Tom Williams - interview
added: 27 Mar 2012
interviewed by: Claudia A
Formed in 2007, Tom Williams & The Boat
met in a local music venue in Tunbridge Wells.
The band started work on their second album, 'Teenage Blood' in March 2011. Recorded in their long time HQ - a working brewery, in the heart of the Kent countryside, BBC engineer Simon Askew was yet again behind the mixing desk.Music-News:
Tom, you hail from Turnbridge Wells (as does the rest of the band). What were you up to before the band formed in 2007?Tom Williams:
I left school in 2005, did an art foundation course in 2006 in London and started playing solo for a year before I started gathering a band around me.MN:
A band doesn’t form just like that… Did you have a concrete vision regarding the musical style of the band, or did it take on direction as you guys went along? TW:
I had an idea of the kind of groups I liked, I knew I wanted it to be big, but the line up did change over the first year or so. It took us a while to start playing to our strengths as players rather than trying to be our favourite bands.MN:
Your self-released debut album, ‘Too Slow’, received extensive radio support upon its release in 2011. Your second album, Teenage Blood’, is currently in the make. Will there be any noticeable differences in approach, but also in style? TW:
It was written in a far shorter period of time so I think it’s bound to feel a bit more concise. We always wanted it to be 10 tracks, and feel like a well-rounded bit of work, so fingers crossed we managed it.MN:
Your track ‘Teenage Blood’ is not only a track, it’s also the official beer of the band – brewed by you guys in between recording sessions. It also tastes great! Is that a new way to finance an album?TW:
Haha! No not really, we only pressed 100 or so, just for a bit of fun, but they’ve gone already, everyone wants one! We’ll have to make more for our launch party!MN:
Is brewing beer your daytime job, or is it part of your extended rock n roll lifestyle? How can fans order some bottles?TW:
No, I’m afraid the beer wasn’t actually brewed
by us, although the album was recorded in a brewery. The beer is very limited at the moment, it all gets a bit complicated when you start selling them as you need a license…technically. (!) We’ll get some more made very soon.MN:
Your songs deal with the whole Richter scale of human emotions, especially broken hearts, unrequited love, bitterness, self-loathing, angst… Is there a lighter side to Tom Williams?TW:
Haha, yes I think so! I hope so anyway… I made a point of ending the new album on a more positive note. In Emily, a boy is asked to dance at a village dance by a girl he swears he’s always loved. “Fairy lights in my head, and diamonds in your eyes.”MN:
If you would find true love and emotional bliss, what would your songs be about then? TW:
Fingers crossed eh? We’ll have to wait and see!MN:
Some of your lyrics, despite the somewhat gloomy topics, are laced with wit and deadpan humour; in fact, some of it reminds me of John Cooper Clarke… TW:
Humour’s important I think. I love John Cooper Clarke. I also love Louden Wainwright III. I think happy and sad is really hard to do at the same time, not sure I’ve quite mastered it yet. Practise makes perfect.MN:
How much creative input/say do you have, how much the rest of the band? TW:
I take the band an acoustic demo and together we arrange it and write parts round it.MN:
What are your plans and hopes for 2012? TW:
We hope to tour before the summer, play lots of festivals and tour again before the end of the year. Then, who knows…!
© Photo of Tom Williams by Jacqui Sadler / 2012(Please read my review of Tom William & The Boat in the ‘Live Reviews’ section).
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