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Interview with Tom Adamson
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My Mum’s a piano teacher, so music was always in the house growing up.
I also teach Scottish Country Dancing so maybe something to do with that if I wasn't a musician.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to go to Ceilidh’s (Scottish Country Dancing), when I’m not playing music. There’s naturally a big connection between Music and Dance, and I’ve been going to Scottish Ceilidh’s since I was 5, so that does have some influence on my music.
How long have you been making music?
I got my first Drumkit the Christmas just before my 3rd Birthday.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
These days I’m based in Buckinghamshire. I originally moved down to London to study Jazz Drumkit at Guildhall School of Music 2007. Studying Jazz down here has been a big part of my development as a musician.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
Recently I played at Gtech Community Stadium for a London Irish Rugby game, the atmosphere was amazing.
When I launched my last album at the Ghillie Dhu in Edinburgh, and Zigfried Von Underbelly in London it was the 1st time I’d put together an album launch performing show entirely of my own music, so both of those shows are ones I’ll remember.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Ghillie Dhu in Edinburgh has a great atmosphere, there’s a video of the album launch we did there, on my Youtube channel:
The London Palladium is a really nice sounding room though, I've always enjoyed bands I've seen there. So that would be somewhere I'd love to play one day.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That’s such a tricky question, but I’d probably have to go with someone like Glen Hughes, he seems like a nice bloke and a phenomenal player. I reckon it would be quite fun to work with him and Joe Bonamassa in a Power Trio.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Joe Temperley once told me “if you can sing it, you can play it”. Meaning if you can’t sing it to yourself yet, you’ve not internalised it enough to start playing it on your instrument. Listening and Transcribing as much as possible is key to any musicians development. Whatever music you’re in to.
Advise to my younger self… probably to go and see Ronnie James Dio live, before he dies.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Probably a song from my 2nd album, ‘Medium Eyes Blue Build’ called ‘Dying Without a Faith’. It’s probably one of my most reflective compositions, at a time in my life I had to muster up the most strength.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I really enjoy playing 'See the Light', it's a fun track to do live, both with the full band and Solo. I have a video of the Solo version on Instagram: @tomadamsonband. The title track of the new album ‘Old View of the New World’ is getting a lot of good response, and a some good radio play. There’s a new video of us recording that track in the studio coming out soon on the Tom Adamson Band YouTube channel.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process can be quite focused and intense. Sometimes a full song can be written in 10mins, other times it’s a mix of a couple ideas formed over months.
I find my writing is informed a lot by the Instrument I’m sitting at and also what I’m transcribing at the time. I also find inspiration from Historical stories and myths.
Amongst other concepts, the songs on this album are inspired by: The Black Dinner of 1440 (Tracks: Kill the Kin & The Black Dinner), Viking invasions (Sail on the Wind), Werewolves in the Moonlight (Stillness of the Night), lighter themes of Pub Crawls post lockdown (Let's Paint the Town, Fred), more personal reflections that everyone can relate to, such as being put in the "Friend Zone" (Just another Way to Make a Friend), and waiting to start a family (Waiting for Life to Begin).
The title track itself, Old View of the New World, is about watching a new younger generation taking over the world: "queue up to see the world you thought was yours".
First and foremost, I'm a drummer. So, a lot of my music is focused on rhythm, textures, and my preference for live sounds over electronic samples. Growing up in and around Dunfermline I had some fantastic bands to look up to, such as local legends Nazareth and Big Country. I was also a member of Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra, led by Richard Michael, who had a big impact on me as a musician.
From an early age I was listening to lots of Jazz and Rock n Roll growing up, and being Scottish there was also lots of Folk music in the air too.
When it comes to writing my own music, everything I listen to inspires me, as I sit at an instrument it all comes out in one big melting pot.
A wide range of artists like: Dave Matthews Band, Steely Dan, Thin Lizzy, Keith Jarrett, Dougie MacLean, Deep Purple, Stealers Wheel, Rush, Led Zeplin, The Black Crowes, Wishbone Ash, Snarky Puppy, Fairport Convention, Uriah Heep, King Crimson, Tedeschi trucks band, Toto, Supertramp, Yes, AC/DC, John Mayer... the list goes on.
'Old View of the New World' is my 3rd album. After the indulgence of my double 2nd album, Medium Eyes Blue Build, which expanded the band to include special guests, Strings, and a Horn section over 24 Tracks. I wanted to scale down again to a touring size Rock band, as well as focus on my role as a Drummer, including shorter Drum solo tracks like Ballyhoo, Kill the Kin, and Oan Your Bike.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
Not really, it’s mostly about Historical events, and personal reflections. Hopefully people can listen, and relate to thier own lifes and memories.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’m putting together a tour in the autumn so dates for that should be up soon on my website: www.tom-adamson.com. I’m also back in the studio here in Buckinghamshire at the moment, working away on album number 4. The next big thing is the video for ‘Old View of the New World’ witch will be released very soon.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?