Tom Budden


What age did you start DJing?

Around about 18 (1997).. just in my bedroom, then on to the odd house house party.. didn't have a clue what I was doing! I'd buy music that was right across the board, housey stuff, trancey stuff, all sorts. I'd always take my decks to house parties and play for 8 hours at a time. Was a lot of fun!


What inspired you to get into this business and how did you achieve it?


It was never a conscious decision. I went from doing a few house parties to doing a few small club gigs. Then I was asked to be a resident at a local club and started putting on a few small events with friends. I didn't start producing until about 10 years later. Its just been a really steady development.


How did you learn to produce and DJ?

When I bought my first pair of turntables I had no idea what to do. It took a few months with a few tips to get the basics down, but then years to develop a sound and learn how to program a set. With the production side of things I'm still learning!! My friend Dave 'Reset Robot' has been a big help.


What was your breakthrough moment?

Being asked to play at Cocoon at the End in London in 2007 stands out for sure. When I got the phone call I thought it was a friend having a joke with me. I played for 4 hours right before Sven Vath.



Where have you found the best audience so far?


Buenos Aires and Romania have probably been the best for me in the last few years. I'm going to Peru and Ecuador this weekend which which should be good.



Which DJs have influenced your style of producing?


There are quite a few dj's over the years that have inspired me and there's probably a bit of all of them that show through in my productions from time to time. From Lee Burridge & Craig Richards, H-Foundation, Bushwacka!, Danny Howells, Sasha, Paul Woolford, Ewan Pearson.. right through to the older hardcore dj's that I first started listening to as an early teenager like Ellis Dee, Top Buzz, Slipmatt etc!



Which 3 Djs do you listen to the most?


I think the 2 that have really blown me away the most in the last few years have been Dixon and Paul Woolford. Both for different reasons.. Also my old mate James Zabiela's technical ability still leaves me gobsmacked!



What's your favourite song of all time?


One song? that's tough! Probably something that's not dance related.. Probably something by the Talking Heads from their 'Speaking In Tongues' album, like 'This Must Be The Place'.



What would be your dream venue to play at?


I think if its a really good crowd, it doesn't matter where the venue is. I've been lucky enough to play at Space in Ibiza this year in the main room.. I'd love to play on the terrace there one day. 



Do you listen to other genres off the house scene? If so what?


Yes, definitely! I listen to all sorts. I usually have BBC 6Music on in the house in one room or another and often pick up new bands from there. I'm a big fan of Radiohead and there's a load of 80's music I find myself listening to a lot from the likes of Talking Heads, Tears For Fears and Fleetwood Mac!


What was the first record you bought?

I had a record player at home when I was about 12 and used to buy the odd record here and there. Not to dj with.. I didn't grasp the concept of that until later. It was '93 and I remember a couple of the first ones were a 7inch copy of Urban Cookie Collective's 'The Key The Secret' and 12" of The Prodigy "One Love". I picked up a few pretty good records around the same time (along with some not so good stuff) which I still have!



Best live moment so far in your career?


I think I've mentioned the stand out ones already.. Cocoon at the End, Space in Ibiza and Bahrein in Buenos Aires have been pretty memorable.



You must be a busy man with ALiVE Recordings & the newly launched ALiVE Black. Can you tell us the differences between the two? 


Up until about 2 years ago we were releasing quite a broad range of house music on ALiVE. From deep house right through to bigger room techy stuff. I decided I wanted ALiVE to have a bit more focus musically (which seems to have worked out quite well).. But I was still being sent some great tech house/techno from some of our regular artists (like Ross Evans, Maximiljan, James Dutton etc) and really felt that I had to release it, so that's how ALiVE Black started. However, at the moment, ALiVE Black is having a bit of a break. Partly down to being sent less of the tougher stuff and partly down to ALiVE keeping me more than busy enough.



What have you got planned for the foreseeable future on both labels?


We've just had our '5 Years of ALiVE' compilation with tracks from Raxon, Cera Alba, Mat.Joe, Nolan, Mella Dee, Deep City Groove and more.  ALiVE055 has just come out this week. It's from a new act (although it's actually two people that separately have been around for a while), they're called Monday Club (I've done a remix for that one too). After that is a collab EP between me and Forrest. He's a canadian singer/producer/dj that's now living in London and has had some recent releases on Noir, 2020Vision & Visionquest. This is a follow up to a track we had on Audiojack's 'Gruuv' label earlier this year. Then there are releases from Jonny Cade and JMX. I'm not quite sure what the 60th release will be yet, but that will be around Spring time next year.



Taking into account the rapid rise in popularity of house music over the course of this year, what do you think about the house scene currently?


It's great. It has been a long time since there has been as much house music on daytime radio and in the charts. i.e. Disclosure etc. It can only be a good thing getting new people into the club scene. Even with the stuff that's not quite so good.. it's a way in to it for young people and over time their tastes will mature (hopefully!)



What advice would you give up and coming producers?


Take your time. - Don't complicate things with too many plug ins, get used to working with what you've got. - Make music that feels right to you, not because you're trying to make a beatport hit. - Ask for honest feedback from friends!



Are there any up and coming producers you tip to make it big time?


Pedram (also known as Park Hill on ALiVE) from Sheffield has been making music for a few years now but his recent productions are on another level. I think he'll do well! 



How do you rate 90s house music with todays?


A lot of it sounds almost the same at the moment! Not sure how long it will stay like that for, but I'm liking a lot of it!



Where do you dream of being in 5 years time?


It would be great to see the label go another 5 years and develop further. Hopefully get a few more dates in the diary in some interesting places around the world. And I'd also like to think about an album project where I can explore some different genres and maybe work with some different musicians.



What's next for you?


I've got a few tracks coming out on Get Physical and Get Digital as well as my EP with Forrest (with remixes from James Welsh and Copy Paste Soul) which is out at the end of October on ALiVE. I'm also about to start work on a remix for Shadow Child's label 'Food Music'. I've got a Brazil tour planned for November which should be fun. I've got a lot of other tracks in the pipeline, but it's too early to say what's happening with them just yet.



Upcoming gigs




High Tide Halloween, Southampton



Moscow, Russia



Club Vibe, Curitiba, Brazil



Chakra Club, São Bento do Sul, Brazil