Josh “Timebomb” Tonna may be cool, calm, and collected when he steps into the ring, but he is completely fueled by his love for music.
The 31-year-old Canberra, Australia native used to perform in pop-punk bands during his adolescence, but his tastes have never been limited to one specific genre.
As a matter of fact, the Muay Thai specialist enjoys a wide variety of styles, and he has strong memories attached to many different records.
In this edition of #MusicMonday, “Timebomb” takes fans down memory lane and reveals the soundtrack to his life.
The Soundtrack To My Youth
“There are two songs that remind me of my youth very strongly. The first one is ‘Stan’ by Eminem. It really reminds me of my cousins. I used to hang out with them a lot.
“I didn’t really listen to music back then, but one day, they introduced me to Eminem. I was really fascinated by him and his songs. I was only 12 or something, but it really reminds me of hanging out with them, family gatherings, and stuff like that.
“The second one is ‘Feeling This’ by Blink 182. That just really brings me back to hanging out with them again, and playing in a band, going to school, and all our weekends together. It brings back a lot of memories.
“That introduced me to a whole heap of other bands and other interests that came along the way, so they remind me of my youth and really make me smile when I think about them.”
My Favorite Walkout Song
“I’ve had a lot and it was hard to choose, but my favorite one was my last one – ‘Working Class Man’ by Jimmy Barnes.
“We were going through a tough time – Australia, as a whole, during the bushfires. I wanted to walk out to something sentimental, something a bit patriotic, and that was the first song that came to mind, with Jimmy Barnes being an Australian icon in the music world.
“With what’s attached to it after the result now — fighting Andy Howson and getting the win like I did — I think it’s going to stick with me for quite a while.”
The Song That Reminds Me Of My Wife
“The song that reminds me of my wife, Kirsty, is our wedding song, our first dance, and the song she walked down the aisle to — ‘Make You Feel My Love’ by Adele.
“Any time I hear that, it makes me a bit teary and brings me back to our wedding day, which I really loved.
“We had all our family and friends down in a little country town where her mother’s family is from in Victoria, in the mountains. It just reminds me of going there and staying with all the family, so I really like that song.”
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The Song That Always Makes Me Smile
“All these songs make me smile in their own way because of the memories that come up with them.
“But if I had to choose one, at the moment, I’m really liking a Marshmello song called ‘Power’ because my kids like it.
“I think I’ll walk out to that next. [I just like] listening to that song and seeing my kids dance to it. Yeah, I really like that one.”
A Song That Gets Me Through Tough Times
“This was pretty easy. My original trainer who got me into Muay Thai and really gave me my love for the sport was John Verran. He passed away just as I really started getting into the sport. During his funeral, they had a video tribute to him with this song and any time I listen to it, it really gets to me. I listen to it because I like to think about him.
“It was Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way.’ That song is good, but it was a particular cover. I can’t remember who played it, but that song really makes me think about him. I miss him every day.
“I only had five fights with him, but I would go to training and I loved to listen to all his stories. He was a good storyteller. I could listen to him for hours — his voice and his energy. A lot of people loved to be around him and just talk with him.
“He told my dad one day that I was going to be a world-beater. I owe it to him for getting me into the sport. I owe it to him to be the best I can be because he put a lot of energy into me. I wish he was still here.”
Music That Gets Me Ready To Compete
“This is really important to me because it’s inspired by all different people. I like to listen to music that Kirsty listens to and that my kids listen to, but also songs that make me get a bit emotional.
“I like to call it ‘going dark.’ On the way to the venue, warming up and all that, I play music for a couple of hours. When I’m fighting and walking out, I’m quite cool – I have a good poker face and don’t give much away. But before that, I need to get pumped up and emotional, even if it’s sad. I just need to feel something.
“[I listen to] electro artists like Skrillex, Diplo, and Marshmello, who my kids really love — my son Harry wants to be a DJ when he is older. I like Eminem too, but one of the weird ones that gets me pumped up is probably ‘Photograph’ by Ed Sheeran because it reminds me of my family, and I am fighting for them.
“When the feeling of anxiety comes, I like to listen to it to calm me down, then pump me up again. It comes in waves of nerves, excitement, and then feeling invincible. That’s how every fighter wants to feel, and that music helps me deal with the pressure of the night.”