We featured the release of the song Falling by Sounds Familiar favourite Tom Speight a few weeks ago in our new music series Discover. So to tie in with the release of the Falling EP on 8 July 2016, we thought we would ask Tom a few questions on the new EP, about his recent touring experiences and on the future.
But before we get to that what can we tell you about Tom? Well, he’s a singer-songwriter from London and we first met him when he supported Turin Brakes on their recent Lost Property tour. He’s made a few appearances on our site already including a gig review of his solo show in London and he’s featured in one of our Past, Present, Future pieces. He has been on the scene for a number of years now and has shared the stage with many artists including Travis and Mumford & Sons and also worked alongside The Staves and Keane.
His song Willow Tree is fast becoming the go-to wedding song and if you take a listen to it below I’m sure you will see why.
Earlier this year Tom released his Little Love EP and watched it sell out on pre-orders within the first 24 hours. It has now hit over 1 million streams on Spotify with no sign of slowing down yet. Falling is gearing up to do with same clocking in at over 200,000 plays in the space of a few weeks since its release. Now back from touring Europe with Seafret we caught up with Tom and asked him how it was all going.
Hey Tom! 2016 has been a busy year for you so far. How’s it all been going?
It’s been great! I’ve done around 60 shows touring with Turin Brakes, Seafret, Tom Odell plus doing my own headline tour. Playing live is the best thing for me keeps me busy without worrying about the industry side of things.
Have there been any personal highlights for you so far?
It’s just been great to be busy and get my music out there. The reaction with touring and Spotify has been overwhelming.
You supported both Turin Brakes and Seafret on their recent tours. How did you find it?
I would say playing in Europe with Seafret was one of the best touring experiences I’ve had. The crowds were nuts and super welcoming. The Turin Brakes tour was great because I hadn’t played live in a while and it was almost like a boot camp of getting back in the swing of touring. We did a month on the road with them and I would happily do another month with them.
Any preference for touring buddies or were they both different experiences? (if you can say!)
Touring with Seafret was a bit more like family because we are travelling with them in the van so it was 24/7. Regarding Turin Brakes, Olly and Gale are like having band mates because we work so closely on the songs together. It’s a different dynamic but both are super nice and easy to tour with.
Your new EP Falling is released on 8 July. This follows the Little Love EP from earlier this year. Tell us how it all fits together.
The plan is release four EPs in one year. It means that I can develop as a writer and performer while hopefully picking up some fans. I think my album will follow after the four EPs with a bunch of new songs.
Little Love sold out on pre-order within 24 hours and Falling has just done the same. There’s also been massive streams of both songs on Spotify aswell. How does this make you feel?
It’s great because it means I can carry on making music and have it as my main focus. That’s all I want really! To be doing music full time.
You’ve got some great artists performing alongside you on Falling. How does working with other musicians like Rachel Sermanni come about?
My manager Simon is good friends with Rachel and I suggested a list of female vocalists I liked and she was the first on my list to call for this song. I’m very thankful she said yes!
Your short headline tour from earlier this year was really well received. How was it for you?
It was great. It was a nice burst of dates and really lovely to see some familiar faces from the Turin Brakes tour.
I believe that we can look forward to another tour later this year. Can you give us any details about it – for example where you’ll be playing?
It’s going to be my biggest tour to date around 15 dates around the country plus hopefully some more international dates.
Photography and art seems to also be something you focus on. I have one of your limited A2 prints and you usually include polaroids with your EPs. I also remember very vividly clambering onto the stage to take a picture for you whilst on tour earlier this year! Is this something you’d like to do more of perhaps?
I would ideally like to do all my own artwork, but it’s difficult though when I’m in the photo. I will be definitely doing all the inner and back artwork.
You’ve spoken to us before about your musical influences and what shaped your style. If you could play with any other artist (alive or dead) who would be your dream to share a stage with?
I think John Lennon. He has always been my number one since I was a kid.
Do you find writing new material easy and what (or who) are your muses?
Ryan Adams, Damien Rice and The Beatles are the biggest influences for my writing. I find I have a burst of new songs and then I’m quiet for a month or two. It really depends on how I’m feeling.
I once described you as something of an up and coming old timer due to the fact that you have always seemed to be on the verge of something bigger for a few years now (and I’ve read the same thing in other articles on you too). Why do you feel that massive break hasn’t arrived yet?
I’m happy with how things are going and it’s still early days really for me. Ask me that same question in a year or two and I’ll see how I feel.
And finally what does the future look like for Tom Speight?
Big tour in October and third EP around that date. More shows and recordings! Hopefully carry on and try not to lose focus on why I picked up the guitar!
Big thanks to Tom for taking the time to speak to us.
Watch out for news of the tour later this year.