Tommy Lee Dives Into His Long Transition Into Electronic Music [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee is a legend when it comes to music. You may simply think Motley Crue, but Tommy has had his hands in several musical pots over the years, including side projects like Methods of Mayhem, his own solo work and collaborations with artists like Nick Thayer, Bloody Beetroots, Violet Chachki, along with his current fiance SOFI, who he produced past and upcoming records for. Additionally, Tommy Lee has been DJing since the early 2000’s, both alone and with his homie DJ Aero, even landing on his close friend Deadmau5’s Meowington Hax tour in 2011 alongside Feed Me, A-Trak, and Fatboy Slim.

After killing the game with Motley Crue for so long, Tommy is ready to make his full transition into electronic music. It’s something that has been festering over the years, as one can tell from his lengthy, but patched resume with electronic music. Records have been released here and there on mau5trap, Ultra and Black Hole Recordings, and he has DJed places like Virgin’s mobile’s 10th Birthday, Download Festival as well as Ultra, which was actually his third gig ever with DJ Aero. Recently, we caught up with Tommy to talk about his past, along with what is to come with the new beginning that is on the horizon.

Nick Thayer & Tommy Lee featuring Mikill Pane
Fly Shit

TMN: What was the first thing that got you into electronic music?

Tommy Lee: I got my first Mac IICi in 1984, and I started messing with the program Digital Performer. I started editing and chopping guitars and drums and I got into MIDI. It just opened up my whole world! I was like “oh my god, you can do that!?” You could flip the sample backwards and cut it and stutter it. I lost my mind basically. Once you realize what you can do with the computer, you just lose it. I got into electronic music and started messing with everything I could get my hands on. Probably one of my earliest influences was like harder industrial music like Nine Inch Nails, and Skinny Puppy; more the aggro shit. Even before then, I always gravitated towards beats, because I’m a drummer. Before computers, I was digging disco and funk. It all just makes sense why I gravitated towards electronic music.

TMN: Who are some artists that you are currently into?
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[Indie-Pop] Memoryy – Feeling Sinister [TMN Premiere]

Feeling Sinister

Last landing on our pages in February with effervescent synth-pop single “Eternal Sunshine”, Brooklyn based Memoryy has once again set his wings down behind another slice of indie-tinged alt-pop. “Feeling Sinister” is the latest from Memoryy, and just one listen to the 80’s dipped synth work, subdued horn section and fleeting hooks had us falling all over again. Memoryy effortlessly rolls on midtempo pop structures injected with a contemporary blast of tasteful shoegaze and dream-pop; which has us dialing up comparisons to artists as current as Tanlines & Twin Shadow to as far back as New Order and even Peter Gabriel’s art-housiest expressions. “Feeling Sinister” doesn’t end just instrumentally either, featuring a soaring refrain played off of subtle pop backing harmonies, acting as the glue drawing all of “Feeling Sinister” together as a single movement. With Summer temperatures rising stateside, Memoryy’s dropped a perfect addition to all of our roof, pool and beachside parties, and it’s be more than wise to follow suit.

About the tune, Memoryy shared with us: Feeling Sinister is a song that just reminds me of hot summer nights. It’s also the first Memoryy song to have a horn section on it – an inspiration I’m not ashamed to chalk up to one of my fave guilty pleasure pop songs, Go West’s ‘The King of Wishful Thinking’…. Although they used synth horns & co-producer Brothertiger got his trumpeter buddy Dave Levy from Bombrasstico to come into the studio…  Every time I hear the song now I’m transported back to the feeling of hearing that solo for the first time – breathless & magical.” It certainly is. Stream “Feeling Sinister” above ahead of an official August 14th digital release through iTunes (preorder link here) and before anyone else in the form of a shiny ‘TMN Premiere’.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (August 2015 Round #2)


There is not a day in our existence that is absolutely predictable. Sure, you can get an idea of how your day might go, but in all reality, life is gonna do what life is gonna do. Unless its Tuesday. Then you can be 99.99% sure there will be at least 5 songs pieced together into a pretty little playlist right here, waiting just for you. Who knows what will happen in that remaining .01% of the unknown, but hey, at least you have some sweet new indie tunes to listen to.

Jamie Brooks
sea of thorns
Terence Ryan
Sweet Alchemy
Keenan OMeara
From Indian Lakes
Runner (Ansible Remix)
The Ocean Swears it Wont Be Easy
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Lollapalooza 2015: Our Top Takeaways [Event Review]


As with any music festival, after Lollapalooza is over, it always takes us a few days to digest everything and snap back to reality. For locals, the festival serves as a three day escape within our own city. For outsiders, it provides them with a completely unique way to experience Chicago. The magic of Lollapalooza is simply unmatched, and despite a weather scare on the final day, Lollapalooza 2015 turned out to be just as memorable as years past. On the next few pages we’ve broken down some of our lasting impressions from Lolla.

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[Electronica/Chill] Laura Marling – Divine (Olugbenga Remix)

Laura Marling

While most of us are probably familiar with U.K. alt-pop troupe Metronomy, we’re pretty sure most of our Ninjas out there may not be as familiar with their bass player Olugbenga and his incredibly textured solo electronic project. Just last week Olugbenga dropped a luscious mixtape, Olu’s Omniverse #2, which featured a number of unreleased tunes including a brand new remix of UK folk singer Laura Marling and her single “Divine”. After having to settle on listening to this breezy revision as part of Olugbenga’s aforementioned mixtape, today we had the pleasure of receiving the single in its entirety and couldn’t have asked for a better way to start our Thursday. Certainly the eclectic beatsmith (as so many bass players seem to be), Olugbenga dips “Divine” in multiple pools of influence from world beat to chill-step and dance behind crisply laid toplines, thumping drums which hearken the raw emotion of Chicago footwork and of course Laura Marlings inimitable vocal track. Just go ahead and wrap yourself in this one, you’ll be happy you did.

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Outside Lands 2015: 40+ Songs to Prepare [Festival Preview]

OL15_Website_AdMat_SeeYouInAugust (1)It’s that time of the year in San Francisco when everyone’s either scrambling to find a ticket or stressing schedule overlaps for Outside Lands Music Festival. Hosted in the heart of Golden Gate Park’s picturesque forest, OSL has quickly become the Bay Area’s most sought-after festival ticket since its inception 7 years ago. In the last couple years particularly, though, the demand has exploded with tickets selling out faster than ever and a ravenous (and frankly obnoxious) secondhand ticket market. That’s all with good reason, though, considering Another Planet Entertainment raises the stakes every year and 2015 is looking to be no different with one of the strongest lineups in the festival’s history.

As always, the Outside Lands bill combines local acts, up ‘n coming bands from around the world and established contemporary stars with a few legends sprinkled on top. There’s a marked depth to the lineup this year including the Heineken House, which will serve as the designated non-stop dance tent for the weekend. As Ninjas, and senseis in the art of festival-ing, we’ll always vouch for at least one stop a day at these stages. We’ve crafted a playlist, including our favorites from the Heineken House, in chronological order of performance that we hope helps get you prepared for OSL 2015. For all of you who won’t be able to make it, you can live stream performances from the Outside Lands website. Continue reading

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (August 2015 Round #1)


Sometimes it’s hard to finish what you started. Some of you might not even make it through this playlist before you get the urge to get up and start something else. But, hey, we won’t hold it against you. There is some overachiever out there that will finish it just because we mentioned the possibility of not being able to. And you, the un-finsher, we know you’ll be back. And we’ll be right here waiting with a whole other list of songs to finish or not to finish listening to. ‘Cause that’s just what we do.

Júníus Meyvant
Color Decay
Jimi Charles Moody
Other Man
Stolen Jars
Owen Rabbit
Holy Holy
Lewis Del Mar
Rainy Day Women
Are You Coming Home?
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