Tag Archives: bruce springsteen

Tom Williams and the Boat – Interview


Fear The Beard!

Ahead of the release of their second album, Teenage Blood, I had the chance to interview Tom Williams of Tom Williams and the Boat about the upcoming release, fan funding their album and why vinyl is the best.

How has your experience been using fan-funding to make the record? Has it given you more freedom in how to go about making and releasing the album?

It’s been a very heartening experience. The average sale on there is huge, I can’t believe people are willing to spend so much on our band, it’s an amazing feeling. It felt like an exciting risk and I think it’s really paid off.

This is a fairly innovative method of making music that wouldnt have been possible a few years back. How do you think the future of the music industry will be with a growing divide between independent and big-four label music?

I think people, more than ever, are aware of the constructs of the industry and how it works, and so people become obsessed with notions of, ‘authenticity’ which is a very silly, and very ‘indie’, to worry about. But on the other hand people like to know where a band has come from and they like to pigeon hole their music. I think people pride themselves on finding their own little pockets of good music on the internet, so I think it’ll all plateau out into a situation where a band can find their own little corner of the internet and quietly pay the bills via their bandcamp account!

How have your experiences with your first album affected the making of the second? Are you worried about a ‘sophomore slump’?

I think that as a result of angrier material on the first album, like ‘See My Evil‘ or ‘Get Older‘ that we tried to write more melodic stuff for this record. There’s still alot of darker broddier stuff but I think in large, the music’s got a bit lighter and the lyrics darker which I think is interesting.

Here is the debut single from the new album

What’s your personal favourite track off the new album and why?

I’d say maybe track 4, Trouble With the Truth. Recorded completely live with no overdubs, we’re just playing really great. At the end there’s a really great slow build on a G chord that is my favourite thing we’ve recorded I think.

Are their any new influences shaping any kind of shift in direction or are you aiming to pick up where Too Slow (my top album of 2011) let off?

Yes I think so, I think if the last record was Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and Nick Cave I think the new record is more Tom Petty, Teenage Fanclub and The Band.

With the title of the new album being called Teenage Blood, and much of Too Slow being focused on the anguished teenage years, what is it about adolescence that produces these songs?

I always appreciate youthfulness in art or music, I think it’s the pre-occupation that produces the best stuff. Whether it’s David Shrigley, Jean-Michel Basquiat or The Kingsmen the Undertones, I think it usually works!

When, where and with what inspiration do you write your songs?

It’s usually when I have a chance to relax, have a lazy morning with the radio on and no-one’s home. It’s usually on the edge of my bed with my favourite guitar Sheryl!

You’ve been very positive about releasing your music on vinyl, why is this?

Most of us in the band are vinyl collectors and I think it’s just the ultimate format. The Artwork is huge and it just sounds better! Very luxurious.

Did you see the Brit awards? What did you think, too commercial or an accurate representation of the industry?

I watched about 3 minutes I think. I switched off when Noel Gallagher came on haha!

If you could go back in time to live through a musical era, what would it be?

I loved early british invasion, so maybe 62-64? Would have loved to be a mop top!

And finally, who are you listening to at the moment? Any top picks for bands/artists to look out for in the future? And are you going to any interesting gigs in the year?

Saw The War On Drugs the other night in Brighton, their album Slave Ambient is fantastic. I’m liking the new Eugene McGuiness stuff, new Bruce Springsteen, Django Django, Sharron Van Etten, Mark Lanegan, and Dinosaur Jr!

Massive thank you to Tom and his Boat for the opportunity to do this, and I’ll leave you with the title track and second single to be taken from the album, as played live before a show!

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Why 2012 will be an amazing year for music


The Rainmaker explains why 2012 is going to be an incredible year for music.

After the look back at the best albums from 2011 I’m gonna look a forward. In a year with no glastonbury and the potential end of the world, it might seem strange to say that 2012 is going to be amazing. But it will be. And here’s why.

Pulp led the way for band reunions1. So many great bands are reuniting

There has been an explosion of awesome bands announcing that they are now reforming. it started innocently, with Pulp reuniting and playing a spot at Glastonbury and then headlining Reading/Leeds festival. They were incredible and blew many minds (including my own) and clearly some other bands were paying very close attention. Specifically, The Stone Roses. The seminal northern band announced a number of dates for 2012 and many middle-aged ex-madchester dads went nuts for tickets. Another legendary northern band joined the others when New Order announced they would reform to play some gigs but without iconic bassist Peter Hook who is now left to grumpily declare it “like Queen without Freddie Mercury”.

What’s that world? You want some bands a bit bigger? You want some bands that have completely changed the music world? Oh yeh, those happened to, ladies and gentlemen Black Sabbath and the Beach Boys are both reuniting to play some gigs in 2012. I don’t think I need to push how significant both bands have been in shaping the musical world, and while my co-author may not approve of the former, he is definitely whitening his underwear following the Beach Boys news.

And then we come to my personal favourite re-unification of the last months. The Afghan Whigs have announced that they will reform to play a festival next year. For those who don’t know, they were one of the most underrated bands of the Grunge era, combining a sleazy hard rock sound with some killer grungey tunes. Allow youtube and an impossibly young Jon Stewart to demonstrate…

So all these amazing bands will be touring and making amazing music, and just generally reminding everyone of just how awesome music can be when it’s made by the right people. And speaking of touring…

THIS JUST IN – Literally as I type this I’ve just heard that BLUR ARE REUNITING to play at the Brit awards. Now I don’t know the length of this reunion but considering that Damon just terminated Gorillaz I think it’s fair to start giggling with joy and rocking out to Song 2 again.

Oh and I forgot The Shins. They rock.

2. Living legends will be touring

...Lotus Flower...

Enough about all those silly reunions you say? Well how about a tour from ‘probably-the-best-band-currently-making-music’ Radiohead. That’s right the age defining icons will be starting a tour of arenas in 2012, giving people the chance they finally need to see one of the greatest bands of all-time play somewhere actually near them and not just a surprise one at glasto.

Add that to the fact that half of grunges ‘Big 4’ and my two favourite Grunge bands (Nirvana not included due to reasons relating to death) Pearl Jam and Soundgarden are going to be touring next year. These bands are amazing, and combined with the Afghan Whigs and the general existence of Alice In Chains, have the chance to make 2012 the year Grunge’s dead corpse became reanimated and began wandering the earth, screaming things about ‘my libido’ and ‘jalapenos’ at millions of disgruntled teenagers. Here is a newly released song by Soundgarden for those who haven’t witnessed the awesome.

Oh yeah and barely-living legends Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen will be making their way to the Isle of Wight in the summer. If you’re wondering why there arent more newer bands in this section it’s because, frankly, they are always touring. But it is fair to expect gigs from The Vaccines, Tune-Yards and all those new but still good bands you can hear on BBC 6music.

3. New Albums = New Awesome

Guess who’s in the studio? That’s right, Radiohead. I won’t dwell on the amazingness of that because I’ve already ranted enough but lets just say you can pretty much include all of the above artists that reunited because like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, they’re working on some new stuff. To save time here is just a list of people who have delared that they will actually, no bullshit, release an album next year.

  • Paul McCartney
  • Beach Boys
  • Foo Fighters
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • The Shins
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • Metallica
  • Muse
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Mark Lanegan
  • Dry the River

And finally how can I forget the winners of my best album of 2011 list, Tom Williams and the Boat are currently raising funds to release their second album via a fan payment site called PledgeMusic, which you can see here, and go and give them money so I can hear their new record sooner please!

I’m pretty sure that should be enough for you. As its only fair to leave with a song, here’s my favourite song by The Shins, as their record is the one I’m most looking forward to.

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