Exclusive Interview with Thomas Gold

Photo Credit: Julia Klotz

With years on his belt from touring the world, Thomas Gold has never been in a better place. A man who has a hold on balancing his career life and personal life produces stellar results in his work. Thomas Gold is that man. With three new releases this year, a remix of Alice Charter’s “Theif”, “Wildest Dreams” with Kosling ft Matthew Steeper, and “seventeen” with Bright Sparks, Thomas Gold will have the festival season in the palm of his hand. One EDM was fortunate enough to chat with the DJ/Producer on his views on a DJ career, his number one passion, music, and all things Gold!

One EDM: You seem to have a very heartfelt, genuine connection with your fans, and you seem to give it your all no matter if there are 300 people in the room or 3,000 (or a festival of 30,000)! Why is that important to you? From where do you get your inspiration to put on a great show, no matter the circumstances? Is there some kernel of wisdom here you can impart upon aspiring DJs just starting and trying to make a name for themselves?

Thomas Gold: What matters most for me is the music – this is why I’m here and this is one of the reasons people come to see my shows. I am very grateful for having such a loyal fan community, some of them have been following me for 10 years now, and they came to many many of my shows – this can be at small and intimate venues or a big festival. So I just appreciate them for being my fans and I am happy whenever I can make them smile on the dancefloor. My inspiration always comes from the music, be it in a club or on a huge stage; I think of what kind of vibe I can expect at the venue and then I put together my music accordingly to that. I always keep myself flexible with the music and style I am going to play, so I can easily adjust to the crowd once I am on stage. If you are an aspiring DJ and new to the business, I would tell you to find your own personal style and way of DJiing; this can be the way you put together your music, how you act on stage/in the booth or of course, how you spin your records technically. There are many ways but you should try to find your own one, so people will remember you.

What’s the best way for new DJs to make a name for themselves in a crowded field?

I would say first of all it is about putting out your own music. This is essential, people will not notice (or book) you if you don’t release your own productions, remixes or similar. Making bootlegs can help but it will not get you too much attention anymore (as it used to be a few years ago). So – get into the studio and create some music – your music! Try to release it on popular labels and spread it to the DJ scene worldwide. Start small and grow into it. If you can get in touch with already well-known DJ’s – even better, this might accelerate the process. But always keep in mind that things may take a little while, many of us DJs out there have a long history and we have worked our way to where we are now for years. And last but not least – be passionate about what you are doing. I love making music and playing music and this still is one of my biggest motivations.

You have a lot of releases coming out. The three we’ve been sent recently, seem to span a wider range of style than perhaps some other producers are comfortable making/releasing. We’re really diggin’ your remix of Alice Chater’s “Thief” for Universal Music! What a sick music video [for the original song]. Can you walk us through your process of creating a remix for a major label? What are some of the challenges you face when called upon to do a major label remix, then say, a remix of a more “underground” club track? Does your process differ a lot when you’re remixing a proper song with vocals, versus a club track without vocals? How?

Yeah, this year is crazy! I have never released so much music in a short amount of time and I must tell you, it’s exciting! 

Creating a remix for a major label (such as “Thief”) is very similar to doing this for any other (independent) label. In the end, it is about creating something good. Normally it starts with a remix request I get for a certain song. For me, it is important that I kind of ‘connect’ to the song (or at least the vocal) to do a remix, otherwise I would not take the job. Usually, I then receive all ‘stems’ and I can pick the ones I like to use within my own remix production. In the end, I do a pre-mixdown and send it to the label for approval. Once I have received this, I finalize the production and master it. Regarding the difference between doing remixes for majors or underground tracks – it really depends on what the labels are looking for. Sometimes they ask for a more radio-friendly version or they are looking for a more clubby/underground sound. So this gives a bit of a direction in terms of sounds, style and allover vibe of the remix. Technically both approaches are very similar. The thing is that when you work with vocals, you have to kind of build everything else around the vocal if the vocal is supposed to be the main element. Sometimes though, the vocal becomes just a ‘sound’ (or even a sound effect), so I would chop it up, process it heavily.

You look really fit and healthy these days. What is your dietary/food, fitness and overall “wellness” routine and how do you maintain that on-the-road while constantly on airplanes and eating crap food on-the-run and not getting normal sleep? The “tour life” of the typical globally touring DJ is already really rough and grueling. It’s hard to imagine staying healthy and looking so fit while constantly traveling.

[laughs] Thank you! I just keep an eye on what I eat and drink; I started getting more focused on this, three years ago. I now read a lot about food and healthy nutrition and I now see food more as a way of staying healthy and fit instead of ‘just’ daily food you have to have. I try to avoid sugar and wheat, watch my carbs, eat loads of healthy fats and I keep a high rate of proteins. Eating a lot of seafood is an important part of my diet as well. I also work-out three times/week if possible and I rather take stairs instead of elevators etc. You know, all these little ‘life hacks’ which help to maintain your body health.

I have a couple of routines I can use when I go traveling. For example, I bring my own food on long-haul flights. One of my ‘secrets’ is that whenever it’s possible, I go for a proper workout in the (hotel) gym right before I travel and – even more important — right after I arríve at the hotel – no matter what time of day. This really helps me to adjust to the new timezone I just got into. Works well for Asia and the US. This gives me a lot of energy and also helps me to get a good sleep the first night.

Thomas Gold & Angger Dimas - HI LO
Photo Credit: Natascha Romboy

Mental health has been in the news a lot lately including tales of struggles by many DJs/producers in the dance music industry. What is your routine for maintaining your own mental health? What advice can you give others working in this industry?

I try to balance my life out. Private and social life vs. business life. I don’t go on tour for too long anymore; I’d rather come home after 10 days and then fly out again. Staying with my friends and family – and being in ‘my’ home zone’ helps me to stay happy and to recharge my batteries. I LOVE tour life but sometimes with all the craziness, you need to ground yourself and this is what I am doing. And I am very happy with it. Sometimes you have to take a breath, step back and just let go -whatever it is- to free your mind and enjoy life. It took me a while to get there but I think I found my way of doing it.

We hear you’re re-launching Fanfare! Tell us about the concept and what can fans expect? How/when will this roll-out?

Yes! We just launched Fanfare during WMC 2019 | Miami Music Week 2019 with episode #301 and I am currently working on #302! Super happy about this and I am grateful to all my fans who have been asking me constantly to bring it back. The concept is basically the same – 60 minutes of fresh club and dance music from me and my DJ friends with some personal information of myself and my touring. I am still working on details but I will constantly bring in new elements into the show within the next months. We started rolling it out with Mixcloud but we will add radio stations very soon. Keep you posted! Quick teaser – there will be a FANFARE record label as well, very soon…

We’re diggin’ “Wildest Dreams,” your track with Kosling ft Matthew Steeper on Protocol. What an uplifting tune! We can totally picture this with hands-in-the-air at a festival. Was that your goal when creating this track?

That was EXACTLY the goal (haha!). To create an emotional, festival-ready hands-up tune! Thanks for the nice feedback.

We’ve heard a preview of your new song ft Bright Sparks, “Seventeen.” You also have that “seventeen” age reference in “Wildest Dreams.” What’s with the preoccupation with the age 17? “Seventeen” is a really groovy song, not something club-goers might expect from Thomas Gold, perhaps? Are you trying to branch off into new musical territory with this pop song?

The age reference is a bit of a coincidence, so no real ‘preoccupation (haha!). But looking back to when I was 17, I have many good memories as this was one of the most exciting times in my life, where many things happened and changed…you know, growing up can be exciting but complicated. Music-wise it’s a yes, I am trying to explore new territories, but actually, it is not too far away from what I have been doing. The tempo of the track is a bit slower than my usual club productions, but there still is this ‘clubby’ dance feeling to ‘Seventeen’. When I received the rough vocal demo of the song, I was just like ‘Oh, this has to be more of a radio production rather than just a club tune!’. This is how it started and I am happy we went this way. By the way – the club mix is already in progress.

Out Today, 4/17/2019, THOMAS GOLD & Angger Dimas, “HI LO” (Revealed Recordings)

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