born on 8/12/1967 in Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland, Netherlands

Alias Junkie XL
Tom Holkenborg

Junkie XL

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Junkie XL

Tom Holkenborg (born December 8, 1967), better known as Junkie XL or occasionally JXL, is a Dutch multi-instrumentalist, producer, and engineer. He uses the name JXL in cases where the term Junkie might cause offense. Says Holkenborg of his name, I called myself Junkie XL from the point of view that once youre completely overworked, you never want to go there again. The XL stands for expanding limits; broadening up your vision.


Early years

XL was born in Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland, Netherlands. Classically trained by his mother herself an accredited music teacher Holkenborg started playing piano when he was four years old, drums when he was eight, and guitar at 12. Already influenced by the psychedelic-pop of Pink Floyd and King Crimson, he took up the bass by age 14. After taking a job at a local music store selling keyboards and other digital gear, he 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 parts of the former Soviet Union, from 1988 to 1991. He also contributed to their final 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 influential label Play It Again Sam in 1992 and releasing two LPs Cancer of Choice (1993) and Blood & Gold (1994) he continued as a producer-for-hire, working with hardcore and metal bands like Sepultura, Fear Factory, and Dog Eat Dog while simultaneously licensing some of his instrumental electronic tracks for racing video games like The Need For Speed and Test Drive 5. It was during this time that he also began scoring the Dutch feature film, Siberia, which would be released by Warner Brothers Netherlands.

1997-1999: Saturday Teenage Kick and Big Sounds of the Drags

In 1997, Holkenborg released Saturday Teenage Kick, his first album under the "Junkie XL" moniker. Featuring singles such as Billy Club, Def Beat and Dealing with the Roster, the album combined pounding breakbeat rhythms with elements of rock and psychedelia, providing an early blueprint for the big beat genre. Many of the albums songs featured lyrics and vocals by Patrick Rude Boy Tilon, vocalist for the Dutch rap rock band Urban Dance Squad. After a brief tour with Prodigy and festival dates at Fuji Rock and Roskilde, Holkenborg made a name for itself in the burgeoning US rave scene. His second LP, Big Sounds of the Drags, was released in 1999, and also featured a number of collaborations with Tilon, including Action Radius, Power of Big Slacks, Zerotonine, Love Like a Razorblade, Legion and Next Plateau. Future in Computer Hell (Part 2), the last track on the album, was featured prominently on Welsh DJ and producer Sashas mix album, Global Underground 013: Ibiza.

2002: "A Little Less Conversation"

While making inroads as a film composer contributing to movies like Blade (1998) and The Beach (2000) Holkenborg was asked to remix Elvis Presleys 1968 single A Little Less Conversation (with three different music videos) for a 2002 Nike World Cup commercial. The occasion marked the first time Presleys estate had granted permission for any of the artists material to be remixed. The song reached No. 1 in 24 countries, including Great Britain, Japan, Australia and Mexico, and was released as a single under the name "Elvis vs. JXL". The song was also featured as the title song to the NBC TV series, Las Vegas, and in feature films like Shark Tale, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and MegaMind.

2003: Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin

The worldwide popularity of A Little Less Conversation set the stage for his 2003 double-disc album, Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin. (The name Computer Hell referred to Holkenborgs Amsterdam studio and headquarters.) Loosely based around the concept of a dreamlike pirate radio station, the LPs 3PM side features collaborations with The Cures Robert Smith, Depeche Modes Dave Gahan, Peter Tosh, Chuck D from Public Enemy, Gary Numan, Solomon Burke, and Saffron, along with the famed Elvis Presley remix. The 3AM side consists mostly of progressive house instrumentals, including Breezer, a collaboration with Sasha. The album was to be launched simultaneously with a fully functioning internet radio station at RadioJXL.com, which was to feature exclusive shows and mixes with top EDM producers and DJs, but the undertaking proved to be too expensive and time-consuming to continue. Subsequently, two downloadable albums were released from the site: 7AM Ambient and 7AM Dance.

2004-2008: Today and Booming Back at You

Holkenborg decided to relocate to Los Angeles in 2003, and in April 2006, released his fourth full-length, Today, and album that reflected the personal and professional changes that were occurring in his life. Today features only one guest vocalist, Nathan Mader, and reverts to the more guitar-based sound of his first two albums. His fifth album, Booming Back at You, saw Holkenborg cultivate a stronger club sound punctuated by tracks like 1967 Poem, featuring Dim Mak label boss Steve Aoki. Many of the lyrics on the album were written in collaboration with Electrocutes Nicole Morier, who appears in Mad Pursuit, Not Enough and New Toy. The album was released on Artwerk Music, a joint venture between Nettwerk Music and video game company Electronic Arts, and peaked at 11 on Billboards Top Electronic Album chart. It was the first Junkie XL full-length to chart in the US, and featured the hit single, More, with Lauren Rocket. Rocket also contributed vocals to the Siouxsie and the Banshees cover, "Cities in Dust".


On November 27, 2012, Junkie XL released his sixth full-length album, entitled Synthesized. The album was preceded by a single EP for Mollys E, which was released on September 6 and features remixes by Azari & III and Canblaster. A second single, Gloria (with Fredrik Saroea of Datarock), was released on October 23. Stylistically, Synthesized strikes a balance between the introspective sound of Today and the club-heavy sound of Booming Back at You, and features collaborations with Isis Salam (Off The Dancefloor), Tears for Fears Curt Smith (When Enough is Not Enough), and Tommie Sunshine (Love Machine). The album also features a spoken word excerpt from Timothy Learys The Psychedelic Experience, read by Leary, on the song Leave Behind Your Ego. A video for Off the Dancefloor was created by Japanese electro-pop band Trippple Nippples. The videos for Gloria and Leave Behind Your Ego were directed by John Christopher Pina (Kanye West, John Legend, Seal, Common) for Clean Sweep.

Composing for film

In collaboration with Harry Gregson-Williams, he contributed additional music to the Tony Scott film, Domino (2005), and served as the composer on the Dutch film, Blind, which was nominated for Best Original Music Score at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2007 and received the Grand Prix award for Best Original Music Score at the 2008 Aubagne International Film Festival. Today, Holkenborg continues to expand his influence in the world of film and television composition, recently collaborating with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer on one of the highest-grossing films of all time, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. The film marks the fourth scoring collaboration between Holkenborg and Zimmer, including Megamind (2010), Inception (2010) and Madagascar 3 (2012). Since moving into Zimmers Remote Control Productions studio, the two have worked together on many other musical projects, including Man of Steel, the reboot of the Superman franchise, and a remix of this years Academy Awards theme song. Holkenborg has also provided music for the films Kingdom of Heaven, Domino, DOA: Dead or Alive, Shark Tale, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, The Animatrix and Resident Evil, and has had his original music featured in a number of major motion pictures, including Blade (Dealing with the Roster) and The Beach (Synaesthesia). In 2013, he composed the music for the Relativity Media film, Paranoia. Shortly after, he was brought in by Zack Snyder the producer of 300: Rise of an Empire to create the score for the film. Rise of an Empire is the follow up to the blockbuster and cult classic 300 which was directed by Zack Snyder and released in 2007.

Composing for video games

To go along with his numerous artist albums and EPs, Holkenborg has been creating original music for video games since the mid-90s. In addition to composing the soundtrack for Xbox racing games Forza Motorsport and Quantum Redshift, Holkenborg is responsible for the groundbreaking SSX Blur soundtrack. Hes also licensed a number of his album tracks for video game use. Future in Computer Hell (Part 2), Synasthesia, and Dance USA all taken from his album Big Sounds of the Drags were licensed to the racing video game, TD Overdrive: The Brotherhood of Speed (2002). The title track for Today is featured on the soundtrack for the video games, Burnout Legends and Burnout Revenge, while More taken from his fifth album, Booming Back at You is featured on the soundtrack to EA Games Need for Speed: ProStreet, which also includes a full score from Holkenborg. His cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees Cities in Dust is featured on Electronic Arts Burnout: Paradise. Hes written additional music for and licensed music to The Matrix: Path of Neo, Destroy All Humans!, The Sims 2: Nightlife, The Sims 3, Need for Speed: Underground, Need for Speed: Carbon, FIFA 08, and FIFA Street 3, among others. Most recently, he composed the soundtrack for EAs Darkspore.


Holkenborgs remixes for both A-list pop superstars and lesser known artists have always kept him at the forefront of dance music culture. 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), and Avril Lavigne (Girlfriend). 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 Madonnas 4 Minutes. His remix of Elvis Presleys A Little Less Conversation has gone to No. 1 in 24 different countries.

Commercial work

Holkenborgs 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 Metals 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 Nikes 2002 World Cup campaign.

Personal life

Holkenborg now seeks to pass the torch to a new generation of producers, remixers, composers and artists by teaching at The ArtEZ Conservatorium, one of the major art institutes in the Netherlands. As an associate professor, he is able to infuse his students with his passion for classical music and years of experience. He currently resides in Venice, Los Angeles, California.


Main article: Junkie XL discography


  • Saturday Teenage Kick (1997)
  • Big Sounds of the Drags (2000)
  • Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin (2003)
  • Today (2006)
  • Booming Back at You (2008)
  • Synthesized (2012)

Featured films

  • The Delivery (2001) Composer
  • Resident Evil (2002) Additional music
  • The Animatrix (2003) Additional music
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004) Additional music
  • Shark Tale (2004) Additional music
  • Domino (2005) Additional music
  • Blind (2006) Composer
  • Siberia (2007) Composer
  • Johan1 (2010) Composer
  • De Gelukkige Huisvrouw, The Happy Housewife (2010) Composer
  • Megamind (2010) Composer
  • Bringing Up Bobby (2011) Composer
  • New Kids (2011) Composer
  • New Kids Turbo (2011) Composer
  • The Heineken Kidnapping (2011) Composer
  • The Crisis and Us (2011) Composer
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) Additional music
  • Madagascar 3 (2012) Composer, additional music
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Composer, additional music
  • Man of Steel (2013) Composer, additional music
  • Paranoia (2013) Composer
  • 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) Composer
  • Divergent (2014) - Composer
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Composer

Featured games

  • The Need for Speed (1995) License
  • Test Drive 5 (1998) License
  • Need for Speed: High Stakes (1999) License
  • Demolition Racer: No Exit (2000)
  • Gran Turismo 3 (2001)
  • Quantum Redshift (2002) Composer
  • TD Overdrive: The Brotherhood of Speed (2002)
  • EVE Online (2003)
  • Need for Speed: Underground (2003) License
  • UEFA Euro 2004 (2004)
  • The Sims 2: Nightlife (2005) License
  • Forza Motorsport (2005) Composer
  • Destroy All Humans! (2005) Additional music
  • Burnout Revenge (2005) - License
  • Burnout Legends (2005) License
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo (2005) Additional music
  • Infected (2005)
  • Need for Speed: Carbon (2006) License
  • Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 (2007)
  • God of War II (2007) Original remix
  • SSX Blur (2007) Composer
  • FIFA 08 (2007) License
  • Tap Tap Dance (2008)
  • Burnout Paradise (2008)
  • FIFA 09 (2008)
  • Need For Speed: ProStreet (2009)
  • FIFA Street 3 (2009) License
  • Mirror's Edge (2010) Original remix
  • The Sims 3: Late Night (2010) Original music
  • The Sims 3 (2010) Composer
  • Saints Row The Third (2011)
  • Darkspore (2011) Composer
  • Mass Effect 3 - Citadel DLC - 2012

Featured commercial campaigns

  • Nike Olympics (2000) Worldwide
  • Nike World Cup (2002) Worldwide
  • Cadillac Super Bowl (2004) USA
  • Heineken (2004) Worldwide
  • Opel Minerva Disco King (2004) Europe
  • Nordstrom Silverscreen (2005) USA
  • Adidas (2006) Worldwide
  • VISA Downtown (2007) USA
  • Nike European Cup (2008) Worldwide
  • Maandag Vernieuwen (2009) Netherlands
  • Pink Ribbon: Together We Are Stronger (2010) Netherlands
  • Postcode Loterij (2010) Netherlands

Featured remixes

  • Airbourne Blackjack (from EAs Need For Speed: ProStreet)
  • Avril Lavigne Girlfriend
  • Ayumi Hamasaki Vogue
  • Bloc Party Sundays
  • Britney Spears Gimme More, And Then We Kiss, Outrageous
  • BT Somnambulist (Simply Being Loved)
  • Coldplay Talk
  • Conjure One Center of the Sun
  • Crookers Cooler Couleur
  • Culture Club I'll Tumble 4 Ya
  • Dance Valley 2000 Dance Valley 2000
  • Dave Gahan Dirty Sticky Floors
  • Depeche Mode Enjoy the Silence
  • DJ Tanith T.A.N.I.T.H.
  • Eagles of Death Metal "Don't Speak"
  • Editors Camera
  • Elvis A Little Less Conversation
  • Fact Lights of Vein
  • Fatboy Slim Weapon of Choice
  • Fear Factory Cars", Bionic Chronicle", Blueprint", Burn
  • Fischerspooner Emerge
  • Gerard Marino God of War End Title (from Sonys God of War)
  • Hans Zimmer Inception, Kung Fu Panda 2, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Dark Knight Rises movie scores
  • Infusion Legacy
  • Jape Im A Man
  • Justin Timberlake What Goes Around... Comes Around
  • Lisa Miskovsky Still Alive (from EAs Mirrors Edge)
  • Madonna 4 Minutes
  • Mark Mothersbaugh The Sims Theme (from EAs The Sims)
  • Melody Miyuki Ishikawa Feel the Rush
  • Michael Bublé Sway, Spiderman Theme
  • Mylène Farmer XXL
  • Nami Tamaki Believe
  • Natalie Imbruglia Beauty on the Fire
  • Niyaz Dilruba
  • Rammstein Feuer Frei!
  • Ryukyu Underground Seragaki
  • Sarah McLachlan World on Fire
  • Scissor Sisters The Land of a Thousand Words, Mary
  • Sex Pistols Come On Everybody
  • Shanks & Bigfoot Sing-A-Long
  • Soulfly Umbabarauma
  • T. Rex Get It On
  • Crew Cuts Sh-Boom
  • Tiësto UR
  • Tom Jones Feels Like Music (from EAs FIFA 09)
  • U.N.K.L.E. Burn My Shadow
  • Way Out West Ub Devoid
  • Yonderboi People Always Talk About the Weather


  • Junkie XL official website
  • Facebook page
  • Twitter
  • iTunes
  • myspace
  • last.fm
  • Soundcloud
  • Junkie XL on Discogs
  • Junkie XL Allmusic article
  • Interview on IGN.com November, 2007
  • Interview on Buzzine February, 2009
  • Interview on Notabledance.com March, 2013

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Junkie XL
  • Junkie XL official website
  • Junkie XL official facebook page
  • Junkie XL at the Internet Movie Database
  • Junkie XL YouTube Video Page at YouTube
  • Interview with Garrett Shatzer for Onbeat, 2006
  • Junkie XL scoring 300:Rise of an Empire
This page was last modified 20.05.2014 16:12:49

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