Sure we’ve heard about you before, but we think it’s time for Tone Deaf to get to know you a little better. Slip in to something comfortable while we put on some music, pour us a couple of drinks and turn the lights down low.
Who are you and what do you do in your act?
My name’s Tom and I play drums.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parents’ record collection and why?
As a kid I remember stealing the Pulp Fiction soundtrack and secretly listening to the first track, ‘Pumpkin and Honey Bunny (dialogue)/Misirlou’, on repeat when my parents were out. I don’t think I even knew anything about that movie then. Hearing the swearing at the start and then that guitar line come in felt the same as reading the ‘Where Did I Come From?’ books when no one was looking.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
The Giant Bomb podcasts are always on rotation. As for music, I’ve been listening to the new Belong album, Common Era, a lot. Also the album Retold by Nest seems to be appropriate for every situation.
‘Home taping is killing the music business’ was the catch-cry of the record industry in the 1970s, but it managed to survive until now. What do you think is the difference between mates taping copies of friend’s records back in the 80s and 90s and file sharing now?
I imagine that back then, when friends were taping copies of records for each other, it was done with a bit of sentiment. The process sounds time consuming and thoughtful. Now because music is so much more accessible, I feel like people just burn through albums and songs and maybe don’t have as strong an appreciation for the music and processes behind it. When you download a bunch of albums or someone gives you a USB full of stuff, it’s easy to breeze through the material and trash the things you don’t like before even listening it properly. If a mate gave you a tape of a record I’d like to think it’s easier to respect and appreciate the music and the artist(s).
You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What was the first gig you went to? Where was it and what was the venue?
I think it was the Loudmouth Festival at Memorial Drive in 2002. It was advertised as the greatest punk rock lineup ever seen in Australia with Unwritten Law, Bad Religion, Sum 41, Bodyjar, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Strung Out, One Dollar Short, Dropkick Murphys, Seraphs Coal and others playing.
I remember going to the Op Shop with my Mum a week before to try and find some neat clothes to wear as I’d booked my tickets with all the stoners from high school and was determined to look the part on the day. We had planned to meet up in the park before the show and I remember rocking up wearing this skin-tight, blue and white collared shirt and white flares. The other guys were rocking their slayer shirts and denim shorts with the wallet chain hanging out the back. My clothes didn’t have a crease or stain on them. I looked like a twat and my hair was huge back then, too.
Anyway, things went well, a few smokes were being passed around and by the time Sum 41 came on, I’d somehow found myself right at the front of the mosh by the stage barrier. When Fat Lip started a few of my ‘friends’ grabbed my feet and through me into the air and I was crowd surfing for 20 seconds until my shoes were ripped off and I was dropped in the mud. A few days after the concert I bumped into someone else who was there and they said the remembered seeing me flailing in the air looking like a scared idiot. I’ve never crowd surfed since.
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
I haven’t really downloaded any music for a while now, though I used to use waffles and sordomusic. You can find our stuff on iTunes but I’m not sure about any of the file sharing sites.
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
During early high school I didn’t really have a good idea of the music I liked and seemed to just listen to anything my friends were listening to. Back then I was spending a lot of time with a mate who listened to a lot of KRS-One, Dr Dre and Redman etc. I thought that that was my music until I found a Pennywise CD in his cupboard. I put that on and I was like, HOLY SHIT, THIS IS MUSIC! I went home and declared to my Mum, ‘Mum, I don’t listen to Hip Hop anymore, I listen to Punk!’. And then I discovered that Pennywise were pretty shit and started listening to Unwritten Law and Good Charlotte, who I thought were much better. I remember putting on ‘Teenage Suicide’ from Unwritten Law’s self-titled album and imagining myself playing drums to everyone at school from atop the assembly stage. I think that’s when I decided to start learning the drums.
Have you ever been arrested?
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
Nah, but I get really anxious about needing to pee when on stage. Maybe there’s a ritual in there somewhere.
What’s been your most outrageous rider request?
A cloud from the Himalayas, bottled.
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
We’ve always liked the idea of writing music for the moving image and so a collaboration with a video artist or film maker would be great. I can’t think of anyone in particular at the moment but I did get to see Shaun Gladwell’s exhibition at the ACMI which was inspiring.
Right, let’s get really intimate. Tell us what releases you have that we can listen to with the lights down low, or even better, where we can see you play in person next.
We released our debut album, Cables, last year and you can buy that on vinyl through our website and local record shops, and also download it through iTunes. We’re also just about to release a new digital single and B-side. We’ll be launching ‘Collision’ and ‘Ink’ at the SA Art Gallery Auditorium on the 22nd of July. The event kicks off at 7pm and will cost $10.00.
We’ve invited Glisk, Panoptique Electrical and Doe to help celebrate it with us, so it should be a great night. A lovely band from Melbourne called KINS have also invited us to support them at their farewell show in Melbourne at the Order of Melbourne on the 21st of July. They’re leaving Australia and heading to England to do great things. So if you live in Melbourne, come along!