LessThan3: You started out as a guitarist, right?
Tom: Yes—I play guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. Guitar is my main instrument, though.
LessThan3: Do you ever record live instruments in your tracks?
Tom: Up until a few months ago, I didn’t have the equipment to do recordings with live instruments. I began with a really modest setup—I never had the latest computers or synths because I just couldn’t afford them. I started out with tracker programs because they used so little CPU. Eventually, my parents got me my first computer that would actually run Cubase and I went from there. I still produce in Cubase.
LessThan3: What do you like about Cubase as compared to other digital audio workstations?
Tom: Cubase is the first and only program I’ve used heavily. I tried Logic a couple of times when I was in Super8 & Tab’s studio, but my friend said it the best: “Comparing Logic to Cubase when it comes to workflow or when it comes to things you can do with is like comparing McDonald’s and Burger King. The same food, different packaging.”
LessThan3: Armin has endorsed you in a big way over the last few months. Would you say that’s been the biggest thing to help your career so far?
Absolutely. It’s always so great to have a big artist like Armin push you when you are early in your career. Because of it I’ve been getting a lot of support from other DJs like Bingo Players
, Knife Party
, and Hardwell
who have all been dropping my track iROK
. It’s an essential thing to have those A-listers on board.
LessThan3: What exciting releases have you had recently?
LessThan3: How about shows?
Godskitchen in Ukraine was amazing. I was supposed to open for Armin
that night, but something happened with his flight and he didn’t make it, so I ended up headlining the show. I had mixed feelings because I realized people were there for Armin and he didn’t show so they were disappointed, but I played my heart out and the feedback was amazing anyway. I also got to play in Malaysia in August, which was a great time—the crowd was wild. I played an awesome show in Jakarta, too, with Lange
, Cosmic Gate
, Maison & Dragen
, and Audrey Gallagher
LessThan3: How did the track Untouchable, which is one our favorites of yours, come about?
I have to give every credit for that track to Jwaydan
. She wrote the chords, the lyrics, the melody, she recorded the vocals—basically everything. I just put it all together with her guidance.
LessThan3: Do you have any plans to work with her or any other vocalists in the near future?
Tom: I don’t know about Jwaydan because she is very busy right now and I have no idea what her long-term career goals are, but I’ve talked with a couple of vocalists that will definitely be on my upcoming album. I don’t want to reveal them yet because nothing is set in stone, but there are definitely some coming down the road.
LessThan3: Tell us more about this album.
The release date hasn’t been finalized yet; I want to take my time on this one and let it happen naturally. I’m not sure if I’m going to release the album as a whole or release singles and then put the album together from those. There are a few possibilities, but it’s very early stage. I’ve been almost exclusively remixing for the last year and a half now, so now I’m going to start focusing more on originals to get my album really rolling. It will definitely be coming out on Armada
LessThan3: Who do you think puts on the best live set in the industry?
I’ve never actually seen him live, but from what I’ve seen of the video footage, I think Dash Berlin
puts on the best live show, even though my music tastes don’t exactly match his. He’s the ultimate showman.
LessThan3: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Roger Sanchez, Steve Angello
–I know there’s been a lot of controversy with him recently, but I’ve seen him live and he is an unbelievable DJ. Also Eric Prydz
; I’ve been studying him for years.
LessThan3: You use CDJs. How do you feel about some of the up-and-coming DJs who are using controllers?
Tom: Personally, I don’t have any beef with it. If you feel that is the best way for you, go right ahead. In my own perspective, I don’t want a computer between myself and the crowd.
LessThan3: What are some of your favorite software synths?
Tom: Sylenth, Massive, Doom, and Gladiator. iROK was made with Razor.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Tom: Fix You
by Coldplay. I’m a romantic at heart.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Tom: Energetic, Big-Room.