Sunday, 13 October 2013

BLAME IT ON REBECCA: The fiftieth artist to appear on the blog is Thomas McConnell - check out this interview with him!

Photo: Our interview with the critically acclaimed Thomas McConnell will be available shortly! AB Records
1 - What was your first musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the record industry?
"My first musical memory is hearing "Hello Goodbye" in the car when I was very, very little - that's the first song I remember. I also used to "dance" (sway back and forth) to people talking on the telly. I don't think anything pushed me towards it to be honest, I just knew that was what I was going to do in some shape or form."
2 - Had you been involved with any other bands prior to becoming a solo artist as Thomas McConnell?
"I've played music with people in their houses but never really anything properly. I did the odd open-mic and one gig in a band called The Railways, and I used to play guitar with my mate Joe in school, but I've mostly grown up doing it on my own."
3 - Why did you choose to become a solo artist instead of forming a band?
"I learnt how to do music on my own really from quite a young age but I always intended to get a band. I was in one for a very short while but that experience made me realise and remember that I'd been teaching myself what to do for six years previously. I also like doing all the instruments and found myself getting frustrated in a band when I couldn't play them all."
4 - How would you describe the sound of Thomas McConnell?
"Heavily Beatles-inspired pop/rock merged with other influences, all with my twist on it."
5 - Ian McNabb has already hailed you his new 'favourite act' and Paul McCartney himself has shared one of your videos online. How did it feel to get such a compliment from a well established artist and to have the support of a Beatle?
"Fantastic, Ian's been a great supporter of my music which has been great. Especially when you consider what he knows and what he's done, it's quite flattering to think he likes my stuff enough to have me gigging with him and record with him. The Paul tweet was a dream come true as he's been my hero since I was about six years old. Paul McCartney is one of the only people in the world where it matters to me if they think I'm alright or not and he must think I'm alright or the tweet/facebook post wouldn't have happened. That's been such an unbelievable confidence boost for me."
  6 - You recently released your EP, 'Worried About Thomas McConnell'. Why did you choose this title?
"I like titles where it mentions the artist and something about them like "With The Beatles", "Beatles For Sale" and I'm a bit of a worrier..."
7 - How would you describe this EP and what influenced it?
"I think it's quite eclectic but all the songs fit together well. It's got bits of fifties, sixties and seventies influences all mixed in.  It still has Beatle roots but David Bowie informed quite a lot of the work on it too, even if it doesn't necessarily sound like it. "Blame It On Rebecca" has got a Gene Vincent feel until the 70's synth comes in at the end like an air-raid siren - that's one of my favourite bits from the EP. "Penelope Definitely" is quite heavily arranged/orchestrated 60's pop and "Just A Little Bit, Jill" is probably the most Beatley track with the bouncy Macca pianos and faux mouthed-trumpets."
8 - One of the songs on the EP is 'John'. What influenced this song and what is the song itself about?
"That song is a tribute to my dad, granddad and to a lesser extent, John Lennon, but he is still someone who's very important to me. It's sort of psychedelic Plastic Ono Band and one of my most bare songs."
9 - Do you have any 'rituals' before going on stage?
"Not really but I usually go through a minute of feeling a little bit nervous then the next minute I'm just telling myself, "What's really the worst that could happen?" and then I'm usually fine. I don't really get stage fright in the first place though."
10 - Any live dates coming up?
"I have a tour coming up at the end of this year that goes around the whole UK. Some dates supporting Ian McNabb but the majority are supporting a great Brighton-based band called The Vinyls."
11 - Any new songs in the pipeline?
"There's always things I'm working on yeah, I revisit and update old songs a lot too. I've been writing quite a bit recently and have put a few of the results up on soundcloud ("Hello!" and "To Your Right") so more may follow."
12 - When can fans be expecting the next release?
"I don't really know yet. I'm planning to do a few more music videos so I imagine those will be the next things to happen. More tunes will definitely be coming out at some point, hopefully in the not-too-distant future."
13 - Who would be your dream collaboration?
"Paul McCartney."
14 - Who would be in your dream super group?
"The Beatles with David Bowie, The Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Oasis: THE BEAROLLWIESTEENSIS."
1 - Favourite Beatle?
2 - Favourite band?
"The Beatles."
3 - Favourite new band?
"Tame Impala."
4 - Favourite song?
"Any Beatles song."
5 - Favourite album?
"Any Beatles album."
6 - Vinyl, CD or download?
"I'd like to say vinyl but I get more CD's than anything."
7 - Style icon?
"The Beatles."
8 - Favourite clothing brand?
"Don't know or use any brands...eBay and charity shops."
9 - Favourite film?
"Any of the Toy Stories..."
10 - Favourite TV show?
"Vic Reeves Big Night Out or The Office."
11 - Who would play you in a film of your life?
"Ian McNabb... but some people say I look like Paul Dano from Little Miss Sunshine."
12 - Favourite food?
"French onion soup."
13 - Football team?
"What's football."
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Thomas McConnell! Check out our previous feature on Jack Souter!
Check out Thomas McConnell here -
Thomas will be playing the following dates:
Nov 27 - Newcastle - The Star & Shadow Theatre
Nov 28 - Stockton - The Georgian Theatre
Dec 3 - Glasgow - Nice n Sleazy
Dec 4 - Edinburgh - Sneaky Petes
Dec 5 - Newcastle - The Dog & Parrot
Dec 6 - Manchester - Dulcimer
Dec 7 - Liverpool  - Bumper
Dec 8 - Leicester - The Shed
Dec 9 - Swindon - The Vic
Dec 10 - Exeter - The Cavern
Dec 11 - Southampton - Lennons
Dec 12 - Birmingham - Actress & Bishop
Dec 14 - London - The Hope & Anchor

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