Influenced by film and game music the appropriately named TOOM is the solo music project of Manchester based Tom Woolnough. With a forthcoming EP release and lots of new music in the pipeline, I decided to find out more about TOOM’s dark and unique music from the man himself.
How would you describe your music?
Tom: As a big film fan I’m very influenced by the works of Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch with music and sound design. I would say a lot of my music has elements of sound design to it, I’m often not happy with the way something sounds normally, I have to play around with it and twist it.
Me: I get that, I was listening to Destinations from the EP last night and noticed some good use of filtering on the vocals, the overall effect was to make the whole thing even grimmer. And it’s already grim, but in a good way.
So what type of music technology are you using?
Tom: For the studio versions of songs I use Logic Pro X to record and Several Native Instruments plug-ins for the music and effects. Playing live is a very different story. When I started thinking about playing live the first problem I encountered was that I didn’t have a laptop, from what I had seen most electronic music seemed to be performed live through the use of laptops. I worked around this by using a Boss Loop Station (RC-3) to perform the drums tracks (plus other bits I couldn’t recreate live), over which I would play synth and sing. For the live synth I use a Novation Mininova, on which I have crafted pre-sets based on the studio instruments, so live is a very different experience, which is something I’m quite proud of.
Me: You should be, and it’s true, a lot of people are using laptops to play electronic music live and I think software like Ableton really helps on that score. But I like the constraints of not using a lap top as well, it forces you to take the music in a different direction.
You have an EP launch coming up soon, what should we expect from that?
Tom: In fact, the EP is already available online via Soundcloud and Bandcamp (see link above). The upcoming EP launch will be for the physical version, which will all be self-made. The music on the EP is a conceptual introspection on an old relationship/break up and beyond.
Me: Often the best of subject matter. I have to say I love the track Incomplete, I think that’s probably my favourite.
Tom: Thanks. And the EP launch will be at Fuel Café Bar in Manchester on the 12th February 2018, where I will be joined by other artists including We Are Us from Stoke, Cynthia’s Periscope from Manchester and you of course, as Poet & the Loops.
Me: Yeah, really looking forward to that.
Is there more music planned for 2018?
Tom: I’m currently working on tracks for an album release later this year. They will be a bit more varied in tone than The Forest EP, incorporating ideas from prog rock, shoegaze and maybe even a bit of metal, all with my sound design influenced tone.
Me: Some diverse influences, which is good, and I very much look forward to listening. Thanks for the interview Tom.
Imagine the soundtrack for an underworld of catacombs through which you must struggle to avoid being butchered by the creatures of hell and you won’t be far off the sounds of TOOM. It’s brave and original music and I thoroughly recommend The Forest EP. You can listen to it on line, but I’d recommend the live experience every time and seeing TOOM play on a stage that references Twin Peaks at Fuel Café Bar in Manchester on the 12th February 2018 is not to be missed.
Photo by Samantha Claire