Describe your music in three words
Beats, Noise and Stuff
Since the March lockdown how has band life changed in terms of the creative process?
The creative process itself hasn’t changed that much – I’m not in a band as such and my normal process of collaborating with various people via email, messenger channels etc actually meant that could keep going in lockdown when other acts couldn’t. Having said that as we’ve all been stuck inside, meeting and talking about working together has only been across social media and not in person which changes things some what.
Having said all of that though my latest album “TMSk8” probably wouldn’t exist if not for lockdown as it gave me the time to pull it together. Swings and roundabouts innit?
Has lockdown varied the music you’re choosing to listen to or create?
In terms of listening to – I’ve been going back to a lot of favourites: Deftones, Elliott Smith, 90s / 00s big beat stuff, Nick Drake. I think it’s a comfort thing. Also again not being able to go out and about to check out bands live has restricted access to new local bands. But I’ve been listening to a lot of radio and streaming stuff while working from home – SAULT, Arlo Parks, Bring Me The Horizon have been particular favourites.
In terms of stuff I’ve made, I think there’s a air of darkness and uncertainty to what I’ve made recently not just due to lockdown but possibly due to all of the other events and questions that have been raised recently around race, heritage, gender, etc. But mostly uncertainty. It’s a crazy time and no one really knows how it’s going to pan out.
What do you most miss about gigging?
Mostly meeting and interacting with people who really love making and listening to music. Their generally weirdos but my kind of weirdos.
Oh and making a noise at volumes where I don’t need to worry about the neighbours so much. I do like making a noise.
What’s your favourite music venue locally & why?
I’m from Oxford so Oxfordwise it’s between The Bullingdon and The Wheatsheaf. 2 great independent venues with great sound systems. The last of a dying breed in Oxford for various reasons. Fusion Arts Centre tucked away off Cowley Road should get a mention too!
In Reading I’m a big fan of The Rising Sun. Just the whole vibe of the place. Again my kind of weirdos.
Name another local act or two that we should check out.
There’s some great electro and electronica stuff coming out of Oxford at the mo. I’d highly recommend Octavia Freud and Phi Project (and Stefano’s other electro blues project Bruno Muerte is worth checking out too)
What’s been the most memorable gig you’ve ever played?
There’s a couple that spring to mind:
A few years ago now I got to support DJ Shadow – one of my all time musical heroes. That was immense. When he came back to Oxford a few years later he gave me a shout out from the stage too. Pretty cool.
The second time I got to play the Are You Listening? festival in Reading was pretty crazy. The TM “band” that night was me and David Griffiths. For various reasons it was a crazy day set up wise but the atmosphere in Milk bar was great. THEN I spotted you in the audience and convinced you to come up and do an unrehearsed vocal on Found You which we had just put out. SO much fun!
If you could support any band past or present who would it be?
Ooohhhh.... Past-ish? Portishead. Present: Adrian Younge.
What are you working on at present?
I’ve just put out a mixtape which I spent most of year making so nothing immediate but I have a few ideas for new tracks. No idea when they will come out though.
New album 'TMSk8 - The Mixtape' is out now! Check out livestream videos and more on the YouTube channel.
Photo by Helen Messenger