We spoke about how the record label evolved, what we can expect from a Toolroom party, what we can expect to hear from his own productions upcoming, what his most key item is when traveling plus more…
Let’s start by talking about the Toolroom records takeover at Egg London, what can we expect from the event?
I get asked this question a lot ahead of shows and my answer is always the same: come down and find out for yourself! Seriously though, Toolroom has been going for approaching 15 years now, so I think that anyone who’s a fan should know what expect from our London parties.
I guess if you’re new to the label, or have never been all I can say is that vibe is really quite unique we really are a family here at Toolroom and I think that resonates in all we do and none more so than at our events.
All the staff and DJ’s are usually there from the minute the doors open, it’s as much as a night out for us as for anyone who has bought a ticket. Everyone is super down to earth and approachable and this creates an incredible atmosphere. Imagine a kitchen party with 2000 of your mates!
Any of the other DJs you are looking forward to catching?
The whole gang! As I mentioned earlier the two London shows we do a year are a real social affair as much as a musical journey… It starts at dinner and I usually finishing playing the club at 11am. We take a long time making sure we musically program the night in the right way so it lasts for 12 hours and everyone plays their part in the night the right way.
What can we expect to hear from your own productions in the next coming months?
I’ve been working pretty flat out in the studio recently to put the finishing touches on a project that’s been a good few years in the making. It’s a project that’s hopefully going to take people by surprise, so I’m really looking forward to finally getting that out in the public domain this year.
Aside from that, I’ll be focusing on productions for different labels other than Toolroom. I really want to push myself creatively this year, and I think there’s a danger of settling too easily into a groove if you’re always doing the same thing. It’s all about keeping myself on my toes.
When you signed your first ever record, did you ever think you’d be where you are today?
Once I realized you could actually make a career from DJing, I definitely went full throttle to make it a success. So by the time, it came to producing, I had already been DJing for years and was totally committed to the idea of being a musician. It was an incredible feeling getting that first record out there of course, and it’s been quite a journey since then.
I couldn’t have predicted all the things that have happened along the way, but it’s definitely a direction I went for in a big way. I think that to be successful you need to put the hours in, and I’ve definitely done that.
How did you come up with the name and idea of ‘Toolroom’?
The reason the label is called Toolroom Is because it started in a shed outside my parent’s house. When I took the plunge and gave up work to pursue a full-time career in music I sold everything I had! My house, my car, everything that had any value and moved back in with my parents.
I invested every penny of it back into building a studio and the initial set up and funding of the label. It seemed only right that we named it after the place of its origin. It may seem quite a strange name for a label but it has a soul and a story.
How would you describe the sound of your label compared to other labels?
Consistency has been key to our success: we’ve never chased and have always stuck to our guns musically. Any great label through history from Motown through to Chess or Staxx you name it all the greats own a sound.
And that what we have tried to do what’s always very flattering is when producers send you a record and say it sounds very “Toolroom “ I think that the ultimate compliment as a label owner.
It’s pretty hard to describe our sound in a sentence
Toolroom Radio is now reaching over 13.5 million listeners… Is this anything you ever thought about when you first started out as a DJ?
No way, nothing like Toolroom Radio even existed when I started DJing! We’ve always tried to champion quality underground music that we love ourselves, and that will never change. I think people appreciate the passion that goes into the radio show, which is hopefully why it’s been so well received.
When on the road, what do you always carry with yourself?
It’s not the most inspired answer but my laptop. My whole life is on there! I spend as much time making music on my laptop on the road as I do in the studio. I have never been one for sitting watching movies on planes. I like to get the most out of every potential opportunity, so if I have seven hours on a flight to New York I can get a lot of music done.
It’s also my mobile office so no matter where in the world I am I can still be in Toolroom HQ every day. For example, it’s 11pm here in Bali where I am right now I am doing this interview whilst constantly in communication with the office discussing everything from a top line on my new track to the release schedule right through to out plans for Ibiza this summer…
In fact, I better hurry and finish this interview, I have a gig in an hours time…The fun never ends!February 9, 2017