Behind The Beat: Tommy Trash

In 2015, I had the opportunity to interview some of best DJs and producers at Soundcheck DC. My last interview of the year with Tommy Trash was by far the most entertaining, starting with him singing 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” to dancing to “Hotline Bling,” and then turning the tables and interviewing me.

OTB: In 2012 you were nominated for a Grammy for Best Remixed Recording for the remix of Deadmau5 “The Veldt.” Can you walk us through the feeling? Did you ever expect this to be so popular?

Deadmau5 feat. Chris James – The Veldt (Tommy Trash Remix)

Tommy Trash: There wasn’t much of a process. I woke up one morning and did my routine of getting coffee and checking Twitter. I saw a tweet from Fool’s Gold Records saying, “Congratulations to Tommy Trash on his Grammy nomination.” Then I actually had to Google it because I thought they were pulling my chain. It was a complete surprise.

OTB: Can you give our readers the background of why you choose the name Tommy Trash? Where does it come from?

Tommy Trash: It is a very boring and simple explanation. I used to make Trance music with Andy Whitehouse when I was living in Brisbane at the university in a group called ‘Trashthetic’. Then we both started making stuff on our own and all of a sudden one of my records got signed to Ministry of Sound Australia and they asked me “what’s your DJ name,” and I didn’t have one so I went with Tommy Trash. It was literally a five second decision.

OTB: What is your favorite track from this year? One that you produced and one that you didn’t.

Tommy Trash: ‘Luv U Giv’ would be the one that I produced, which I am on tour for now. I feel that this song is 100% me and what I want to be doing right now and where I am going in the future. One that I didn’t produce is harder. You’re going to hate me, but ‘Hotline Bling’. “You used to call me on my cell phone …”

Tommy Trash – Luv U Giv

OTB: There are a lot of young DJs and aspiring producers that are hoping to be nominated for a Grammy someday and to be successful in the industry like you. What advice would you give them?

Tommy Trash: Never aspire to be nominated for a Grammy cause the system is political. Make the music you love and work harder and keep working harder because there is probably someone out there with more talent working harder than you. I am a big believer that quality wins in the end and you can have all of the gimmicks in the world and social media controversies and you might last a year. If you want to be a true artist, focus on the quality of the music.

OTB: You are pretty busy touring. Where do you like to work the most: the studio, nightclub or festival?

Tommy Trash: I like them all. When you’re playing a festival with 30,000 people going wild that is hard to beat, but when you’re in the studio and you get that feeling like “I just made this song,” that is great also. Of course sweat and dirty nightclubs is where I came from and I love them too. It is like who do I love more my mom or my dad. I am excited to get back into the studio because it has been a while since I’ve had some time in the studio.

OTB: Stepping away from the music scene, what do you like to do out of DJing and producing? What are some of your hobbies?

Tommy Trash: I love table tennis. When I am not playing table tennis, I am watching Game of Thrones reruns on HBO Now. I love to do anything except hopping on a plane. I just moved to Silver Lake and there is a lot of hiking and I am starting to get into that even though I am not normally an outdoors person. I want to get a French Bulldog and name him “George Michael”.

OTB: What are your plans going into 2016?

Tommy Trash: I am doing shows at Decadence in Denver and in Arizona for NYE. 2016 for me will be all about new music. I’m taking the beginning of the year off from touring so I can work on finishing up my new music. I’m really looking forward to locking myself in the studio for a couple of months!!!

OTB: Just for record, Santa brought me a ‘Just Trash It’ sweatshirt for Christmas.

Trash drew a large crowd that was energetic throughout his set that featured many new tracks and a helping of throwbacks. And much like the rest of Soundcheck’s Thursday night lineup he did not disappoint.

Josh Habursky

Josh Habursky

I live in Washington, DC and cover the electronic dance music and club scene in the District.
Josh Habursky
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