March 10th was a fascinating day for Armin van Buuren, who descended deep into the sanctum of fellow Dutch electronica wizard Junkie XL (Tom Holkenborg) at Junkie’s studio in Los Angeles. Surrounded in a maze of recording equipment, the two veteran musicians discussed each other’s plans, family life, and the state of trance music in general.

Van Buuren talked about his thriving music label (Armada Music), and shared plans for his newly opened radio studio in Amsterdam made specifically to improve his “State of Trace” radio show. With the state of social media being what it is today, van Buuren stressed that content needs more immediacy, so a live studio capable of handling more effects was the logical next step. The 40-year-old DJ voiced concerns that trance was becoming a niche genre, and that he’d recently felt forced to weave more elements of dance and pop into his music. However, he remained stout in his devotion to the medium, saying: “[Trance is] not as popular as it used to be, but it works for me, so I’m sticking to it.”

In terms of personal life, Tom revealed that his wife Saskia is expected to give birth to his second son later this month. However, he pulled no punches about the grueling schedule of a modern musician:

“I work from 4:00am to 7:30am, then I have breakfast with my family, and at 8:15 my wife takes the kid to school. I work non-stop until six in the evening, and then we have dinner together. After that I either work a little longer or I have a glass of wine and go to bed. I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm.”

With all his recent touring, van Buuren seemed almost envious of Junkie’s ability to work from a single studio in LA, surrounded by a “toy shop” of gadgets. Specifically, Armin’s “Armin Only: Embrace” tour (which has been running since 2016) recently saw him stop in Cologne, and will have him in Moscow on March 17th. The tour will run all the way into May with a pair of shows in Amsterdam.

Check out van Buuren’s radio show here: http://www.astateoftrance.com/episodes/

Or buy tickets for “Armin Only: Embrace” here: http://www.arminonly.com/events