Tom Walker

Scott Boarer chatted to Tom Walker before his show at Thekla on March 22.

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Hi and thanks for talking with us today, how’s it going?
All good mate yeah, busy but all good.

So, how’s the tour going so far?
It’s been insane, played Exeter, Southampton and Nottingham so far, and they’ve all been great. But I’ve never played on a boat before!

Have you ever played in Bristol before?
Yeah once before I think, at a small pub... I should really remember the name.

You have quite a few shows left in the UK part of the tour as well don’t you?
Yeah, I think so, we’ve got another eight shows or something like that.

And then you're heading to Europe?
Yeah that’s right mate, we're off on the European tour, it's not completely sold out but it mostly is.

Wow, how does that feel to be going to Europe and have it sold out already?
Yeah, it's crazy! We’ve had to upgrade some of the venues two or three times.

That must be great to see, you’ve also been to America a bit as well?
Yeah, we toured America with The Script, that was absolutely amazing. They are really nice lads as well. We ended up driving 6,000 miles in 17 days. We would drive 6 hours and play a show, then stay in the hotel, wake up, and go to the next place. But it was so much fun, it really was.

That is incredible, usually, it's difficult for UK artists to breakthrough over in America. But to go over there so early on in your career must have been amazing!
We couldn't have done it though without The Script being such sound blokes. We couldn't carry the gear around because we didn't have any money for a truck, so they carried all our gear for us in their trucks. We just hired out a car and followed them around.

Wow, that's great! I just want to speak a bit now about your lyrics, something I noticed was that a lot of them are quite meaningful, what's your process for writing them?
It's just whatever is going on in my life really, it’s just stuff that’s happened to me, or my mates or my family. I usually try and write happy songs, but they usually end up quite depressing!

Also, with the songs, it often starts with that acoustic sound but then goes into that more electric sound, what was the inspiration behind making that?
I’ve always just liked the blend of how an electric and acoustic guitar sound together. The melody for ‘Just You and I’ is three different guitars all playing the same thing. I just think its really cool when you can get something like that.

It's a new sound! What about when you were growing up, who were your inspirations then?
I started off on the Arctic Monkeys, their first album ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' is one of my favourites, it's just such a sick album. And who else? Ed Sheeran, when I saw him playing his guitar with a loop peddle and being successful at it, I was like, well if he can do it, why can't I? They were just really important moments in my life.

So you have the EP out and a few singles that have done well, in the future what are you looking to do, is there an album in the works?
Yeah, there's an album coming out in September, it's called What A Time to Be Alive because, well, its just crazy. I’ve been working a lot with a guy named Jim Abbiss who did the first Arctic Monkeys album.

Oh really? That must have been an incredible moment!
Yeah, it was so cool to work with him, he's just so amazing. He helped me capture and create a sound that I really liked. It's a good mix of organic instruments and more electronic stuff. It is going to be a sick album, I thought when I sat down to do it I wouldn’t have enough but I've written about 150 songs, but only about 16 are going on the album.

How did you working with those guys come about then?
Just through the label or management or people I know. Relentless Records, who I’m signed for, just put me on to some amazing people and I have such a wicked AR (Artists and Repertoire) man. I’m really lucky to be on a label with a small team who can set it all up.

I remember I first heard your music on BBC Radio 1 in the car, what was that like when you first started getting your music on there?
I got on it through Radio 1 Introducing, which is such an amazing platform for artists. They really helped me end up on BBC Radio 1 in London which is where you want to be.

Was it a surreal moment when you first heard your music on the radio?
It's such a sick feeling when you hear your music on Radio 1, I'll never get used to it. It's weird sitting in your car blasting your own music hoping someone doesn’t see me.

Now finally just going back to the album, what's the plan after that's released, will there be another tour?
Yeah, there's going to be another tour, a big tour. Not sure I'm allowed to talk about the venues yet, but we have booked two nights in a row at a big venue in London. We've also got a new single coming out called ‘Angels' which I'm really excited about.

That all sounds really exciting! Thank you for talking to me today and I look forward to the show
Sweet mate. No problems, enjoy the show!