Rob had a great chat with ‘Beans On Toast’ lately. This is a bumper length interview so sit back, and enjoy…
How did your career start, where and when were your beginnings?
I wrote my first song when I was 15 years old and have been writing songs ever since. I really love the process of making something out of nothing. I played in a band as a teenager and when that ended I kept on writing and it turned into what I do now.
At what point did playing music become a full time commitment for you?
Music has always been at the top of my priorities, I have of course worked other jobs over the years, but they were in music venues or with other bands, I’ve worked hard and it’s always been full time but I’ve never really felt like this is a job.
At what stage in your career did this happen, when was the turning point? Any particular show or tour stand out as to when you noticed an increase in popularity?
Since I started performing as Beans on Toast there’s always been enough people to show up to a gig to make it worthwhile.
How do you approach touring these days, is it all still as D.I.Y as it always was?
It depends what tour we’re on, I’m currently touring the new album and playing with a piano player and we have one other mate on the road with us, we travel in my van. So yeah, I guess that’s pretty D.I.Y.
Tell us about your new album…
It’s a rock n roll album about the collapse of society and climate. It was recorded in Kentish town on analogue equipment and produced by Kitty and Lewis Durham.
It’s much more band orientated, why did you decide to add a more fuller sound to these songs?
I found myself writing some pretty bleak songs, about Brexit, Artificial Intelligence and global warming, I think they would have been pretty heavy if they were just me and a guitar and so I wanted to present them to the world a bit differently. I figured an upbeat, old skool, fun, rock n roll sounding backing track might level things out.
Who are your biggest influences, now and when your started out?
I get most of my inspiration from life itself, the day to day.
Who is the best new band people should check out in 2019?
Tensheds – he’s supporting on this tour and is incredible. Sci-Fi, Blues Rock-type thing, very Tom Waits.
The production quality has also improved on every one of your records, how is the recording process different to when your early music was tracked?
I’ve made every record with different musicians and producers and in different studios. I’ll continue to do that as I move forward too, it keeps it interesting.
How was touring Australia earlier this year?
Amazing. An incredible place filled with great people. I was supporting a chap called William Crighton who on top of being a brilliant songwriter is a wonderful human who made the whole trip very special.
Your book “Drunk fold stories” was very well received by fans, when did the idea for this come about?
I’ve been telling those stories for years, either on stage or down the pub and when I was on tour in Germany a couple of years back I found myself with a lot of spare time, I was travelling on the train alone for a month so I started writing them down.
How did you narrow down the content for the book?
I knew the book needed to be short and catchy so I just choose 10 of my favourite stories.
You have played so many independent venues all over the U.K, is this a conscious effort to support them by yourself and what is your opinion about these venues having a sustainable future?
People will always want to hang out in groups and listen to music live. It’s been that way since the dawn of time. Music venues have had a rough few years, but people are waking up that now. Music, musicians and promoters will always find a way.
Name the top three you have played…
Gorilla (Manchester), The Trades Club (Hebden Bridge), Brudenell Social Club (Leeds)
Finally, what are the touring plans for the new record, is there plans to venture further around the world?
Yeah, on tour in the UK now. Europe and USA early next year, then hopefully back to Auz after festivals this Summer. Round and round we go.
Article by: Rob Kent