Roots & Influences: Tokky Horror

Roots and Influences invites our favourite artists, local and afar, to curate a playlist of 10 songs that have inspired their career to date. Ahead of their UK tour kicking off in November, we tune into the influential sounds of Tokky Horror! 

Coinciding four dates with their next single release ‘HAMMER 2 THE FACE’, the fast-rising rave trio have just signed with FMLY, taking them across the UK from Bristol and Wolverhampton, to London and of course, Liverpool! Catch them on 26th November at Q U A RR Y with support from DJ Soyboi, Shannon From Admin, Gurnal Gadafi and Coughin Vicars.




This whole collaborative 7” is genius, I’d go as far to say IGORRR is my biggest inspiration as a producer. The combo of big doom guitars and breakbeats just blew my mind. There’s a theme within Jungle and DnB to find music that’s roughly half the tempo of the breakbeat (sitting around 80bpm – 100bpm) and blend them, so hip-hop gets used a lot, reggae, dub etc. but to take that to sludge metal was such a moment of originality to me and development of the sound I was really inspired by.


I’ve always felt the nails-in-head-dude in Slipknot is the most valuable member. As well as showing his worth by being famously silent, so not chatting the absolute shite the rest of the band do, his use of samples is what made Slipknot stand out to me. This track, with the jungle-esque breaks at the beginning, was it for me. More than the guitars, or the screaming or the stupid jump suits. As a 13 year old System of a Down/Rage Against the Machine / Limp Bizkit obsessed greebo, I heard those amens opening up the track and was like “what the fuck is this” and that really might have been the start of my love for Jungle.


I remember seeing a live performance of this on Jools Holland. Roni Size had these huge PCs running what looked to me like some sort of Matrix code, all lined up on a rack. I really didn’t know computers could make music before this. I had a Dad in a punk band (called Mothfucker, for anyone who wants to look them up – they were IT on the Lancashire HxC scene in the early 90s apparently) so had always assumed making music was about beating the shit out of a guitar. Id learnt drums early on, but when I realised I could play “the computer” I lost my mind and became totally obsessed.


I was born in ‘94 so my parents were trance heads. I was regularly left with my nan so mum could jet off to Ibiza for a weekend. So this track is just an absolute whack of nostalgia. I met Ava (vocalist in Tokky Horror) properly when she supported Zand, who I was DJing for at the time. She had a track that sampled Born Slippy, so backstage I quizzed her on some trance classics and we quickly buzzed off the idea of making some music together. That was the start of Tokky Horror. A couple of days later, she sent me ‘Castles in the Sky’ on a playlist of tracks to reference and since then, it’s been a song we all associate with those early days of getting to know each other.


This is one of my favourite riffs, if not my favourite. It’s class. I love how relentless it is. I really emulate a lot of Buzz and the bands around this scene, like Jesus Lizard and Butthole Surfers, in my playing. My Dad dug all these bands and it definitely passed onto me. At the time, kids were listening to a lot of metalcore and hardcore had moved on to hands like Converge & Dillinger Escape Plan, which I wouldn’t get into until I was older. The gateway to that stuff was these sloppier “Steve Albini” bands that live somewhere between punk, grunge and metal.


I’ve always loved cheesy 80s stuff my parents like, which was a lot of Numan, OMD, Depeche Mode. But I never really saw the pathway from that to industrial to metal, and so on. I’ve seen Numan a few times now and this particular release was what got me into him. Again, a huge influence and an amazing song writer.


My fave Fuck Buttons fact is that one of their tracks was used to soundtrack the Olympics. Who would have thought a noise band with a swear word name would get to do that? The production, in particular the use of distortion and “wall of noise”, is on top form in this track. Combined with really blissful melody, it cuts even harder.


I use a lot of arpeggiated synths and high synth lines, all doused in reverb. It’s pure Underworld worship. I saw them a couple of summers ago at a fezzy my old band were playing absolutely tripping my tits off and I just sort of went: “I want to make this music”. I don’t know if I do feel like that now, but there’s elements to Underworld that are pure genius to me. Masters of melodic lines and long psychedelic jams that build and build. I referenced this track a lot while working on ‘Simulate Me’ – if you listen to the middle section you can probably pull that influence out.


A solid banger. I really don’t listen to a lot of music with a pop vocal, so when writing for Tokky with Mol and Ava, I have to really train myself on those parts. This is a reference track for me in those moments. It’s got that Bikini Kill grit and Karen O ethereal vibes.

Tokky Horror’s next single ‘HAMMER 2 THE FACE’ is out on 3rd Nov – pre-save here. In the meantime, check out their latest release ‘JAZZ MUSIC’ below: