In Greek mythology, Hades is the god of the underworld. Thankfully Tom Hades lives above ground but his music brings a depth of underground darkness to it. The Belgian born DJ and producer has been making music since his teenage years when he bought his first Casio! Now with slew of releases and remixes on his own and other notable labels, Tom sign is rising. Here's our Q&A with him!
CGNY: What’s your earliest recollection of hearing any piece of music and where did you hear it?
TH: My first encounter with electronic music must have been through my period of new wave. I guess groups like DAF & Neon Judgement kind of gave shape to who I became. Later on I went to some underground clubs where I heard for the very first time some acid techno.
CGNY: It sounds like you got into tinkering with sound as opposed to purely djing at an early age – so basically production came first. Was it a big transition then to go from making tunes to playing them out in a club environment?
TH: Actually it was not that difficult since I was really familiar to "building" a track and getting the uplifting part in it. That is what I do until now in my sets as well. But I started in the beginning with doing live sets which was an easy way to find my production skills on stage … :)
CGNY: We’ve featured Marco Bailey on the site last year- a great guy! What does it mean to get to work at an early age with someone that you respect and who encourages a young producer in his work?
TH: I met Marco thru a friend/dj/artist, Redhead, who introduced me to him. A bit later we made a "test run" in the studio which eventually led to a complete first EP in about 2-3 days time. It just worked perfectly and it still does. It is nice to have somebody like Marco who is constantly trying to push other people in the direction where he has been or still is … It is necessary, certainly in the beginning, to have a "big guy" behind you in way of contacts & experience! :)
CGNY: What do you look for in a track or artist that you want to release or work with for your label Rhythm Converted?
TH: As for my own label I just have one simple motto: "if it moves the dance floor you are pretty sure that it will hit the label!” So for me, I’m always in the search of something that would give a good feeling to the people, whatever style or direction it may be.
CGNY: I’ve seen some of your sets on youtube – great energy! When you’re getting ready to play and it’s super late in the party how do you maintain an energy level to build on the previous dj’s set? Make last minute changes to your track selection based on the vibe of a party?
TH: Last minute changes can be done are frequently done when I notice that the previous dj is going in a direction that is either not responding to the crowd, either too responding to the crowd which leaves not a lot of space for more. But as with my production work it is all about creativity! :)
CGNY: What or who would say most influences your sound or frames your productions when you go to work in the studio?
TH: I don't have a specific influence from an artist or a label or a style. But I’m always influenced by the weekend before because during a set you can get so many ideas in your head that it is almost impossible to get to sleep afterwards. The only problem is that, when coming from a gig or a club, your ears are pretty much "well-done". So the only thing you can do after this is make a basic structure but mixing is for a later stage! :)
CGNY: You’ve a pretty hectic touring schedule already this year! Where have been some of your favorite places to play both here and abroad?
TH: I've been a bit everywhere like touring India, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, … and off course a lot of gigs in Europe. My favorite place is still Japan. The people are so full of energy. It is really hard to explain but I guess every single artist who visited there and it doesn't matter how long you are doing this really will confirm this.
CGNY: Any artists that you would love to work alongside or dj with that you haven’t done already?
TH: I would love to collaborate with people like Gary Beck or Len Faki because they always deliver the goods a dj needs for his sets. Wherever you are or whatever you play, their productions will always work! As for dj-ing, it is hard to think about someone but if I have to give a name it would be Sven Vath … He is still a big performer for me and has been one of the first djs I went to see in Belgium in a club called Cherry Moon! Unbelievable! :)
CGNY: An alien lands from another planet and has no clue what techno is! What track/album do you hand over as a learning tool?
TH: I would say give him something from the early years from Jeff Mills. This is still for me the energetic sound of techno, using in a very detailed way sounds & percussion. Basic yet very effective! That is what techno is about!
for all information and links to mixes, gigs and tracks go to www.tomhades.com