A career musician who was a founding member of late 2000s, early '10s indie band Papa Vs Pretty, Newcastle creative Tom Myers has just released his newest solo single 'On My Head'.
Set to feature on Tom's forthcoming EP, the indie rock track (which is a follow-up to his 2020 debut solo song 'The Great Unknown') sounds like it was lifted direct from the '90s with its pounding drums and fuzzed-out guitars but still feels super modern.
'On My Head' was a song Tom first began writing in Ball Park Music's rehearsal space in Brisbane before completing it in a bedroom studio in Sydney and deals with life after Papa Vs Pretty as well the sudden death of bandmate Luke Liang in 2018.
Since his time as drummer with Papa Vs Pretty, Tom has established himself as an in-demand session player, drumming (and touring) with the likes of Jack River, Thelma Plum and Kim Churchill.
What's your earliest musical memory?
Playing the drums on my family's old leather lounge. We were renovating at the time and I was using some old architraves as drumsticks. Needless to say the leather lounge was completely ruined.
I think the source material was 'Zombie' by the Cranberries. I have some pretty vivid memories of my mother and aunt singing. Both classically trained. Music was always around the house.
What's your favourite thing about Newcastle culture?
It's sooo relaxed. There's a sense of community here that you don't quite get from bigger cities, well at least the cities I've lived in. Great arts scene, cafes and food scene and the beach is always within reach. I'm so happy here.
Best city/ crowd you've played while touring?
Oh man, I've been super lucky to tour the world playing drums for various artists. I've always had an amazing time in Montreal, it's such a beautiful city and the times that I've played there the crowds have been insane.
I have very fond memories of playing in Germany as well: Köln and Berlin. It's a genuine thrill being a part of something that's moving crowds overseas.
Locally, my old band Papa Vs Pretty played Homebake in 2011; I think it was one of the final years of Homebake; we were playing the tent and the crowd was with us every step of the way, totally overflowing and singing along.
The Midnight Oil shows with Jack River and performing on her first appearance at Splendour In The Grass is a very close second and third.
What's your favourite Aussie band at the moment?
I'm really loving Noah Dillon at the moment. I've always had a soft spot for Hideous Sun Demon. Generally, if it's from WA I'm in to it, such a great music state. Love Ball Park Music, Spacey Jane, Methyl Ethel, Tired Lion. Recent discovery is Human Noise.
Summer or winter?
Summer. Vibe is high, I live in a beach town and I have air con. Winter is depressing. Sorry.
What are the inspiration/ musical influences?
I have a huge variety of influences. I've always been obsessed with harder hitting 'guitar' music from the '90s. Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden. I love Deftones. The very first Foo Fighters album has been big for me recently.
I love harmony and sweetness in my songs as well. I think that comes from a lifetime of listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear.
Did you learn any new skills in lockdown last year?
Nope, not really. I played a lot of guitar and wrote some more songs. But I did learn A LOT about myself. Lockdown was difficult for so many people, for so many reasons. I was separated from my partner by a hard border closure for over five months.
I learnt a bit more about my idea of my own independence. Things I can work on, things I can let go. I'm glad lockdown is seemingly behind us now, but thankful to be able to take something from it.
Who are five celebrities, alive or dead, that you'd invite to your party?
Dave Grohl – dude is non-stop. Joni Mitchell – tell me all of your secrets. What a voice, what a songwriter. David Attenborough – Self-explanatory. Lionel Messi – ball on a string. Björk – her brain is enviable.
Favourite podcast to listen to?
Several. My partner is a HUGE true crime podcast fan. As in, like... that's all we listen to. Outside of that, I really loved 'Loose Units' by Paul Verhoeven. I'm an Arsenal FC fan and The Tuesday Club is a pretty hilarious take on all things Arsenal, hosted by comedian Alan Davies.
Do you have any live shows to look forward to?
Yes! I'm opening up for my friend Andy Bull in Newcastle on 9 April. There's a rescheduled date being worked on with Human Noise in Newcastle as well. Watch this space.