SANDI THOM INTERVIEW
Hi Sandi, how are you, and how has 2013 treated you so far?
I am very well, thank you! 2013 has been a great year so far. I have been mainly touring this year, getting back out to countries that I have not been able to get to for a while like Australia and Scandinavia, so it’s been a blast.
Only last year, you released ‘Flesh and Blood’, your fourth album. Which tracks from the LP are your favourites to play at concerts, and why?
I love to play the title track ‘Flesh and Blood’. I use an open tuning on my Guild 12-string acoustic and the sound is really deep and raw and I love it! It comes across great live on the night. I also love to play ‘The Big Ones Get Away’. I play this on my 12-string Taylor which rings out beautifully. This one always receives a great reaction from the crowd as I always can’t help but sing it straight from the heart, but I love to play them all, and they fit great in the set.
Are you working on anything fresh at the moment to act as a follow-up to last year’s album?
Yes! Absolutely… I am working on my 5th album now which is very exciting. I have plans to incorporate more of my Celtic roots into this record, but in-keeping with my style. It should be really fun to make, and I have some exciting collaborators in the pipeline also.
Glancing back to 2006 when ‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker’ came out, were you able to imagine the possibility of continuing to produce critically-acclaimed music for a living seven years later?
I am very fortunate and blessed to have a career and life in music; it’s a privilege every day. I was so swept away by the attention that the first album and single got that it was such a ride. So many memories and hilarious stories came from that time. The years that followed have been both challenging and extremely rewarding for me musically and personally. I certainly have a story to tell!
You’re renowned for touring so extensively. Where are your favourite places to play in the world, and why?
Well, I love to go back to the homeland, Scotland. My heart always beats a little louder with pride when I set foot in Scotland. I have had a lot of fun getting to know the touring circuit in the US this year as well, and I am looking forward to touring again in 2014. The place I find the most fascinating is the Far East… China and Japan. This year I get to visit Shanghai and play a festival there which I am very excited about, and I’m also returning to Scandinavia which I love dearly.
Having written hordes of anthemic songs, what would you say is the secret to writing a great song?
“Don’t bore us – get to the chorus!!”
You were brought up in Aberdeenshire. What are your overriding memories of your childhood in Scotland?
Simplicity, idyllic innocence, freedom, peace and tranquility… everything about my childhood was perfect, just as it should be when you’re young. It’s the only time in your life that you can believe that everything and everyone is at peace. That’s what a child’s upbringing should be like in my opinion. All too often, it’s unfortunately not the case.
Flitting back to the present, what does the rest of 2013 hold in store for you in terms of releases and shows?
Australia, China and Scandinavian tour dates! Writing the 5th album, spending time with my man on the road while he tours, and seeing my family… and working non-stop! That’s the only downside to being the boss of your own business!
Finally, if there are any aspiring singer-songwriters reading this, what advice would you give them to better enable them to pursue their dreams?
Never stop improving, learning and listening. Be humble; keep your ego on the stage. Be innovative. Don’t be afraid to do something bold, but always remember that timeless music is in the song; if you can sit and play it on a guitar and it connects with people, then you’re on to a winner. Remember: songwriting is all about tension… great songs have tension… it’s an ebb and flow of tension and release. And be an entrepreneur by getting to know the business.
(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Sandi Thom)
This interview was conducted on 2nd September, 2013
Photos courtesy of www.sandithom.com