Paul van Dyk’s State of Trance festival set
in Utrecht, the Netherlands in February 2016 ended suddenly when the German DJ
plummeted off stage, breaking his spine and smashing his head.
remember much about that night. ‘The brain has a beautiful function in that
it wipes out memories of extreme experiences,’ he says over the phone from his
Berlin base. ‘I don’t really know anything. I fell into a coma.’
Having DJed in clubs shortly after the
fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, going on to become one of the biggest names in
trance, van Dyk’s stellar career looked to have been violently hacked short.
However, despite doctors fearing he would never recover properly, he slowly
recuperated, began gigging and released his new album, From Then On..., last month. It’s one heck of a comeback.
What can you
remember about the accident?
There was a stage
construction that was not as stable as it should be – I fell through a gap,
down six metres. I had severe brain injuries and I broke my spine twice.
happened when you woke up?
The spine was the easy shit, put it that
way. The brain injuries and the limitation that comes from that is what created
big problems and still creates challenges every day. I had to learn how to eat,
to speak, I couldn’t see or walk. The fact that I’m still here is a medical
you worry your musical career was over?
That wasn’t vaguely on my agenda until far
later. If you can’t hold any thoughts, if you don’t remember anything, that’s a
greater fear than, ‘Oh, am I going to make music again?’. But I had so much
support from my wife and family and friends and all the medical care. It
created a boost of energy that helped me get better.