One of the saddest and most unexpected developments in 2018 was the split of the trance super group Dash Berlin. The group's frontman, Jeffery Sutorius took a leave from the group and explained his decision was due to poor management of the Dash Berlin entity.
He words were quite vague about what had happened, and fans were questioning what could have possibly gone wrong. In an interview exclusively with DJ Mag, Jeffery elaborated on the circumstances that lead up to the break up of the group. Some reasons were personal, others were strictly business.
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You can check out some exerpts from the interview below, or read the full article of at DJ Mag here.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“I have continuously asked questions regarding the financial matters of Dash Berlin, which are still unclear to me. All that time, I have not gotten facts nor answers. Eelke, Sebastiaan and Van der Kleij still are refusing to provide documents and information, and are forcing me to take them to court. As an example, all booking agreements are in my name (‘Jeffrey Sutorius as Dash Berlin’) but they refused to hand over those agreements, so the court had to force them to do so. It also appeared that Eelke and Sebastiaan signed a label agreement without me whereby they gave the label permission to use my picture, but they never told me about this, nor any other details of the agreement. The court forced them to also give me that agreement. Another example is that only in July 2018 Van der Kleij during the court case told me that he had received a huge amount – more than a million dollars (!) – in tax refunds in my name. They never told me that. I found out because it was part of their submission to the court. I think that if I had not started the court case, they would have never told me that and kept the money for themselves. So I am piecing together all this and other information so that I can make a reconstruction of the past 10 years and stage a final reckoning.”
“There has already been one court hearing (in July) thus far. Seeing that they won’t give me any information, there are two hearings planned, both in October. Their whole attitude towards me has been extremely disappointing. So I am determined to continue my journey on my own as Jeffrey Sutorius. After all, that is who I am, and who I always will be. I miss my fans, and I want to return to the stage. The court said that we have to fight out who can use the Dash Berlin name in further proceedings, so using my own name was my only option basically. On the other hand, all the fans are behind me being Dash Berlin. I find this is something worth fighting for. I will continue this as long as I possibly can to maybe, eventually claim the stage again as Dash Berlin.”