Interview: Tom Rumbold

Ein liebenswerter, schüchterner, rothaariger Typ aus England. TOM RUMBOLD ist dabei die Herzen seiner Zuhörer gefangen zu nehmen. Im April kommt er für nur eine Show nach Deutschland. Im Sommer soll mehr kommen. Wir haben uns ihm einmal angenommen.

What do you think about this trend: every band’s singer needs an accustic side project. There are these big examples like alexisonfire, thrice, hot water music, lagwagon, but even the smallest bands which are not very popular got singers trying it solo.

I think that it’s a really great thing that singers are brave enough to follow their own solo project. It’s a different way to express their ideas and their musicality and I think it’s wonderful that they aren’t trapping themselves into one style of music.

Plus, it’s bought us Dallas Green, Dustin Kensrue, Joey Cape – these guys are great songwriters. It encourages people to pick up their guitar and just play, without being scared of not being ’scene‘ enough.

Last year you played at a funeral/tribute in germany. What do you feel about this? Would you do this the same? Is it more an honor or a special pressure?

Yeah – that was a really special time. It was a total honour to be asked to come and pay my respects to someone who was taken away so young – she was extremely important to so many people who I’m close to.

I think that there was some pressure, for sure – because it’s an event that a lot of people will remember for the rest of their lives. But to be asked to be a part of something like that is more than I ever hoped for when I started playing acoustic music, and I feel honoured that her friends and family would think of me to come and help them with such a beautiful tribute.

You seam to be very into communities. How important is this direct way of communication with the fans to you?

Being able to speak to the people who listen to my songs is one of the most important parts of this experience for me. Music brings people together in a really positive way and small communities who support smaller musicians are a super important part of creating strong, local scenes.

I still feel like a fan and not a musician – so I always want to hang out with the people who buy the record or come to these little shows, because I understand exactly what it’s like to love music.

I don’t believe in putting a wall between the musician and the fan – that’s ‚rockstar‘ bullshit that I have no time for.

Quite often you upload new songs. What do you think about conventional releases? Will you release an album or something which stands as a whole thing, not just song for song?

Haha. When I started this acoustic project, I didn’t really know what I was doing. So I was just getting some studio time, releasing these songs on the internet, giving them away free or through iTunes – and I didn’t have a real ‚plan‘.

But now I have plans to record a full album at the end of the summer with a good friend of mine in Paris. And that way, I can print it and release it as both a physical disc and online as a ‚whole thing‘ rather than just putting my ideas on MySpace.

What about working together with a record label? When you’re the only one in the band you could be the only one in the management as well…

It’s my dream to be able to push my music to another level if the right opportunity comes up. Music is a HUGE part of the person that I am, so working with a record label who understands where I want to take my music would really be a dream come true.

You’ve been on tour with And Still I Bleed as the clean-singer. Was it fun for you to be part of a band, not just the only one on stage? Will you repeat this? Have you played in other bands?

Going on tour with ASIB was amazing. I had some of the best times of my life with those guys. I have loved heavy music for a long time and grew up listening to Thrice, Killswitch Engage, Caliban, Alexisonfire – so when I went on a metal tour I was really following a personal dream.

The guys from the bands were great – I was the only English guy (with terrible German speaking skills(!) but they made me feel like ‚one of the band‘ and I feel like I’ve made some true friends for life.

If the right opportunity arrives I would love to go on tour in a full band again but for the near future I’m going to finish my solo record and hopefully play some more shows in support of that.

What is your aim with your music? Do you give a shit on MTV or the top of the charts?

Nah, that stuff is bullshit to me. I don’t enjoy a lot of that music because it doesn’t mean anything to me – the message is the same, and it bores me.

My aim has always been to write the music that I like, play as many shows as I can and meet as many new people as possible. And hopefully I can begin to follow that in 2009/2010.

You don’t have many tour dates. Are you going to go on tour? Will you come on a longer tour through Germany? Or do you focus on spreading your music through the internet?

Yeah it’s been weird for me. I used to live in Germany and I played there a few times before I moved over to the UK last year. But I’ve just started to play again over here and it’s been pretty great so I’m going to play a lot more than I have been, recently.

After I record the new album in the Summer I plan to come back over to Germany in the Winter for a small European tour – so keep your eyes open for news on that!

I’m still going to be uploading a lot through the internet because the internet is a REALLY important tool for musicians now. But playing live is what I love to do so I will be following that later in the year.

From where do you get inspiration for your songs? Do you tell from your real life or is it fiction?

My songs are usually about the things that I have been through, or have seen my friends and family have to deal with. My lyrics are nearly always written about something that has had a real impact on me – I can’t write about the things that I don’t know about!

I guess I just try to tell the stories that we’ve all been through.

Do you have political ambitions with your lyrics? Or what kind of ambitions do you have?

Nah. Politics is important in music, but that’s something I think I’ll leave to the punk bands right now. All I’m trying to do is tell a story – and hopefully there are people out there who are ready to listen and be a part of that.

Photo: Amelie Bombelka

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