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A Sit Down With DJ Tom Hades

13:48 Oct/23/2017

Tom Hades started to discover and experiment with electronic music when listening to DAF, Kraftwerk, Front 242, ... At the age of 15, he bought his first keyboard, the famous Casio CZ-101 and transformed his game-computer, Amiga 500, into his first DAW. Quickly he got experienced with MIDI-integration and sampling functions, which gave him even more urge for buying/selling new material as addition to his current setup.

Never one to shy away from globetrotting, Tom Hades DJ-ing and live shows have taken him around the world a multitude of times. From Fabric in London to Fabrik in Madrid, and from Awakenings to I Love Techno, his work ethic demonstrates a literal tour de force. Tom Hades started to discover and experiment with electronic music when listening to the likes of DAF, Kraftwerk and Front 242 in his formative years.

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What was it that you liked about it, that made you want to be a DJ and a producer?

I started to listen to new wave and other electronic music when going out in local parties from my neighborhood where I grew up. I really liked the sequential, almost hypnotic way of building tracks with electronic soundscapes and sound design. That’s the reason I really became interested in this world because I wanted also to be able to make some hypnotic stuff and have people react on them.

Tom Hades is your alter ego, how did you get to this artist name?

That's actually a very special story. I used to be together with Steve Redhead in class, in that time we already made some music. Steve knew Marco Bailey and asked me if I did not even want to make some music with Marco . Marco then came to my home one day and that was jamming together, which really went very smoothly. In a few hours we stopped some tracks. Marco drew the night to Gent to Music Man to present our tracks. And suddenly I got phone ... Marco.

If you had to choose between DJing, playing live, producing and managing a label, which part of the job do you enjoy most?

I guess it would be in the following order: producing, playing live, DJing and then managing the label. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like to do, for example, the last one, but my heart will always be in my studio. My passion started there so it is hard to change that.

How did you evolve like dj from earlier to now?

In my early years I always turned a dj-set to events. But I'm someone who is naturally bored quickly. I found DJ sets after a time really boring . That's why I made the switch to livesets after a while . I have done that for 8-9 years. I always liked making something with that hardware on the spot. That's how many productions are created, then you have something authentic.

"Just do your thing because everybody is always negative about new things because it’s possible competition for them".

What’s your greatest challenge been in your career trajectory?

To be successful or to have some kind of success there are a couple of factors that are really important. Of course, you need to know what you’re doing, that’s one. Second, you need to have the right people around you, in terms of contacts but also in terms of people who support you. And of course, the third and probably the biggest factor is the luck. So, has it been smooth? It has been smooth but it also has been very difficult at the same time. So, it’s never never think that you’re there. Stay with your two feet on the ground, no problem.

What inspired you to produce EP Subbed?

I’ve been a lot in the studio using newly bought equipment to get back to my roots and get the same feel as I did when I started in the music business. The inspiration came pretty quickly just by doing a one-take recording based on all kinds of internal and external instruments. Just fiddling with knobs gives everything such a more human feel.

How do you see the world’s techno scene at the moment? What do you think can be done it order to make it better?

I think we should focus more on the music and less on the whole thing around it like social media, profiling, likes, votes, charts. Back in the days, when there was only a vinyl store, you could only go there and listen to the music and judge for yourself what you liked and what not. And then you still needed to filter out probably due to the higher cost. But that brought so big quality of music that gets lost now in the huge pool of music. Let’s get back to what music is all about : listen and enjoy.

You have traveled all over the world with your baggage bag. Who do you like the best audience to play?

That's very simple, Japan remains for me . The first time I went there was in the Liquid Room . You can compare that to the AB in Brussels, with the difference that the club is in an apartment building, on the 14th floor where people living above, below and next to the club live. This is not possible here. That audience is incredible . They all go together together, all of them. They stay from the first minute to the last minute. Plus they are completely out of their roof while they are still disciplined. When you look at the audience while you are in a row, they are in line for dancing.

What have been the biggest challenges and the highlights for the label over the years?

The biggest challenges are that I always wanted to show the outside world that a lot of new talents can bring big things. So I had a lot of artists on my label, which have now become established professionals so I’m very proud of that. I guess the biggest highlight for me is my current release since again, I never thought I would still be doing this, or having a label with such a catalogue.

Looking back on your career – what do you think was the highlight? And what makes you really proud?

I’m proud on everything I did! I’ve played on big festivals and clubs but also on very small intimate venues where I got so connected to the people that the set I do only gets better. Getting energy means giving more energy. But above all that, I’m so happy that I got the chance to live my dream and meet so many people and cultures all over the world. Music unites and still does nowadays. And that is what the world needs.

Is there any advice you’d give to up and coming DJs, or producers?

Find your own way. Find your own sound, find your own way and don’t follow too much hype, or what charts say, or whatever. Just do what you think is best. I have a really cool thing that I saw sometime ago, and it’s a nice sentence about this: In the beginning they will always laugh at whatever you do, but then they will start to copy. Actually, this is it.


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