hardstyle into a new progressive sound.
He continued to refine his style into 2015 with the completion of a series of raw and sinister tracks, including Penance (with Arctus and MC Heretik), Voice of Fear (with Deimos and MC Heretik), a remix of Prime Suspects – Biblical (with Arctus, released on Spoontech records), and numerous others.
Mrotek, thanks for taking the time to interview with us! How did you first get into hard dance music?
From a very young age I played guitar; mainly metal and classical. So I’ve always been into making music, but late in High school I started going to raves. At that point my focus switched to electronic music. I was actually really into Happy Hardcore and first. But then at one particular rave, I remember walking into the main stage and Samara by Noisecontrollers was playing. At that moment, the synth in the break was the sickest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. From then on I was obsessed!
Tell us a little bit about the hardstyle scene in Arizona. How has it been as far as opportunity for you to grow as an artist?
The AZ scene has always had a really solid Hard Dance presence thanks to the Arizona Hardcore Junkies. Between them, SDK, and BPM Boost, there is a nice stream of hard dance parties here. All of the shows that helped me develop as a DJ were pretty much all either SDK shows or random desert parties; and yes, we have parties in the desert here 😛
But I have to say, BY FAR the biggest thing in Arizona that has helped me grow has been my krew: Paul (MC Heretik), Logan (Arctus/Sythys), and Jack (The Wicked). We all constantly push each other to get better, finish tracks, bounce ideas off each other, or just meet up and spin some tracks over some brews. Having a solid support system of people you trust completely does so incredibly much; it’s hard to describe all of the benefits from something like that.
How has the evolution of hardstyle influenced you as an artist, and particularly, how did you decide to produce rawstyle?
I’ve always been into extreme and aggressive music. Maybe that’s why Hardstyle didn’t totally grab me until I heard Samara, which has a classic ‘Dark Hardstyle’ melody. Back then there wasn’t really “raw” Hardstyle, just edgier stuff. Artists like Chris One, Zany & The Beholder, The R3belz, they were huge for me. Then E-force hit the scene and I was sold on exactly what I wanted to do. But then things evolve and new artists push the boundaries of what is possible. Rawstyle is one of the fastest changing genres in the world in my opinion, so there is always something new to push it a little further. That idea is what keeps me up at night as an artist. It’s a very exciting time!
Lots of US artists booked for this edition for Basscon Wasteland, what is it like getting booked and receiving that kind of recognition as an artist?
It’s really awesome to see so much U.S. talent on the biggest Hardstyle lineup he states have ever seen. I think this is a great sign for our country’s Hardstyle scene and the way we show up to the rest of the world as well. As far as recognition goes, I have never really cared much about getting recognized. I’m just stoked to rock the fuck out of that stage and blast some heavy shit! It’s going to be a fucking party!!!
Speaking of recognition, you were just signed to DirtyWorkz DWX Anarchy– that has to be a HUGE step for your career as an artist!
I am INSANELY honored to be with DWX; it’s super humbling to be representing U.S.Raw on the #1 label of 2016. I’ve been a huge fan of the artists on Anarchy for years now. Working with some of my Hardstyle heros has been unreal. The ‘family’ vibe of Dirty Workz really makes it feel like my home. I love everything about the label, it’s a dream come true really!
Some things that stand out in my mind are your collabs with Digital Mindz and Riiho, and winning the Sub Sonik remix contest with To Hell (Mrotek and Deimos). Anything else you’ve accomplished that you’re super proud of, or any big goals on the horizon?
The colab with Unresolved as also a fun one ☺ Things I’m proud of, hmm, I guess just the state of where things are at for me. Seeing my tracks being played at all of the big festivals never stops exciting me; all of the support from huge artists in unreal. Every track I finish is a new thing I’m proud of. I have this personal deal with myself that every track I finish has to be better than the last, and so far I feel like I’ve kept that deal with myself. I love how ‘Substance Abuse’ turned out, and the new track I’ve finished since then I am even happier with. Working this way makes writing new tracks REALLY exciting and fun.
What other big things can we look forward to from you in the future? More massive tracks and colabs; all dark and heavy AF of course! Definitely plan on pushing the fusion of metal and rawstyle as far as it can go. I have some exciting bookings lined up that will be announced soon as well. I’m working hard to bring you more tracks, new colabs, playing more shows, possibly doing a European tour later this year, and eventually moving to either The Netherland or Belgium would be the next huge goal. But that one is a few years away still 😛
Anything else you’d like to tell the readers of The Hard Data?
To the readers of Hard Data – you are the ones who make this genre go. Without you, there would be no parties, no artists, and no music. Your dedication is what makes this all possible. Keep spreading the music; our country has the potential to be a Hard Dance power house of the world, and the only way that will happen is if more crazy fucks like you storm the country and burn the place to the ground. Thanks for your dedication and I’ll see you at Wasteland!
Mrotek’s sound is already making waves in the international Hardstyle scene, having received support from the likes of MC Villain, Regain, Riiho, Caine, and many more. Expect a lot more from Mrotek in the near future, as this powerful musician shows no signs of relenting in 2017. Catch him at Basscon Wasteland onApril 29, 2017.