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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW TOMMY FROM MULES

What made you decide to start the band?

When I was 14 I saw The Clash on teevee and I’ve followed punk rock music ever since. I even wrote my MA thesis about it. Being exposed to punk inspired me to write songs, and I’ve carried on doing that obsessively ever since. For this particular band, I liked the idea of just being the vocalist and not being held back by having to concentrate on playing guitar. My other band is moving at a glacial pace so I wanted something else to do. I’m basically always writing so I kinda need a few projects on the go at any given time. I liked Louis’ old band Deaf Surf a lot, so when we started chatting I was keen to work with him. The rest is history!

Who are you?

I’m Tommy, I sing in Mules. I’m an over-educated mentally ill car crash of a human being. I’ve been in a ton of bands over the years either singing, playing guitar, trombone, and occasionally keyboards. I’m talentless but I’m passionate, and that matters more, right?

What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?

What are your influences? I get it, but it’s still annoying.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

No, but I absolutely do not trust the media and pretty much all politicians. The elite are playing us like mugs.

What useless party trick do you have? 

Dancing about architecture. For real. Ask me to interpret La Sagrada Familia, you won’t be disappointed.

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

Recently I rode around the venue on a mate’s back mid song, that was pretty fun. I was trying so hard not to fall off his shoulders I fucked up all my lyrics.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Getting hit in the head with a beer can in Bristol. My cynicism about the notion of romance did not go down well with that crowd.

Tell us something about you?

I’m autistic, altho if you’ve met me that’s arguably not surprising.

If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it? 

A combination of repetitive rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic sound elements combined with playful and serious words that come directly from the heart. Art, fucking art.



What makes you stand out as a band?

Each of the four of us is very good at the things we do and our chemistry together is quite natural. I also think my lyrics are offering a perspective that’s not really represented or explored that much by singers. I’m not just shouting about a girl who dumped me or some lazy bullshit like that.

Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )

Israel. Fucking Israel. Apartheid. It’s fucked.

What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

I like ‘What if we Built a Guillotine’, the words are quite playful and stream of consciousness, there are cryptic jokes in it. I enjoy raising the possibility of building a guillotine and making love in the panopticon, and the extended instrumental outro gives me a chance to jump around and lose myself in the music.

I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?

It’s our first single and it’s a catchy post-punk song about performative activism.

Talk me through the thought process of the single?

It’s about activism really. In lieu of the ability to affect actual systemic change (which is necessary) we are forced to merely register our disgust with performative gestures, consumption habits, symbolic disruptions. The song highlights some of these things in a kinda jokey way. The lyrics were initially inspired by watching the news and seeing Boris Johnson clapping outside Downing Street. Consecutive neoliberal governments have decimated the NHS but they innocently clap in front of the reporters. It’s fucking disgusting.

What was the recording process like?

Really good, I’ve had a lot of terrible demoralising experiences in the studio but Toby at Metway Studio was super chill and put us all at ease. He’s got great ears too. I should probably also mention that I was running on zero sleep after a speed bender so the fact I managed to deliver my lyrics at all is kinda miraculous. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?

The only thing I struggle with is getting my shitty psychotic brain to remember my lyrics! Other than that the process of creating comes quite naturally to me.

Would you change anything now its finished?

No, I love it!

What are your plans for the year ahead?

Another single, hopefully, lots of gigs and maybe a tour. Outside of the band my life is gonna mainly revolve around getting stoned and watching The Simpsons.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

PEACE / ANARCHY / MAD PRIDE / ACAB

Thanks for taking an interest in the band.

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