Tom Lowndes AKA DJ Tom Loud has taken the world by storm with his time-travelling dance party Hot Dub Time Machine.
Featuring some of the best songs in music history, Hot Dub takes revellers on a chronological musical adventure from 1954 to 2015 with a unique audio-visual experience that gets everybody dancing.
Today, Tom talks about his recent shows for Falls Festival, his upcoming Hot Dub Wine Machine tour, and the family friendly Hot Dub spinoff KID/DUB.
David: “You’ve just come off a successful tour headlining Falls Festival, do you have a particular highlight from any of the shows”?
Tom: “Just playing in Byron Bay, in that amphitheatre, there’s really no where like it in the world. It’s a lot of people to look at when you jump on stage there. It was really awesome, I enjoyed that a lot”.
David: “Something that I thought was pretty unique was being three-quarters of the way up the hill at the Valley Stage and seeing thousands of people – if not tens of thousands – doing the twist together”.
Tom: “Yeah man, that’s awesome. That’s lovely to hear, because those old songs, you know, they’re the ones that people go, ‘Really? You’re gonna play that in Byron Bay?’ But I think it’s nice. So yeah, I’m glad to hear that”.
David: “It’s pretty incredible to see people drop their guard in that way and remove the pretence and trying to be cool, and everyone’s just there to have a good time. Is that a lot of what you wanted Hot Dub to be and you wanted the show to be about”?
Tom: “Yeah man, absolutely. Nail on the head. There’s so many great musicians and people who are making great music and stuff, but I’m all about just having a party. And I take that actually really seriously… All I do is work on that 2 to 3 hours of material in the show, and that’s exactly what I want it to do”.
David: “You’ve said that a lot of the songs in your show aren’t going to change because you’ve selected some of the best songs in music history. When you do want to change the show around, does that mean it’s usually going to be the last decade or so”?
Tom: “Definitely. There’s way more room to change the more recent stuff… it’s hard to find what the classic songs are, and they’re the songs that I’m interested in. You can look back like 10 to 12 years ago, 7 Nation Army by the White Stripes, that’s pretty much a classic now I reckon. It’s stood the test of time and it’s an amazing song. Lose Yourself by Eminem could be considered that way. But when they came out, I don’t know… it takes a while to get that.
And also, I think the same people who could be happily dancing to Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun and losing their mind to Bon Jovi, all of a sudden when we get to 2014, if I was to play Carly Rae Jepsen or something really cheesy like that it doesn’t work. So always in the last few years, I kind of have to get a bit more cutting edge and get a bit more dance party”.
David: “You’ve got the Hot Dub Wine Machine tour coming up in March; was the initial plan to only ever do the Adelaide show, or were you gauging the reception before going ahead with others states”?
Tom: “The plan was definitely just to do it for Adelaide. Adelaide’s where I first really got people to my shows… and that’s where it kind of all started, so the Adelaide people have seen it more than anyone else so we wanted to change it up for them. We thought ‘Yeah, we’ll take it outside’, and because it’s Adelaide it’s such lovely wine regions.
My manager came up with the pun Hot Dub Wine Machine, and yeah man, it was just so fun. And people seemed to love it; we didn’t really get any negative feedback, which is just amazing on things of this scale. People uniformly just loved it, so we were like ‘Alright, let’s see what other cities have wineries’”.
David: “PNAU is obviously one of the big drawcards, this being their first show in over 5 years – was it difficult to get them on board”?
Tom: “I think it took a little work to get it all happening. They’re obviously a great name in Australian dance music, to me they’re one of the great dance music acts of all time… I just think they can rock a party.
I think their demographic is pretty similar to mine, just kind of party people. And with Chameleon they’re getting a bunch of younger fans as well, which is kind of like Hot Dub really, appealing to a lot of people across a lot of different demographics”.
David: “Could you see Chameleon making its way into your set some years down the track as you take people on a journey through 2016”?
Tom: “Yeah man, definitely. Such a banger. I’m really interested to see how it goes overseas. Every year I go to the UK and work over there from July to October… in 2012 I was going over and playing Flume and they were all kind of going ‘That’s kind of interesting’, and of course now it’s massive everywhere. I’m interested to see when I go over this year whether Chameleon has that same kind of affect – I think it probably will, it’s such a great tune”.
David: “And that’s not all you’ve got on your plate at the moment either. What you can tell us about your new children’s show, KID/DUB”?
Tom: “It’s an hour-long dance party for kids. We’re using the same concept as Hot Dub Time Machine, which is dancing and travelling through time, and a similar kind of batch of songs. It’s kind of about showing a kid what the history of pop music is.
With kid audiences, it’s interesting, it’s just so different… they don’t know any of the songs really, which is fine, so you’ve got to make all these little experiences – you’ve got to give them stuff to do. It works really well because we do balloon drops, bubbles, and dance moves and all this kind of stuff, so you really create this environment for them that is constantly engaging.
It’s odd having these enormous wine machine things happening at the same time as these tiny little shows that we’re doing in fringe festivals, but I think that’s kind of cool”.
Words by David Tate
Image by Hot Dub Time Machine
Details: Hot Dub Wine Machine Tour | KID/DUB Shows | Upcoming: April 1
Ocean View Estates Winery And Restaurant, 2557 Mount Mee Road, Ocean View 4521