Interview: Tom West
1.You’ve been writing music since you were 15 years old. For most song writers it can either come at them really easily, or it’s incredibly difficult. What was the writing process like for you?
It took a long time, let’s put it that way. I guess some people can write amazing songs straight up, but i couldn’t. So over time it took lots of practice and years of writing terrible stuff just so it can develop over time. I still kinda cringe at the old stuff I dig up that I used to do. But it’s been one great big learning curve. As for the process, for me personally, the best way I can explain it is it generally starts from a simple concept or image and trying to build the song around it.
2.Your 2013 release, A Spark in the Dark was 2 years in the making. Was it a lot of perfecting that went into it in order to make sure everything you wanted on there was there? Or was it a lot more so int he writing process and you wanted to take your time?
It wasn't the writing. Writing the songs tends to come out fairly quickly for me. Because I tend to write pretty quickly, it’s either done in one go or within a couple of days. I’ll mostly have the words and the main melody pretty much worked out in the general form of a song The real stretch of time is just organizing the logistics of it, which is actually really boring. I recorded the second album with my friend, who is notorious for, well, he’s not unreliable, but he likes to work on his schedule so it was a struggle us so it was a struggle to get us to get together. But when we did have the time to spend, it was a lot of time spent experimenting and playing around with ideas. The beauty of it is that we weren’t on studio time, which just means that we’re to out any money. It was just basically working in a shed in my parents’ house. Anyway, the more time we spent, the more time we got to work.
3.Your newest album is slated for 2015. What is the new album like in comparison to your previous? You’ve also released your new single “The Call”. Was there any particular reason you wanted it as the lead single?
It’s pretty different because it’s much better. It’s a lot better audio wise. We tracked the old album using 2 cheap microphones and a laptop, but this one was done in a proper studio, so it has all the bells and whistles. Also, the producer of this album is a well known producer here in Australia, and he’s worked on several acts so he brought his own stamp to my music which ells to give it a different feel. I think people will still see common elements between the 2 when the new stuff comes out. Overall, I really feel like it’s still pretty much me deep down even through all of the shiny product.
As for The Call, it was the first single because of the recording time of it. I did these new recordings in 2 chunks more or less. So I did some in May, and one of which was The Call because at the time we only did a few b-sides, you know, the non-single tracks. Then I got funding from the state government at home which meant I had extra funds to use on the projects. So I went back 3 months later and that was the majority of what wasn’t released yet, so that’s why it [The Call] was the first single. It came from the first session that was more or less complete before the rest of the stuff was finished.
4.Lastly, it always seems to be a hit and miss with international artists trying to make their way to Canada or the US, but you’ve lucked out and done really well with these international audiences. Was it a struggle for you at first to get your music out there, or was it just an easy fit right away?
Actually, I think the struggle continues. It’s not easy, no. I’m still an independent act so it’s always been a bit harder. When it’s a lot of work, I think you always can’t sit back, you need to continue to work. There’s no letting up, I suppose. I wouldn’t want to sit back and be like ‘oh, that was so easy, I’ll just let it all come to me’, no. I don’t want that approach. It’s great to be here now, so I’ll just keep smashing it all out! That’s our approach. I think we know from what we’ve heard that the way things have been in Canada, everything has been well received. That being said, I’ve really only been to Toronto, but still [laughs]! But every time we come back here, it continues to be well received and it’s my belief that it’s a good market here for that kind of stuff. Overall though, it’s never easy. We always want to keep pushing and give it a good pop.