Tommy Awards / Interview
Where are you based?
Is this your hometown?
What is your first musical memory?
Jon: When I was around 11 I got an Italo mix tape my brother had made. He had recorded a lot of intros and edits of his own using a tape recorder with twin cassette decks. I played it in my Walkman all summer and started making my own after that.
Alex: I used to be into metal when I was about 5, me and my mates did a joint Mötley Crüe / Judas Priest gig at our kindergarten. Mum and dad helped me convert a really cute looking tiger t-shirt into a more metal looking affair using paint and a pair of scissors.
What was the first record you bought?
Alex: The first ones I got that I really wanted were Twisted Sister “I Wanna Rock” 7″ and Cyndi Lauper “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, I think I got them at the same time. The first one I bought by myself using my own money was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” 7″.
Jon: I don’t remember exactly but I have an early memory of being into Swedish fun-rap trio Just D.
What was the last record you bought?
Jon: Erkin Koray “Meçhul: Singles & Rarities”
Alex: Some OZO LP that got lost at Bens house straight away or Tony Monn Concept “Who Built The Pyramids”, can’t remember.
What inspired you to start making music?
A lifetime of listening.
How long have you been making music?
We’ve been making music together as Tommy Awards since around 2008 and in other forms since before that.
How would you describe your sound?
A journey to wherever you want to go or have been, in this life or another.
Which production / release are you most proud of?
Jon: The mix we made for the “Made Like A Tree” podcast series part of which was released this year as Tommy Awards “Sessions” on Nuearth Conservatory. We decided to record one hour of music exclusively for the mix. It was very inspiring and we had a lot of fun making it!
Alex: The whole vibe on “Electricity”, created one magic night in the study of our friend Micha’s dad’s country house out in the Archipelago.
Which production / release would you most like to have done?
Alex: Too many to list but I`ve always loved The Walker Brothers “You’re All Around Me” and the whole “Heart Of The Congos” LP.
What are your favourite places to play / hang out in?
What is your favourite place outside of a bar / club / record shop?
Jon: Wherever I can be close to nature.
Alex: I agree, especially in the mountains, summer and winter.
Do you see yourself as part of any scene?
Who does your artwork?
Our friend Leolyxxx did the artwork for our first EP on Magic Feet and the Sessions EP that we just released on Nuearth Conservatory. We love him!
Do you have a favourite visual artist?
Jon: Besides Leolyxxx, I like the illustrations of Moebius (Jean Henri Gaston Giraud).
Alex: At the moment Andrea Mantegna and Piero Della Francesca
Who are you currently working with?
We’ve been collaborating a bit with an artist called Sun Owl, experimenting with some vocal tracks and we have a mini LP coming out on Craig Bratley’s label Magic Feet this summer.
Who would you most like to work with?
Anyone who shares our vision and mindset.
Does playing and making music pay the rent?
No it costs more than it pays in cash but what it gives back emotionally is immeasurable.
What sites, if any, do you regularly check on-line?
Jon: Dream Chimney
Alex: Discogs and Skidpepp, a blog about cross-country skiing.
What was the last book you read?
Jon: “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach.
Alex: “Dream Story” by Arthur Schnitzler
What is your favourite book?
Alex: Hard to name just one, I love the way Balzac’s Human Comedy never ends, there is always another. I also have the deepest respect for Umberto Eco.
What was the last film you saw?
Alex: I saw a documentary on the Finnish hockey player, Teemu Selänne, last night, not that good… he seemed like a nice dude, apart from the fact that he thought his lot in life was to chill out while his wife had to do everything around the house, that’s just too medieval for me.
Jon: “Happy People: A Year In The Taiga” by Werner Herzog. Great documentary about the daily life of the indigenous people living in the Siberian Taiga.
What is your favourite film?
Alex: Too many, but if I have to choose I’ll say “Barry Lyndon”, or “Fitzcarraldo”.
Jon: I like “Dead Man” by Jim Jarmusch.
What is your favourite piece of music? If that`s too difficult, what`s your current favourite piece of music?
Alex: There are nice tunes everywhere and everything changes like the weather but at the moment I’m really into almost everything released on Wackie’s.
Jon: Maybe it’s narcissistic but my favourite piece of music is usually whatever came out during our last jam session. I’ll go around listening to it on repeat until we make something new.