With Tom A Smith’s long awaited debut EP just a few days from release (25th February 2022), I managed to snatch a bit of time from the busy guy, where he very kindly answered my inane questions.
I originally intended the interview to be part of my EP review, but you know what? I think they stand much better alone without too much of my blather. So here goes.
I really enjoyed your set with the band when I saw you at The Parish Huddersfield recently (your second live gig together I think). Does it feel strange to play live with a band, and to rely on them to interpret your music?
I’ve been playing in bands with Dylan and Frazer since I was 13 so it felt quite normal, we’d been practicing on/off for 6 months so its just a case of getting out there and doing it. Katie brings a good dynamic because she practices so much.
Overall I’m pleased as a work in progress. We have recordings of every song so they knew how it should sound. I don’t mind doing gigs on my own but I much prefer this.
Do you always know when a song is complete? Or are you always tinkering around with them? (or is it a bit of both depending on the song)
I never tinker, less is more normally. So I write it on day one and can hear it as a full song on day two.
I’ve enjoyed working with a producer, but to be honest they are just replicas of the demos structurally. He definitely knows how to make them sound 30% better though.
There’s a lot of social comment and thought about life’s complexities and relationships in your lyrics. Does it take a lot of time for you to think about the message you want to share, or is it more immediate?
To be truthful, I put zero thought into them really, I write lyrics seperately and if they don’t flow straight away I normally abandon them. I tend to use themes I’ve heard in other songs but they can quickly flow into something different.
I just love a chorus so that’s the important thing for me.
You clearly have a wide musical taste and range, which is reflected in the diversity of your own tunes. What’s your last 5 Spotify listens, and which artists (generally) do you admire the most and why?
You’re right I love all sorts.
Last 5 listens were Rise by Joe Unknown which is just massive. Feet by Fat White Family mainly because he’s added some sax on to a song for me, they are unreal so I’m blown away.
The Cranberries Ode To My Family because my manager mentioned them the other day. Luke Royalty – I do which is a massive song, I think he’s gonna smash this year and Flowered Up Weekender again because my managers were raving about it, didn’t last the whole 13 mins but its good!
I love how well Sam Fender has been doing but as a rule I like older stuff. Give me The Beatles any day.
Clearly music takes up a large part of your life. Do you have time for any other hobbies/sports etc.?
I started playing Golf last year and love it. I support Sunderland and try to go to as many games as I can and I love Xbox to a fault. Takes over my life.
Ill close with a favourite question of mine: You headline Glasto for the first time? What’s gonna be on your rider, and how are you going to celebrate the occasion?
I’d probably pick stuff that would be a pain to get. A fresh hot pizza from Pizza Dial a takeaway near me. Coffee boiled at 93 degrees only and a haribo mountain!
Imagine Glastonbury!!! That would be incredible.
Get that EP pre saved for Friday as it’s truly a monster.
* images have been taken from Tom A Smith’s public social media pages.