Tom Vek by Gianluca Floris.
I was super excited to discover that Tom Vek has completed his third album Luck, which came out a few weeks ago on Moshi Moshi Records. I knew Tom Vek many years ago, when his career had just launched at the indie label where my flatmate worked, and Amelia’s Magazine had just begun – his music was part of the soundtrack to my life back then. Ten years later we are both still doing our thing, which is kind of nice to know. From the determined catchiness of Sherman (Animals in the Jungle) – which is accompanied by a deeply unsettling but brilliant video (below) – to the humour and bounce of The Tongue Avoids the Teeth, this new record is Tom Vek at his best: an album chock full of catchy songs featuring his trademark singsongy chat, all set against a backdrop of extravagant glitches. The lyrics may be inspired by the hardships and tribulations of modern life but the results are undeniably upbeat. I caught up with Tom to find out how life has been treating him…
Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)
It’s been ten years since you first burst onto the music scene with We Have Sound, and you’ve been quiet for quite some time since your second album, what have you been up to?
I released an EP with a friend from New York under the name Nothankyou, I also made an app that sorts out how shitty music looks on phones.
Tom Vek by Simon McLaren.
What were the biggest inspirations behind Luck?
Reading Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire Of The Vanities was a big reference point for Sherman, and added to my general musings about controlling your fate and stuff which runs through the record lyrically.
How do you marry the song writing process with production?
It’s kinda combined really, I produce as I go along, it’s part of the writing now, because I’m looking for some kind of sonic interest before an actual song is put together.
Did you learn any new processes or instruments to make it? if so which ones…
Um, not sure, I learnt a load of stuff between the first 2, I think that’s why this album was quicker because I knew what I was doing in the technical sense. I bought a pitch pedal and put it on a lot of things.
How long did it take to create this record?
2 years I guess..
Tom Vek by Sonia Melot.
How much has luck (or otherwise) affected your life?
Well I don’t know really, I think that’s what the whole album muses over. I think I’ve had some extraordinary luck, and I’ve also worked extremely hard at some things which yield less of an impact, so there’s an odd relationship, I always have that “the more I practise, the luckier I get” line in my heard ever since I heard it as a child, but it’s odd because I haven’t really mastered anything particular musically, but maybe that regime has been practise in itself. My latest theory is it’s a karmic thing where you can work really hard on something and the luck you earn doesn’t necessarily come straight back but in a mysterious way, which is nice because then you lead a life of injustice and blessings, which rouses the existential I guess, keeps it interesting.
Who do you hope will listen to this record, and what will they be doing at the time?
That’s a funny question, that’s a little weird to think about, I don’t know really, I tend to have a little headphone time in the evenings, maybe that kinda thing, or in a car, music’s so great for driving to.
You will be going on tour later this year – what can the audience expect from your latest live show?
3 guys trying their hardest to play all the bits, while I try to remember all the lyrics and ignore a load of people looking at me haha, they are funny things live, it just seems like a bit of a bizarre thing that I put myself through, good fun though and I’ll keep doing them so long as people want to hear sub-standard versions of the songs. I’m just kidding, the live shows are life-changing.
Lastly, what do you remember most fondly when you look back to the time of your first release ten years ago?
Being around Brick Lane, where the indie label that we made We Have Sound with were based, I had a job around the area, and I’d pop out on my lunch breaks to go have a chat about printing flyers or something, and get CDs from the other labels in the office. Releasing music was a kinda mysterious thing, not so statistically scrutinised it is now, I’m so grateful I was able to release an album in the old music industry.
Luck by Tom Vek is out now on Moshi Moshi Music – go check it out!
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