Junkie XL - Interview

05 June 2003

Junkie XL
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Contactmusic.com Spoke to Junkie Xl aka Tom Holkenborg

How did your name Junkie XL come about?

Actually my mates used to call me junkie because I spent so much time in the studio they thought I was a total work junkie, the XL stands for Expanding Limits. I’m always trying to expand the boundaries of dance music and pop music in general.

What made you start writing music?

I actually come from a very musical based family where it the norm to play 2 or 3 instruments at the same time. Since I can remember lots of different kinds of music had been played in the house. My father used to play the Stones and The Beatles and things like that and my mother played more classical music so there was a lot of diversity. I actually started playing when I was about 4 years old.

For someone who hasn’t heard your music how would you describe it to them?

The best description would be on one hand I’m very interested in trying to find a happy medium between electronic music and traditional music yet at the same time trying to find a balance between dance music and pop music in a cool way.

Junkie XL @ www.contactmusic.com
Junkie XL  @ www.contactmusic.com

What would you like people to say about your music?

I would like for people to acknowledge what I’m trying to achieve a cool balance between dance music and pop music at the same time in a natural way. And with the new single for instance featuring Solomon Burke I tried to create a nice electronic groove and at the same time have a guy of 69 years old sing on top of that as if its one of the most normal things in the world even though it really wasn’t normal. Because he comes from a soul rhythm and blues background he wasn’t used to working the way I do in a studio. So it’s great to hear the end result sounding so natural but the whole process was just so extraordinary.

What Other artists/albums are you listening to at the moment?

Myself, I’m listening to the new Interpol record they are a good band from New York. I’m terrible about buying music I ask for a lot of music because I’m in the industry I usually get given it. I asked for the new Marilyn Manson record I’m very curious to hear that one I feel quite connected to Marilyn Manson and Fatboy slim because we are all about the same age with similar backgrounds so it is interesting to see what people come up with. We all started playing in bands back in 1978 and went through to the 80’s and saw hip hop starting and dance starting it was a very interesting time period for people playing in bands.

What do you think of the UK music scene?

There’re a couple of things to say about that I mean in general amazing music has been made in the UK for the last 35 years, but if you look at the media in general at the moment TV & Radio is pretty much dominated by pop idols and driven marketing products what I’m trying to do with this album and my radio station is to offer an alternative for people who don’t want to hear music that has been made in one or two weeks.

What were you saying about your radio station?

The radio station will be run on the web radiojxl.com from June the 2nd onwards and as I said before really it is just to give people an alternative, I think it is amazing that bands like Coldplay & Radiohead can become huge bands with alternative music I think it is wonderful and I would love to see more of that happening. I am based in Amsterdam and music is so dominated by pop idols it’s outrageous. The pop Idol thing does work well for many people but for all those people it does work for there is another group of people who are very tired of it and want to listen to something else.

Who would you like to invite to your ideal after-show party?

I would probably invite George Bush Junior if he’s such a terrible president he must be a good musician!

Contactmusic.com has an area dedicated to unsigned musicians, what advise would you give them starting out in the music business?

This is something I feel very close to because on my radio station. I’m going to say there is a whole section for junkie XL fans who are starting out and I have advise on there to give them and people can also put there own demos on there. But in general I would advise for people to believe in themselves and focus on what you think is great and don’t follow the latest hype.

To watch the full length album streams from 3PM) the video Click Here

Watch this space for more info on upcoming UK appearances...



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