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February 21, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Tom Piper

The Ministry of Sound’s Tom Piper is a man with many hats. According to his biography, he is a “DJ, producer, radio host, record label guy, man, myth, legend and freshmaker”, who is “more machine than man” with “bass bins where his lungs should be”.

The Sydney-based DJ, who placed 17th on the Sony ITM50 DJ Poll last year, was recently named host of the Ministry of Sound’s Radio Australia. Specialising in a mixture of electro, house, tech, dubstep and more “good vibrations”, Piper’s tracks have been picked up by a host of industry names, including Mixmash, Sony Music and Dim Mak.
Piper is hugely popular in Australia, Asia and Europe, and in March, he’s heading to Victoria University for O Week 2011. Salient writer Lauren Ng was keen to find out more about the man, the music, and just what, exactly, ‘freshmaking’ actually is.

Hi Tom, hope you’ve had a great summer… what have you been up to? Any highlights in terms of gigs, projects or travel?

Well, all the Ministry of Sound Clubbers Guide tour gigs with Goodwill have been great, and I had a ball playing at the Laidback Luke, Angger Dimas and Oliver Twizt show in Sydney just recently too. It was so hot that day!

You’ve been described as the ‘princely freshmaker’. Can you give us a rundown on what freshmaking is?

Haha, mmm, well you can’t really rundown what freshmaking is. It just occurs, like a natural phenomenon. But you’ll know it when you’re doing it, or if the freshness is going down! Promise.

You have a lot of different jobs, including being a DJ, radio host and producer. What’s your favourite role?

Umm, well, they’re not really separate jobs—they all sorta seem to mash together… but I hate filling out label copy and metadata for releases, argh… paperwork is unfresh!

Which has been the most challenging for you?

The challenging part is juggling everything all together. The trick is… don’t sleep!

Describe a life in the day of Tom Piper?

I’ll just go super literal for ya, haha. I wake up, do some quick emails on my Blackberry, go for a bike ride, get fresh, get breakfast (always the same—scrambled eggs, sausage, mushroom, avocado and BBQ sauce) then I do proper emails and computer stuff, then studio or meetings, dinner, then sometimes DJ—otherwise more studio, then sleep.

Do you ever dance by yourself to your own tracks? Or is there another kind of guilty pleasure you enjoy indulging in?

Ahh I don’t dance to my own tracks unless I’m road-testing them. I will always stand up and pretend I’m in a club atmosphere and see how the track feels. It’s a good way of testing if structure needs to change, or there needs to be more of this and that, but it’s not a guilty pleasure—more of a work thing. I like indulging in a nice restaurant and I love having dinner with friends.

What will we catch you doing at O-Week?

Peeps should hit me up on and
to see what’s pappin’ next!


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