Sign of the times: Junkie XL is selling all his gear

Maybe you’ve seen the video of Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) in which he’s making the announcement that he’s selling all his gear. Over 200 synths, samplers, nearly 100 pedals, 30-plus microphones, dozens of guitars, drums, and more will be available December 9th on Reverb.

It’s a great story. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do so before continue reading my post.

After seeing Tom filming his first studio tour my first response at the time was like: what the h#ll!?!?!

Tom now says:

There were so many occasions that I started to feel bad that I actually owned so much gear but was actually not accessing it enough.

So there are two things I could do with it at this point:

Keep it all and keep it as a backdrop for my studio to work in. But I’ve decided actually to get rid off my gear to relief myself of that burden. Which means that these instruments go out in the world and hopefully find a home where they will be a much loved and taking care off as I did over the 32 years.

The story reminds me of David Gilmour selling his 126 (!) guitars last year.

When Tom talks about the creative process often he can be seen sitting behind a computer using a controller to control software instruments. This makes perfect sense to me. Working in-the-box, what else is new?

I am not saying you should not own hardware. The key for me is: how much? Knowing when enough is enough.

For a lot of people working in-the-box is like living dangerously. See for example this recent thread on Gearslutz: Michael Brauer has gone ITB!!! But for me it’s as if you found out Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, 20 years after it happened…

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2 Responses to Sign of the times: Junkie XL is selling all his gear

  1. John Pazdan November 25, 2020 at 6:43 pm #

    Dead on Marco…I have been dealing with this for decades as well.I am amazed at the amount of stuff people think they need. I have found a good killer for that impulse is to pick one ios app, something you don’t quite understand, and really get into it.

    His comment on how much a memory moog was worth in 1983 is accurate as well. I get the feeling that people who threw away their “old” stuff for NEWNEWNEW stuff, might be driving this..’oh man, WHY did I do that? let’s see if there’s another one on reverb’.

    Just yesterday I found myself killing time shopping for a newnewnew distortion thing for my piccolo bass…$300-$400 +…then I “remembered” I had the excellent audio damage Grind..and that it did 100% and more of what some of these did. and yeayeayea ‘it doesn’t sound the same” If you heard what I was torturing the app with, I cant see the difference at all.

    this xmas sea$$ion is the worst time for this consumerism..hey man it’s on sale..hey man 48 months to pay! I havent had a paying gig since 11/30/19…because I dont play for peanuts (or even almonds!) and there’s simply no work for a band that usually draws hundreds of people.

    the best of the REAL holiday season to you and your daughter..and hopefully, we will finally hookup in ’11.
    jp

  2. Marco Raaphorst November 25, 2020 at 9:10 pm #

    It’s nice being able to create your own sounds and effects. I am still learning what more I can do with my tools. I guess minimalism is kinda neat, a creative challenge. But I can’t say the enormous amount of devices/plugins I have available is an act of minimalism. I am often using minimalism as a creative method. The old “keep it simple”, a cliche but so true.

    Thanks John, have a good one and see you “soon”!

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