Producer Tom VR has just dropped a killer EP for Midland’s Intergraded label, ‘Fast Track To Bliss’ featuring four tracks of emotive future tech. We put him through our quick fire Q&A.
For me, music has always been the best way to connect with people.
If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
Something to do with ﬁlm, or food – most likely the latter.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To think about creative progression as a journey outwards, not upwards.
What inspires you?
What’s the next big thing?
Best club experience?
I’ve had some of my happiest memories in recent years at The White Hotel in Manchester, or Wire in Leeds. In terms of DJing, Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh stays with me.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked in a call centre a couple of years ago which could be challenging at times. Being shouted at down the phone when you’ve just rolled out of bed is pretty taxing mentally and I’d sometimes dream of being on the phone as well. I still learned a lot though.
How do you know when a track’s ﬁnished?
I’ll leave a song for a long time once I think it’s ﬁnished, then go back and check that I still actually like it. If I’m into it after that extended break then maybe it’s ﬁnished.
What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?
I still work full-time in customer service.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Aphex Twin – ‘Avril 14th’.
What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?
I’m in no way qualiﬁed to answer this haha.
What’s the worst track you’ve ever released?
Recently I’ve been trying to make peace with past projects and older music, because it must have meant something to me at the time, and still may have a place in the hearts of others. Releasing music is basically an endless learning curve, so everything kinda has its place in the story in my opinion.
Recommend us a ﬁlm.
Recommend us a book.
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen (thank you Joe).
What or who is underrated?
HD25s for producing. I’ve pretty much worked in these headphones exclusively for the last 2 years and I think they are amazing.
What or who is overrated?
HD25s for DJing. I ﬁnd that one ear always goes silent on me (probably more to do with me being careless…).
What are you addicted to?
Currently, ‘The Last Of Us’.
What do you lust over?
What is your greatest regret?
I try to let go of my regrets as much as possible, instead of doing a mental deep dive for the GOAT.
What one thing would most improve your life?
Maybe a cat.
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?
We were running a Valby Rotary night in Leeds and our house got broken into simultaneously.
If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?
Adrianne Lenker – Abyss Kiss (but anything from that album would be ﬁne for eternity).
Collaboration: rich creative experience or pain in the ass?
Rich creative experience 100%.
What’s the secret to a great mix?
Playing music you love.
How do you relax?
What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? Why?
My Korg Arp Odyssey because it’s integral to my sound I think. That being said, I’ve also tried to sell it like 3 times, and go through waves of frustration and obsession with it haha.
Art or money?
Strangest place you ever wrote a track?
A hospital waiting room in Kent.
Must-visit record store?
What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?
Something I ﬁnd scary is the fact that you’re never sure if what you’re working on is going to resonate with people because the goal posts are always changing and the musical landscape is shifting constantly. Kinda exciting though too!
What’s your favourite label? Why?
Let’s go with Brainfeeder, because the music is diverse but the label as a whole is very cohesive.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
What’s your motto?
I don’t really have one, but it would be to do with trusting your process/being patient.
Name something timeless
Crocs & socks.
Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?
By putting in more hours, you’re increasing your chances of doing something unique and beautiful by accident.
Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just a frustrated…
Can music change the world?
Yes I think so!
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been revisiting Barker – Utility, and having my mind blown every day.
What should you do before you die?
Share your creations.
Tom VR’s ‘Fast Track To Bliss’ is available on Bandcamp.