A Letter From The Editor
Tom Aspaul is the biggest name, in NuDisco, you may or may not have heard of. There have been many great solo NuDisco artists but few paved the way with tracks like “Good Together” and even fewer have written songs for international sensations like Kylie Minogue. As a continued prime example of the genre, it has also taken 5 years to find his true voice and style.
DnM: Happy Sunday Tom, how are you doing today?
Tom Aspaul: I’m good thanks! Fresh from a family zoom quiz…. bit bored but okay
DnM: Ah, yes. Our parents were forced to learn technology and now we can’t escape them. I know that all too well.
Tom Aspaul: Haha, yeah
DnM: Before we jump in to your music and story, how about a couple of ice breakers?
Tom Aspaul: Go for it
DnM: Favourite Simpsons episode?
Tom Aspaul: That’s really tough. I can narrow it down to my favourite moments
DnM: As someone who just rewatched S1-S9, I would find that perfectly cromulent.
Tom Aspaul: Haha. So I love the fact Homer eat flowers secretly, that’s always really tickled me. And then when Lisa and Bart play peewee hockey against eachother and start hugging in the middle of the rink – that always makes me well up with tears – the Simpsons can do that! I’m probably on my 5th or 6th cycle through seasons 1-9. I used to have a video when I was around 12-13. The episodes on that video are probably my fave – The X Files one – the stonecutters – gummy venus de milo
DnM: Haha, all classics. I can close my eyes and watch all S1-S9….there aren’t really any episodes after that.
Tom Aspaul: No unfortunately not
DnM: Now, if you don’t mind me saying so, you are someone who is pretty fit, as per your twitter page. How have you been keeping up the workouts doing this whole COVID Quarantine?
DnM: Thanks for breaking the ice. I really wanted to thank you joining me today on the interview. I know we’ve been trying to collaborate for a good year now.
Tom Aspaul: We have
DnM: It’s weird to say, but I’ve been listening to your music for almost 6 years now. What was it like having “Good Together” absolutely explode on the scene?
Tom Aspaul: No way!Good Together! A lovely blast from the past. That was mad! I think I peaked back then – I hope I can rekindle that some day. I managed to get on Radio 1 with that song, bizarre looking back
DnM: Haha, the Orson Welles of Indie Pop
Tom Aspaul: I think that’s pretty much spot on. It swings between more R&B and more dancey/disco stuff – but it’s always rooted in pop. I always try and write a good old fashioned song – there’s always a bit of story telling
DnM: Keep the 4 on the floor, give it lead to dance to and express yourself through the lyrics?
Tom Aspaul: I guess, although there has been some stuff that’s not 4×4. But 90% of it is.
DnM: It’s funny you mentioned story telling. Must be reading my notes. You are quite the accomplished lyricist. Whether that is how long you’ve been writing lyrics, some of the incredible roledex you’ve written for and your own music. Is it fair to assume that lyrics is your ‘bread and butter’ as opposed to say production?
Tom Aspaul: Yeah I’d say so, although that is about to change hopefully. I always make a demo, the production ideas sort of come from my initial ideas, but I’ve never been able to get it to sound the way I want it – so I’ve relied on other producers to finish it off. But I’m learning to get good at the production now hopefully next project I’ll be self sufficient. Not a lot of people know but most of what you hear on Indiana and Do It Well are stems from my original demo
DnM: Very cool. Well you will become a double threat with the lyrics and production.
Tom Aspaul: Fingers crossed
DnM: You’ve written about subjects like the loss of friends to hook ups. But and correct me if I am wrong, there hasn’t been a lot of traditional love songs? Aside from collaborations with Aeble and Zac Samuel. “Good Together” is self implied while more personal songs like “burn out” don’t really scream ‘I’ve found the one’. Is this to avoid yet another pop love ballad or there more to it than that?
Tom Aspaul: Oh I’ve never really thought about that you know. I have written traditional love songs, they just haven’t been released by me. Also i was in a relationship for 5 years, I would have found it a bit cringey to release a love song about my ex partner. Not cringey to sing about the breakup though! Interesting you’d point that out!
DnM: I’d say! There’s just as many breakup pop songs as there are love songs. Can’t have one without the other. Can’t appreciate one without the other.
Tom Aspaul: My next project will be a lot more positive I think and upbeat. With my new album – it’s quite break-up-y but then it ends on a really positive note
DnM: I am looking forward…I was hesitant to broach the subject, but after reading some previous interviews and briefly glancing at your social medias, it’s fairly evident you are a proud member of the LGBT community – not that anyone should give a shit. But would you allow me to ask a question on the matter?
Tom Aspaul: Sure
DnM: From a lyrical standpoint, do you ever find this changing or impacting your writing style? Using a ‘you’ instead of a ‘him’ for larger mass appeal?
Tom Aspaul: I may have to start with…I had a manager who told me not to use male pronouns once. Thankfully she’s no longer my manager. But I guess it took a while to find the confidence to do that
DnM: Yeah, sounds like a good reason to let someone go. Shouldn’t be sweeping who you are under the rug
Tom Aspaul: Exactly
DnM:Which, I guess ties well into my next question. With now finding the confidence and developing the production skills. The future. You’ve recently released W.M, the third single of your new album. Which as we spoke is about returning to your home town West Midlands. A fresh start, so to speak. Much like other aspects of the career. Tell the fans everything we need to know! What can we expect from Black Country Disco and any meaning behind the name?
Tom Aspaul: Well I was kind of neglecting my own music for such a long time, I was writing music and songs for other artists day by day it gradually became the only thing I was doing…. but then naturally I guess, I found myself without a manager, without a publishing deal and everything drying up a bit. So I took a look at what made me happiest and it truly was – doing my own music. I love writing for other folk, but I just wasn’t excited by it anymore
Tom Aspaul: Then I split up with my boyfriend (of five years) and moved back to my hometown (for the first time in 14 years!). All the upheaval provided me with an opportunity to just write write write. So I did. And this album is the product
DnM: Can we expect a more personal album? In terms of you coming back to your own writing after a departure, with such personal experience as a long term break up and changes to career?
Tom Aspaul: It’s very personal. It’s 10 tracks long and it very purposefully takes you on a journey – starting with me being disillusioned with my life in London and the music industry (‘Close 2 Me’) – then experiencing a break up (‘Tender’ – the next single) and moving home to the West MIdlands (‘W.M.’)
DnM: That whole lyrical story telling we’ve been on about. And a nice jump from the previous 4 track EPs