T.H.E Interview – Tom Tainted
In this interview, we get to know Tom Tainted, an artist whose musical journey began in the late ’90s.
With a unique blend of Progressive House, Breaks, and Melodic Techno, Tom’s sound has captured the attention of music enthusiasts worldwide. Join us as we explore his musical roots, influences, and his path in the Electronic music scene so far.
T.H.E – Hello Tom! How are you?
Tom Tained – Very good, thank you!
T.H.E – To kick things off, could you share a bit about your musical journey and what first inspired you to become a DJ and producer?
Tom Tainted – I think I was 14 or so, hanging out with friends and someone brought a mixtape with happy Hardcore, Breakbeat and early Jungle sort of stuff, and that really blew my mind… I had never heard that kind of music before and was really caught by the energy. I started buying the records and hanging out in record stores opened the whole world of Electronic music to me… needless to say I was broke all the time.
T.H.E – Your early DJing career started in the late ’90s. Can you take us back to your first club gig at 17? What was that experience like, and how did it shape your path in the music industry?
Tom Tainted – A DJ friend of mine helped in a company that was doing PA rentals and they had installed a new sound system in that club. They played House on Thursdays, and he noticed they only had the light guy playing a few mix CDs from 10 to 12 before the main DJ started, so he asked if we could play the warmup and they said yes.
It was impressive to hear the records that I knew from my bedroom setup on that massive sound system. It sounded quite different. I played parties and events before, but that club system still was something else, and it was really great to get behind the scenes of a night club and see all the people that are involved in it. Playing there opened a few doors for me and soon I had my own residency in a small club in Heidelberg playing mainly House music back then.
T.H.E – You’ve mentioned that your sound is a unique blend of Progressive House, Breaks, and Melodic Techno. Could you delve deeper into what draws you to these genres and the influences that inspire your signature style?
Tom Tainted – I like to listen to a lot of different Electronic genres, I like almost everything that has a nice groove or a decent melody whether it’s House, Trance or Drum n Bass, whatever… and I’ve always been a fan of the Progressive sound probably because it takes inspiration from other genres. You know you got House elements in there, Trance, everything. Sometimes harder and sometime more relaxed, but always danceable and emotional and that’s what I like about it.
T.H.E – Your music has been aired on notable radio stations, what does it mean to you to have your music reach such a wide audience, and how has it impacted your career?
Tom Tainted – It still feels kind of strange when I hear someone else play my music, but of course it’s really great. I think when you release a song it’s not your own anymore, it belongs to everybody and everybody can have their own interpretation of it or make their own memories with it which I think is great.
And from a career perspective it’s a great milestone, it gives you some credibility and can open some doors for you.
T.H.E – You’ve received support from respected international DJs like Paul van Dyk and Pretty Pink. Can you share memorable moments or interactions you’ve had with influential figures in the industry?
Tom Tainted – I have been a fan of PvD since the late 90s, I have a friend living in Berlin and we would regularly visit him and go to the Vandit nights there… so hearing one of my tracks on VONYC sessions was quite a personal win for me. I actually met Paul a year ago or so, at a festival and we had a quick chat and he’s a really nice guy.
With Pretty Pink that was actually the first time I heard someone else play one of my tracks in a club, when she was playing one of my tracks on her label Deep Woods at the Hafen49 outdoor club in Mannheim.
I’m also really happy to get some support from Susana (Armin van Buuren-“Shivers”), she has been really helpful and giving me some great advice.
T.H.E – As the host of the “Red Trail Radio Show”, can you tell us about the concept and journey of your radio show? What do you hope to achieve with it?
Tom Tainted – I started with putting up mixes on YouTube but then had a chance to do a monthly show on Data Transmission Radio. The motto of the show is “Melodic and Progressive vibes from around the world”, so there’s anything from Deep House, Progressive Breaks to Melodic Techno in there. I usually start a bit deeper and then it gets a bit more peak time later, and there’s always a classic included as well. It is usually a good mix of well- known artists and upcoming talent from small labels. There are so many small artists out there making great music and I also see the show as a way to support each other and hopefully grow together.
T.H.E – In the world of Electronic music, production techniques and technology are constantly evolving, how do you stay current with the latest trends and maintain your creative edge in music production?
Tom Tainted – I’m in a few Producer groups on Facebook, which is a great way to interact with fellow Producers and follow the latest news and trends, and I also watch some YouTube videos on stuff like this whenever I have the time.
T.H.E – What’s your creative process like when you’re working on a new track or project? Do you have any rituals or routines that help you get into the right mindset?
Tom Tainted – The only ritual I have is to put away my phone so I don’t get distracted. My creative process is not always the same. If I already have an idea, then I might start with a melody, some chords or a bassline, but if I only know I want to make a Progressive House track, then I might start with the drums and then adding a bassline, and once you get a groove going, ideally everything sort of comes together, and then later it’s just arrangement and mixing.
T.H.E – Looking ahead, what can your fans and the music world expect from Tom Tainted in the coming months or years? Any exciting projects or collaborations on the horizon that you can share with us?
Tom Tainted – I’m definitely looking forward to my next release “Beauty Of The Glen” on Blanco Y Negro, because it’s a little different from my other tracks and I’m excited to see how that goes. Recently, I have been working on some remixes, so now I’m also looking forward to working more on my own tracks again and there’s also a plan for a collab with a singer, so stay tuned.
And, of course, we got some great tracks coming up on my label Red Trail Music by great upcoming talents, including a new track from Julia Eliza.
We thank Tom for this time talking with us, and sharing a deeper look into his journey, experiences and milestones so far, as he continues his journey releasing unmissable music as this is just the beginning. Stay tuned and follow him across social media to remain updated on his latest releases and projects.