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  Offworld Music
Record label catering to innovative music, artists and producers - from drum&bass to hip hop and electronic.

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Interview with Thomas Michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Thomas Michael
Marital Status: Single
Born: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Years spinning: 10
Music types:

I create my own style by mixing many types of music. Anything Epic, German Trance, Hard House and House, Basically whatever sounds and feels good.

Everything from Tribal to epic & deep to your soul, Thomas Michael is “the DJ for the people” quotes Mixer Magazine. Not wasting any time, he explodes into his sets creating his unique style of energy and anthems with an effect nothing short of seismic.

He has worked with the top 20 DJ’s in the world and played at all of the major events and clubs. Often he has left the crowd guessing ‘who is rocking the turntables’ and totally mesmerized. He is one of the top DJ’s of the west coast commanding up to 4 gigs in one night. He is not all hype and to prove it he is the only DJ that will guarantee a crowd rocking set with no questions asked.

After moving to Los Angeles over 8 years ago, Thomas Michael now has over 2,000 gigs under his belt and has played everywhere from Naked LA to Melbourne Australia. He continues to push the envelope with his style and creativity. When playing at huge raves like Monster Massive or Narnia, you can bet that when Thomas Michael is spinning there isn’t space to breathe on the dance floor.

 

 

Ok Thomas, tell me about your influences, who was it that got you hooked on this genre of music?
I would have to say my influences are Yano, Paul Van Dyke, Sasha & Digweed, Paul Oakenfold of course. & Tiesto too. But my first real “influence” would have been Derek Carter in Chicago in 1987.

So how did you get started?
Well I moved to San Diego and I started to throw parties- that is how I got introduced to the industry side of the business. Then things just started happening from there.

What was the 1st record you ever bought?
It was Bob Marley Greatest Hits. I used to be really into reggae music.

Where was your 1st gig, when you actually played for a audience?
My first party was an illegal rave in Golden Gate Park San Francisco- it was thrown by Dave Coleman, Christopher Lawrence and myself. It was called Spiral Jive ….that was in 1994.


So where can your fans find you these days?
Well that is what is great about being a DJ. One week you can be in Denver the next in Vegas- basically where ever I am booked is where you can find me (laughing) but I prefer to play in So Cal and Vegas-

Do you currently have any residencies or places that you can be found on a regular basis?
Go-Ventures LA, TeknoKlub LA, Baby’s@ the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Naked LA, Tantra-Sutra for Polka-Dot Productions San Diego, Rubber Orange County & Fresh Fridays@ Liquid Lounge Orange County.

Do you have any albums out right now?
Yes I have at least 10 albums but only 2 of them were promoted. Phat Phunk Records did “Live in Melbourne” and “West Coast Vibes”.


As for new projects, are you in the studio now? Do we have anything to look forward to in the near future, maybe some collaboration with someone else?
I’m always in the studio, but at this time I am not working with anyone. As for making original tracks I mean it isn’t really what I want to do. Remixing is what I like to do and what I am good at; making new tracks just isn’t my uhmmm… Forte I guess.

What do you think about all this mainstream techno on the radio these days? Do you think it is good for the scene or do you think it’s selling out and becoming the norm?
I relate it to the death of disco, overplaying killed the disco era. This isn’t as bad as that scene was, I mean I don’t feel that it is really being played out or anything, I think for the most part techno music is still underground, but hey if people are making money off it- right on. I mean it affects us in both ways. It can be both good and bad, but like I said if it brings in more money and more people, then that’s good.

What type of music do you listen to when you are not spinning?
Down-Tempo, Ambient, Trip-Hop. I’ve been listening to the slow mellow stuff these days. I finally got a CD player in my car (laughs).

Have you ever worked on a Movie Soundtrack?
Yes…… I worked on the movie “Rave”. I loved the opportunity but I don’t think I had enough creative control over what was happening. I would definitely do it again, but only if I was allowed to have more control. I mean as an artist, your most valuable asset is your creativeness so if you don’t have control over it, it doesn’t work…. It just wasn’t as good as it could have been had I been able to use my ideas and knowledge, but it was a great learning experience.

What are your thoughts on the scene right now locally?
I think that there is a lot of unnecessary shit going on. I mean the DJ’s are WAY overpaid, club goers are way over charged. I think it needs to go back underground. Smaller parties with better vibes, I think it should be more about listening to good music rather than making the whole thing into a three-ring circus act….

Ok now favorite moments: any that come to mind? Was there any particular time you played and it was just off the hook?
There was this one gig- back in 1997 in front of the Federal Building In Los Angeles. It was this free benefit show, Called “Right to Dance”. I spun @ 7pm for 3,000 people. There were people spilling from the lawn into the streets dancing, holding signs and stopping traffic …that was when I realized that I was doing something special and I knew this was my calling.


In the many places you have performed, which one is your most favorite? I have played at over 2,000 parties and there are too many to name just one because there have been so many great experiences! A lot of parties have something unique about them which makes them special in different ways, like the vibes, and the locations the sound system the lasers the people, it’s too hard to pick one.

How has your creativity changed over the last 10 years? Do you tend to stay with your own styles/ideas or do you allow the mainstream to influence you and your work?
Well as a DJ or any other type of artist you evolve constantly, I mean I am always listening for something that grabs my attention, I am influenced by lots of DJ’s and it isn’t a ‘type’ of music that I’m looking for it’s the ‘sound’. A lot of things influence me.

What is your current Goal as a DJ?
Well right now I don’t really have one, I am happy where I am, I like where I am.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
(Laughing) I have no idea, wherever it takes me, I know that I will still be doing something with music; music is a big part of my life. Can’t imagine life without it.

What would you be doing right now if you never bought that 1st record and became DJ Thomas Michael?
I would probably still be painting because I went to art school; I’ve always been really creative like that. I always bring a video camera with me and record all the shows I play at, so I just enrolled in some film editing classes, so I can do my own video editing. That is my newest interest. I don’t know; I’m pretty sure I would still be doing something with music.


OK Thomas, last and silliest question of all…. What is, in your opinion, the dopest thing about being a DJ?
Well it really is the big picture, I mean it isn’t fun 100% of the time, there is so much that can go wrong and ruin the whole night, BUT- when it goes good and the crowds going off, it is just great, there is no other way to put it, it’s a great feeling, meeting people, having fun. Yeah just having fun- that’s the best thing about being a DJ.

 

 

 

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