Ex-front man and DJ of Dash Berlin, Jeffrey Sutorius conducted an interview with DJ Mag where he was asked about the recent split from the Trance group. Well Jeffrey spilled the beans, revealing a long statement on how the split came to be.
“I’ve always been open as who I am and how I feel. Not only as an artist but also as a human being. That is why it broke my heart when Eelke and Sebastiaan cut me off from my social media channels last June and that I could not share my feelings with the fans.”
“After the insane touring schedule of the past 10 years, at the end of 2017 I started to develop small pains around my body. Lower back, shoulders, heels, etc. And it didn’t recover that well. The pain just kept on bugging me. So I decided to take the first two months off in 2018 for a full physical check-up. During that check-up and recovery period, I was pressured by my booker to do a show in China [in January]. Mid February, I continued my tour doing a.o. mainstage Ultra 2018 and mainstage EDC 2018. Literally, just before the Ultra show my (now ex-) booker Van der Kleij cut off his communications with my tour manager (Borys). Eelke and Sebastiaan apparently supported that decision. From that day, my tour manager was only allowed to talk & discuss with the booking assistant, and only during Dutch business hours, from Monday to Friday from 9 to 5, which was weird seeing that I was travelling all around the world and through all time zones. ‘Good luck!’ he ended his message.”
“In the beginning of May 2018, there was a phone call between my tour manager, Eelke, Sebastiaan and Van der Kleij in which they discussed some upcoming shows. I was in the room when they spoke. My touring manager warned them that the touring schedule was too hard on us. The shouting from the management and booker towards him was so loud that by even not using speakerphone I could hear it on the other end of the room. They told him to think about the fans we would be disappointing and the money we would be leaving on the table.”
“This was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I knew it was time for action because this is simply not right. I couldn’t accept this, and I decided to stop working with the Van der Kleij booking agency.”
“All this happened against the background of questions regarding mismanagement. I kept running into a wall where management and booker weren’t open for any talks or discussions. Eventually we planned a meeting for the 29th of May this year. On the 28th I returned from touring and on 30th of May A State Of Trance Poland was on the bill, a country I missed a lot, and I haven’t been to in quite a while. When my tour-manager and I came home, the management cancelled the meeting because they ‘saw no relevance’ in having such a meeting to discuss.”
“This is where I broke down mentally. I get really emotional thinking about all this. Why do people do this to each other? On the day the meeting was planned I went to see a doctor who diagnosed me with a burnout and told me to take a break from touring. One of the first things I did was call Armin van Buuren notifying him that I just wasn’t able to perform on ASOT in Poland. In the weeks that followed I finally found time to think about all that happened in the past decade, and it came to me clearly that all these years I’d only been focussed on my physical health, and completely neglected the mental impact of travel, being away from home for months on end, a constant pressure to fulfil a killing tour schedule while disconnected from friends and family.”
“Like I said, one of the first things Eelke and Sebastiaan did was to freeze me out of the social media accounts. So the only way of communicating left to me to be able to inform the outside world about what was happening, was to release a press statement where I addressed the core of my decision. To add insult to injury, Eelke and Sebastiaan filed a claim against me that by not fulfilling the shows that were booked at that time, I was breaking a contract, and they wanted to force me to continue touring, or else I would have to pay a penalty of EUR 100,000 per day that I refused to do so. Eventually, the court denied that claim.”
“Coming back to my burnout. Some of my close colleagues, friends and family already had questions about my touring schedule for a long time. I didn’t see it as a ‘rough’ schedule because I always looked only at the physical health standpoint and I love interacting with the fans. People may know I have a sporting background playing soccer in The Netherlands for major soccer clubs. While touring I mostly kept myself in “health” with fitness (Man On The Run), and after a while, I actively started practicing Bikram Yoga. I thought I was healthy and fit. But that was clearly not the case.”
“So this summer I stayed at home, in The Netherlands, which was experiencing the hottest summer ever measured in our country. Other than that it’s been a blurry reality. I didn’t shave for months, and the only things I did was eating ice cream, watering the plants and walking my dog. It was one of the few things I could make myself happy with, besides doing nothing and trying to get out of misery and all blackness. Towards the point of deciding to continue under my own name and with lawyers going back and forth, my girlfriend Joyce and I got the opportunity to get married. A super small, intimate wedding but at the same time a super important step with my Joyce as my rock behind me, loving and supporting me all the way going into the future.”
“As to my health now, I think I am getting where I want to be. But this time I will take care to make it sustainable, and to keep my life balanced out. Obviously, I have to take care of the past emotionally and financially, but I am also really looking forward to connecting with my fans again.”
The Trance hero has kicked off his solo venture with two epic vinyl mixes on Mixcloud, consisting of some of the biggest classics in Trance music history. A press-release from Jeffrey Sutorius has also revealed that he’s set to release new music soon and will perform under his own name to make new memories with Trance music fans.
“Music is my life and various events in the past year have inspired me to come up with new ideas. I can’t wait to share new music with my fans,” Jeffrey Sutorius says.
Listen to his two vinyl mixes below. Read the full interview with DJ Mag here.