Speaker Junkies
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Speaker Junkies

Anaheim, California, United States | SELF

Anaheim, California, United States | SELF
Band EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Night Music, Daytime"

There’s something weird about watching a local electronica band rehearse. Electronica’s dark and cold and dystopic. It’s about nighttime and technology and the future. Rehearsal’s hot and sweaty and loud. It’s about daytime and someone’s mom’s living room and, in the case of the Speaker Junkies, a cute little horrible beast of a dog named Sam.

"Oh, by the way, he bites, so don’t pet him," says the duo’s manager as you arrive and sweet, evil Sam comes running over to wreak his special kind of canine terror all over your leg. Careful not to move too fast for fear that Sam will think it’s a game, or that he’ll smell your fear, or that he’ll smell some other dog on you, or that he’ll smell your crotch, or do any of those other quaint things people think dogs are always doing (except for the crotch-sniffing thing; dogs are always doing that), you gingerly inch away from Sam and into the plush-green-carpeted living room where the Speaker Junkies are standing behind their keyboards, getting ready to rehearse.

"We don’t usually wear the masks when we rehearse," says Vota, as partner Will U? pulls on a gas mask. "Yeah, we’re not that weird," adds Will U?, who has a question mark in his name. But today, because someone is filming the rehearsal for a video, they are that weird. They’re fully weird in matching jump suits, lit-up headband things that look like a cross between sunglasses and miners’ helmets, and the aforementioned gas masks. When they perform in clubs, they typically attach glowsticks to their arms and legs, but today, they are without glowsticks, perhaps because Sam might eat one and get sick from glowstick poisoning, although they never explicitly say this or even imply it.

Do you know how hard it is to rock out to pulsing club music performed live in a really nice living room while you’re sitting in an easy chair trying to keep tabs on a small dog with the smell of human on its breath? But Vota and Will U? do a good job of pretending they aren’t in a living room. They dance around in a vaguely robotic fashion and hit the keys in an overexaggerated way and tweak knobs and twiddle knobs and do all sorts of things involving tweaking and twiddling and knobs.

Speaker Junkies sound like an exploding video game set to a throbbing house soundtrack, so when you hear a combination of effects and beeps and buzzes and then you hear something repetitive that sounds like "WheezeezeezeeUSH, WheezeezeezeeUSH" (if you could write it out) and then another repeating thing that sounds like "whizza-whizza-whizza-whizza" and all of this is going on at the same time and speeding up and you’re watching two guys in gas masks do things with knobs and keyboards, it’s hard to tell exactly who’s doing what and how it’s all being created.

"Do they ever fuck up?" you ask their manager.

"Actually, I kind of wish they would mess up more because club promoters say they sound exactly like their CD," he tells you. "But they’re really talented musicians, so they hardly ever mess up."

It’s a weird thing to watch, this human manipulation of computer-generated sounds. "Whoa, this sounds sharp," Vota says at one point, cocking his head and listening intently to figure out whether the metallic pinging noise he’s making is in tune.

Above Will U?’s keyboard is an effects board that has a D Beam—an invisible beam of ultra-red light connected to a sound or effect so that when you wave your hand over it the pitch changes, something like a theremin. It’s cool, but you wonder why that’s better than a knob or lever or some other form of sound manipulation.

"Why is that better?" you ask the manager. "Is it just because it’s cool?"

"Yeah, because it’s cool," he says. "It’s technology, you know?"
- OC Weekly

"Speaker Junkies"

Not every kid raised on techno music wants to be a DJ. Some of them, take the road traveled by the likes of Prodigy, Crystal Method and Daft Punk, turning singing and keyboard skills into energetic live stage performances filled with synthesizers and drum machines. With a touring trail that looks more like a bus schedule (how many cities can you possibly hit in that many days?), Speaker Junkies are set to bounce off the road and into your home stereo with the impending release of their first full length original album, "Decibel Therapy" later this year. Until then, join us for a one-on-two interview with Will Usey and Tekno Tom, aka Speaker Junkies.

Jennifer: How did you two meet?
Tom: Will's brother married my aunt. One day his brother told me that Will also does electronic music and introduced us. I was very impressed with his skills as a writer and performer and asked him to work on Liquid Fiction with me. I was taking this project live and started to do gigs around Orange County and of course needed someone to perform and sing backup on stage with me. That's how we ended up being partners. Can you imagine - we used to sing behind our keyboards? Wow - that was actually funny.

How did you get started in music?
Tom: During my first year in college, I started writing lyrics and singing and decided to record a few songs. I was highly inspired by Depeche Mode and started doing synthpop music. One track led to more and more and I recorded my first album in 1998. I called the project Liquid Fiction (which can still be found on amazon.com and mp3.com). So that's pretty much how I got my feet wet with the music scene.

Will: I got my first keyboard at age 7 and learned how to play Yankee Doodle. From then on I was interested in music. My brother used to thump his music in his car all the time and I loved how the bass just made my whole body tingle. I got my first guitar at age 11 and took lessons. I learned how to record on my computer at age 14. Music has always been a part of my life and I loved experimenting with it. I was introduced to the rave scene at age 18 and fell in love with trance and techno. I wanted to create my own music after hearing the Robert Miles album. "Children" is the song that inspired me and ever since, my creations have been evolving along with the music heard today.

What instruments do you each play? Did you have formal training?
Tom: I've played the piano since I was about 10 years old. I had formal training to become a classical pianist. Thank God my parents made me practice everyday for an hour! Everything I've learned has been absolutely beneficial to my writing as a musician. I do mess around with the guitar here and there, but not even close to what Will on the guitar. You should hear him jam!

Will: Keyboard and Guitar that's about it.

How did your music evolve into a live act?
Will: It started with the equipment we have. We had experience from our synth pop band "Liquid Fiction", playing our first live show at chain reaction. We only had two keyboards, a sampler and two mics at that time. Eventually we slowly built our gear until we both had our own home studio. We started to produce what we thought was trance at that time until we had enough for a one-hour set. We felt confident enough that our music was sufficient to get a crowd to dance and it worked!

Did you ever DJ?
Tom: Nope. Although I'm thinking about giving that a shot sometime in the future. Maybe when these keyboards get too heavy to carry. DJ's are so lucky! All they have to carry are their record bags and their headphones. That makes traveling a bit easier. But I guess I get a good workout lugging all of our gear to the clubs. Bring on those flight of stairs dammit!
Will: Me neither. I never DJ'ed. But I always wanted to.

How would you describe what you do to someone who's never heard of you?
Tom: I usually tell people that we play trance music at clubs and parties without records or turntables, but with keyboards and other synthesizers. It's like a two man rock band, but replace the rock with techno and replace the guitars with keyboards and that's Speaker Junkies.

Do you perform all your own music? Will: Yes. All the music we perform on stage is written and produced by us. Sometimes we like to throw in a cover song of a popular trance anthem and do a different variation of it just to let people know we can do that also. The crowds usually dig it.

Where are some of the biggest/wildest/your favorite places that you've performed?
Will: Florida (Winter Music Conference), Aspen, lake Tahoe, Club Raw, House of Blues, Grand Avenue, Steam boat Colorado, and a few other ones that I can't name off the top of my head. Tom: Playing on top of a mountain at a resort in Colorado was crazy. People had to take these shuttle gondolas to even get to the party.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done on stage?
Tom: Jumping off stage and crowd surfing. I only did a few times. I learned my lesson though. The crowd usually doesn't get me back in time to play my next part - but it's worth it. Will: Dance. I used to be terrified of dancing in a club. I was afraid someone would laugh at me. The rave scene surly depleted that fear.

Have you seen the scene change since when you first started?
Tom: Definitely. There are less raves now and the big massives aren't around anymore. I'm pretty bummed on that. Massives like "How Sweet It Is" and "Audiotistic" were great. Now the raves are done in clubs and afterhour parties. It's not the same vibe and it's not about the PLUR as much or at all anymore. I saddened me when I heard that fights and gangs started to pollute the scene. Come on people - can't we all just get along?

Have you seen the events you play be effected by the police crackdown?
Tom: Occasionally. It's silly that security and police do not allow novelties such as glowsticks, food, and candy at raves and certain clubs. We were told once to take off our glowsticks because we were told that the county police passed a law that glowsticks are a drug related toy. I guess road flares should be illegal also then. We don't want ravers to stop in a middle of a road and stare at the shiny stick now do we?
Will: Raves were our main target for blasting our performance for all those speaker junkies. Now we have to adjust our music for the club scene.

If you weren't performing, where would we find you at a party/rave/club: standing in front of the speakers with your head in a bass bin, in the middle of the dance floor going for hours non stop, off on the side picking up girls... or some where else?
Tom: Truthfully, I'd be sitting somewhere listening intensely to the new sounds DJ's are spinning. It's exciting to hear how trance and techno is evolving. It helps to keep us on our toes and get fresh new ideas. I do get off my ass and dance if I really like the song though.
Will: I would be at home producing. If I were not producing, then I would be studying chemistry and biology. And if I were not studying then I would either be hanging out with my girlfriend and friends or be playing counter strike.

How has your creativity and style changed over the years?
Tom: Being inspired by 80's bands such as Depeche Mode, I was a bit more mellow and melodic in the songs I wrote. Now I love the harsh sounds and craziness of Nu Nrg and Hard Trance.
Will: When I first started producing my creativity was very high and my style was very melodic. Over time I developed writers block and was not very creative. Now I'm back with fresh new ideas and a harder style.

What are a few of your current and all-time favorite records and artists?
Tom: My current favorite artist is an unknown synthpop band called Cosmicity. I also like Nirvana, Paul Oakenfold, Madonna, and OMD just to name a few. Depeche Mode's Violator is probably my favorite record of all time. Will: Robert Miles, Prodigy, Fat Boy Slim, Daft Punk, Metallica, Diesel Boy, 311, and many more.

Who has influenced the music you make?
Will: Robert Miles, Prodigy, Crystal Method, Daft Punk, and those various Trance CD's.
Tom: Actually, Will influenced me to start making trance. I wasn't really into trance much before I met him. Besides him, I have been influenced by mixes spun by DJ's such as DJ Beej, Thermo, Christopher Lawrence, and ATB.

What inspired you to make your first single, "Drifting"?
Tom: I'll pass this question on to Will since he was the brainchild behind Drifting.
Will: I wanted to create a song that would be filled with emotions and uplifting - a song that would take you on a dream - like journey. I was motivated to make a song that everyone would enjoy. Also my partner Tom and manager DJ Daniel inspired me a lot

How did your music end up in an ESPN commericial?
Tom: A friend of ours gave a CD to a commercial agent and basically the agent called our manager and got us the gig with ESPN and ipod. I didn't realize we actually got the gig till I heard it one Saturday morning. I turned on the TV and was like "Wow... I can't believe someone made a song that sounds just like ours. Holy crap... it is ours!!!" I freaked out and was jumping like a mad man.

How would you describe the music on your upcoming full-length album, "Decibel Therapy"?
Tom: It's a combination of melodic to hard electronic dance music that will make you want to get off your seat and bounce. Well, at least, that's what I hope people will be doing. Will: Upbeat, crazy, hard driving, dreamy, mood enhancing and euphoric.

Which of you does what in the studio, on the album and on stage?
Tom: We both have studios in our homes. So pretty much we produce and write the initial part of the song separately. Then we'd get together about 2-3 times a week, share our new ideas, and work on a few songs together. Our parts on stage are pretty much equal - just depends on the song. He'd play a lead part on one song and I'd do the backup sound effects, tweaks, and drum changes and on another song it could be vice versa.

Can people hear any of your music or mixes online?
Will: Definitely. You can check us out at www.speakerjunkies.com. We have sounds linked from mp3.com and iuma.com.

What is your goal as the Speaker Junkies?
Tom: I would love to make this a full time job. Doing something that I absolutely love with a passion and making a living out of it. Getting signed with a major record label wouldn't hurt either. But until we do, we'd like to get our songs to as many people as we can.
Will: We also want to keep this style of music alive. Music is our passion and without it, life would be pretty dull.

What would you be doing right now if you weren't making music?
Tom: I really don't know. I eat, drink and breathe music now. I'd be a very boring person if I weren't doing anything with music.
Will: If I wasn't making music, I would surely be listening to it and I would fully concentrate on school to better my future.

- Raves.com

"What Critics Think"

Some album titles are quite descriptive of their contents, while others can be anything from misleading to ironic to rhetorical. Tekno Punk is, for the most part, an accurate description of this CD by Southern California's Speaker Junkies. The album isn't strictly a fusion of techno and punk; Tekno Punk doesn't sound like Black Flag or the Sex Pistols by way of a rave, and trance -- which is not the same as techno -- is a big part of Speaker Junkies' hi-tech recipe. But their electronica does have a punky attitude quite often -- at least on most of the vocal numbers -- as well as a strong appreciation of hip-hop. This is a disc that will appeal to Prodigy fans more often than not, which isn't to say that everything on Tekno Punk is Prodigy influenced. In fact, the Prodigy influence doesn't kick in until the fourth track "Detonator"; the first three tracks are instrumentals that combine techno and trance and lack an actual song structure. It is the album's vocal offerings, more than the instrumentals, that make Tekno Punk a generally accurate title, with vocal offerings that range from punky, hip-hop-ish Speaker Junkies originals like "Blow Yo Mind," "Outerspace," "Give It to Me Hard," and "Tekno Slut" to a memorable cover of Berlin's "The Metro" (which features vocalist Molly Mahoney [aka Miss Mo]). One of the album's least in-your-face offerings is the lush, enjoyably dreamy "Leap of Faith," which also features Mahoney and is best described as trance-pop; the tune doesn't sound anything like "Detonator" or "Blow Yo Mind." But overall, this pleasing and fairly diverse album is a good example of electronica with an attitude. ~ Alex Henderson

- All Music Guide

"Speaker Junkies Interview"

Speaker Junkies, the team of Tekno Tom and Rezn, bring the edge of a live rock show to the world of techno. Starting off as a synth pop duo, they progressed to the world of techno and haven't looked back. Harder and aggressive than most dance artists, their shows are all live, bringing out the rock star and showing that performing dance music isn't just about watching DJs play records.

DJ Ron Slomowicz: Let's just start at the beginning, how did the two of you meet up?
Tekno Tom: The two of us actually met in 1998. My aunt married his brother and she invited me to the wedding. We realized that we both had something in common, we both had studios and loved electronic music. So we started working on doing a project of mine back in the day called Liquid Friction, which was synth-pop music, kind of like Depeche Mode and New Order. We did that for a couple of years and realized that synth-pop was dead. Rezn introduced me to trance music and said 'let's try to do trance music live.' Not too many people actually do it live. There's Crystal Method and the Prodigy, but they're all breakbeats and everything, so we started doing live shows and booking ourselves out.

RS: Where did the name Speaker Junkies come from?
Rezn: Back in the days, I'd noticed people banging their heads, sitting at the side of the speaker bins, and found out they were called speaker junkies, and that kind of stuck in my head. I called Tom in the morning one day and it was like, 'hey, I think I've found our band name - Speaker Junkies.' Tom laughed and then he was like 'you know what, that does work.'

RS: Rezn, where does that name come from?
Rezn: Back in the days just smoking the dope, though I don't do that anymore.

RS: On your website it lists all the instruments you use and it says 'no turntables." Is that because you have to differentiate yourself as an artist from being a DJ?
Tekno Tom: Well, not only that but we don't know how to DJ. So coming from being producers, we didn't want to go to spinning records, we wanted to actually make the music so that the DJs can spin the music. We like producing more than going out to the clubs with records and doing that. Maybe one day we'll pick up DJing because it is tough sometimes when we're going to a show bring all our equipment, and it'll be great to just book some shows and DJ the music we like too. We wanted to be a band without turntables, something different - real drums, without keyboards, we've got guitar and synthesizers. So we wanted to be like alternative and edgy, the new generation of electronic music.

RS: So when you're on stage you're playing keyboards, Rezn is on guitar, and what also is on stage with you?
Tekno Tom: I'm in the guitar and synthesizer and Rezn's actually on the drum machine, samples, and other synthesizers. We both do vocals.

RS: Speaking about vocals, how did you meet up with Miss Mo?
Tekno Tom: We were looking for a singer and she just happened to be a Broadway singer. It's actually one of my parent's friend's daughters. She came to the studio and we both loved her voice. After a couple of songs we decided to do "The Metro."

RS: I was going to ask like why choose that record, of all the 80s songs out there, why that one?
Tekno Tom: I hadn't heard a good remix of the Metro and I thought it would be a good fit after auditioning her voice, I thought it sounded almost similar. I like the lead and the feel of the Metro, it was one of my favorite songs back in the 80s. Since it hasn't been done as a cover I thought that would be a great way to break into commercial dance music.

RS: Does she perform with you in your shows?
Tekno Tom: We've performed a few times together. The show at the Winter Music Conference was a blast and we have a couple of other shows ready to perform with her later on this year.

RS: I've got to ask, it says you performed with Snoop Doggy Dogg, do you have any fun stories from that night?
Tekno Tom: We didn't perform with him, we opened for him. It was two years ago in December at the House of Blues and our agent just hooked it up. It was a weird show because we were performing techno for a captive audience of all hip-hop people, it was kind of scary. There were some haters but once we got more into it, we started noticing some people grooving to it, so we got a decent response. We met with Nate Dogg and Warren G and they gave us props. We did see Snoop Dogg temporarily, but his gang of security made it kind of impossible to get too close.

RS: What was it like to work with the Prodigy on that remix?
Tekno Tom: The Prodigy remix, it's not the Prodigy.

RS: Oh, it's not Liam?
Tekno Tom: No, no, Prodigy, it's actually a DJ and his name is Prodigy, he's actually from Orange County.

RS: So what's in your iPod right now that you're listening to?
Tekno Tom: In my iPod, I have Linkin Park, Christopher Lawrence, Weezer, Marilyn Manson, and a lot of Depeche Mode.
Rezn: Actually, I have the Creative Zen, and in it is Truby Trio, Korn, ATB, Prodigy, Orbital, some Nirvana, and Paul Van Dyk.

RS: Cool. What was it like having your track in the iPod commercial and hearing it on the MTV commercial?
Tekno Tom: When I first heard the song one morning, I got chills. I tried to put a videotape and record it but it was too late, it was a one-minute commercial. It was cool to see our name in the iPod ads amongst other famous names. I believe it was like, Chemical Brothers, when the guy was going through it.

RS: When you're making music do you normally start with the lyric or you start with the track or loop, what's your songwriting process?
Tekno Tom: I write the lyrics for the group, and normally I write after the music is done and when I have a basic drumbeat. I bring the drumbeat into the car and think up lyrics when I'm driving. We normally start with a beat and then possibly the lead hooks.
Rezn: I usually start with the beat first and then lead in to the bassline. I just loop that and try to get a feeling for it and just progresses from there.

RS: What software do you use, are you ProTools or are you Logic?
Tekno Tom: We both use Cubase effects right now.
Rezn: Reason, Cubase XS, Vanguard, and a lot of outboard gear. I'm starting to learn Absynthe, it's a pretty complicated thing. I am starting to get into Ableton Live.

RS: So you're moving from PC to Mac, or are you strictly PC still?
Rezn: I'm strictly PC; I was thinking of going to Mac but I was starting to read these magazines and PCs are pretty much the thing. It's all about the speed and reliability, and they're also cheap. I'm going to stick with PC because I'm pretty much biased to PC.
Tekno Tom: Yes, we're both PC. I just don't want to get into Mac, it's hard for me to get around with a Mac and I'm just used to PC and it does everything fine for me, so yes, I'm happy with it.

RS: Do you use any outboard gear or are you pretty much all plug-ins now?
Tekno Tom: We definitely use outboard gear. I don't want to use too much software synths because anyone can do that. My favorite touring instrument is the Virus C and the MS 2000. Those are my favorites, but I have maybe eight different keyboards here and Rezn has double that.

RS: I love your website, how long did it take you all to put that together?
Tekno Tom: Our website, it was put together by Pyromedia Studios. It took maybe about a good month for them to get all the content and pictures and music, but we didn't do it ourselves.

RS: It's a cool site. Anything you want to say to all your fans out there?
Tekno Tom: I just want to say thanks for the support and keep electronic music alive, that's pretty much it, and always play it loud.
Rezn: I just want to say thanks for all the support and without them there is no Speaker Junkies. We're very happy that they show up to our shows and show their support.
- DJ Ron Slomowicz

"Fans tune in to Speaker Junkies"

What more could musicians just starting out want than a compliment from longtime rocker Tommy Lee?

“Yeah, I didn’t even know Tommy”, now a deejay “and here he is, quoting in an interview, that he just loves Speaker Junkies,” says Tom Vota, who with partner Will Usey make up the group.

Speaker Junkies? Who’s that? Only some of the hottest guys around, guys who make the music that DJs spin. They are musicians who compose their own music, a rare commodity these days. With their synthesizers and drum machines, the pair offers tunes that gives off thumping beats and futuristic sounds. Mix that with the vocal talents of these Vietnamese American guys, and fans can’t help but dance, or in some people’s cases, just move to the electronica melody.

The Speaker Junkies recently released their debut CD, “Decibel Therapy,” and are in demand on stage. They opened last November at the House of Blues in Anaheim for rapper Snoop Dog.

Vota, a communications major at California State University, Fullerton, and Will, who studies sociology at the University of California, Irvine, recently found time to speak with Nguoi Viet 2.

Question: When did you start getting interested in playing music?
Tom: Well… I started training as a classical pianist, at about 10. My parents always made me practice everyday ‘till I was about 18. I never imagined I’d be making my own music.
Will: Ever since I got my first keyboard. I was seven years old at the time and since then, I’ve always wanted to record my own music.

Q: Where did you get your start?
Tom: Playing electronic music when I graduated high school. I still consider myself a classical pianist, but that’s on the side.
Will: I began to develop my skills as an artist when I started to buy electronic equipment and made my own studio in my bedroom. I knew that this was more than a hobby to me. It became my passion.

Q: How did you two partner up?
Will: My brother married Tom’s aunt. We found out that we were both interested in the same type of music and had a bunch of crazy instruments. So we thought to ourselves, “That would be crazy to put all of our stuff together and form a… studio.” So we did and formed Speaker Junkies.

Q: Who does what during your live performances?
Tom: I play mainly the synthy leads on the “key-tar” and synthesizers. I also have my part in controlling the flow of the tracks (sequencing) via laptop computer.
Will: I play on the synthesizers also and do lead vocals. But I also punch in the samples and effects, control the drums and all the other crazy sounds you hear.
Tom: Yeah, and Will also trips out the crowd with his insane dancing!

Q: Which was your best show?
Will: My favorite had to be at a local rave in Los Angeles at this place called the Orion. About 500 people were waiting just to see us. They were singing along with our songs and at the end giving us little bracelets and making us sign their shirts and hats. It felt like a dream.
Tom: It’s a bit hard to pinpoint just one for me. I think we really tripped out Romania being the first live techno act to perform on “MTV: Grind There.” The kids there were like, “These Asians are crazy!” Ha! But playing for a crowd of about 5,000 people on top of a mountain rave in Colorado was probably my favorite.

Q: Where do you usually perform?
Tom: We perform mainly at raves and clubs. A lot of the events are in Southern California. We’re hoping to tour in Asia next year for our upcoming second release called “Tekno Punk.” But in the meanwhile, we’re still playing in California and traveling in the United States.

Q: How has the scene and your performances changed over the years?
Will: The rave scene died out due to local laws, but that hasn’t stopped us from doing what we do. Clubs are still going strong and they still have underground raves every so often. Our performance has improved drastically since the first time. It’s definitely edgier and the crowd really gets pumped when we get them involved.

Q: Which artists inspire you?
Tom: I personally like Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Depeche Mode, Prodigy, Darude, Icon Underground and BT, just to name a few. They are all geniuses in their own way and so artistic to the electronic music scene.
Will: Same as Tom, but I also get inspired by underground DJs I hear from Europe. Crystal Method and Diesel Boy have also inspired me to produce the music I do. I must say that Robert Miles was probably the artist that got me into trance/techno music.

Q: How did ESPN get “Drifting,” your hit single, to use for a Saturday morning football commercial?
Tom: Well, we have a great manager, Daniel Park. He’s helped us out a lot through the years and has gotten us to places we never thought we’d play. He hooked up the deal with not only ESPN, but we also had our band name grace the screen on an IPOD commercial last year. I couldn’t believe I woke up one Saturday morning, turned on the TV, and there it was — blasting on my television.

Q: How would you describe your music to the average listener? How did you come to choose the music you play?
Will: Our music sounds like music from outer space. Dance beats with a lot of futuristic, electronic sounds. The music we play comes from attending past raves, listening to dance music and being inspired from it. People think it’s easy to create, but they’re dead wrong.
Tom: Boom, boom, boom, boom!!! That’s the basics of trance. Very fast and upbeat. The only way you can be still to this type of music is if you were dead. I really have to owe it to my partner, Will, for even introducing this type of music to me. I wasn’t even into trance before I met him.

Q: What did your parents think when you chose this profession?
Tom: My parents really didn’t like the fact that I was so absorbed in my music. They kept telling me just to make it a hobby. Well, this “little hobby” became my life. “I love what I do and I’m gonna continue doing this” was what I told them.
They now support it and have even come to shows in the past.
Will: They said as long as I was happy that’s all that matters. They always support me and try to make it to our gigs.

Q: If you’re not DJs, what do you call yourselves?
Will: Live Performance Artists (Live P.A.) Two-man band. Techno Duo.
Tom: Some have even said “Blink 182 on Ecstasy.” Ha! But for the record, we don’t even use records. We create the music that DJs play.

Q: Where have you traveled to for your shows? Any favorites?
Tom: From the top of my head — Romania, Florida, Tahoe, Vegas, Colorado, Reno, Arizona, Mexico and San Francisco.
Will: Favorites would have to be South Beach, Florida; Colorado and Romania. The people there showed a lot of love.

Q: How many hours a week do you practice?
Tom: Will and I practice maybe about three to five hours a week. We’re also in the studio for about three to five hours almost everyday creating songs and producing remixes and other tracks for other artists.

Q: Can people hire you for private parties?
Will: They sure can. We’re not the type of band you’d want for your child’s birthday party though, but we’ve played house parties before.
Tom: Yeah, they just have to warn their neighbors that their house will shake for approximately one hour when we go on.

Q: Where can we get “Decibel Therapy,” your latest album?
Will: Go to cdbaby.com, Tower Records, or directly from speakerjunkies.com. We also have a list of stores on our site where they can go to purchase it.
Tom: Asian Garden Mall (Westminster, California), man! I think they still carry some.
You can also hear new unreleased tracks on www.myspace.com/thespeakerjunkies

Q: Random question for fun: Do you have any groupies?
Will: Actually I’m quite surprised at how many we have. We’ve had a few girls who’ve asked if they could go on the road with us. Very flattering! Nice people!
Tom: We also have a lot of die-hard fans.
They come out to support us, make shirts for us, pass out flyers and stickers, or write little notes to hand us during and after our set. Sometimes they even ask if they could carry our stuff.

Q: When’s your next show?
Tom: I believe we have a gig at a local rave next month. It’s not confirmed yet, but check speakerjunkies.com for upcoming show dates.

Q: If you weren’t performing, what would you be doing today?
Will: I’d be either working on more music, or concentrating on school at UCI.
Tom: Most likely I’d be in the studio. I’m a prisoner, but I love it.

Q: What’s your next goal?
Tom: Well we hope to be signed by a major record label, get one of our songs on the top of the Billboard Dance charts, and possibly tour the world. But until then, our current goal is to finish “Tekno Punk.” Look out for it in a store near you in January 2005.

Q: What advice would you give aspiring musicians?
Will: Don’t give up. It’s a cutthroat industry and only the persistent ones survive.
Tom: Amen to that. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. Life is too short to not explore where music could take you.
- Nguoi-viet Online

"MYX.TV Featured Artists Speaker Junkies"

Who’s in your group and what do they do?
Speaker Junkies consists of 2 members – Tekno Tom and Rezn Tokes (Will Usely). Both members are of Vietnamese heritage. Tekno Tom plays on the synthesized key-tar, sound modules and vocals. Rezen Tokes controls the drum machines, synthesizers, music sequencing and lead vocals. And additional guest member on stage is Leonti who does vocals, track sequencing, djs and is the hype man.

Share your history with us:
Speaker Junkies sprouted in 1999 after both members experimented in the synthpop music scene. After analyzing that trance and house music was only played by DJ’s in the club and rave scene, both partners came up with the idea to show the scene that it could be done as a live band. With Orange County sprouting alternative, punk and rock bands – Speaker Junkies became one of the first electronic Trance groups being born in the O.C. From our first gig in 2000, we’ve exploded to headline majority of event in the rave and club scene. Our last CD, Tekno Punk, was distributed nationwide in Tower Records and Virgin Records.

What’s your group’s biggest claim to fame?
Performing on MTV in Europe was huge break for us back in 2005. Our music and performance was on air and we received huge recognition after that. After music-star Tommy Lee mention in an interview that one of his favorite artists was “Speaker Junkies”, we knew that we’ve made an impact in the music scene.

Tell us about your group’s most memorable performance:
One of our most memorable performances was performing on Aspen Mountain in Colorado for a crowd of about 3,000 people. Concert goers had to take a Gondola ski lift up to the mountain to get into the venue and everyone was in shock and excitement to see this type of dance music being performed live by 2 punked out musicians. Just recently in 2008, we performed for a crowd of about 5,000 people in San Bernardino and it was amazing. We’ve never seen so many people singing and chanting our lyrics. It was crazy to see how much of an impact we had in the rave scene.

Tell us about a strange performance:
A strange performance was opening up for Snoop Dogg at the House of Blues for a sold out concert. The crowd at first didn’t understand why dance/techno music was being played. So they booed us. After performing a few songs that had rapping in it, most of the crowd acted it and started to dance. We got praised by Magic Johnson, Warren G, and Nate Dogg who were all backstage!

Tell us about the project you are currently working on:
We just recently finished our single called “Now is the Time” and shot a music video for that. Right now we’re working on more “electro” type tracks since the dance scene is evolving so quickly. But at the same time, we’re also working on tracks that are a fusion of dance and alternative music. Kind of like Linkin Park, Prodigy and Tiesto put into a blender. So far we are half way done for the new upcoming album slated to be released by summer 2009.

Tell us about your previous projects? How has your craft grown since then?
Our previous release, Tekno Punk, was a vision of not just straight “four on the floor” dance music, but incorporated guests rappers and singers. It’s rare or even unheard of to have rapping in dance music. So with that type of style that we’ve created, we’re hoping that it’ll help us to cross over into the commercial music side as well. We’re continually writing lyrics to various tracks we’re working on. The crowd not only wants to dance, but wants to sing along as well.

Tell us about any interesting collaborations your group has worked on with other:
We’re looking to work on some dance music tracks with rocker Tommy Lee in the near future. He expressed high interests over the months and has DJ’ed some of our tracks over the years as well. We’ve collaborated with another band called Icon Underground and also Broadway singer Molly Mahoney in our last album. Our latest remix collaboration was for an eletro-rock band called A Kiss Could Be Deadly, who recently got signed with Metropolis Records.

What inspires you and your art?
Life, love, hate. It’s all a roller coaster. It’s in our music. It’s in our lyrics. But of course, it’s the evolving technology and sound of electronic music that inspires us to create new tracks and to stay on top other game as well.

Be a fortune teller. Where do you see your group in five years?
Being unique as we are and performing music that is being so commercialized in clubs and even radio now, we see ourselves performing with mainstream artists and performing for larger concert halls and venue. We’ll be remixing tracks for pop artists, hip hop artist and anyone who wants a Speaker Junkies creation.

Pickles or chocolate and why?
Chocolate. Why eat veggies when you can eat candy?

Last thoughts:
Watch our latest music video “Now is the Time” on YouTube and MYX. Spread the word, spread the name…cuz everyone is a Speaker Junky.

Shout outs:
Rezen Tokes: My wife Christina, God, my family, our executive producer Chris and Pat. And of course all of my friends.

More info:

- Myx.tv.com

"Speaker Junkies...Tekno Punk!"

Orange County, CA - The Speaker Junkies, aka the live Trance/Techno duo of Tekno Tom (Synths, Key-Tar, Sequencing) and Rezn Tokes (Synths, Drum Machines, Vocals, Tweeking), have a number of upcoming performances to help promote the release of their second album Tekno Punk on Southern California indie label AcropolisRPM. The record will have a national audience through MDI Distribution.

They will share the bill with DJ Irene for Cinco de Mayo on the legendary Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Speaker Junkies headline a rave the following Saturday at The Alexandria Hotel on May 13th and are back at the venue for "Unity" on Saturday, June 17th.

Next month, an in-store and performance at DVS Records in San Diego along with a club performance at Rhythm Lounge that night is scheduled for Saturday, May 20th. They will also be performing this summer on "The Groove Cruise" with DJ's Donald Glaude, Scooter and Lavelle. The Royal Caribbean Cruise will depart from Los Angeles on July 21st and is enroute to Mexico, returning on July 24th.

An electronic music artist armed with keyboards, synthesizers, drum machines and no turntables, Speaker Junkies were discovered by AcropolisRPM's founder Daniel Park (aka DJ Daniel) in the late 1990's while performing at a local rave. The marketing campaign and ensuing national buzz after the release of Speaker Junkies debut CD Decibel Therapy in 2003 attracted MDI, who signed them to a national distribution deal for Tekno Punk and the record’s single releases.

Speaker Junkies’ name has graced television screens across America on an Apple iPod commercial as one of the artists on the hip listening device. Their debut single “Drifting” was showcased in an ESPN college football commercial. And their 2004 single “Interlusion / Stand-Up” (include on Tekno Punk) has currently been in rotation with world renown DJ’s such as Lisa Lashes, BK, Jon Bishop, DJ Irene and Tommy Lee.

Thirteen of the 15 tracks on Tekno Punk were entirely written, produced and performed by Speaker Junkies. Icon Underground appears on two cuts, while Molly Mahoney aka Miss Mo (who has sung on Broadway!) is the vocalist on three of the songs. The first two singles, which include a remake of Berlin's hit "The Metro" (with vocals by Miss Mo), and a catchy original track, “Tekno Slut,” will be available commercially on vinyl April 25th through MDI. Both songs are getting airplay on college radio and online radio outlets such as Groove Radio, KUCI 88.9, Trance Addict and Orbital Grooves.

Emphasis tracks/future singles on Tekno Punk include "Attack," which features the rapper from Icon Underground, "Leap of Faith," with vocals by Miss Mo and "Detonator."

Tekno Punk will be in stores nationwide on AcropolisRPM through MDI on April 25th, 2006. The commercial vinyl containing the first two singles ("The Metro" and ”Tekno Slut”) will also be available on that date.

For more informatio just check out www.speakerjunkies.com!
- Shelli Andranigian - Phocas.net

"Speaker Junkies"

For my first review of a CD I’m going out side the box and out side the state and going with a local California group called The Speaker Junkies

For my first review of a CD I’m going out side the box and out side the state and going with a local California group called The Speaker Junkies. The CD I’m talking about is called Tekno Punk which you can’t actually find in a regular store. You can find it at bestbuy.com and CDbaby.com. I was able to see these guy’s live a few times while I was still in California and I have to say that there are not a lot of people that can make me dance hardcore with a broken big toe. That’s right these guys are producers, who perform live with drum synth and key-tar Now that the ‘how to get, and who they are’ bullshit is out the way lets get to the actually review of it all.

Tekno Punk is in my book a CD that will get you up, get you going and keep you there. Starting out with a song called Diffusion he Speaker Junkies start things off on the right level. Diffusion is a full instrumental song with a quick beat that creates a steady desire to move with it. The well thought out and well placed bass lines along with the synthesizer makes for one damn good song after the other. When you add in the vocals from songs like “blow yo mind” and “Tekno Slut” that intergrades seamlessly into the beats you don’t find yourself wondering what they are saying, instead you seem to feel what they are saying in their songs. The CD as a whole very much goes from up to down to up again. Never really leaving you to a steady plateau of the same over used beats and chop shop techniques that I have seen in other CD’s that have been put out there to date. Passing up the chance to check these guys out would probably be the dumbest thing you do this week. - Mystery from seattlepartykids.com


Coming off of a couple of smokin performances at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, the Speaker Junkies are ready to show their unique live electronic dance music act with our dance loving Groove Cruisers. Armed with keyboards, samplers, drum machines, and NO TURNTABLES, their LIVE set must be experienced and danced to as it cannot be described! These guys have been blowing speakers all over everywhere...From MTV's The Grind, to a tour in Europe, to sharing the bill with Snoop Dog, Sander Kleinenberg, Oakenfold, Darude, etc. And now, with the release of their 2nd album TEKNO PUNK!, the Speaker Junkies are geared up to Blow the Speakers off the Monarch of the Seas! - The Groove Cruise


Drifting (single) - featuring DJ Thee-0 / DJ Daniel
Un-Human (single) - featuring Beetlejuice
Interlustion (single) - featuring DJ Johnny Goa
Party in My Pants (featured on Power 106 w/ Richard Humpty Vission on Power Tools)
Decibel Therapy (LP) - 2003 release
Tekno Punk (LP) - 2006 release
Now Is The Time (single) - 2008
Sex Drug (EP) - 2009



Speaker Junkies are a live electronic band, armed with keyboards, synthesizers, drum machines and no turntables. Their addictive music will awaken your inner dance child and their amazing LIVE performance will leave you craving for more. Wild stage antics draw you in to a rush that's like pure ecstasy consuming your body. And once the sounds of the Speaker Junkies hit the floor, you will have no choice but to release your inhibitions and dance.

Speaker Junkies' contagious groove infected Europe all last summer, being featured on MTV:GRIND in Romania. They have opened up for names such as Snoop Dogg, DJ Dan, Christopher Lawrence, Infected Mushroom, Hyper Crush, Junkie XL, Darude, Tommy Lee...just to name a few. Speaker Junkies were even featured at the Winter Music Conference New Artist Showcase, and at numerous venues in the U.S. and overseas. Additionally, their debut single "Drifting" was showcased in an ESPN commercial and their name has graced television screens across America on Apples IPOD commercial.

Speaker Junkies' latest single "Now Is The Time" has currently been on rotation with world renown DJ's and various radio stations across the U.S. Now with their latest EP "Sex Drug" and upcoming releases, Speaker Junkies are definately a premiere electronic act.