From producing rock bands to headling electronic music's biggest stages

An electronic music jack-of-all-trades, Tom established himself as a world-famous electronic artist, club remixer and live performer under the name Junkie XL.


The Early Years

Tom was born in Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland, Netherlands. Classically trained by his mother – herself an accredited music teacher – Holkenborg started playing piano when he was three years old, drums when he was eight, and guitar at 12.

Influenced by the psychedelic pop of Pink Floyd and King Crimson, he took up the bass by age 14. After moving to Leeuwarden, at the age of 17, he decided to take a job at a local music store selling keyboards and other digital gear, and began to have an appreciation for the combination of electronic and organic sounds. It was shortly after he discovered synthesizers that he joined the Dutch new wave ensemble Weekend at Waikiki as a multi-instrumentalist and producer, touring extensively with the band, including through Poland and parts of the Soviet Union, from 1988 to 1991. He also produced and played on their 1994 album, Sputnik.

In 1993, Holkenborg produced Almost a Dance by Dutch metal band The Gathering, and later that year went on to form the industrial rock band Nerve with Phil Mills. After signing with label Play It Again Sam in 1992 and releasing two LPs – Cancer of Choice (1993) and Blood & Gold (1994) – he continued as a producer, working with hardcore punk and metal bands like Sepultura, Fear Factory, and Dog Eat Dog.

Enter Junkie XL: Saturday Teenage Kick

Tom's first album as Junkie XL was released in 1997 features vocal work by Patrick 'Rude Boy' Tilon from the Dutch group Urban Dance Squad. Some of the album tracks (Dealing with the Roster, War, No Remorse, X-Panding Limits, Def Beat, Mulu, Underachievers, and a live version of Fight) were added to the hoax The Prodigy album The Castbreeder in 1998 under different names.

Known for his unrivaled work ethic, Tom also created music for video games such as “The Sims 2: Nightlife,” Xbox games “Forza Motorsport” and “Quantum Redshift,” as well as Electronic Art’s “Burnout,” “Need For Speed” and "SSX" series.

Worldwide Success

Tom scored a #1 hit in over 20 countries with his remix of Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation". He was the first artist outside the Presley organization to receive authorization from the Elvis Presley estate to remix an Elvis Presley song. It has since been used in films like "Ocean's 11" and "Sharktale" as well as in countless commercial spots.

Holkenborg has made remixes for both A-list pop superstars and lesser known artists. Highlights include work for Scissor Sisters ("Mary", "Land of a Thousand Words"), Depeche Mode ("Enjoy the Silence"), U.N.K.L.E. ("Burn My Shadow"), Justin Timberlake ("What Goes Around"), Fatboy Slim ("Weapon of Choice"), Coldplay ("Talk"), Bloc Party ("Sundays"), Michael Bublé ("Sway"), Avril Lavigne ("Girlfriend"), Daft Punk ("The Grid"), Madonna ("4 Minutes"), and Hans Zimmer ("Inception" and "Bombers Over Ibiza"). His remix for Britney Spears' "Outrageous" was used in the 2004 film Catwoman, and his remix of "And Then We Kiss" was featured on Spears' 2005 remix album B in the Mix: The Remixes. In 2008, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for his remix of Madonna's "4 Minutes".

Transition Into Film Scoring

After a brief tour with The Prodigy and festival dates at Fuji Rock and Roskilde, Holkenborg made a name for himself in the upcoming U.S. rave scene and was a go-to collaborator and producer for the likes of Tiësto, Sasha, and many more.

Holkenborg's music has also been featured in a number of international ad campaigns for major brands like Nike, Adidas, Heineken, and Cadillac. His remix of Eagles of Death Metal's "Don't Speak" was used in the 2008 Nike "Take it to the Next Level" commercial, which was directed by Guy Ritchie. "Today" was featured on ESPN commercials for Major League Soccer, while "A Little Less Conversation" provided the soundtrack to Nike's 2002 World Cup campaign.

It was only after hearing his track "Dealing with the Roster" featured in the 1998 film "Blade" that Holkenborg got the bug to score films.

The rest, as they say, is history.