Yes Yes Y’all: Tom Flynn on US Tour, Influences, & Hard Versus Soft Synths
With a style rooted in both deep house and nu disco, Tom Flynn has carved out a distinguished dance legacy for himself in a short period of time despite his DJing orgins at age 12. With a series of killer releases on dirtybird, Circus Recordings, Hot Creations—including the summer 2014 tech bomb “Hoochie”—and even his own Soundcloud profile—last month’s free disco house thumper “Yes Yes Yall”—Flynn’s output has been on the turntables and USBs of DJs around the world.
For now, Flynn is in the midst of a US tour that sees the sophisticated DJ/producer bringing his brand of sexy house to American audiences. DJ Times connected with Flynn ahead of his show at Brooklyn’s Verboten club this Friday, October 17 to catch up on his influences, upcoming projects, and more.
DJ Times: You’ve been DJing since you were very young. How did you first get hold of the decks?
Tom Flynn: My mom and dad bought me my first pair after a lot of bugging and nagging. I think I’d saved some towards them, but they put up the money. They were two belt drive decks. I forget the name. I just couldn’t afford Technics, but practicing on belt drive ones made me so much more appreciative of direct drives.
DJ Times: What artists have been particularly influential on your output?
Flynn: Claude Vonstroke and Worthy come to mind because they’re quite freaky and do whatever they want. I like that. Tiga also for the same reason. But to be honest, I just do my thing, I’m always listening to past and current music so some of that creeps in from time to time. I try and go in the studio now with nothing in my head. It’s hard to do actually, but sometimes it helps.
DJ Times: Your Hot Creations release “Hoochie” was a huge club bomb this summer. How did that track come to be?
Flynn: I think it was just the product of messing around in the studio for ages, doing a lot of recording sessions, and finding the right parts. I write in loads of different ways, but I work fast. I just get the ideas out and move on. Too many people procrastinate on stuff. I’ll test it, if it works and I’m happy then it’s all good. That one was one that came real quick. I actually made it in two separate DAWs just because that’s how I was working then: rewiring Ableton with Logic. I think I did a lot of live passes and then started chopping stuff up and arranging it in logic.
DJ Times: You’re in the midst of a US tour. What have the US crowds been like?
Flynn: Amazing! Genuinely amazing. I’ve been so humbled by the reactions, the turnouts, the love, and support I’ve got. I actually have a bigger fan base here than in my hometown, which I like actually. I get given all sorts of gifts and stuff over here. The crowds are just so up for good music; it’s really good to see. I think the US fans are really intelligent when it comes to their music, some of the chats I’ve had with some fans has been really interesting. I think they know more about my music than I do!
DJ Times: What’s your preferred DJ setup, equipment-wise?
Flynn: Traktor, Pioneer DJM 900, and two X1s. I love it. There’s something about Traktor that I love; I think it’s the browser. It’s so good seeing all your music, artwork, and comments. I don’t sync. I see the advantages of sync if you are layering three or four decks together, but if I’m playing just two decks I beatmatch them like you would normally. That’s where the funk and the vibe is, when the music is slightly off and out.
DJ Times: What are your go-to production tools, both hardware and software?
Flynn: Juno 60 and Moog Voyager hardware synths are my go-to usually. Plugins, i really like that Diva plugin but it takes so much CPU. I love the TAL stuff too, like the [Bassline 101]. I love the Sound Toys bundle; they make great stuff, but they’re the guys from Eventide so it’s no surprise. I keep it pretty simple to be honest; most soft synths sound the same, they just have different presets and layouts. These companies are really taking advantage of music makers. They come out with all this rubbish about some new amazing soft synth, and 90 percent of the time there’s nothing new or unique to it.
DJ Times: What can Tom Flynn fans expect in the coming months?
Flynn: A new EP on Hot Creations and a release on Poker Flat I think we’re just locking down some other releases. I’m also working with Pete Tong on some new stuff and a special project with super producer James Doman.
Stream Tom Flynn’s latest Hot Creations release “Take Me Down” below and go to his Facebook page for more information.