Tom Hades, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to have a chat with us about all things musical and to give us an insight into the amazing world of techno in which you live.
You’ve been in the production game for well over a decade with highly regarded releases dating back to 2001, gigs all around the world and tracks out on some of the biggest labels in the business. What inspires you musically and keeps you motivated year after year? Do you like the direction that the scene and the music is heading?
Since music has been my passion for the last decade and still is and since this combined with really nice gigs all over the world the motivation is automatically coming each day, again and again ! I love the way music can “grow” and how things which used to work nice 15 years ago are coming back once in a while but in a more updated version. Music, and in particular Techno, is going on big revival which can be noticed on the amount of club and festival gigs arriving all over the world again !
The output from your studio seems to be extremely consistent with new EPs, tracks or remixes out almost weekly. Monster tunes recently on Bedrock, MBE, Rhythm Convert(ed) and a big remix of Drumcomplex out on RELEASE have all been getting air play from DJs across the globe. You must be thrilled with how well things are going? What have been your highlights from the last year?
I’m really thrilled on how things are going at the moment, for sure! I met people and starting literally chatting with artists who i looked up to when i was the clubber! Every production gets big support from the major players, online stores like Beatport seem to pick it up every time and fans who send me on social media really nice comments make me smile every day! As for me, my highlight was the release i did on Soma! I love this label and love Slam as artists and persons! I’m delighted to be part of the RELEASE team as well, seeing how much nice artists they have onboard and still to come ! Thanks for this!!
Your long time friends and studio buddies Marco Bailey and Redhead were integral in your development as an artist and you continue to work with Marco regularly with great success. Have your collaboration methods changed over the years or do you still work in a similar way as you have over the years? Is there much difference to your workflow when you are writing a tune with someone else than when you are producing a tune on your own?
Our actual collaboration is always going in the same method as years before with the big difference that now we are doing all (or let’s say, almost all) on a laptop or studio mac. The main working method is still the same tough : Marco is the creative mind behind the tracks while my “job” is to get it technically in there ! The biggest challenge of working together with someone in the studio is to divide the time in an equal way and to get someone’s mind in a musical idea using the current technology. They have been really good friends for many years and i hope we can continue going on like this for many years to come! By the way: check out Marco’s latest album out now on his own imprint MB Elektronics : High Volume, the way it should be played !!
The music you write has evolved over the years and includes elements of techno from the past intertwined with lush melodies, complex percussive elements and big dancefloor weaponry. What do you think makes an amazing track? What do you aim for when you write music? How do you harness this energy and translate it into your music?
As for me there is only one thing that counts : i want to have people having a good time on tracks i play and tracks i produce. So for me the thing that makes a great track has the exact ingredients to do stuff like this ! I always try to imagine if i would be on the “other side” of the dj booth standing there and wanting to hear music which gives me a really good feeling!
Your move from strictly live sets to DJ sets must have opened up a whole new world of options and possibilities for your performances. Have you enjoyed this side of performing as much as your previous live only sets? How has this changed your outlook on music and your gigs?
Since i was doing live sets for almost 8 years i thought it was time for a change. So i started to do dj sets more & more which eventually led to doing only this. Since technology has changed and become really close to the live sets which could be done in the past it is really easy to have this “live feeling” inside a dj set. Doing dj sets i can finally play also really nice stuff out there from fellow artists & friends so this makes it even broader then before!
We understand you produce your music with Ableton in conjunction with other hardware and software whilst you play gigs with Traktor. What are your favourite pieces of equipment/software? How do you use the tools you have available to give you the best results in the studio or whilst playing gigs?
My favourite equipment would be my laptop at the moment … I guess everything is in there and i can make music wherever i am! If i would have done this in the past it means i had to travel with about 5-6 flight cases … Impossible i think ! For my gigs my X1 in combination with timecode cd’s is for me the perfect match : “old school” with new technology !!
You enjoy listening to downtempo and ambient music from artists like Boards of Canada. We can hear in your music that you include some of the intricacies and sound design that artists like these use. Do you think this level of detail is important in making your music stand out? Are there any other types of music that you enjoy?
For me, during my production work, i really need to have the time to start working on sound design and make something really unique yet powerful to use in my tracks. It takes me probably more time to do this sound design and less time to actually do the arrangements. I love all kinds of music but it really depends on the mood i’m in : sometimes downtempo sometimes uptempo, sometimes ambient sometimes driving techno!
With your label, constant new releases and regular touring you must hardly have time to take a break. Do you have any significant goals for the next 12 months? What is on the cards for you for the next few months in terms of gigs and releases?
A “break” has been a while for me! My next goal will be probably start an album but it all depends on the time i get to do some decent production work on this. In term of gigs i would say have a look at my dates on my Facebook fan page or on my Gigatools account : you will see that i’m a bit “everywhere” !
Thank you for both answering the questions above and for the amazing music you’ve released and played for over a decade.
The pleasure is/was all mine !!