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Interview with Song of the Year nominee The Tommyhawks

26 Apr

The Tommyhawks have been nominated  in the Rock Category for WAM Song of the Year 2017-18 with their forthcoming single ‘Critical’. Today WAM has a quick chat with The Tommyhawks about the driving force behind the band and they give their top tips for touring and songwriting. Also, find out their RTRFM In The Pines set time and their favourite thing about the festival.

You’ve just finished your national tour; how did it go? What would be your top tour tip for new acts just starting to tour?
It was cockle-warming. We had a car and actual rooms for accommodation this time (instead of a campervan) so it was indescribably luxurious to have our own beds and access to a toilet/shower each night for once.

In terms of the shows – we had a couple of really fun, intimate ones in amazing places; we played a Speigeltent in Hobart and this beautiful outdoor cabana-style stage practically on the beach in central NSW. There’s a few venues which we always play at in the big cities and they always have the same bar staff there so it’s kind of like getting to see your cousins again – there’s this lovely sense of comradery for the night and it means that no matter how few people are in front of you still feel like you’re meant to be there!

Top tour tip? Oh mannn…. Label your knickers. Do whatever you can to get virgin lounge access (they have SHOWERS and TOWELS and COFFEE and WINE and FOOD all for free and you never know how important these things are until you have an 8 hour wait at the airport). Know where has lock-out laws when you’re loading out gear. Just cross Byron off your list for trying to getting a gig. Buy a 90 cent bucket on day1 to keep ice in for long journeys. Someone pack salt. They confiscate gaffa tape from carry-on luggage. That yoghurt that bandmate #2 bought will NEVER GET EATEN.

What is the driving force and inspiration behind The Tommyhawks? What makes you the band you are?
Phwoar tough question. I think we just love being on stage together; and are all on the same page with what we want.  It’s kinda like a sisterhood (oh so freakin’ cheesy sorry); even if it’s a nightmarish gig  with no one there and horrendous sound (and a man threatening to come in with a chainsaw) etc we’re all able to (at some point..!) see the humour in it and rally around whoever’s not vibing (on stage that is – no rallying around chainsaw man).  There’s no ego; we’ve got each other’s backs and we just want to play songs. If people enjoy it that’s a really lovely thing and makes us want to play more.

Your next single ‘Critical’ has been nominated in the Rock Category for Song of the Year, what is your top songwriting tip from your experience?
Run with what feels good. And keep running; people will either resonate with it; or they won’t. And there will always be people who do; and people who don’t. Just do what you do and own it. Don’t wait until it’s perfect before taking it to an audience. People seem to enjoy knowing they’re part of a very fresh songling. Is that even a word? I love being at a gig when someone says “this is brand new and I kinda can’t play the bridge yet”  – it can be really special for the audience when you share someone’s artistic vulnerability.

What is your set time for In The Pines and what is your favourite thing about this festival?
We love that it’s an RTRFM event – they are such incredible supporters of WA musicians and are all a total bunch of legends so we’re chuffed to have been billed for this. And the pine trees are pretty amazing!  5pm. See ya there x


Buy your WAM Song of the Year 2017-18 Awards Party Tickets here

Check out the full list of WAM Song of the Year 2017-18 Nominees here

Catch The Tommyhawks at RTRFM’s In The Pines this Sunday, April 29 at 5.00pm.

Get your In The Pines tickets here



Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

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