Harker Moon frontman Tommy Down has been writing music since he was 14, and has worked with Decca Records producer Rhys Lewis for new single ‘Superficial’. We caught up with Tommy to find out more about his solo career.
‘Superficial’ tries to act as an analogy. It tries to show how our generation is fully aware of how narcissistic and unhealthy it can be. Yet in spite of knowing this; we don’t seem to care and almost revel in it.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
Hey, my parents bought me a guitar when I was four and I started to sing and play at school concerts around the age of nine. I remember watching back to the future and being awestruck by Marty Mcfly playing ‘Johnny B. Goode’ at the end of the film, which made me want learn more.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
The Arctic Monkeys were a big inspiration when I was younger; the way Alex Turner put lyrics together always fascinated me. I read somewhere that the fast paced lyrics in “ritz to rubble” were inspired by a poem by John Cooper Clarke. The earlier songs I wrote for my school band drew from songs like that. They were crammed with words, maybe too many words.
How would you describe your musical style?
Right now I would say my band Pink Yesterday and I, are primarily soul musicians with slight blues and indie influences.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
I would have to say Davie Bowie but unfortunately I can’t. It’s hard to choose one but I do love Lianne la Havas.
Tell us about your new single, ‘Superficial’. What’s it about, what are its themes?
It’s partially about how people seem to jump on the band wagon of trends if they’re perceived to be cool, despite whether they personally feel they’re cool. I remember a lot of people being obsessed with retro sportswear when I was at Bristol; Adidas and Puma, etc. A lot of those people don’t wear that anymore. Trends constantly come and go, but when we’re in them we feel they are the be all and end all. Our love of social media is already changing. I can already see people from my generation worried about their, and the younger generation’s addiction to it. I doubt it will ever go, but there will likely be a backlash against it.
The track tries to act as an analogy. It tries to show how our generation is fully aware of how narcissistic and unhealthy it can be. Yet in spite of knowing this; we don’t seem to care and almost revel in it.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote it with Rhys Lewis quite a few months ago and I recorded it in his flat.
How does ‘Superficial’ represent your style?
Certain elements of Superficial’s vocal delivery may be echoed in my and Pink Yesterday’s music. My style has changed considerably since writing that song, Pink Yesterday and I are aiming for more of a soul inspired sound.
You worked with Rhys Lewis and Sylvie Briggs on ‘Superficial’. What did they bring to the single?
Sylvie is in Pink Yesterday and the music video, but she didn’t help write that song. I’m sure she would have added a lot if she did help though. Rhys basically produced the whole track and he was really easy to work with. He was a great lyricist and musician to work with.
What are your hopes for ‘Superficial’?
I hope people enjoy listening to it.
What can you tell us about your plans for the rest of 2019?
Pink Yesterday are my main focus for 2019; we’ll be releasing and writing more material. We have a gig on the 19 th of July at the spice of life in anyone would like to come.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I’d go back and tell myself to apply for Spotify playlists before a release. No, I’d probably go back and tell the 17-year-old me that life is long and things are never as bad as they seem. Take care of yourself, don’t be too proud and try to view the world through the eyes of the people who love you.
Watch the video for ‘Superficial’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to Tommy Down’s Facebook page.