Questions&Answers: Tom Milsom
That's right, folks THE Tom Milsom has graced our little corner of the Internet. We here at the Kiln are grateful to have this opportunity to interview such a fine rising star and are proud to be the first to share what's really going on with his music. Without further ado...

Ok, we have to ask this... why an ukulele?

Because it's awesome and different, and it just seems to suit me really well. I love it's portability - I can just put it in my bag and take it anywhere - and if I go somewhere new, it's a novelty, but I can play it well enough that if I take it to my friends houses, they still want me to play the same old stuff again. It's lovely. I hear they're going to be putting ukes in primary schools now, where they'll be replacing the recorder, which is nice in a way, but it'll mean instead of being seen as somebody interesting and different, I'll be seen as somebody playing about with kids toys, which is a real shame. I hope the government don't go through with it.

Have any of your other instruments offended your mother?
No. On the whole they tend to keep quiet, for they are, in fact, inanimate. There was one time when I was walking down the road with my mother and a piccolo walked up to us and called her a whore, though. Right in the middle of the fucking road! It was atrocious. Can I say fuck in this?

Do you intend to keep 'flying solo'?
I do. Bands are wonderful things, but I find it very hard to 'fit in' with what other people want to do - ideas like 'let's write a song about lobsters!' simply wouldn't fly in a democracy - and it also means I don't have to sort out how to split royalties and that sort of thing, which is intensely complex. I've never been good with numbers.

You mention that you're a comedian, artist, musician, amongst other things. How do you manage to do all that?
The fact that I sleep on average for four hours a night might have something to do with it. As for the comedian bit though, I can't imagine a life without it. It's a part of my act as much as it is a part of my life, and a life without making people laugh is just unimaginable to me. It's how I cope with the whole being alive thing.

What was it like winning battle of the bands?
Fantastic, and unexpected. And a little bit awkward. It was like, there were all these bands there that were really quite good, and they'd spent time working out set lists, and writing songs, and here I was, sitting on a stage, strumming out a couple of covers and a song about a lobster, and in between every song I'd say 'right, er... what should I play next?' I felt like I didn't deserve it, but it was still an awesome experience, and what made me first think 'hold on, there could be a career in this'.

So the lyrical content to your songs, are they about personal experiences?
A Song About A Person On A Train is. Imperfections is a little bit, but I don't like to admit it. Seafood wasn't initially, but I realised after I wrote it that it actually WAS true. Some people say that at my age, I shouldn't be able to write songs about the sort of emotional things I write about to such a high level, but to be honest, I think if you gave a twelve year old my vocabulary and musicality they'd be able to produce the same quality. I'd even go so far as to say that the key to writing these songs is living in a grownups world while never losing that inquisitive, naive little fire inside you that you have as a child. People make fun of me for it sometimes, but it means I can take the most mundane happenings (ooh, you're pretty, I'm going to look at you for a while, don't get off the train, oh look, you're getting of the train, how sad, never mind) and make a song about it.

What do you think of the other artists who promote themselves through youtube?
There are some who are truly wonderful, like Dave Thomas who is incredibly talented and plays beautifully, and then there are those that are really rather horrific but need to be worshipped simply because of their unerring faith in themselves... needless to say Tay Zonday needs no introduction. But the thing is, there aren't that many out there who are genuinely terrible. For the most part, it's a great resource for finding and learning about music from all over the world, and allowing startup musicians like me a great place to show work to a huge range of people. Long may it prosper.

Okay, I have to go to bed now, so nunight!

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