Interview: Tom Pooks

Hi Tom, welcome to Only Techno! How has your year been?

Summer has been pretty hectic! We haven’t stopped making events and great parties these past months. And the season’s final closing is taking place this saturday 1st of October. So I’m both tired and pumped!

How was the family Piknik Festival this year? What were the highlights?

It was the most challenging season as we had to move to new locations and we made 3 weeks in a row, with big top international artists.

The closing party is also happening soon – what should people expect?

Something spectacular ! Last year, we had a blast with Boris Brejcha in this same venue (Beziers Arenas), so this year will be even bigger in terms of production and experience. We are truly honored to have Paul Kalkbrenner and Agents of Time acting live with us.

Do you take time off after to recover and relax or does it inspire you to work harder immediately?

As I said, I had zero time to rest this season, it’s so much work ! Advancing, supervising, producing, always thinking and running between all required meetings to set everything up in the best conditions.

What state is the French techno scene in right now? Healthy?

Well, we took part in Techno Parade last Saturday and there were 250000 party people in the streets of Paris. So it’s a sign Techno is pretty popular and beloved here in France. Being a promoter never ain’t easy as it’s hard to sell tickets to these fans, though. But yes, I think we are into a healthy movement at that time, especially since we have to rebuild many things after 2 years of COVID.

Tell us about your new tune with Cadillac Express – how did you link up with him and why?

We worked at a distance and sent each other many many versions before finalizing the release. Daniil was one of the first international artists to join our Family Piknik artists roster and his first single out on our label ‘Moonstore’ got much success. We had the idea to release something together but it took more time than we thought. Well, here we are, the release is now just here, early October and I’m glad to have two massive remixes from Oscar L and KIKO / LUCYE as real add-ons.

What inspired the music, what was the aim with it?

Daniil is really good with melodies, he loves progressive house atmospheres while I have a more tech-house / dark background. So we found a balance between our two universes and built this track like our common child 😉

How do you enlist the remixers? What are you looking for when you sign them up?

We now have a pretty attractive label so many artists are open to remixes for us. French Kiko & Lucye are good friends and they are part of our Family. Oscar L played our festival early August and we had this remix in the pipeline as part of his gig on our stage. He’s been very exposed lately, with strong support from top artists and he’s released on many top labels. So we’re happy to have him involved !

How do you evolve your own sound while staying true to your roots and own signature and not jumping on new hype bandwagons?

When you have 30 years experience, it is not too complicated to resist the hype because you know it’s pretty useless as a studio producer. When I look at my discography, I’m proud of all the records I released, even if sometimes I would have used different sounds and gears through the years. Appearing on Kompakt, Intec, Ovum, Terminal M, Cocoon and all these other legendary imprints is not something many French DJs accomplished.Tom Pooks has always been an underground thing, not a hype project, I just try to make the best dancefloor music for my sets and if I can have support from my DJs friends around the world, then I’m the happiest man ! You know, it’s a great feeling when Carl Cox, Josh Wink, Sven Väth, Mind Against, Fisher and all these talented DJs drop one of your tracks in their sets. I first make music to provide them with the best grooves and melodies I can share.

What else have you got coming up?

I have several releases already in the pipeline, including some collabs with my soulmate Joy Kitikonti. I’m not in a rush with the releases, so I prefer to take my time to schedule all these tracks properly. But for sure you’ll keep on hearing from me real soon!

Grab your copy of Tom’s latest release HERE.

Photo ©PatandPatate