Tom met with Graham Gouldman, the only constant member of 10cc, in London. They discussed songwriting, why 10cc weren’t as famous as Queen, the reason his tours still sell out, and the nature of friendships and disagreements in a band.
Tom sat down with ABC’s lead singer Martin Fry to discuss following up ‘The Lexicon Of Love’ - adored by fans and critics alike – with a sequel 34 years later, why it was easy to catch a beating as a teenager in the 1970s, and having the opportunity to give Smokey Robinson a copy of ‘When Smokey Sings’ by hand after a chance meeting.
Tom met with the man behind the remarkably unique musical project The Album Leaf, Jimmy LaValle in Los Angles. They talked about the San Diego music scene and the music on The OC, where Jimmy got the name The Album Leaf, and why he feels the need to put so much effort into his live shows.
Tom met Russ Giguere of The Association, the ‘60s band known for complex arrangements and beautiful harmonies which many of the younger generation may be familiar with due to the iconic use of their song ‘Windy’ in the hit show Breaking Bad. Russ talked ‘hootenannies’, how they gained the support of the whole Chicago Fire Department, and why he and Larry David had best not sit next to each other on a plane.
B.J. Thomas, singer of ‘Hooked On A Feeling’ and ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’ – which was famously featured in ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’ talks to Tom about making the first platinum gospel album in history, why Elvis is the greatest recording artist of all time, and James Brown’s soft side.
The multi-record-breaking Boyz II Men talk to Tom on the stage of their Vegas show about getting their big break from sneaking into a concert, their strong connection to their fans, with whom they interact during (and make part of) their show, and why more people ought to check out their album The Remedy.
Iconic country duo Brooks & Dunn have enjoyed resounding success despite their big break coming fairly late compared to some other stars. Recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, they spoke to Tom in Nashville about why truck drivers are cool, both completely forgetting about the existence one of their albums, and their part in uniting the nation after 9/11.
Tom spoke to the three-time Grammy winner Chance the Rapper in LA about why he not signing a record deal, collaborating with such varied artists as Randy Newman and Ed Sheeran, and why every American could do with a holiday.
Chris Rea’s unmistakeable voice has helped him sell over 30 million albums worldwide and is responsible for one of the all-time great Christmas songs. Tom visited the remarkably humble star at his home, where they discussed frustrations with the record label, his proudest moment, and his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Sir Cliff Richard has had a No.1 hit in 5 consecutive decades and has recorded over 2 weeks of continuous music. Tom visited him at his home where they spoke about the sad state of the modern music industry, why he doesn’t get recognised in America, and why John Lennon thought he was cool.
Tom went to Merseyside to meet James Skelly and Nick Power of the English rock band The Coral. They spoke about always trying to do something different, what prompted skinheads to get Beatles haircuts, and spending all their money on “crème brûlée & lobster”.
Cornershop are one of the most influential and original British bands of the ’90s but have not performed live for over 10 years. Tom interviewed founding members Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres, who have been firm friends since college, about frustrations with the record label, both being “massive music freaks”, and Norman Cook remixing their No.1 hit ‘Brimful of Asha’.
Tom interviewed The Darkness in a noisy backstage tent about their attempts to "cancel Easter" and frontman Justin Hawkins practising his high pitched vocals to Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.
Tom spoke to the legendary David Crosby at his home in California about what makes waves in art come and go, the one thing that would get Crosby, Stills & Nash back together, and his own mortality.
Tom joined David Guetta in Paris, where he spoke to the house music pioneer about collaborating with Chris Willis on his early hits, how a French guitar sound plugin got him tracked down by will.i.am, and why he has stopped focusing on commercial success.
Don Felder was a member of the Eagles from 1974 until 2001 and wrote ‘Hotel California’, arguably their biggest song. Known as ‘Fingers’ by the rest of the Eagles due to his exceptional guitar playing ability, he has recently released a new solo album ‘American Rock ‘n’ Roll’. He told Tom why Hotel California had to be recorded three times, how he created his now-famous double-neck guitar, and why it has never been about the fame or the money for him.
Don McLean is a household name because of the iconic ‘American Pie’ but is also responsible for one of the most varied catalogues in music. He talked to Tom about the cultural significance of the Kennedy assassination, why he thinks ‘Prime Time’ would make a great rap song, and his record Tapestry being rejected by the label over 30 times.
Tom interviewed Europe’s lead singer Joey Tempest and heard about why you might need to get an obscure doctor to write a prescription for cortisol, why he will always be in debt to John Norum, and that there may be a Europe film to look forward to in the future.
Tom met with Foreigner’s bass guitarist Jeff Pilson to talk about why he still loves the audience response to ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’, his time in Dokken before they broke up (twice), getting clean, and why The Beatles on Ed Sullivan had such an impact on him and many others.
The hugely talented Gregory Porter met with Tom ahead of the release of his new album All Rise to speak about releasing his first record at 38, beating Korn in a high school talent show, and the importance of his relationship with his mother.
Bobby Elliott, the drummer with the Hollies invited Tom to his home to talk to him about Peter Sellers threatening to karate chop the piano in Abbey Road, why the British Invasion of the USA meant you could practically just walk into a Miles Davis show, and what it has been like to be on the road for 55 years.
Tom interviewed Al Doyle and Joe Goddard of the English synth-pop band Hot Chip, famous for hits such as ‘Ready for the Floor’ and ‘Over and Over’ (which they say is ‘definitely their best record’) in their tour bus, while they were on the road in California. They spoke about writing setlists on bare chests and playing drum machines in live shows, and their new record ‘A Bath Full of Ecstasy’.
The Smiths’ Johnny Marr talks to Tom about coming from a family of musical obsessives including his mother who would make her own pop charts, how he adapted to his new role as a frontman, and why he never enjoyed touring until 2002.
Beloved English rock band Keane, responsible for four No.1 Albums have recently released a new album ‘Cause and Effect’ after a 6-year hiatus. Tom spoke to Tom Chaplin and Tim Rice-Oxley backstage at the BBC about starting out on the Camden circuit, spending a summer recording in a dilapidated farmhouse in northern France, and why Under the Iron Sea was much darker than Hopes and Fears.
Tom spoke to Kool & the Gang founders, Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell, about how their band name came about to avoid problems with James Brown, their thoughts on some artists’ multiple retirement tours, and their plans to release a big boxset of previously unfinished works.
Leo Sayer, behind such hits as ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ and ‘When I Need You’, who famously sprung back to number one with Meck’s remix of ‘Thunder In My Heart’ met with Tom to discuss how he relishes the challenge of proving he’s still got it at his age, how he can’t sleep sometimes because he has so many song ideas going through his head, why he always wants to show his fans something new, and his new album ‘Selfie’.
Tom visited Mark King, Level 42’s lead singer and bassist at his home where they discussed his father’s elusive drum talents, which band member always wins at go-karting, why his neighbours dreaded Thursday afternoons when he was a kid, and his bandmates selling his drum kit and vinyl collection in Austria.
Tom met with Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington of the definitive Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. They told him about combing their hair back with Vaseline, their legacy, their reputation for engaging in a bit of pugilism, and who said “just when you think your band is the tightest it can be you play with Lynyrd Skynyrd and realise you need to go back into rehearsal”.
Tom caught up with Nigel Olsson, Elton John’s long-time drummer in Los Angeles. They spoke about being on the road for the biggest tour in the world, his backing vocals on so many important records, having a terrible time at boarding school, and how he doesn’t read music and just plays everything from the heart.
Tom met with Philip Bailey, lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire the morning after an incredible gig at the Hollywood Bowl in LA. Philip told him about growing up mimicking female vocalists, why he loved living in England and collaborating with Phil Collins, and why Maurice White smelt like coconuts when they first met in an elevator.
Tom interviewed the ground-breaking and incredibly influential Pixies before a great show at the world-famous Troubadour in Los Angeles. They discussed surrealism in music, Joey Santiago walking in on Black Francis spitting at himself in the mirror, what inspired each of them to pursue a career in music, and a heartbroken roommate playing Air Supply’s ‘All Out Of Love’ on repeat.
The multi-talented Raphael Saadiq is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and producer of records for a flurry of stars including D’Angelo, John Legend, Whitney Houston, TLC and Joss Stone. He spoke with Tom about his beloved brother Jimmy to whom his most recent record is dedicated following his passing, initially being too intimidated to accept an offer to collaborate with his heroes Earth, Wind & Fire, and why, for him, going on tour with Prince was equivalent to getting a degree.
Keating sprung to stardom as a teenager in Boyzone but has arguably gone on to become even bigger as a solo artist and holds the record for being the only artist ever to have 30 consecutive top 10 singles in the UK chart. In this interview he talks about his show on Magic FM, Boyzone getting cigarette butts thrown at them and bottles of beer bounced off their heads, why they were never going to the get respect they deserved from NME, and why Barry Gibb is the greatest songwriter of all time.
Tom visited Seal, winner of three Brit Awards and four Grammys, and creator of ‘Crazy’ and ‘Kiss from a Rose’, at his home. He talked praise for producer Trevor Horn, how the studio used to be a more sacred place, and why great records never make themselves.
Tom caught up with Kenji Suzuki, best known in England for playing guitar in Simply Red, at his home in London where they talked playing on Seal’s record, his Kenji Jammer solo project, and being a child prodigy back in Japan.
The legendary Smokey Robinson tells Tom why you should never meet your idols, what makes music the international language, crying the Tears of a Clown, and why Berry Gordy told him “to get the f**k out of here”.
Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford of the iconic British new wave band Squeeze talked to Tom in their studio about the humour in their music, how an advert in a sweetshop window resulted in the two meeting and how Glenn has been influenced by Kate Tempest and Stormzy in recent times.
Tom travelled to Philadelphia to catch up with Airrion Love and Herb Murrell of the Stylistics, who famously had twelve consecutive R&B top ten hits in the early ‘70s. They talked about being their own worst critics, tea with Hennessy, and what it was like touring with the Godfather of Soul.
Tom spoke to English rock band The Subways about being on the set of The OC, winning a competition to perform at Glastonbury before many of the other bands had had a chance to play, and which band member recently took three years out of the band to study English Literature at Cambridge.
Tom spoke to Otis Williams, the founder and last surviving original member of the Temptations before a show in Washington, about how a lot of guys nowadays have forgotten how to Treat Her Like A Lady, what happened when the Temptations tried to remove ‘My Girl’ from the setlist, and how the Dixie Chicks might have benefitted from some advice from Maurice King.
Tom spoke to the Toto guitarist and founder on being immortalised as a character in South Park and Family Guy, why Toto’s continued success was the best revenge on the press, NDAs, and of course, “Africa”.
UB40 is one of the most prolific and successful bands of all time, with a career spanning five decades, having recorded over 550 songs, more than 50 of which have spent time in the UK Singles Chart. Tom met with them to talk about where they got their inspiration and the band’s name, the Peaky Blinders, and being able to draw a crowd of 20k as far afield as Samoa.
Tom spoke to Verdine White – Earth, Wind & Fire bassist and brother of the late, great Maurice White at his home in LA. They discussed why Verdine, and so many others, were instantly inspired to take up music when they saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, how it was love at first sight with the bass guitar, and what made Maurice the coolest guy around.
Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone of the iconic British psychedelic pop group The Zombies talk to Tom about how they’ve been able to keep singing as high as ever, the heart-breaking period that followed ‘Time of the Season’, why vinyl is the only product that sells nowadays, and how they started performing as an acoustic duo by mistake.