Steve Zacharias [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! Happy Friday to you all, and I hope our (probably mostly) American readers enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July celebration, and are probably reading this in a semi-catatonic state after realizing that there is probably still work to be done as the 4th landed on a Thursday. Best of luck to you all, and fear not, the weekend is upon you!

Today we have a very interesting interview with a very interesting and insanely talented interview subject. Today we are talking with the brilliant comedy writer Steve Zacharias. Now, there is a thing that tends to happen here at Trainwreck’d Society, that our regular reader(s) may notice. We talk to a lot of people who have written or co-written on some films that I personally (speaking as just Ron here) fucking LOVE. But with that, sometimes the people who actually worked very hard on a script and story, have their work completely twisted around and completely rearranged so much that it barely represents their original ideas, but for legal reasons they still get paid and get the credit. It’s not every time, but sometimes it happens. And in the case of our interview subject today, Steve Zacharias has had it happen on (at least) three occasions, as I learned in his responses. Two of which I provoked myself, and a third that came unprovoked, and shocked me quite a bit. In the third case, it was pretty much stolen from him, which is even more uncool. I’m talking about a series that ran for one season, and sadly returned, know as The Brink on HBO. The other two will be very obvious.

But, the saving grace of it all is that even though I loved the projects that Steve may not have cared much for himself, I get to image how wonderful, and most likely different, the projects would have been if Steve had gotten the films to go the way he wanted. That doesn’t help the fact that the projects will most likely never get made, but it does leave me to believe that without the baseline incredible talent of Steve Zacharias, the films he is responsible for that I love so much would have probably be absolute dogshit without him. I hope he can find solace in that.

Still, Steve has an abundance of credits that he should and is proud of that were followed closely or entirely on his idea. I mean, fucking Revenge of the Nerds? He made that happen! He is an absolute genius, and we are so damn excited to have him on the site today. I honestly cannot convey how damn happy I am to have gotten him to take some time out of his schedule to talk with us here today. And even though he may not be the biggest fan of the Pauly Shore and Whoopi Goldberg vehicles he created, the impact that these films had on my as but a young boy is undeniable, and I will treasure is work forever and always.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the absolutely brilliant writer, Mr. Steve Zacharias!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of writing? Was it a passion that you had since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I was in a fraternity exactly like Animal House, exactly, we had a lot of the same characters, and similar attitudes. I was one of the biggest fuck ups, so they asked me to write the musical comedy. I wrote it and got so turned on when they performed it that I still love it to this day.

 

What was your very first paid gig as a writer that you can remember getting? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

A comedian on a cruise ship asked me to write a Victor Borja type of routine. He paid me $25, but his notes were too difficult, so I didn’t do them. Five years later, my phone rang, and it was him. His house had burned down and he needed the $25 back. I drove to his motel and paid him the $25 back.

 

 

The 1984 film you worked on, Revenge of the Nerds, is definitely a classic amongst comedic films in history. I am curious to know if you had any idea that this was the case when you were working on it? Was this one of those projects that you simply knew was going to be legendary?

Absolutely.  I write campy. I had written a TV series, Quark, about a garbage ship in outer space. Revenge of the Nerds was a perfect movie for me. I had been building towards it my whole life.

Another project that you wrote on that real hits close to home, as it was one of my favorite films starring one of my favorite people, when I was 9 years old, is the 1994 Pauly Shore fronted film In the Army Now. To this day, I find it to be an underrated classic. The simple fact that such a silly comedy actually got the going to bootcamp, THEN a tech school, and then going to a war zone, has always been absolutely impressive to me. I can’t think of another film that did it this way. That being said, what are your thoughts on In the Army Now, and its place in history?

I wanted to do M*A*S*H on the Gulf War but they forced me to do a Jerry Lewis Movie. And I hated what they did.

 

 

And yet ANOTHER wonderful project that you worked on that meant a lot to me growing up, was the 1996 film Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg. This was another film I must have watched 100 times growing up. With that, I am curious to know what drew you to this story? Did go into writing it as a basketball fan at all?

I don’t like to admit this but I was a Los Angeles Clipper fan for twelve years. This was my get even and get my money back. It was me in the lead. I had Rick Moranis, who I love, to star in it but Bob Shea bought the script and instantly saw me as being played by Whoppi Goldberg. I have no idea why that occurred to him. Five years later it was made and sure enough it starred Whoppi Goldberg. And I hated the movie.

 

 

When you look back on your career in the world of comedy that spans almost 50 years, what would you say you are the most proud of? Not necessarily one singular project, although it very well could be. But, what do you look back on with the most pride?

1. Revenge of the Nerds

2. Quark

3. Winning Emmy for story of “Edith’s Problem” on All in the Family 

4. Story Editing Partridge Family

5. Scalpels an NBC pilot with Brandon Tartikoff, my rabbi

6. Multiple episodes Happy Days for Garry Marshall Happy Days

7. Johnny Be Good, discovered Uma Thurman

What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’ve written four novels that I don’t know how to publish…have them, read The Brink on Amazon…it got great coverage at CAA…Jerry Weintraub heard the coverage, stole the concept, and even had the gaul to steal the title, Weintraub knew you can legally do that, and made the HBO series, The Brink. CAA protected him. I had no lawyer or agent so they raped me. It’s a great book…

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My friend’s cancer went into remission, and A Shot in the Dark.

 

Ella Greenwood [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all with an absolutely wonderful star on the rise. It’s Ella Greenwood! Ella has some pretty amazing projects coming up that I am certain you are all going to love, including a very original and seemingly compelling retelling of Sherlock Holmes, the direction and likes of which I have never heard of before. It’s called Moriarty, and I am so excited for it to be out in the world. Ella is also making a splash in one of our favorite genres, the world of horror. She can be seen in the brilliant new short film Before Nightfall that is also sure to be fantastic. And there is so much more, and we will discuss more in the amazing answers she has given below.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Ella Greenwood, who we are so excited to have grace our digital pages here today! Enjoy!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it an early aspiration you have had since a youth, or did you just sort of land in this world one day?

I’ve always loved watching movies and TV shows. The idea of getting to become loads of different characters in different settings and situations meant that performance was always what I aspired to do.

 

I am very intrigued by a project you will be appearing in entitled Moriarty. Can you tell us a bit about this project? And what drew you to the story?

It’s a modern retelling of the classic Sherlock Holmes story with many other characters involved. I was drawn to the story as the character of Holmes in the series is a female which is really exciting.

 

And we are HUGE fans of the world of horror around here at TWS. We actually dedicate an entire month to it! With that being said, I understand you will be appearing in Before Nightfall that is also very intriguing. Again, could you tell us a bit about it? And what drew you to the story? And how was it working on a horror project? Is there anything that sets working in this genre apart from others you have worked on?

Before Nightfall is a thriller that takes place during the 17th Century. It follows a young girl who lives in a village that is being terrorised by The Beast of Godwick. I really loved the setting, the braveness of my character and just the whole story. Working on a horror was so much fun, and it’s actually not that different to working on other genres of films except there’s usually a bit more running involved!

 

If you were given the opportunity to portray any well known figured in world history, who would it be?

I should probably say someone like an inventor or explorer but I’ve always loved Tinkerbell and would really love to portray her at some point. I’m pretty small and used to watch the Tinkerbell movie on repeat when I was younger so I think I could play her quite well. Who wouldn’t want to go to Neverland!

 

 

You have worked in several forms of performance thus far, from the stage to audiobooks to film and television alike. So far, what would you say is your favorite method to perform within? If you were destined to only do one, which would it be?

I would say my favourite method to perform within is theatre as it gives you such a rush and it’s nice to get feedback straight after you’ve performed and to share your work with many people. If I only had to do one, I’d definitely choose films, as they give you the chance to become so many different characters in new settings and stories each time whereas with TV shows you’re more likely to be the same characters. I also love the whole experience of going to the cinema and having a break from reality and so I’d love to be a part of that.

 

What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’ve got some exciting things coming up including a new voice-over and film project. I’m also training with the National Youth Theatre soon. I really love creating stories and so I’m working on producing my own film as well!

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I met O-T Fagbenle yesterday who plays Luke in The Handmaid’s Tale and he was so lovely. It’s one of my favourite TV shows at the moment and so it definitely made me smile meeting such a talented actor.

Greg James [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! And a happy Friday to you all! Today’s interview subject is a fantastic actor that I have admired for quite some time, and I am surprised I didn’t think to contact him sooner! It’s been almost two years since I first admired his role in the indie horror, Besetment. And then I knew of his work on the brilliant series, The Drunk Series, which our dear friend and contributor Chris Eaves worked on. But, it the last proverbial straw was when I saw the great Greg James in a brilliant little indie film Zilla and Zoe, which we covered recently, that I realized that I NEED to get this guy on the site. And lo and behold, he was kind enough to share a few words with us here today!

And what a damn fine interview we have to share with you all today! Greg is a genuinely nice guy, and a wonderful actor. He is not only one of the best performers to reside and come from our beloved homeland of the Pacific Northwest, but he is just an absolutely brilliant talent in the world of acting and should be admired as such! And if I am being frank here, it was definitely Zilla and Zoe that set me off to loving this man’s work. Kind of a spoiler alert, but in the words below, Greg will mention a certain publication that would dare say a foul word about his performance, or the writing of the character, and I honestly could not disagree more. Greg was the voice of reason in this film, which can often be a very difficult role to pull off, admittedly so (as if I know anything about acting). And I think that he did an absolutely incredible job! I implore you all, as I did last month, to watch this brilliant film. And I implore you all to enjoy this absolutely amazing interview we have here with the brilliant Greg James! Enjoy!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you have had since a youth, or did you simply find yourself in this world one day?

Back when I was a toddler, and we only had the 5 tv channels, I’d stick my nose up to the screen and would literally repeat the lines the actors said. I was mesmerized. But never did I think I could be one myself. It wasn’t until early high school when I got talked into playing a bit role in a musical, that I got the bug. This was all to my parents’ chagrin, since they’d have rather I stayed playing baseball or worked at being an auto mechanic or something.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of acting? And where there any sort of lessons learned on this specific project?

My first paid gig was working a summer doing a murder mystery show on a Portland cruise ship. I played both the female killer AND the detective who solves the case. That was a silly and exhausting show. I then did my first commercial right around that time, and made twice the money in two hours than I did that whole 2-month show run. It didn’t take me long to phase out of theater, but having that background has been really helpful to me and directors who prefer them longer takes ha.

 

I understand you are based out of my favorite city in my favorite region of the country, also my homeland, the great Portland Oregon. I have some great friends in the film community around there, and have enjoyed so much of the great work you all are doing. So I am curious to know what your thoughts are on said community? What do you believe it is that sets it apart from other areas?

 

As a lifetime Portlander, I have developed somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the community. As a young indie artist, it has been a perfect plays to get my feet wet. If you have the desire and even a speck of talent, there are opportunities to play in the northwest with other hungry filmmakers. Some know what they’re doing, others are still trying to figure shit out, but the worst (and there are sadly many that fall in this category) are the ones that don’t know their shit, are unprepared for the tasks associated with the craft and merely “think” they know what they’re doing even though they don’t. Despite that, Portland gives everyone license to experiment and permission to fail, and every now and then, gems sprinkle out.

 

 

One specific project that you were wonderful in was the fantastic family comedy Zilla and Zoe. I absolutely adored this gem of a flick. I am curious to know what drew you to this delightfully zany story? And what are your thoughts on the final product that was released to the world?

 

I fell in love with this quirky comedy from the moment I read the script. But, because of the long commitment and restrictive budget, I told Jessica (the writer/director) I just couldn’t do it. However, she encouraged me to audition, and when I met the two co-stars who were to play my daughters in the film, I fell in love with them and our chemistry right off the bat. Then, it was about adjusting priorities and creating strategies to do the film. And once that ball got moving, I became desperate to play the role. Good comedy is difficult to find, and I just felt close to the character. Overall I’m very happy with the film, and it makes me smile every time I see it. I read an LA Times review that felt my character was too cruel, which I found to be a kind of silly critique. It was more a dagger thrown at the writing, but without my character being conflicted throughout, it would’ve made for a pretty boring, saccharine presentation. So yeah, I’m happy with it. Plus, I don’t swear, kill anyone, drink or do drugs, or get naked in it – so I can actually share it with my family without blushing. So that’s a win!

 

You have also done some amazing work in one of our favorite genres around here at TWS, which would the world of horror. Specifically, you worked on the film Besetment, which we happened to showcase in 2017. It was also pretty wonderful, and you also worked behind the scenes on this one too. So how do you enjoy working in the world of horror? Is there anything about working in this genre that sets it apart from other genres?

 

I loved Besetment! What a quirky horror Brad Douglas created, and such a hoot to be a part of. Playing that sheriff character alongside Hannah Barefoot was a blast. So much so, I worked with both her and Brad again as the lead in his follow-up film Between The Trees, which also released recently on all the VOD platforms. My very first film I acted the lead in was a horror back in my early-20s, called The Dividing Hour, which garnered global attention and was featured as a top-25 cult film on Roger Ebert & The Movies in 1999. As long as there is some “story” there, I love a good scare – especially when there are heavy doses of comedy splashed in.



 

And of course there is The Drunk Series! Can you tell our readers a bit about this show, and how it works? It is truly original and hilarious, by the way!

 

This was one of my favorite projects of all time. From the wacky mind of director Chris Wilson was this series of different genre short films that were all based on the premise of being written drunk and acted drunk. And we’re talking close-to-blackout, about 12+ shots of vodka drunk. I’ve never acted in anything where I had absolutely no knowledge of how it was going to be until it was released. I can tell you I showed up to a set, but beyond that, the rest is a fog. But what a fun group of people I got to play with. I will forever both be embarrassed and blessed by the wonderful, albeit sloppy and unhealthy, experience that it was.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

 

First, been awhile since no one asked me about my small role where I had a nude sex scene with Reese Witherspoon in Wild, so thanks for that. Recently I’ve had a couple recurring appearances on CW’s Dynasty, which I’m hoping to return to Atlanta for its third season. Still the constant hustler, I encourage everyone to follow my exploits on my acting site www.thegregjames.com and find my acting page on FaceBook.

 

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My 8-year-old girl getting to ride a “real life” unicorn for her birthday and my 14-year-old boy making the All-Star baseball team but fracturing his wrist prior, and saying: “Even though it sucks I can’t play, it’s really not as bad as I thought to break something.”

 

 

As an added bonus, here is the first episode of the aforementioned The Drunk Series. I really loved this project so much, and not just because our very own Chris “Microreviews with Eaves” Eaves was a crew member. No, Greg and the gang killed it! Check it out!

 

 

Sunday Matinee: Crown and Anchor [Film]

 

“Crown and Anchor follows James Downey, who is living a disciplined and straight edge lifestyle as a result of growing up with an abusive alcoholic father. His estranged cousin Danny is drowning his own trauma with drugs and booze. When their lives are forced to intersect once more, they each begin to unravel as the past returns with violent and tragic consequences.” – October Coast PR

 

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The first word that comes to mind when I reflect on viewing Crown and Anchor…is emotional. Because that is definitely what it is. It is an emotional drama about the bonds of family, the tyranny that lies within so many of our pasts, and how it all can culminate into absolute mental madness. It is a film that reminds us that sometimes you have to deal with the past, and pushing it away and trying to hid the damage done will not have the results you would hope for. The emotional baggage is simply far too heavy. And for James and Danny, the baggage ways a TON. Maybe the weight of an “anchor” one would say. See what I did there. All kidding aside folks, Crown and Anchor is a fantastic film both visually and as a perfectly told story. There is so much to love about this, especially if the crime drama world is one you love to play around in regularly.

 

 

 

Writer/Director Andrew Rowe has an incredible story to share with you all. The script was actually co-written by the films main stars Michael Rowe and Matt Wells, whose performances are so spot on, which makes sense as they most likely wrote the parts themselves. This doesn’t always equal success, but when you have a squad this talented within the creative process, you’re going to get a film as superb as Crown and Anchor. And fucking superb it is! And it behooves to not to forget to mention the spectacular performance given by Natalie Brown, the strongest character of them all, stuck in between the madness of two cousins, both of which she has a confusing relationships with throughout her lifetime. I appreciated her character quite a bit for the simple fact that she isn’t entirely the most sane person, definitely the most sane in the film most likely, but she has flaws and mistakes that may not be as obvious as our main characters, but they do exist. And this adds a delightful human element to the story.  And horror icon Robert Joy steps in from time to time to deliver some incredible dialogue that may be some of the most memorable of the film.

Overall, Crown and Anchor is an absolutely delightful cinematic experience, and should be enjoyed by all. And in a couple of days, you can! And should. Check it out Everyone!

 

 

Crown and Anchor will be available on DVD and Digital on July 2nd!

 

Saturday Special: Blindsided [Film]

 

“Sloan Carter is a young girl who has recently been blinded. Her father leaves for the weekend and her two best friends, returning home from University, keep her company. A protege of her father’s, passing through town, also spends the night. The peaceful weekend is interrupted by a shadowy threat and the safe country getaway turns into a fight for survival.” – October Coast PR

 

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Oh do I love a good old fashion thriller that doesn’t seek to sedate you, but to simply entertain and keep you on edge for a little while. That is exactly what Blindsided will do for you. It has all the stereotypical elements that we all know and love from thrillers, but with a nice little edge sharpened ever so gently around it all. There is a specific reason I say this, but alas, it would be a major “spoiler” and we all know how we shouldn’t do that. But trust me Folks, you will know it when you undoubtedly check out this wonderful film.

The cast of Blindsided is obviously a very superb one indeed, including the lead Bea Santos. But, as it tends to happen, it’s the writing of the film that makes their performances so spectacular. In the case of this film specifically, it is the dialogue between characters in the not so tense situations that is absolutely phenomenal. While it’s probably strange to make the comparison, as they are wildly different films, I couldn’t help but compare Erik Knudsen’s character Toby to that of a Randall Graves in the indie classic film Clerks. Kevin Smith always stated that he originally intended to play Randall, that’s why he had all the good lines. I don’t believe that was likely to be the case for filmmaker Johnny Mitchell in this case, but inevitably he created a wonderful bit of comedic relief with the character of Toby, and it plays out so great! And while Santos and Knudsen are my own personal highlights, it would be remiss of me to not quickly mention that Carlin Burchell who’s, albeit brief, performance was frightening as HELL! I was previously unaware of Burchell’s talent, but I damn sure am now and will be looking out for her work in the future.

Go see Blindsided, Folks. It’s a hell of a film that is sure to entertain, especially for those of you who can’t get enough of psychological thrillers. This is a damn fine one of those, and one of my favorite horror films of 2019 thus far. You’re going to like what you see.

 

Be sure to check out Blindsided on DVD and Digital August 13, 2019.

 

Bob Sáenz [Interview]

 

Hello Folks, and happy Friday to you all! And to get the weekend started correctly, we have an absolutely wonderful interview with a wonderful inspiring man by the name of Bob Sáenz! Bob is an actor and writer, and happens to be the genius who penned the recently released film Extracurricular Activities, which many of our regular reader(s) may remember, we showcased here just five weeks ago in our Sunday Matinee segment. It is an absolutely wonderful film that has so much to offer the world of comedy, as well as the mystery and thriller world. I have since actually gone back and watched the film again, purely for pleasure, which is a rarity in this business as doing anything for yourself is basically “non-productive”. But, I really couldn’t help it. I absolutely adore this film.

And I was very excited that I was able to steal some time from Bob to learn a bit more about him. And fucking learn I did. I don’t want to spoil anything from the words he gives below, but, wow! What a damn story! As an aspiring “actual writer”, the way he kicks off this interview, I feel as though I may actually have the chance to get that novel out, sell that screenplay, what have you. Bob is had the sort of career that truly makes you believe anything is possible. He has done some amazing work, and I am so very excited that he was willing to grace our digital pages today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Bob Sáenz!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you have had since a youth, or did you simply find yourself in this world one day?

From the time I can remember I wanted to be involved in film. Primarily as an actor. So, from the time I was about 16 to the age of 22 I was a professional stage actor, then I met my wife and gave it up. At 40 I decided, with the backing of my wife, to try acting again. Was told it was impossible and that I wouldn’t succeed. I said, “Why not?” and proceeded to get cast in films and on TV, landing a SMALL, as in tiny, recurring part on the CBS series Nash Bridges, with Don Johnson, for all 6 seasons. On that show, I started writing and realized I was a much better writer than actor and started concentrating on that. It’s paid off.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that you still use in your career today?

My very first paid gig was a stage show called The Streets of New York, a musical melodrama of sorts where I was the comic relief, at the Manhattan Playhouse in Palo Alto, California. I made 50 dollars a week. I got rave reviews in the local papers, it played to sold out audiences, and I was hooked. I’m still close, after 50 years, to some of the people in that show. No real lessons except it was that show where I learned to really relax and have fun on stage… and that continued to my attitude in front of cameras.

I absolutely LOVED the recently released film Extracurricular Activities, which you penned. It was ridiculously good, and such a delightfully demented story. So with that, where the hell does this story come from? What inspired you to tell this zany and brilliant tale?

Thank you, first of all. I appreciate your kind words. It was a labor of tenacity, hard work, patience, and love. It was my second script. I wanted to write something controversial, funny, different, dark, and twisted. I wrote it to be a sample of my creativity. Deep down, I never really thought it would get made. And… It worked incredibly well as a sample.  It opened every door I went through in Hollywood, was responsible for every job I got and every other script I sold. It was optioned by 8 separate production companies, producers, and one studio over 18 years. Then Jay Lowi, who directed the film, made it his mission over 10 years to get it made. He did, with the help of David Wilson who produced it. A long and winding road for sure, but damn if it didn’t turn out well.

 

 

And what were your thoughts on the final product that was your story? Was this a pretty true to script type of film?

It’s incredibly true to my original story. It’s like a dream, because it’s not supposed to happen this way. It’s the film I saw in my head when I wrote it. A dream cast. I pinched myself everyday on set. And cried a few times from pure joy.

 

If you were handed the opportunity to write the biopic of any historical figure in American history, who would it be?

Not a figure. A place. The Parker House in Boston. The oldest continually running hotel in U.S. History. It’s got an unbelievably storied past that needs to be told. 200 years of astonishing history and in my head, a phenomenally interesting story I’d love to tell.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

The future is hopefully getting to write more movies that get made. Extracurricular was number 14 for me. Number 15, a Christmas movie, just shot in Georgia. I’ve been so blessed with a wonderful career as a writer, met and worked with so many amazing people, it’s been better than if I’d scripted it. I’m writing a film now on assignment and if I believe what some people are telling me (and it’s always better not to until you see a contract) have a few others lined up after it. I have nothing to plug except Extracurricular Activities which is still out there on streaming platforms to watch and hopefully, enjoy.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This is the easiest question to answer. My 1 1/2 year old grandson, Guy. He’s smart, aware, and incredibly funny. He makes you realize what’s REALLY important in life. That everything else is just stuff. That family is what comes first. I can’t wait to be able to talk to him about movies and music.

 

 

Tom Speight [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! I am so damn excited to share this interview with you all today. We actually haven’t had a musician as an interview subject in quite some time! I don’t believe we have in 2019 at all, but don’t fact check me, I’m an old man and can be forgetful. And ironically enough, we have a man gracing our digital pages today who may very well be the best musician of 2019 in my opinion. It’s Tom Speight! Regular readers out there will probably recognize Tom’s name from last April when we covered his absolutely incredible new album Collide in our New Music Tuesday segment that you all know and love (you do, right? Please?). I stated it then, and the feeling still holds true: Tom has created the best album of 2019. I heard the record back in February, wrote about it in April, and here I am in June to tell you that it is STILL the best album of the year. I’d say “thus far”, but short of Tom Petty being reincarnated and dropping a few bangers, I can’t foresee anyone topping this incredible album.

Tom had an incredible journey to get to Collide getting made that makes the power of the album that much more impressive. After a bout of colitis nearly but the man in his deathbed, which would have all but driven me deep into depression, Tom managed to bounce back by creating one of the best collection of catchy folk-pop melodies I have ever heard. If you haven’t checked Collide yet, you are most definitely not living your best life, no matter what hashtag you are misusing on Instagram. And if you don’t check it out after reading this absolutely wonderful interview that we have for you all today, then you are simply a monster and cannot be trusted. Hell, I am going to put some videos up at the end of it, so you have ZERO excuses!

So Folks, please enjoy these words from the absolutely brilliant singer/songwriter and brilliant melody maker, the great Tom Speight!

 

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When did you first discover your passion for music? Was it an early childhood development? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

My first memory of being mesmerised with music was when I was a kid and remember being given 4 cassettes to listen to in my mums car while she went shopping by my sisters boyfriend at the time.. I said I wanted to listen to these albums.. I remember playing Oasis on repeat and just thinking I want to make music aswell… I was obsessed from that moment!

What was your very first paid gig you can remember doing in music? And did you learn anything from one of these early experiences that still sticks with you in your work today?

I think it was the 12 Bar in London which sadly has closed down now.. we sold it out and I remember thinking this is pretty crazy that you get paid for playing music in front of friends.. I think I’ve always tried to keep a personal connection to fans..so maybe that was the start because I try to treat them just like my friends.. I don’t think it’s healthy to have a huge barrier or remove yourself.. I think it’s good to be approachable and show you’re grateful to the people who come to your shows!

I understand the journey towards getting your album Collide out into the world has been a bit of a rough one, filled with numerous medical set backs and other challenges. I know you have probably gone over it a bit, but if you wouldn’t mind sharing some of your story with our readers?

It hasn’t been an easy ride but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.. it made the album what it is! I think from my experiences with bad health etc it has given my music hope & positive vibes that things do get better! Everyone has problems and struggles.. I’m certainly not a victim and I’m never going to let Crohns define me.. my main focus is to make music I love and that’s about it.. Music is my outlet to escape when things do get bad.. So I feel very lucky to have it in my life.

 

 

I have been continously telling our readers and just about anyone around me with a pulse, that Collide is the best album of 2019, and one of the best I have ever heard. With that, I am curious to know about your thoughts on album. Obviously you probably love it alot, but I am more curious to know what it is you believe sets this album apart from your previous work?

I think it’s my best work and I’m very proud of it but i think it’s just the start.. I have a lot more to give and I’ve learnt a lot from making the album! I really put everything into the album and tried my best… if people like it..it’s a bonus!

I am always curious to know about a songwriter’s processes, as it is something I personally couldn’t fathom doing. So with that, when you are working on a song, how do you know when you have completed one. Is there some sort of gut feeling you get (not literally, obviously) when you know you have nailed it? How do you know when you have reached all of your personal requirements for a song to be considered complete?

Definitely the gut feeling is key and just being a fan of music.. you know when it feels right and it doesn’t! I’m usually quite good at putting things to bed and signing it off.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’m playing Glastonbury & touring the world! Come & say hello!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Fleabag the TV show!

 

 

Check out this video below for “Strangers Now”, and be sure to head on over to tomspeightmusic.com to catch Tom on tour!