Hiya Tom, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Why thank you, it’s nice to be here.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
It’s a field I’ve been inexorably drawn to my entire life. I’ve tried on numerous occasions to step away from music and each time found myself feeling empty and lost until I came back.
Introduce us to your musical history.
I started writing songs as a child and formed a boy band at the age of 8. I had dreams of becoming a pilot until I joined a band at 15 and stepped on stage for the first time, after that it was all music from there.
Name me your 3 favorite albums.
Steely Dan – can’t buy a thrill, I could have said Aja but I think the first album had a profound effect on me.
Paul Simon – Paul Simon. Paul really showed how much of a heavyweight songwriter he was with this album, it’s phenomenal.
Closing time – Tom waits. I didn’t know nostalgia had a sound until I heard this album.
Ok I want to also mention Mr Bungle’s self titled album. This band totally blew my mind when I first heard them. The first song I ever heard was “my ass is on fire” and I had no idea what I was listening to, I hated it but I had to hear more, and more… until I couldn’t get enough, this band really helped me appreciate the outrageous.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Creep by Radiohead. I heard it while watching an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head when I was around 8 and it was the first time I really connected with a song in a deep way. I know, corny right.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I like to think I would be a good role model to my younger self. I’ve had a pretty strange life and I’m still doing what I love. I work in Reykjavik with my best friends and I’m excited for every day. Can’t really ask for more than that.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I have written a rap about the football player, Paul Scholes
I performed a song from Bugsy Malone to Jodie Foster
I’m a trained throat singer
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
They’re the big cheese for now, until the next big cheese shows up. There have always been big cheeses and this company happens to be the biggest for the time being. I’d like the artists to get more money of course but at least it’s possible for anyone to put out music, for better of for worst. I have more of an issue with the gatekeepers of the industry, of which Spotify doesn’t appear to be.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
If I did I wouldn’t think they were a conspiracy theory. My feeling is that conspiracies happen all the time (the watergate scandal was the uncovering of a conspiracy) and the truth is often hard to find. Flat Earth and aliens though? In my view, that’s a way for people to find comfort in the idea that there is a higher purpose to the world. We ARE living in a simulation though 😉
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Lots of dried beans sat on the shelf for a long time.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I was in a wedding band for a few years when I lived in London. I was asked to play an acoustic version of crazy by Gnarls Barkley, which I did and it was going great until halfway through the performance the bass player said I was playing the wrong song. They wanted crazy in love by Beyoncé. Let me tell you, the couple we’re not happy.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I lived in a motor home for a year, traveling around the UK and playing concerts in random pubs across the country. The idea to do so was inspired by my music video for “the feeding hand” where I am a musician living in a motor home traveling around the UK playing concerts in random pubs. I was living in London at the time and thought “screw this I’m actually doing it”
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I’m authentic and I’m living the life that music gives me. I think this filters through into the music I write.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
It’s a smooth adventure into old-school pop land. Dust off your velour tracksuit and lay back in your Eames chair to enjoy this bad boy.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes.
I just wanted to write something that was totally different from my first album in almost every way. I’d written a number of songs during a period when I was writing a song a day, so I had a lot of material to work with. The main thought went into the production and soundscape of the album, I wanted to keep it minimal and groovy.
What was the recording process like?
I would go to the studio every day from Monday to Friday for 6 hours. I was sharing with my partners from my other band Boncyan, and we would have regular focus groups where we gave each other ideas for our own projects. Recording this felt much more collaborative and fun, if I could make myself dance and my partners dance then I knew I was on the right track. Keeping the arrangements minimal was a challenge, it’s always tempting to add another instrument or part so part of my process was to continually remove parts that were not adding anything, space in a track can be just as musical as a played part, so I would instead try to pick a few great sounds and give them the space and attention they deserved.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
That I can allow others to come in and have input, that many hands make light work. Also a song doesn’t need to be laboured over and a track that took ten minutes to write can be better than a track that took a year to write. Don’t be a perfectionist, perfectionism is the enemy of creation.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Nope, I feel it’s important to look forward.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Just that I hope you’re having a lovely day.
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