From toy trumpet cover versions to messed up Japanese adult film montages via good old fashioned comment boxes, the ‘Darude – Sandstorm’ meme has been around for a long time now. Longer than most memes, in fact. But still, when executed properly, it can be pretty funny.
But is it funny to Darude himself? Does he kick back and check out a mix and chuckle away whenever he sees his name and his biggest track against every single Tune I.D request? Does he find Facebook pages like this funny?
We called him and asked him…
“Oh I’ve been seeing a lot of this in different places for a few years now,” he grins wryly. “But I don’t mind! The only time it gets a little old is when I post something on my Facebook page like a picture from a recent show or pictures from a recent fishing trip and the next comments are always Darude – Sandstorm. It’s like ‘come on guys! Really? Again?’ But at the same time I’m still happy that people are talking about the track. Any publicity is good publicity.”
As if it needs the publicity. Originally released in 1999, Sandstorm’s success is impressive. It’s tickled the top 10 in 10 countries, it’s sold millions of copies, it’s been used in all sorts of games, sports and on TV and has spawned countless variations.
With all this success in mind, you kind of wonder if Darude could have retired off this one track…
“I can say that pennies are still coming my way,” he says, all coy. “But I’m not a gazillionaire! I’m not worth the same amount of money that the track has sold. There are labels and agents and everyone else who take their cut of it, too. I’m living a comfortable life, sure, but I still think of the future like everyone else!”
Darude’s own future includes his label EnMass, work on a fourth studio album and a consistent schedule of international shows which brings us to one final thing he’d like to clear up…
“There is one thing I’d like to clear up,” he states. “And that’s the rumour that I stopped playing the track over 10 years ago. Someone misunderstood me in an interview as I said that I haven’t played the original mix since 2002. Let me tell you, I play this at every single gig! I’ve got some special remixes which I’ve done for myself and some of my friends have done amazing remixes. Plus there are a million bootlegs around and some of them are pretty good! I do play it. I love to play it. It got me going so I’ll always represent it. People still go nuts to it after all these years, so I’ll never get fed up of it!”
Amen to that. Darude, we salute you.