Tom Grainger is the DJ for the Victoria Royals during home games at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

Behind the scenes with the Victoria Royals DJ

Sitting high above the ice at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, Tom Grainger can see almost everything that goes on.

Sitting high above the ice at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, Tom Grainger can see almost everything that goes on.

The media room (and food) are conveniently located to his right, the video replay booth is to his left and directly across from him sits the Victoria Royals hockey bench. He has the perfect view of both nets and thousands of people sitting below him as well.

Grainger, a West Shore resident and business teacher at Belmont Secondary School, is the DJ for the Royals.

He is responsible for choosing the music in the arena during home games — from goal songs to intermission music and tongue-in-cheek songs that come on during power plays.

“I see my job as really to pump up the fans. Everything that I do is for the fans and to get them more engaged and active,” said the 31-year-old. “I measure my success based on how involved the fans are in the game, how loud they’re cheering.”

Grainger has a computer with seven folders of roughly 1,000 songs to play in every situation, 300 of which are crowd favourites he constantly plays, including classic rock music from Metallica, Led Zeppelin and of course, Tom Connors’ The Hockey Song.

Grainger will play Say it ain’t so by Weezer when the away team scores. He’ll play Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball if an opposing team player crashes into the Royals netminder, ACDC’s Thunderstruck before a penalty shot, or Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe if a call goes to video replay.

He’ll cycle through roughly 80 songs in one game.

Being a DJ is a talent Grainger learned during his time working in guest services on the Fantasmic! show at Disneyland in Florida while he completed his business degree at the University of Victoria.

Having grown up playing hockey in Sooke, his first DJ gig was with the Salmon Kings in the East Coast Hockey League.

Shortly after, he applied for the DJ job with the Royals and for the past 10 years, Grainger has been spinning the tunes audiences and players enjoy from game start to finish.

It’s not just about playing certain songs, but having the music reflect how fans are feeling and contributing to the overall experience, Grainger said.

“If the fans are feeling a certain way during the game, then I’ll pick a song based on that and try to really match the mood of the crowd,” he said.

“There’s a lot of thought that goes into every song we play . . .It’s really rewarding when you put something on that matches the mood in the building and the crowd really gets into it.”

However, some nights can be more challenging than others. Low-scoring games or games when the Royals are losing can be more difficult to get the crowd engaged, Grainger admitted.

“If it’s quiet in here, we’ll play some clapping and organ bits to keep the fans engaged,” he said. “Our hope is that the fans will give the players the spark they need out on the ice.”

Grainger is quick to credit the entertainment team with his success.

“We have an NHL-calibre game entertainment team and that makes it easier to come back every year,” he said, adding the team also includes the PA announcer, lighting person and game producer.

Up next, Grainger is gearing up for the most exciting time in WHL hockey — the playoffs.

He said the music will be more dramatic to match the level of excitement in the arena.

 

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: West Shore RCMP reunite camera with owner

Police sought public’s help to identify people photographed on the camera with record-time results

Beware of geese: Nesting season may trigger aggressive behaviour

Greater Victoria residents will have to be wary of nesting geese in the area

Greater Victoria leaders coming together to talk diversity and equity

Royal Road University’s Inclusion Project engages community stakeholders from public, private sectors

Royal B.C. Museum faces space, seismic standards and accessibilty issues; calls for public input

People can share their ideas online and in person from April 1 to June 27

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

BREAKING: BC Ferry crashes into Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Refugee who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada

Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter Keana arrived in Toronto this week

New UMSCA trade deal getting a boost from Trump, business groups

The trade deal is designed to supplant the North American Free Trade Agreement

Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred regarding SNC-Lavalin and the PMO

SNC-Lavalin backtracks on CEO’s comments surrounding potential job losses

Top boss had said protecting 9,000 jobs should grant leniency

Most Read