Helen S, London - United Kingdom - on 31/5/12
Brummie house music badman Tom Flynn has been bubbling under distinctly for the past two to three years, crafting a series of signature house cuts that are heavily bass driven. His release roll call reads like a who’s who of the modern record label, with Dirtybird, Anabatic, SIZE and BreakNewSoil among the imprints clamouring for his beats. He’s not half bad at the old djing malarkey too, and with it recently announced he would be undertaking a monthly residency in the newly opened Gibb St Warehouse in his hometown of Birmingham (beginning on June 1st alongside Laurent Garnier’s L.B.S project and Surgeon), we thought it would be a great opportunity to catch up with everything ruminating in his world.
Pulse Radio: Hi Tom, for those people out there who don’t know what you and your sound is about, try and describe what you bring to the table as a DJ and producer. Tom Flynn: In terms of a producer I guess I’m quite unique because I never write 2 records that are the same. I'm not someone who can just keep making the same type of track over and over; I need to keep pushing other ideas to see what happens. I write about things that influence me, people, life or other music, I just write whatever mood I’m in when I’m in the studio.
As for being a DJ, I play what I want to hear. I like to try and craft out a journey in my sets, I’m not one of these dj's that just play hit after hit, you can't work a room that way. I like to dig some old stuff out in my sets, new stuff, most of my sets I’ll try and bring in a few different types of music, such as the San Francisco vibe, deeper stuff, Techno, House etc.
How excited are you to be part of a new venture like Gibb St Warehouse as well, in your local area? What are your feelings on the electronic music scene in the Midlands as a whole? Yeah it's special to be a part of it; I’ve heard a lot of good things already about the place. To play your home city I think is always special because you have such memories and knowledge of the area, the history and the music that worked well here, so it definitely means a lot to me.
The scene as a whole is good, there are some good parties that go on, but it should be a lot bigger. For the size of the city, it always disappoints me when there are only a few top nights. Musically the city is very diverse but very talented. There are some really good producers in all forms of music from here who still live here now.
You’re playing alongside Laurent Garnier. Is he someone you’ve looked up to in the past? I've been a massive Laurent Garnier fan since I first got into House & Techno. Not only was it his productions and movie work that inspired me, but his DJ sets were a real journey, only a handful of people can do what he does in my opinion, he takes you right through the spectrum of music, but vitally, through the good stuff!
You’ve also received the patronage from a certain Mr. Tong. How important is it to get the support of someone with such a huge influence over dance music? And what has been your working relationship with Pete been like? He's still got the power! Seriously though, it's an honour to have him play and support your music, I used to sit at home when I was in school recording his show, hunting out records he played, so then to get support from him is obviously really humbling. Ha my working relationship with him is pretty crazy, we work on music together along with Paul Rogers (super producer!), we just go in the studio, have fun and push some buttons and make the records happen. What happens in the studio stays in the studio!
You've been working quite closely with Yousef on his label, playing for him at Circus and now sharing the same radio station (DI). What is your relationship with him like? And tell us more about your show. It's a great relationship, built on a lot of honesty about music & life! We send each other stuff and just flat out tell it how it is, if I send him something and he doesn't like it, he'll say, and vice versa - which I love.
Aside from the music he's just a superb friend. Always there with advice, help, you name it. I actually have just finished my second EP for his label, four tracks, all a bit different, that drops in July/August time. As for my radio show, its early days and planning is still in place, but essentially its one hour of good music. That simple!
Do you ever draw musical inspiration from outside of club based electronic music? If so who would you describe as the musicians that have had the strongest influence on what you do? Yes all the time, I listen to music nearly all day. It's an obsession. Outside of house when I’m in my car or travelling I listen to a lot of Latin jazz, South American music, people such as Luca Mundaca, hip hop, classical, disco, just whatever I can get my hands on really. Inspiration comes from everything I listen to, it's hard to pin one or two people, i just enjoy it, take it in and move on.
Who would be present for your dream studio collaboration? Pharrell, Reboot & Rick Rubin.
What else lies in the immediate future for you? Release wise I’ve got some stuff to come out on a few different labels, Hypercolour, Dirtybird, the EP for Yousef on Circus Recordings and Anabatic. There’s also a couple of remixes I need to be fairly tight-lipped about at the moment too. And more and more dancefloors.
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