Toronto is gearing up for Canadian Music Week and the countdown is on.
Artistree caught up with DJ Tom Wrecks, and the conversation was all over the map: skateboarding in a parallel universe, his dad’s closet Rhianna obsession, and spinning the soundtrack for the end of the world. Read on…
Artistree: What does it mean to you to be part of Canadian Music Week?
Tom Wrecks: It’s something I need to keep growing. There’s so much talent in Toronto and Canada. I wish there were more outlets like this; it’s a great platform for people to come together and share their art, their skills and music.
Artistree: What’s your signature style as a DJ?
Tom Wrecks: Man, that’s a tough question and it should be an easy one. [Laughs] Anything that’s good?… I don’t really like to pigeonhole myself or give a genre. I like to remix songs, put a spin on them that complements the original; make it different without changing the vibe too much. I grew up playing hip-hop but I’ve turned to house/electro music. Really, I like to play anything that will get people going.
Artistree: Are you still a part of the Stylusts?
Tom Wrecks: Yeah, we’re still a group. DJ Drastik does Red Bull competitions and I’m involved a bit, but I can’t deal with the preparation and the DJ battle butterflies. It’s a bit like a figure skating competition – you prepare for a whole year, but if you fall on your ass it’s like that whole year is wasted. I do like it though; the battle scene made me fall in love with a lot of musical genres.
Artistree: Who are your top choice influences?
Tom Wrecks: J Dilla, Daft Punk, Pharcyde, and A Tribe Called Quest would definitely be my top choices.
Artistree: You got a big shout-out from Kanye West for your take on Love Lockdown. Who is your dream collaboration?
Tom Wrecks: It’s hard to answer this question without sounding cliché. …I think it would be cool to do something with Kanye, since he’s already acknowledged that he likes my work.
Artistree: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tom Wrecks: I have no idea. I try to make long-range plans, but mostly I just live in the now.
Artistree: Are your parents supportive of your career path?
Tom Wrecks: I’m very supported. My mom listens to Usher, John Legend, and Alicia Keys. My dad is a closet Rhianna fan. When I’ve done shows in Ottawa, my parents are in the crowd drinking beer with degenerate 20-year olds. Mom said she heard me DJing ignorant rap music in my room when I was younger and eventually she started liking it. She’s more up on top-forty-pop than I am.
Artistree: Do you have a day job or are you a full-time DJ?
Tom Wrecks: I DJ full-time, but I do video and film production/editing on the side. I went to school at Ryerson for radio and television production. It’s a hobby that I want to focus more on.
Artistree: So in a parallel universe, if you weren’t a DJ, you’d be…
Tom Wrecks: I’d probably be a professional skateboarder. I used to board before I realized DJing was a lot safer. Some of the friends I used to skate with went to California and got sponsored, so maybe I’d do that. I could never do the nine to five cubicle thing. I tried for a while ‘cause it’s easier to have a stable life, but I like to be fired up by passion. December 2012 is coming, and if the world doesn’t end what did you lose by living life to the fullest?
Artistree: So you’d spin the soundtrack to the end of the world?
Tom Wrecks: Yeah, definitely. If the world was ending, I’d definitely be DJing.
Listen to his newest remix here.