The Record Collective: Tom Andrews / An Interview

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Taken from The Kings Record Collective blog. Interview conducted, transcribed, and details added by myself.

Tom Andrews, the coinoisseur of caramel talks to us post-recording about his thrifty musical beginnings as well as his main music heroes...


Interviewer: So tell us what songs you recorded today?

Tom: So I did Don’t Go, Josh Kumra, Grow Old With Me which is a Tom Odell song and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Interviewer: I can sense a folk influence on those three particular songs. You know, was it folk music itself or those influences that lead you to picking up a guitar for the first time or performing?

T: It was a long time ago that I picked up a guitar. I’ve been playing for kind of, going on sort of ten, twelve years now. And I think I’ve always enjoyed that kind of music. I just play the music that I think suits my voice and the music that I listen to. If I can sing it and I can play it on guitar, then I like that kind of music. Moreso what I can play and what I like singing informs my choice of music as opposed to it being the other way around.

Interviewer: How did you learn the guitar? Did you teach yourself?

T: Yeah I had lessons at school for about six weeks and he was just teaching me a load of stuff that I didn’t wanna learn so I sacked it off and went and taught myself. The internet’s a wonderful thing there’s plenty of information out there. Why pay for lessons when it’s all there for free?

Interviewer: Is that the same with the vocals as well?

T: Yeah same with vocals. I’ve never had lessons. I just kind of… do what I do.


Interviewer: I’ve noticed with your voice that you have a really nice vibrato. Because that’s not something you got trained in, did you just pick that up?

T: Yeah I think it was just something I’ve done. I dunno when it started; when I realised that I could do it - or taught myself how to do it - it’s just something that’s crept into my repertoire.


Interviewer: Are there any musicians that either you’re listening to at the moment that you think are inspiring or informing you? Also would you maybe listen to a lot of music your dad showed you or is it something you’ve come into yourself?  

T: I think friends, what they’re into - picking up music off them. At the moment I’m really into Paolo Nutini. One of my biggest influences is Guy Garvey of Elbow, just the way that man is able to tell a story with his music... I think he’s one of the best story tellers and he’s just got a fantastic voice. He’s absolutely brilliant. 

Interviewer: A late bloomer as well.

T: Yeah, Elbow are probably one of the most underrated bands out there. So many people only know One Day Like This. That’s the song everyone knows! But they’ve got five or six fantastic albums. Other bands... definitely people like Damien Rice, David Gray, the kind of more singer song-writers.

Interviewer: So you mentioned story telling in your music before. Would you say that lyrics are something that are important to you?

T: Yeah, definitely, without any of that meaning behind the lyrics then the song is pretty meaningless isn’t it? That’s what the lyrics are there for. So I agree, it’s a really important part to it. And if you can get that message across, what the song is actually about, then you engage people more. People want to listen to you more if you actually make them feel something when they listen to it, they’ll enjoy it more. Otherwise you’re just background music aren’t you?

Interviewer: So are you enjoying London?

T: Yeah, it takes a bit of an adjustment. I come from down near Bournemouth, live on the edge of a forest. It’s quite a slow pace of life down there. So moving from down there up to London was a bit of a shock to the system.

Interviewer: What’s the music scene like down on the coast?

T: It’s not bad. Down Bournemouth way it’s not that bad but from where I am – I’m in quite a small town and it’s a little way away from Bournemouth. There, it’s shit. There’s nothing going on but down in Bournemouth it’s alright.


Check out Tom's recorded covers on Soundcloud below:

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