Alternative/experimental rock artist Tom Vek released his third studio record Luck on June 9th. Known for his humour, knowledge, and talent, we’ve admired this London-based multi-instrumentalist since his 2005 debut We Have Sound. With that said, it was a true pleasure speaking with him after the release of the album. Read our new exclusive interview with Tom Vek below as we discuss creating the album, proud releases, hardcore fans, and his love of ceviche and Slush Puppies.
AMBY: Hey Tom, thanks for speaking with us today. What have you been up to lately?
Tom Vek: Been eating a lot of ceviche, I’m crazy about it, had a strawberry and watermelon one at my local spot Andina in London, mind-blowing.
AMBY: Which three songs are the quintessential Tom Vek?
Tom Vek: Looking back to the first album I think “C-C” was the most indescribable which I was most proud of, I think that set the blueprint for the second record, I really felt like “Seizemic” was another point of finding something I wouldn’t know how to describe, then I think “Broke” from the new album is the most unique, maybe that doesn’t answer the quintessential question, sorry maybe “A Chore” is one of the most quintessential.
AMBY: You released your third album Luck in June! I read that you enjoy the moment in recording where “something happens very quickly and very easily” the most. Did you experience any moments like this when writing or recording Luck?
Tom Vek: Most of the songs that make it happen this way, or at least their main character happens quickly, because all the other unfinished ideas just remain unfinished. Sherman came together very quickly, and TGYWLFAOG was a one take thing, then I couldn’t stop listening to it, that’s usually the sign I look for, that I can’t stop listening to something, I guess I road test the songs for the hardcore fans.
AMBY: What influences can be found on the new album that might not be apparent to a listener?
Tom Vek: Let’s see I think I had a Frank Ocean moment on Broke, I was enjoying that album at the time, I was thinking of the Police a little bit, Sting’s toplines really are astonishing, always listen to Deftones, some guitar layering is apparent in this record, that kinda super melodic wall of noise. I always listen to Jeff Buckley too, that’s what makes me think to try to some vocal acrobatics, though I usually prefer keeping the less-than-perfect bits in.
AMBY: When it comes to the title, what inspired calling the album Luck?
Tom Vek: I’d recorded “Pushing Your Luck” and liked the ring to it, seemed to capture the feeling of some of the other songs, I’ve never liked the idea of naming an album after a track, but then thought that “LUCK” would look good on a T-shirt, and was quite an aggressive looking word, a bit of a double-take maybe, and then I came up with the cover graphic and that clinched it.
AMBY: What summer activities do you get up to while not on stage?
Tom Vek: I eat a lot of ceviche, I sit in the sun, living in east London you have to avoid the parks a little bit because they get so full, I have a small back yard and sit out there on a deckchair with a book perhaps. I was given a slushy maker recently, it’s like a coffee cup that lives in the freezer and you can turn any drink into a slush, it was a big deal, I’m a big Slush Puppie (slurpie?) fan, I know all the bran freeze reducing techniques.
AMBY: If you could be a fly on the wall at any given time or event, where would you want to be?
Tom Vek: In the design studio at Apple designing the iPhone before any one knew what was going to happen, hearing how people could be talking about an item without todays vocabulary for something so ubiquitous. I read the Steve Jobs biography a couple years ago and its the craziest thing reading about this guy who was determined to “make a dent in the universe” and I think he one of the extremely small amount of people you can say that actually achieved that, its actually thrilling, I was reading the book on my iPhone.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Tom Vek that nobody knows yet?
Tom Vek: I can’t even remember what I divulge to people, er maybe that I like Slush Puppies?
Thank you Tom Vek, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout