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
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?