THE guys of Tom Boy…
have been talking with me about their new track, How to Become a Drug Dealer, and what its story is. I was eager to know about their previous project/incarnation, CAIRO, and why that ended; whether there is more coming up for them and whether they will be hitting the road anytime soon.
Nate and Dante talk about their influences and reveal which albums are important to them; the rising artists we need to get involved with any how they spend time away from music – they end the interview by each selecting a great track.
Hi, Tom Boy. How are you? How has your week been?
We’re fine. This is fine. (See: GIF of dog calmly sitting in burning house).
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are a smack-talking Synth-Pop band out of Toronto, Canada. We love washed-out guitars, reverb-soaked vocals; punchy synth and forgetting things on airplanes.
You had a previous project (CAIRO) that ended. What was the reason behind that?
Ummm…so…ok, ya. No, but, um. Well…errr. The thing is you tour, you get lonely; you meet amazing people. Ok, wait. This is starting to sound like a line from Almost Famous. The truth is that there was an affair (or two). And they involved members. Things got messy. Feelings got hurt. Grudges proved immoveable. At a certain point, we weren’t all on the same page so we moved on.
How to Become a Drug Dealer is your new track. I believe it holds personal weight. Was it hard putting the song together?
We started writing that track when we were still in CAIRO.
I think the lyrics may have been hard for certain members to swallow but it almost seemed like a penance. When things ended and Dante and I formed Tom Boy; I knew I had to take the song with me because of its powerful lyrical content. The song means a lot to us and sort of serves as a reminder about what not to do in the future.
Do you think those bad days and addictions have made you stronger people now?!
In a way, perhaps. Our bullsh*t-meter is definitely more attuned now. We fell prey to a lot of the trappings you hear about in the music industry. But, we are much clearer in our vision and goals as we move into this next phase of our careers. Physically speaking, our bodies are like eighty-year-olds, though. Haha. Dante can’t go running without having an allergic reaction and I break out in hives when someone offers me soda.
Might we see more material coming soon?
For now, we are playing the singles game. There is definitely some stuff in the pipeline. We just had a really fun time shooting our next music video in New York and we’re looking forward to a few more releases over the winter/spring.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
To remind people we aren’t dead. Yet.
In that same vein; do you have plans for 2019 in terms of what you want to accomplish?
We want to get in front of audiences again. The new songs are up-tempo, adrenaline-fuelled tracks that answer a lot of the questions our fans might have had when we disappeared. The story is compelling and it’s going to be really fun to tell it on stage.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
We were given the first mention by CBC’s Best Albums of 2015. That was after one of the best tours we had driving across Canada. We were in turmoil. But we were family.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Nate: Radiohead - OK Computer
Simply for the fact that the first time I fell stupidly in love (and it didn’t end well) I listened to Let Down on repeat like a SAD BOY.
Dante: Nas - Illmatic
I have been listening to it since high-school and it is a perfect album with hardly any features. Just raw, lyrical magic.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Zola Blood (London). Dante likes his quinoa bowls (he’s trying to do better) and me, well…I honestly could live off of Skor bars and whiskey. We’re not as complicated as we sound.
Can we see you on the road this year at all?
I hope fuck*ng so.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Treat everyone like they might hold the key to your career one day. They will.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jeremie Albino
Do you both get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Nate: Zola Blood – Infinite Games
Dante: Noah Gundersen – Cigarettes
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