Released back at the end of last month, Tom Auton’s new song Victim Of The Groove is starting to pick up traction over on his Spotify. We chatted to Tom about all things music:
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and where did music start for you?
I’m a 22 year old Rock & Blues artist from Cardiff, Wales. I first decided I wanted to become a musician after going to watch one of my favourite bands as a kid, Green Day. I saw them play a show in the NEC, Birmingham when I was 12. It was when the frontman, Billie Joe, played “Time Of Your Life”, I realised that I wanted to be just like him. I started playing gigs at the age of 14, performing at any open mic night that would let me play. I’ve more recently started producing my on music as well as other artist around the UK & US. The addiction started in 2016 when I received a less than pleasing mix of my new single. The control freak within me spiralled out of control and started aggressively buying microphones, mixing plug ins and a laptop. Fast forward 5 years to the present day and I am producing mt own Rock and Blues records at the age of 22 from my own studio ‘The Syncopation Station’ (myparent’s living room in Cardiff).
If I were to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you compare yourself to?
I’d say you could draw fair comparisons with:
Nothing But Thieves
You recently released your new single Victim Of The Groove. What does this song mean to you?
Victim of The Groove is a personal song, I explore the hatred I aim towards myself when I get ‘writers block’ (for whatever reason; a creative block happens every now and then).
I find this sums up the song pretty well:
As a chef, you’d feel incredibly useless if you couldn’t cook anything. The same applies to songwriters when they can’t write songs. Victim of The Groove ironically explores the hatred I have towards myself, when I can’t write a new song. I explore this hatred… by writing a new song.
Throughout the verses I frivolously wallow in a pool of self pity, tearing myself down at every line. Then get to the pre chorus, I explain that self doubt is part and parcel of being a musician.
I invite people into the world of being an independent artist, cycling between two main emotions; thinking you’re god’s gift, when you write a good song, and feeling worthless, when you can’t. I sum up the song with the title – “I’m a Victim of The Groove”.
How does this compare to your previous release, Blues Train? How do you feel about this new direction?
All my previous releases have been gearing up to head towards the sound on ‘Victim of The Groove’. Blues train has some pretty heavy guitars & drums, and is executed with blues overtones. VOTG, although it explores some disco/groove tones in the song, I don’t think it’s that far from Blues Train. They both come from a place of frustration, this is shown in the lyrics and also in the huge, aggressive, guitar sounds that are found in both records. As far as this new direction is concerned, I loved making VOTG and I’ve already started writing a few more songs in a similar style. A lot of fans have said it’s the best song from me, so far, and I want to explore this branch of rock music a little more.
Did you have any help with the writing and recording process? How has it compared to making music pre-pandemic?
I almost always take my lyrics to a good friend of mine, John Adams. He’s a very talented singer songwriter with a great ear for lyrics. I’ll write what is normally considered as a finished first draft of the lyrics then I take them to John and he will tweaks things or improves certain lines in the song. His help is very much the icing on the cake in terms of the songwriting process, very grateful to have him as a friend.
The recording process was carried out entirely by myself and my band, The Bottle Breakers. The drums were recorded at Longwave Studios, Cardiff. Bass & Electric guitar were recorded by the band in their own bedrooms then emailed over to me.
It’s been a slow process writing and recording over the pandemic, mainly due to the fact no one can just meet up and record. It almost feels like you need to slowly fit to gather this puzzle over a few weeks whilst people are recoding their parts then stick it all together once the parts make their way over to me.I really miss being able to write and record all in one room.
Pre pandemic, did you get the chance to play many live shows?
We were playing 3/4 shows a week in some parts of pre – pandemic life. We actually were meant to be supporting the Plain White T’s this time last year but it got cancelled due to this strange, unheard of virus, COVID 19.
Are there any plans to play some, when it is safe to do so?
We’re definitely going to pick our moment as to when we play a 1st, post – pandemic, live show, once it’s safe to do so. I think there will be an over saturation of gigs as soon as the government gives the go ahead. So much so that I feel like people will have too many gigs to go to and then you run the risk of having no one turn up to your show because every band and their nan are putting on a gig.
Saying that, I’m hoping to organise a triple Cardiff band headliner at Clwb Ifor Bach towards the end of this year.
How have you been keeping busy during lockdown?
I’ve been producing music for 30 artists in the UK & The US. Since everyone’s been locked up in their homes, I’ve never seen more music written than in the last 12 months! Artists definitely have a lot to get off their chests and rightly so!
Where can we find out more about you?
Everything you’ll need to know is on my website: www.tomauton.com All my socials, lyrics, gigs & merch.
So what are you waiting for, go and check out Tom’s new single (and all his other stuff while you are there). In the meantime, I would like to thank Tom for taking the time to answer my questions and wish him the best of luck for the future. We hope to catch him at a show as soon as it is safe to do so!