The film composer looks back on his electronic roots.
Tom Holkenburg is one of the most in-demand film composers working today, soundtracking movies like Madmax: Fury Road and Deadpool along with video games such as FIFA and The Sims. But the Dutchman's roots lie in supercharging the electronic music of the '90s with stadium-sized dynamics, an approach that provided the springboard for his Junkie XL production alias.
Given his current association with high-profile films, it's easy to forget he toured as Junkie XL internationally for more than 20 years and dominated the airwaves of 2002 with his "A Little Less Conversation" remix. By the end of the decade he'd earned Hans Zimmer's attention, setting off his transition from electronic musician to in-demand composer.
Holkenburg also has a YouTube channel that shows the scoring techniques and creative processes behind his blockbuster compositions, and ranks among the most exhaustive documentations of its kind. Andrew Ryce spoke with Holkenburg back in 2019 around the release of Terminator: Dark Fate, where he shared his experiences of the transition from solo artist to composer, the politics and hierarchies of directors, studios and producers, and navigating the pressure of big budgets and looming deadlines.