THE music industry needs more artists…
like Auld right now. I have been speaking with him (Thomas Pitts) about his sound and what he can reveal regarding his new song, Bugs in my Gut. He explains why he chooses to be genre-fluid and unlimited; how it felt seeing the positive reaction to his E.P., Curriculum Vitae – I ask whether there will be any gig dates approaching.
Auld talks to me about albums that mean a lot to him and his musical tastes; whether there are any new artists we should look out for; what we can expect from one of his live shows – he ends the interview by selecting an impactful and emotional song.
Hi, Auld. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello. I am pretty good; thanks very much for asking. I’ve just had a meeting with the new ‘Auld’ mascot. I am yet to get a manager or label so I’ve settled for a mascot. What he lacks in industry contacts and know-how he makes up for in morale-boosting.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Thom and I am Auld. I make brooding, Electronic; Alternative, Indie-Pop.
If applied accurately, each song should make you wanna dance and make you wanna cry; ideally, at the same time.
Your music is genre-fluid and wide-ranging. Do you think too many artists are restrictive and narrow when it comes to their sounds? Do artists need to be a bit broader with their music?
I can’t say what other artists should do with their music. I’ve always tried to be different because that’s what excites me and I’ve never been very good at copying what others do. That’s why I’d be rubbish in a wedding band - I hear that’s where the money is though…
Can you tell me about Bugs in My Gut? What is the inspiration behind it?
My mascot will tell you It’s about being a sh*t person that wants so much love and respect from people but gives so little back to the world.
I would tell you it’s about social anxiety.
Your E.P., Curriculum Vitae, is out there. Have you been pleased with the response to it? What was it like putting it all together?
I’ve been very pleased with it. It’s the best work I have done and it has had some very lovely write-ups. It was a pleasure to create. Writing is my favourite part of the whole process and trying new and different ways to structure songs is something I am finding very exciting now…I don’t get out much
Did music come into your life early? Which artists struck your tender ears?
My earliest music memories are listening to Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty in the car with my parents on the way up to Scotland. It must have been when I was about five or six and I don’t have the greatest memory as a rule, but I remember that very vividly.
It was when I was obsessed with the Spice Girls that I started writing songs. They were nearly all Pop bangers and they were about Boy Power and boys’ rights.
I was ahead of my time…
Do you already have more material brewing? How far along are you looking?
I am currently recording two E.P.s, which will make a full album. The album will be out by the end of the year. The first E.P. should be out by July. It’s not as electronic as this E.P: it’s gonna be a full band set up like they did in the early-noughties.
Can we see you tour this year?
October is tour time.
What gigs do you have coming along?
Just doing some acoustic gigs over the next few weeks and looking for London shows for when the E.P. is out.
What form do your live shows take? If we wanted to come along and see you play; what might we see and experience?
We have been playing full band recently. There are six of us. We try to make it just on the edge of uncomfortable viewing so people stay interested.
When it’s too difficult to get the band to join me, I play solo with samplers and guitars and synths. I just try to look as busy as possible.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
My main aim is to just get the music out there to as many people as possible. If I could start paying the rent with my music then that would be a good start.
I’ve got to get better at the whole social network game, as just having really amazing, superb songs aren’t enough anymore. This is why I have brought in a mascot/sponsor/marketing man to help me.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Someone once said my stage presence seemed quite ‘threatening’. I’m one of those boring people that people describe as ‘too nice’, so it was a dream come true to come across as threatening.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
The first three that popped into my head were:
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Franck Ocean - Blond(e)
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Rain Dogs always comes to mind whenever a question like this comes up and Funeral has definitely had the biggest impact on me over the last ten years or so; more than any other album. Blond(e) I choose because it’s the only album I’ve had downloaded to my phone for the last year and a half and the album as a whole is beautiful and unpredictable and, after a year and a half of listening to Nights and White Ferrari, I still get shivers of joy every single time.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Don’t eat meat.
Be the best.
If you become successful, always remember your old pal ‘Auld’.
IN THIS PHOTO: High Hazels
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
We supported the High Hazels a couple of weeks ago. They are from Sheffield and they are beautiful: if Beach House were four lads from Sheffield then that is High Hazels. I hope that’s a compliment it is meant to be…
I am also very excited for Self Esteem’s album. It’s Rebecca from Slow Club’s solo project.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
When I’m not doing music, I’m working any job I can get to pay for rent and recording.
I’ve worked at every tourist attraction in London and I’m now doing some office work, just to get that full nine-to-five horrible commute experience I’ve heard so much about. It’s all good inspiration though.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here.
Frightened Rabbit - Fast Blood
A superb songwriter, a beautiful human and a huge loss.