A Moment With Tom Williams & The Boat

Tom Williams and The Boat have a busy programme ahead, with the release of their second studio album complete along comes a summer of promotion, gigs and festivals so their seems barely enough time a chat. Funded through PledgeMusic, Tom and Anthony Vicary (Williams’ lead guitarist) talk to me about their latest album and the future of the band.

Having a history of producing edgy folk/rock, Tom wraps deep dark melodies around simple strums, plucks and flexes. Going back a number of years Williams tells me where it all began. “We met in a local music venue in Tonbridge wells called the grey lady. It was the first venue I played locally and that’s where we were all playing in different bands”……. “At the end of the last album we got a new drummer, David, since then we’ve gone up and rocked out with the likes of ‘See My Evil’, ‘Get Older’”.

The latest album is the groups second and has been surrounded with a wealth of internet fervour. Tom wrote well over 130 songs during what appears to be a difficult patch in his life, seeking refuge in music where there appears to have been “no difficult second album”. Tom explains “Well its a break up album, there was about 130 songs (written) over 9 months. So it was alot over a short period of time. We turned it around quickly getting two albums out in two years. But it didn’t feel rushed”. 

Their second album has given them a fresh start and a new found confidence. Having an established sound and  the support of Moshi Moshi  they can develop on their already down to earth attitude.  “We were really confident in Teenage Blood, a couple of big tracks we thought would make the album didn’t.” Tom Continues, “Having Moshi Moshi providing support and advice I can take a step back. Now I can just listen to it normally and I think its a really good record. When we did the first album, I remember I got really embarrassed it about it after three months. There was just some tracks I didn’t like anymore”.

Having a down to earth, approachable attitude is something that seems to have helped them on the way, with too many bands not approachable these days the band have a fresh breeze about them and an air of calm as Tom tells me. “Moshi came onboard knowing how we did everything and they liked it. They liked what we had we had with our fans which is why we decided to do pledge.”  Pledge is an idea that is dear to the band, it gives fans of the band chance to support them and book them at a venue close to home . “Its important to us, we’ve been out slogging it for five years and we’re in no position to be aloof and not chat to normal people, cos we’re normal people, we thought its the best thing to do to be in an interactive environment”.

The group have gone round full circle with their two albums, and have always continued to develop their sound, even if it is not obvious. “It was weird we released ‘Concentrate’ and ‘90mph’ from almost no reaction at all. Then realised See my evil and Get Older as a fuck you kinda gesture and it went brilliantly well. By the time they came around again it went straight to playlist and everyone loved it again. It’s abit weird but I think what we tried to do with this record is hollow out the middle abit. Making it more accessible and poppy and its even darker. People think initially its not that dark but lyrically its darker”

Tom Williams & the Boat boast youth and experience and they’re live performances are certainly a special and intimate affair. Tom has a great capacity to invigorate you with his semi-spoken vocals which makes there live performances un-missable. Tom tells me what they have to look forward to. “Well we have a tour in June, a vote for where we play type thing, at the movement the winning towns are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Tonbridge wells. We have a few festivals this summer like, secret garden party, bestial, lounge on the farm and stuff. And then last single out in September, maybe a little EP with a couple of tracks that weren’t released on the album. The I guess we will sit down with each other honestly and decided whether to make another record.” Lets hope they do!

-Matthew French