As I emerge from an underground studio in Surry Hills, I find myself feeling slightly strange about returning to midday Wednesday in complete sobriety. I should be staggering out of a nightclub with significantly fewer motor skills in a frantic rush to beat the break of day. My head has been infused with a fuzzy electronic ambience that has left me buzzing and oblivious to the busy sounds of the real world. Hmm… seems I’ve been dealt a mid week electro hit from none other than Mr Tommy Trash.
Tommy Trash is the self-fulfilling prophecy that emerged just two years ago to take the Sydney electro- house scene by storm. Now regarded as one of the leading names in Australian dance music, it’s time to take a retrospective glance back at the last two years, Tommy’s rapid rise to fame, what the future has in store for the super talent, and the well documented failure of the Tommy Trash detox.
After deciding to shun an ordinary life, Thomas Olsen left his average job, sold everything he owned and went underground – literally. It is his remarkable talent, determination and intoxicating desire for success that have bought him to where he is today. Finally, he is starting to reap the rewards of all those long hours spent locked in his studio (the proof of this is in the mid summer pallor of his skin). Already labelled a musical prodigy, Tommy is just starting to spread his wings. Not satisfied with nationwide club supremacy, he is on a mission to dominate charts and dance floors the world over. Full flight.
The self-fulfilling prophecy has also brought with it a dark side – the fulfilment of Trash… umm… getting trashed that is… His nightclub escapades are renowned and idolised by club goers. Tommy has developed an unquestionable talent for getting amongst it and as a result has endured many a comedown, hangover and various trash injuries including to date, falling off two stages, near dislocating a thumb, gashing his stomach as well as countless bruises. He asks me whether I think the drunken injuries he acquires are some kind of punishment dealt to himself by his subconscious for his trashy ways. I have to laugh. Tommy Trash you’re a bad, bad man. I’ve seen Tommy in his finest of forms and I have to say that those nasty little accidents happen simply because he is so fucking wasted… It’s unlikely that he (subconsciously or otherwise) had very much to do with it. For some strange reason, he doesn’t seem convinced…
Now, he did try to detox just the once. Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well. The Tommy Trash detox was cut two weeks short with a bolt to the bar and a sculling of the nearest drink in sight, in what was quite possibly world record time. His opinion on the matter? Well he managed to compress the proposed four weeks detox into about 10 days. Tommy tells me the only benefit of going on a detox is that it makes the booze all that much better upon retox. Good advice from Tommy Trash. As for him, well he’s done with detox- it’s retox from here on in.
All antics aside, the Trash label is in high demand. Tommy is so sought after as a DJ he barely sees much of home these days and spends more time in hotels and airports than in his own bed. He has become somewhat of an institution at his Onelove club residencies, Ministry of Sound Tours around the nation, and a hugely anticipated act at any venue or festival that manages to get a hold of him.
Tommy’s unique DJ style brings a performance quality to the decks combining cutting edge music with his signature TT stylised dancing, drink sculling and head banging. These exquisite theatrics embrace the club culture, cause bedlam on dance floors and leave Tommy with some nasty post gig neck aches. It’s all part and parcel of the Tommy Trash charm. But what really keeps them queuing for hours outside the clubs to get a piece of him is his music. He spends hours preparing for sets fashioned entirely of his own originals, remixes, and edits – a shot of heroin for the electro junkie.
Now one of Australia’s most revered producers, he is constantly under the pump for remix work. Recruited by an extensive honour role including Kaskade, Chili Hifly, (both remixes are like… so hot right now), Grafton Primary, Soul Central, Mason, Green Velvet, Armand Van Helden, Tom Novy, Dabruck and Kline, Betty Vale and even Delta Goodrem. And lets face it, anyone that can turn a Delta ballad into a thumping dance track deserves special recognition for musical ingenuity. Tommy Trash you are genius.
However, it’s the originals that really matter to this man. His recent hit ‘Let Me Love You’ soared in Aria club charts – an accomplishment he passes off with almost ridiculous modesty. This has followed the success of ‘Lover, Lover’ (check out the Dabruck and Kline remix – its smokin’), The ‘Amsterdam’ tracks, collaborations with Goodwill and Tom Piper and of course the track that started it all – ‘Slide’.
Tommy’s recently released track ‘Need Me To Stay’ brings a new dimension to his creative agenda and is set to become one of summer’s biggest hits. Tommy has masterfully combined his distinctive electro style with killer vocals to create an absolutely pumping track you can shake your ass and feel your heart beat in time to those synthesised base lines. Awww… for Tommy, this song could be the one he’s been waiting for.
Tommy has already managed to double pop his top of the Aria dance chart cherry. His remix of Green Velvet’s ‘Shake and Pop’ claimed the number one position only to be replaced by his sensational version of Armand Van Helden’s ‘I Want Your Soul’. But this double penetration simply isn’t a big enough bang for Tommy. What he needs to get him off is a Trash original in pole position. Now, if we analyse this rationally – and if his successes so far are any indication of what the future holds – then it is only a matter of time until he completely rapes our Aria Dance Charts. A violation us electro junkies all eagerly await. ‘Need Me to Stay’ is without a doubt the track will begin the Tommy Trash chart slaughter and after getting a sneak peak of the next single, I can tell you a massacre is assured. Each Tommy Trash fix that is dealt to the electro junkies gives a bigger hit than the last … making him an increasingly addictive commodity.
For more electro fixes from Tommy trash, you can check out his new killer single ‘Need Me To Stay’, myspace.com/tommytrashspace, or on the latest MOS clubbers guide compilation. You can also check out some of his compilation work on Ministry of Sound’s ‘Electro House Sessions’, the recent addition to the Onelove compilations and if you can handle some below ground beats, the first episode of the Tommy Trash podcast is available on iTunes. Tommy has recently returned from a whirlwind Canadian tour and is back on our shores for the last of summer so be sure to stock up on your Tommy Trash gig fixes while you can as Tommy is off to share his trashy charms, retox philosophies, and smashing tunes on the Euro scene.
© Jordan Faires