Speaker: Dan Lewis 00:00
The next conversation you're about to hear is with the amazingly talented and funny multi-instrumentalist slash producer Tom marsh. Tom has been playing drums for the superstar Lana Del Rey for the last nine years amongst many other projects.
And in the next conversation, we talk everything from how he got there to following his passion start his life in his career to play in Glastonbury pyramid stage, which is the height for any British musician, in my opinion, including myself.
And also, which is single handedly one of the funniest and most surreal stories I've probably ever heard from many musicians. He also played Sao Paulo, Brazil in front of 200,000 people. So, there are so many anecdotes in this conversation. I absolutely loved it. So, thank you, Tom. Like I said, this is one of the funniest and the most down to earth conversations I've had in all out of this series. So, thank you personally, for that if you're listening. And thank you, listeners for listening. I just created a new Instagram page for this podcast, actually, @inconversationwithpodcast, I thought it'd be better to have kind of a central hub for everything that goes on here. So, if you go and check that out and give it a follow, that will be where you can get all the information about new and old and what's coming up. So, I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Thank you so much. All right. It's strange to talk to someone from the UK.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 01:22
Yeah. And I'm, I'm out in yank land, so.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 01:27
Yeah. You're in New York. Right?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 01:29
You will hear some creep, creeping transatlantic words slipping. Feel free to point out. Well, it's better to hear from someone amicable than to be fine by my family.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 01:47
Yeah, I mean, I get the same. I work for Carnival Cruise Lines. So, I spend a lot of my time abroad as well. Yeah. And a lot of people say the same. So, I feel Yeah.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 02:03
Sorry? I lost you for a couple of words.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 02:09
Okay. Can you hear me now? Yeah, I cool. And how have you been?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 02:14
Yeah, interesting, isn't it. I mean, the whole this whole year is been, I mean, I haven't been doing my main job, which is touring with Lana. I've had to step up to some things that have been paused. Because I've taught an awful lot over the last sort of nine years, I've been producing some artists and doing some bits and bobs, when we pause the tour. So, we tend to tour for six to nine months of the year. And then when I get back to New York, or whatever, I can do remote production, or I can produce artists here or whatever. Sometimes people come from the UK, to New York for a month not produce them or whatever. So, this, there's been an awful lot of remote, obviously. So, people like say if I do a remix for someone or I'm producing like a Swedish artist at the moment, and her original producer, said she just did some basic recordings. And then they send the vocals and piano to me, and then I build it from that sort of thing.
So, it's easy to do that stuff with the glorious internet. I haven't been I've got a bit more hands on just by the very limitations of being on your own and not being able to work with people. I mean, I have, I'm doing a few little collaborations masked things in New York. So, we caught in a couple of different sets of people that was masked and paranoid. And then you have a coffee and a ciggy out from you know, the closed area. But yeah, mostly, it's been an excuse for me to start my game not be reliant on like studio engineers or whatever. So, if I'm tracking drums, just get good. Just do it all yourself. Make sure I've got the good mics or the preamps and gubbins to get it done. And then so I've definitely that's been sort of educational and satisfying on some levels, but it is strange. I mean, it's strange. It's almost a year we've been locked down now like hasn't been as you in the UK, right, Wales. Yeah. So, I know that lock downs have come and gone a bit where you are just from talking to friends and family over there. It's been pretty bloody straight the whole time. Here. You know, just a culture of mask or you're a bastard because I got this this Governor Cuomo who is like this, the opposite of Trump's gone now, the demon is dead.
He's gone. But we luckily in New York State, we have this guy, Governor Cuomo, who he gets three stars really out of five people, some people don't like him, what I did like about him was he's really paternal. So, like week one, he's like, we're going to listen to the adults, the scientists, and the scientists say wear a mask and you're less likely to die, the idiot’s guide to not die of the plague. Whereas in places like Florida, it's like, “you're taking away my freedom.” And then yeah, drop dead a week later in freedom to perish. So, I quite liked the Idiot's Guide to not die of the plague that we got.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 05:56
Yeah. Yeah, it sounds like you're in the right place for it.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 05:58
Yeah, I mean, but New York's mental. Like, it's like, walking dead, there’s no one around. One of the things I do for exercise, I regularly do this, like 10k walk, which takes about two hours. And I'm in Brooklyn. So, I kind of walk under the underpass under this like brutal looking freeway like so kind of purposefully grim at the beginning. And like, they'll come out the end of that bit, that takes about 20 minutes, then I'm in like, hipster Central. So, try and get through that as quick as possible to as grim in a different way too many top knots. Get through that. And then you get down to the Manhattan skyline.
So just the view is it still gets me I've been here for like, seven years, eight years. But yeah, I've been doing that every few days and walk, listen to music I'm working on or podcasts or whatever. And walk over the bridge into New York and I'm back again. And then back home along the river side. With the kind of Manhattan skyline, the other side of the water has amazing. That's been really amazing, actually, because you don't much like when I lived in London, you don't feel getting the tube everywhere and stuff. You don't really know the geography of where you at. You learn Compton where's the best pub? And it was the same here, but this is sort of just made me explore.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 07:25
Yeah, I think you're one of the first people I've spoken to that actually is taking like positives from this like mad break and pause.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 07:32
Well, yeah. I mean, I'm focusing on the positives right now.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 07:42
We adopted two kittens. Me and my missus. Street kittens, just to add to the family. It's great in some ways, and that was it. Here's a negative one of the kittens clearly wants me dead. It keeps waking up at night with this ominous, gothic looking cats are staring down at me. Her name is Samantha, she came with that name is really the wrong name.
She's actually the angel of death.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 08:25
Like a film, when they adopt a child and like the Antichrist? film is called. Oh, I think it's called orphan.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 08:28
Oh, right. I think I've seen that one. It's the same guy that did Pan's Labyrinth?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 08:29
I think so. Yeah. So that's basically what you're living in right now. Yeah. So, one of the first things that I usually talk about and usually like to ask is like, for a condensed version of how people got to where they are now. So, you've been playing for Lana Del Rey for like over eight years, which is a huge, huge gig. And you've done loads of stuff for TV and film, what is the kind of condensed version of leaving school to where you are now?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 09:01
So, my dad was a musician, is a musician, and he was like a successful 70s glam rocker in a band called sailor in like 975 976. So, when I grew up, there was musical instruments in the house. I was always just really into bands and stuff. So, I did terribly at school, but I did okay with being in local bands. I sort of spent my teen years in the West Country in Barth. And my dad, I sort of reflected a bit on this in the last year while buying new gadgets for production. My dad, definitely, he didn't know much about drums, I gravitate towards drums. That's my first love in terms of making music because there were drums in the out that had like a sort of “studio,” with guitars, keyboards, drums and stuff.
And my first band rehearsals were in this light sort of extended shared family house. But then dad also, when I wanted to up my game after playing in lots of bands, and stuff, he had written some musicals and things after being in this band sailor.
So, we had some pretty production, early production nouse. And he definitely got me started, be it programming, capturing audio recording early on to like 20 years ago and gave me the basics, which I could call on straightaway, because I was just so sick of drumming for bands where the people didn't seem to be as enthused or as focused or, you know, singers with a great hairdo. And that's it. If they spent half the fucking time they did on their bloody quiff as they did on writing some decent series. So, I just in the end, you know, I started writing, just through necessity, and my dad gave me those start off, chops. And now it's funny because I'm like, helping him along as he updates his logic and stuff. I give him some plugin tips and what have you is more of a hobby for him now. So that was Dad always talked about music is the thing that he sorts of made an OK living at. So that was obviously useful. It wasn't some obscure thing that I was reaching for.
It was something that he knew a bit about that so he encouraged it.
So, I always have lots of encouragement. I left Barth in my late teens and did a lot of traveling.
Essentially, it's a big town Barth, but it is a provincial town. And that time I was devouring the NME and Melody Maker and things like that. And it was around Britpop in the 90s, so I was like, I knew Camden was the mecca for music, at that time, I know it's sort of different now it's more like East London, Hackney and stuff if you want to do live music. Camden still has things going on, but it's not a mecca. So, I did travel for a few years and played in a few things, went to Jerusalem, ended up going there first, randomly, and helped run a hostel for about a year. Wow, I still think that was like the one of the columns of receptionist in this hostel we like backpackers in the Old City and like the Palestinian bit, like by the ancient looking bit that you see in like Indiana Jones that's where I was steadily drinking beer and trying to get a girlfriend.
But I, one of my fellow receptionists in that hostel, had the best like a sack of like CDs, and I got a kind of education even though I played in like, indie bands and stuff in the UK. I suddenly got all the 60s all the 70s all interesting electronic crafts rock, like, German ship, the birth of techno, this guy was just an awesome, Well, it's sort of a big brother figure. And that really educated me, informed me I'm setting this random, reception desk in the Old City of Jerusalem, learning about craft work and noise.
So that first then I went to Copenhagen because I've got Danish Icelandic relatives. One of my buddies I met in Jerusalem, we're like, “where do we travel to next?” Copenhagen. We met some Danes there. And then after about three months of like, hosteling in Copenhagen, I joined a band with an Irish singer and a Danish bass player, and played a few clubs and stuff in Copenhagen. So, my drumming chops were improving. I already had the passion and some vibe before I started traveling, like a drum for a few years as a kid, whatever I certainly had was cocky in a funny way, sort of belief. joined this band, and then they were like, “okay, we're done with Copenhagen. We're moving to Dublin; do you want to come?” So, I just moved to Dublin with these two random blokes, one bloke called Hamlet and the other guy called Alrick fucking weirdos but that I was wanting to go to Dublin so it was an excuse to do that. And then I was a bartending the whole time. So, I ended up working in Dublin playing in this kind of dodgy band.
It wasn't very good, but that I appreciate the ambition and the excuse to travel somewhere. The guy Hamlet was originally from Dublin. So, he knew people in the Irish scene and some label stuff and, and he helped me get a job in nightclubs on then pulling pints in one of the main venues in Dublin playing in that band, and then start playing a few other bands. But weirdly, I think this is before I've moved to London as a professional musician, having played in like clubs in Copenhagen, then Dublin. I was Dublin, suddenly, after about two months of being there, working in one of the coolest clubs and seeing all the local bands and talent coming, I was like, this town too small. I'm, ready to do… I was born in London, but was brought up out of London and I was sort of had the courage or whatever, to go to London, then I did the equivalent thing.
So, I left that band, went back to the UK, and then just immediately got a job like bartending jobs in the heart of Camden. So that that time was the Barfly, which is the Monique which was like the main, during the week time, if you had a buzz band coming through the enemy, or, like you'd have on the radar piece in the enemy, that talent spotting bit, that was kind of linked to a cooler, John Perry type world of John Kennedy center, and people like that, Ex FM, their buzz gigs would always be at the monarch or like the Dublin Castle. So, both really close to each other in the heart of Camden.
And I was bartending for about two years at the Monique and nearly wow. A lot of my close friends who also weren't there either working, taking money for tickets for the gigs there, or fellow bartenders ended up when I started getting some success in indie world and all that they also did in different parts of the industry. So, like two of my main, who are still like two of my classmates now ended up being in that band Athletes who went on to sell like a million records and they got the golden beautiful record deal that we're all hoping to get.
I started a band Repairman, which is a duo, which I sang and played drums and everything and having played in lots of indie bands in London, and hip hop and stuff, and made my own project. And the first thing we released in repairman was on fierce Panda, which is this small indie label that they discovered Coldplay and Pulp and stuff. It's like a tastemaker label. And the guy Simon Williams also wrote for The Enemy really loved this first thing that we did, and Athlete who got their big juicy golden record deal that we all wanted. They signed to Parlophone right at the height of Radiohead and Coldplay both on there, their lives to change. We got this management deal with Jamiroquai’s label so we suddenly had an injection of cash very exciting as well at the same time and then we had this little cool indie deal with Fist Panda me and this other guy back we then went on the road with athlete so we ended up touring the UK and parts of Europe were amazed but they also, the two bands, we were a bit more left field beat see like electronics and stuff. It was like playing in it.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 18:46
But it was awesome. Because they got, we on their coattails a little bit we loved the chops, I learned a hell of a lot eye opening for this band. And then like two years later, when we were still putting things out and they gravitate arenas, number one albums and stuff. We haven't toured with them again. And, and so that's how I kind of ended up in Lana world. Is this a long answer to a question?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 19:13
Oh, no, this is great. This is perfect.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 19: 20
Okay, okay. So, yeah, it does sort of tie in because the monitor engineer for Athlete, this guy called Peter Roberts. He was like the guide fixing the sound for people's inner ears, in that band is now the tour manager for Lana Del Rey. So, he's like one of the main sorts of tour managers. He's, super powerful. He does Dua Lipa, big pop acts, he does all these Ellie Golding, all of those people are on the same management as Lana. But when there was an opportunity, when because, at the same time as I was doing this MD things, I would start getting into composition Producing other artists. I produced this girl called Bo Bruce, who was a finalist on the voice but I producer her just before she did that. And then this EP that I made with her, she had this little publishing deal and they paid me. She was a Repairman fan. So, she was a fan of that little indie thing I've done in London, and producing, playing all the instruments for her. And then she came second on the voice and this little EP I made when I went to number one in the UK. So, I think I recorded in my little, I've moved out of London by then it's after a few years of doing indie world in London, I moved to Brighton, and she would come to Brighton record.
So, around the time of Lana's management looking for a drummer, they wanted a drummer stroke producer, someone who had a few of those chops. And that was just, you know, that was me. Basic play. I certainly was qualified for the gig as in I produced a bunch of things. And I certainly knew my electronics has a lot of electronic beats in Lana world. So, I had a bunch of those toys, I have the skill set. So, they brought in an English musical director, Johnny, who's now gone back to what he did, he composes like for TV and stuff, but he was a great electronic producer. I knew him through Athlete world as well as a little community. He was in a band called Weevil. They also toured with Athletes. But then he got hired by Lana’s management to sort of really focus the band because Lana has been touring for a year or so. But the arrangements and things weren't as focus. We came in, they hired a string quartet, he was putting up musical scores.
They want a new drummer that had some of these technical skills. And so, I did this lightly at an audition and then didn't hear anything for ages. And also sort of moved away from session drumming, I was still doing bits. But the summer before I audition for Lana, I did a tour with this band called Diagrams on this label called Full Time Hobby, and I drummed and it was great, this guy called Sam Genders great songwriter. He's in that band Tunnel also TUWMG. Who I really loved like electronic folk, nine-piece band, everyone doing harmonies really ambitious kind of odd band. And then this was his side project. I toured Europe with him as a drummer. And then was like, “God, I fucking love drumming.” I just love it and love the connection. And also, something about I've been doing like commercials, I've gone down this kind of corporate road of scoring stuff. So, I just done a Coca Cola advert and a Ford advert, write music in Brighton, which paid very well, but beat the shit out of me.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 23:08
It’s like dealing with these corporate scenarios where you've got like 12 chefs or sort of pulling your piece of music left and right and rinse you of all edges to ever make music again. I’d just done these two things. And then I'm going to do is just do some drumming alongside, I was doing documentaries and things too. I loved it. And then as if by magic, this opportunity to audition for mama came up was like, yeah, I'm going to give it a go and really try and go and listen good ideas. So, I had this for the audition. I was like I want to do. Am I just talking too much?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 23:50
This is literally exactly what I was looking for.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 23:53
Sorry, man. I'm just rambling.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 23:54
This is literally perfect. Because I think so many people, I could ask 20 different musicians the same question and every single one of them would have a different answer.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 24:04
Luckily, I've also had three cups of coffees. I'm about 10 BPM faster than I should be. What was I saying?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 24:17
So, then you had the opportunity to audition for Lana
Speaker: Tom Marsh 24:17
Oh, yeah. So, then I was like, okay, and I talked briefly to Johnny, who ended up musical directing for that short period when I first joined. So, a lot of her stuff is very slow tempo like these big bruised ballads heart. Always has been, I still think that best stuff. She just kills the ballads. But often they have huge beats and things so how do we do electronic music with this? Almost static she was I mean she does much more dancing. Now. She's flanked by two girls’ singers and they sing together and they do these kinds of shirelles motownie little moments which is really freaking cool. But a lot of the time, she is just locked in the moment singing the song, quite static, just lost in it. And that's the way it should be. It's totally honest and that's who she is. But I was like, what can we do. Other aspects on the stage can be more animated, can be more exciting. And like me and my Icelandic roots, I was like, I want to be a fucking Viking, have a standing kit. So, I got these built-in electronic kits with two, like large floats on the size of a jazz kick drum, it is actually jazz. Now I've had my CNC kits built, we have it built. So, my second floor is a standing kick drum in a second drum kit. So, I have a snare, various pads, external pads and stuff SPD you know, run an SPDX, which is the main drum brain and plumbed into that as a trigger on my standard kick drum. And this is it worked to cut long story short, I did one song standing up and they filmed the whole thing like in CCTV, like black and white, and some standing playing stuff standing and then on some of the more traditional arrangements, like timing in the audition, because that song ride if you know that one, it's good. Beautiful balance still, one of my favorite things to play was more of a kind of out and out in the kind of rocker but then there was a couple of moments where Rick fucking Rick Rubin produced it. fucking good producer. And in the what he done with one of the hits, and I've managed to pull it up before did the audition process like float on with all these delays on it sort of hit the thing, I guess almost like a dub reggae odd thing that's slightly out of time to the song. So, I was like, if I can get that sample, and that is I'm doing an indie rocker thing. But on the verses, I'm also on the one, the two and the four has this dub thing so that I did that in the audition, too. So, I think even though the past drummers and stuff with used pads and things like that I'd really looked hard at the production and also thought hard about how do we make this unique and interesting. Without fucking with what she is which is this wonderful singer with a unique vibe. So yeah, I did that thing and then didn't hear anything for weeks, went back to doing I thought well, that would be a shame. That doesn't happen but not going to weep over it. Also, I’ve been very busy trying to do this other stuff, compose and did a couple of bands where I was just solely singing, playing guitar at that time, kind of folky bands were like four-part harmonies. So, I was doing, I was certainly had stimulated by the music, the music I was making at the time. And then like two days before Christmas 2012 I got an email saying, “all right, Tom what you're doing for the next six months?” And I haven't had anything for weeks, and it was like, fracking out. And it was why it was really funny how weird Some things are like my mom had gone through this Christmassy walk where my mom hadn't seen it for ages. I've been just hadn’t seen her for months, been working away and what have you touring on the southern act and stuff and I just said, “you know what mum? I'd really, I'm really up for I'd love it if that nothing happened, and I really want to explore and do the states.” Like, I've been to America a couple of times to do a couple of gigs, for little projects or whatever. And it was just like, I finished that sentence and the email dropped like the next day, you know, it was like, really kismick gleeful moment. And I got drunk to celebrate that day. Yeah, I mean, it's been a whole bunch of stuff. Obviously, you've been touring for years done all the crazy touring and it's important to me to keep making music in all forms. But the Lana thing and the adventure that Lana is extremely rewarding, epic, wonderful gig.
Another thing is a UK guys really you probably know this from traveling and stuff. You need certain visas for certain territory. So, I can live here you know, guilt free with all the hard-to-get visas Sunday get a lot easier when you're playing for an artist that makes pays millions of tax dollars somehow that helps,
Speaker: Dan Lewis 30:14
Because she is like huge time, isn't she?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 30:16
Yeah, man. I mean, she, weirdly has never had like single like song massive hits like single songs like the remix of summertime sadness, which she's not crazy about, she got Grammy for that, but it was a remix of this song and it's got a house version. But we play the original version, but she'll drop an album. And it goes to number one internationally like 26 countries like she's an album artist that has ear candy ends up being the soundtrack. But we just want you realize the shows people are fucking devoted. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. completely demented, some of them some of them. But totally in love. And it's really beautiful. Like the majority, 99%, of the people, there are just diehard fans. And you know, that's the best part of this gig is the connection between the fans and the music. And every show and I've played hundreds of shows played video games, for example, hundreds of times never done a gateway up like that. So, and it still has on the back of the neck. Most nights. You just see how connected it is. How crazy people got their mind sometimes where your people crying, it's like, so that is fucking unique, just to be there and be helping be the portal to bring that to the humans.
Mostly because we don't play a bunch of shows in a town for example, like, we played New York and New Jersey. Played New York, One festival once played New York, a little club here twice, like a little theater twice, and played an arena in New Jersey since I've been in the band nine years. So, if you are from New York State or New Jersey, and you see a Lana playing, you know we're not coming around for a while. Yeah. So, it's like, here it is. It's a euphoric for humans, that's been the soundtrack of your life for a while.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 32:40
Yeah, and what’s she like to work with?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 32:41
She's adorable. She's like my sister. Now she's actually the same age as my sister. She, quite often will prepare the music so, a new album will get finished, we'll prepare for a little while before she joins us just to get make sure we got the arrangements, we're doing justice, I'll always, the rest of the band are in LA. I'm in New York. So, something drops, I'd be like, I'm going to learn this stuff on my own. Make sure if I hadn't, played on it. Because I'm the live drummer, essentially, foreign drummer, she has had a bunch of different people come and go. Sometimes there's no drums at all. It's programmed. And we work out how we're going to do it in a live capacity. So, we've learned the stuff learning material, I'll often won't come anywhere near LA until I'm like, really happy that I have a handle or at least a rough handle on my 80% of the arrangements. So, when she turns up, we're just ready to receive her. Make sure that everything's cool. But she's fucking adorable, man. I mean, she's so generous, to us. It's a family vibe. She'll just treat, there's like five of us. So, there's the two girls, Alex and Ashley, and then Blake and Byron and myself. And, we've got a couple of days off. She's like, okay, guys I’m going to treat you, and she just takes us to some fucking amazing restaurant up in a castle over there in Italy.
And I’m like “Is this real?” it's actually, even my dreams don't have this production value. turret being handed like, selfish, by some bloke, he looks like a wizard and a silver tuxedo. This isn't real. Yeah. Or like she'll treat the whole crew will have a day off. And we're in Sydney or something. She's just rent a boat, and fills the boat with food and drink and just all the crew and everyone would just go out on a yacht. And it's just like, she just wants to do a nice thing because everyone works. Everyone's focused work really hard, and I'm super professional.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 34:52
Speaker: Tom Marsh 34:53
Yeah, she doesn't have to do that stuff. But I've heard some of my buddies who work with big artists don't get that you know
Speaker: Dan Lewis 35:00
Yeah, I can imagine.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 35:03
Ultimately, I'm just a huge fan of her music too. I really respect her creativity and as an artist, which makes it a lot easier. I think the last thing she did. The last album that's been released, we haven't got is the best thing she's done. Sounds like a lady in her early 30s, just being purely herself. Some of my favorite melodies and we did a bunch of that on this last tour. So, time was its 20… end of 2019, it was mainly that record and some of the classics, from the other tunes, but felt really good. Like, one of the tours we did was the small towns, small cities in like, the Midwest, so all like cowboy country in it, like random places like Oklahoma, and I wouldn't have thought as a huge profit margin for that, because we're still a big crew, and we're playing to like 2000 people a night. Because the main show is like to go anything from 8000 to 20,000 people arena, this was like, because she wanted to see south part of America. She's aware that a lot those places haven't managed to see her. Yeah. And we had a guest performance every night. So, someone had turned that rock up, but it'd be someone like, one night we had Sean Lennon play with us, turn up because they co-wrote a song on one of her albums. Then we had, Joan Baez turned up, reemployed. And, Chris, Isaac, wicked games can turn up for show the guy from death cap. And some of these people aren't like really good friends of hers. She's just I love that guy from Death Cab for Cutie, I love that song into the dark, you know, that lovely ballad? Yeah, a few years ago. And she's just like, I want to do a duet with that. And then she gets his emails. And he's like, “oh, yeah, I'll be there next week.” He's sold millions of records that guy and his huge, fucking Grammys coming up his ass. He's like, “oh, yeah, sure Lana, I'll be there next week,” you know? And then you get to be playing and I love that dance. And it's just kind of cozy man. It just feels is like Sean Lennon is like, a huge celebrity in his own right. Just was hanging out. I was playing table tennis with him for days. Getting people's gusset.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 37:47
That’s amazing. And so, for the tours, you mentioned that you do a lot of the work before you'll meet with her in LA. I know some like big productions, they rent soundstages and stuff. Is that the sort of thing you do?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 38:02
Yeah. So, when I say I usually just prep for myself and peace of mind. I’ll prep, learning the music, just on a domestic drum kit. Probably. I've got an SPD this SPDX Roland electronic drum kit here. So, I'll do a bit of that. La is where all the proper work happens. And we'll write a book, you know, a big studio, usually with a soundstage, we might do the first couple of weeks on a slightly smaller room with monitors, front of house, my drum tech keyboard, keyboard tech I would say is probably the hardest gig because we've got a lot of tracks a lot of videos. So often if we've got an orchestra, sometimes we'll replicate it with, you know, samples and strings, but sometimes we'll have orchestra backing. So, keyboard Tech has a bank of like four laptops, in case one goes down. Yeah. And, you know, there's often non backing vocals on backing tracks sometimes and there'll be some element in there anyway. And also, majority stuff gets paid to clip because we've got time coded to the video screen. So, tends to be the last week or if we're doing an arena tour last week, will be in a movie type studio, which is not intense in the slightest.
And we often do that in Britain actually if we're going to do a European tour, we'll do that in the UK Bedford which is Brexit central but this is a good noodle bar there though. Just don't mention Brexit and concentrate on the noodles. That's what happened in LA and Americans, we might end up in Burbank so we do the equivalent stuff in Burbank, which is like Studio City where a lot of movies get made, and we'll rent for the last week. I think with big new screens for video we're happy. And also, there might be a side, little studio for dance. So, the girls are working on some little cute dance stuff, they can peel off and don't have to fucking listen to us running the same survey right times they can do their own thing that they used to be like, usually is like, medium size to then large studio in preparation.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 40:24
And so how long like from when, like a new album will come out? And then from to the last? [audio break]
Speaker: Tom Marsh 40:33
Sorry, I lost you for a couple of words.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 40:34
You can hear me now?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 40:35
Speaker: Dan Lewis 40:36
I don't know why my microphone keeps going in and out? I'm not sure. And so, you know, from the start to finish when a new album comes out, and then you learn it to being show ready. What is the rough time timescale to that?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 40:49
To be honest, it's never been the same twice, I would say, one consistent thing is, you know, he might drop an album, and then we're not touring that album for a few months. So, we might have a few shows, but we might not expand the set until the following year, where we know we're going to have a tour, specifically, the normal fucking Rockwell tour, the NFR tour, we knew that was coming up. So, we knew we wanted to have seven tracks from the 12 from the album press Boston, I would say the process as they say in the states take usually about a month. Okay, that seems about right, with all production, all that. But before that, before our houses start the keyboard, tech, whoever that may be, we've had the same guy, mostly the same guy, this guy, Johnny, for the last couple of years, who's decked out his gift to his colleagues, whatever, but he will be preparing tracks and samples because we use mainstage, for the keyboard, for Byron's world is a semicircle of different weapons. So, he's got some standalone keyboard does that but keyboard tech will be prepping sounds, working out tracks, Blake, who's more like musical director as Byron there'll be prepping stuff a couple of weeks before I joined him in LA. Blake will be preparing sound from the record, just getting everything shipshape. So, it's not faffing because that stuff takes fucking hours. And also, you know, if we've got if, say, there's a new truck with a bunch of orchestral stuff on it, you need to get those temps from the producer, quite often, the producer, whoever it may be, is moved on to doing bloody Taylor Swift or something. The last thing they want to be doing is finding old sessions or songs and bouncing that stuff. So makes a lot of sense for Byron, Blake and Johnny to be prepping shit so that, you know, these stupidly expensive rehearsal spaces. And you're not faffing around trying to find some dodgy keyboard.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 43:05
So yeah, and so how many songs in that month?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 43:10
How many songs so I would say usually six to seven. Well, we usually learn everything. So, a new album comes out, we'll do I would say 95% of the songs in the record we’ll be prepping. Even though she's already quite often she'll say I want to do these five or six from the album. We will learn everything, and we will have to get them show ready sonically. Because I've had connections with our fans the relationship with the fans, it gets like bloody karaoke like they start chanting and sect of the clan that is Lana fans will get together and all have hearts cut out that says play, I'm a flying hamster, that isn't a song, fucking him skill sometimes and you’re like “what the fuck,” that's you like, Oh, that's that beside from. And so, I've got in my withered haggard brain 65 Lana songs, 30 of which we played once. But I would say there's usually like a solid, set of 14 songs, okay, with just half new stuff or just over half new stuff. Then the classics, make sure there's things like summertime sadness, born to die, video games tend to be and all those things. Then there's things like West Coast, which drifts in and out and ultraviolence just in the now, but we'll make sure we've got them. Yeah, love, this muscle memory. We've never had a break this long before. So that's going to be weird.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 44:59
Yeah, and obviously You guys, obviously everything is show, right? So, for Carnival, we do about 250 songs in a month. but everything's to book, you can do a lot of it to book. So, it's not it's not like it's not disastrous.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 45:19
That's a lot of bloody songs, man. Yeah, I did a thing right at the beginning of lockdown. So, I was like, this can take forever. I'm going to have a little cheat sheet thing. So, I because I have all my clip tracks and backing tracks and things. And so, I made like a little playlist about 30 songs. They're all like verse choruses. And so, every few weeks or every, every couple of weeks, I'll just do it. It's like, the longest fucking exhausting Medley ever. It's just a playlist on my phone. But just to keep the muscle and yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I just like to go back to rehearsal well, being as prepared as possible. And yeah, it's actually really fun as well, like, these old friends do for a while. Yeah, but 250 songs, how are you got book? But you must look at it sometimes and just go What the fuck is this?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 46:22
Yeah, I think sometimes the difficulty can be is that so you've got a variety night. So, we work six nights a week, about four hours a night. And so sometimes any difficulty I find is that you're jumping, from like, Roseanna, one minute to them, like a Stevie Wonder song. And then you're jumping to like a brand-new pop song like, like Bruno Mars. And they've got some of the best drummers that have ever lived. And so sometimes I find the difficulty in the authenticity, so it's like, how do you authenticate each other? How do you do justice to each one of those genres? Do you mean but if you're like, do one pop song …. pop mode, and then you're immediately a Motown and you're having to try and think about it a different way That's like how I see it anyway.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 47:04
Yeah. Yeah. No, I there's some fucking amazing drummers in the world. Yeah. But my favorite drummers are people like Ringo. Yeah. Or like Stevie Wonder's drumming when he's playing on his own stuff. Is the pocket is the fill less is more you might throw out some fucking wild backwards. What why is it that choice you like, oh, because it's sucking awesome. But these gospel guys, it's amazing. And it’s mind blowing. But it's never been something that I've longed to get to do. Or, you know, it's fucking impressive. But it gets a bit like sports to me. It's like chops is like, fine, but I don't want to anywhere near any of the music lessons. But I guess with your what you're talking about, it's like, leaping from one pocket one field to the other. And just knowing you know, going from Rosanna to a Stevie song. Yeah. What's something incredibly white to something really fucking funky.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 48:23
Right, African American. He better fucking. I think that becomes like muscle memory too, though, right? You run those things?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 48:34
Absolutely. You I mean, you play them, like you said, like 100 times, we do six, seven-month contracts, and you're playing the same stuff every like each night of the week is a dedicated night. And once you've got your repertoire of like, $200, they kind of stay the same. So, it's like you when I prep for the ships. If we already know if our MD has already sent us the setlist in order, I do exactly the same as you and just run the whole night as it would run. Yeah, kind of like you, like, get into that mode of just like show ready, because it's kind of easy to like, play one to have a drink, go to the bathroom or whatever, and then come back and play the next one. But that's not how it works. You know, when you're there.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 49:19
Yeah. And it's also really difficult soon as you've got some adrenaline throw some adrenaline into the parts, and some humans.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 49:30
I mean, I can only imagine what that's like we play, there are some small ships and some big ships. So, we played like a decent number, but I saw a picture on your website of you playing Glastonbury pyramid stage, which is like my dream, gig my whole life. If I'm like, 80 and I get to play that gig. I think I'll die happy. But what was that? Like?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 49:49
It was singularly the most intense and wonderful gig I've ever played. I'm from the West Country too man, I went to Glastonbury. And I am a fucking professional musician because of that stage. Yeah, like I watched the cure, my mum used to sell hippie beads and rugs and shit. When I was a kid and I went to Glastonbury is like a 13-year-old, and I saw the cure who were my favorite band at the time. And the Happy Mondays and people on the pyramid stage, and I and it and it was like, crush was crazy. At one point during the cure show. A girl died for 11 seconds was dragged out the crowd, a helicopter landed, resuscitated her She's fine. She survived. The kill stopped. Helicopter flies off from the cure kick back in getting through getting through that gig, like watching that good because it's my favorite band. They were trying their Boris Williams on drums is really fucking amazing drummer was the best era best cure record best new best of the cure stuff, best drummer. And it changed me forever. Just that gig, just the intensity of it and how good it was. My mum was also a masseur at the time. And about three weeks after that show, I came down to my kitchen and Boris, the drummer of the cure was sat at my kitchen table eating toast look like my mom, it just she got deep tissue. Great for drummers, you know that having a fucking massage after. He just had a mustache and bark is near real world studios, Peter Gabriel studios, and they've been recording.
And I just read. I love you. Like I said, they got that gig and he was like, it's the best gig we ever played too you. whether that's true or not, right? And he gave me all this sage advice said, just play on stuff you like and, and yeah, really, but that that was that stage. And then it was things like Radiohead in 97 which was voted, you know, best gig probably best televised, you know, on the BBC, or whatever. And it was fucking, that was everything. And, I saw people like Blur just Paul McCartney, and hundreds of little bands as well. It just seems it was church. Right. And then all the other fields intense Glastonbury was just the thing. And I could see it on the calendar, you know, it was 2014. And we did a bunch of big festivals elsewhere. And you know, so we were there and it was the ultraviolet here. So, we were tight. And just like four pieces of the original bass player or the second bass player, Kevin Blake and Byron and me the girls weren't involved at that point. So, she wasn't flanked by the back-end singers was kind of more of a little rock rocky outfit. We're hitting like a watch back some of that stuff now it's like we were fucking rock it out. It was a little bit tighter, like sensitive or some could have been just adrenaline and everything as well. But two gigs before the Glastonbury show, having had played all these blinders, like I was like really enjoying it. We had a technical breakdown in Berlin playing this huge festival, all my shit died. And like the triggers weren't quite working things were coming out the wrong is that it was like the drum tech I think it made a little arrows original drum check. Not well, who I have now is a fucking star. So, some words that had happened. And it really got into my head. I'm like, I'm playing the pyramid stage. Everyone I've ever met is going to see it on live TV. And I'm going to be there weeping with a fucking chicken sound coming out of my bedroom. Just like I catastrophize it was like, panicky. And the night before, and I haven't been back to the West Country for a while. So going back to my part of the world, knowing Glastonbury was coming, the gig after the Berlin show, some other weird shit happened with other like the keyboard rack with red. And I just wasn't feeling 100% confident. And the night before we stopped, we were staying in Bristol. So, like an hour and a half or an hour drive from Glastonbury site. And I switched on the TV Friday night.
So, we were playing the Saturday guy. And Arcade Fire we're closing the pyramid stage. fucking amazing set. In fact, a buddy of mine he lives in this neighborhood become more of a friend now. He's playing saxophone with them as well. So, let's see this thing. sweet guy called Stuart Bogey. I switch this thing on, and I see my feet like pyramid stage the state like I've been to Glastonbury 10 times as a punter. And I see these fucking huge aerials of the flags in the crowd, and I just went, this is going to be fine. I just suddenly knew, I was like, this is fucking it, man, like, and feeling really kind of emotional. And the next day, I just were driving from Bristol, and I just pumped Arcade Fire in my headphones. Like, as we drove on to say, right, we're driving through the mud, like onto the Glastonbury Festival site, and I'm like, fucking pumping the arcades by ignoring everyone else talking, I'm like, this is just about me. And I could just see the pyramid stage and you're driving through the fucking fields, right? You drive into the thing into the back of the pyramid stage. So, you're driving into like a style. Come up the thing. And we open the spirit of our encounter. And fucking Robert Plant, the singer of love. And he knows Lana. Lana is just in the car in front of us comes out. And she's like, shaking hands, because we'd played a festival actually, with them. And we've kind of first party and she's spoken to, about, two months before. And, and then you know, I see me and Blake and it's like first and go to, you're like, okay, if the Lord Mayor of rock and roll welcomes you into the spaceship, everything is going to be fucking fine. Yeah. But you know, my little sister was my guest. We all have these VIP guests who were privy to come into the spaceship. And she was stood in the wings. So, kind of directly opposite because at that point I had my main kit was kind of side on one diagonal, facing out the audience and then my standard kicks face out to the crowd. I'm just looking at, and my sister's just weeping all the way through the show. We've learned as dad who's a sweetheart, Rob, this has got his arm around Laura. And I it was just like, one point. Lana’s sister, Chuck, who's like a filmmaker and a documentary maker and an amazing photographer, video maker too, she was like, filming us. And one point, she just smiled and shook her head. So many moments during that show. We're playing some super sad ballad, like, I've watched the gig back a couple of times and I'm laughing my fucking head. Such joy.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 57:54
We're playing it. So, it's like about, despair and your heart breaking.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 58:05
And I'm just like, I'm playing with the monkeys or something. But it was fucking amazing. And then, you know, I was a bit more I'm not really very active on social media at the moment. This last year, it's been really good for me just to concentrate on creativity. At that point, I was sort of more plugged in I will be plugged in again, but just taking a break. And just, every literally on Facebook, then I was much more active. I everyone I'd ever met and saw the gig and TV screens and it was a it felt, after that, I was like, well, I could just become a shepherd now, I guess.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 58:48
Yeah, that's exactly how I feel right now. When I do that, that's it. I can just hang my boots up.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 58:56
Yeah. We're meant to be playing it, again. Glastonbury 2020 it was in the diary man. And it got pulled.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 59:05
Yeah, you will though, you will again.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 59:07
If we, don't it will also be fine because it couldn't be that good again as well.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 59:17
That's literally like one of the best stories I've ever fucking heard in my heart. Everything I want the Glastonbury stage to be is literally personified in what you've just said.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 59:30
It was like being swallowed like, like an ominous fucking space ship
Speaker: Dan Lewis 59:35
[cross talk] Thing like is what gets me the most though.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 59:39
Yeah. And he was telling it like later that night in the spaceship post gig. Kirk Hammett from Metallica was sat on the sofa. I'm dropping name dropping.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 59:49
No, I love it
Speaker: Tom Marsh 59:50
Kirk Hammett sat there sort of talking to Lana’s mum, like it was like, thanksgiving dinner or something and Robert Club was telling stories about it. And Lana’s dad was talking to Kirk Hammett. Just a strange. Do you know what Robert club is telling Lana’s quite straight mom you know she's not a rock and roll though. She's sweet, nice lady. Talking anecdotes about cider and crack cocaine. Me and Blake just plays the guitar. So, it was a huge set fan to just start this today.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:00:30
I didn't have anything to say that I just wanted listening. He was just an anecdote machine. He was happy to be there.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:00:40
And I bet he's got some incredible anecdotes.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:00:40
Yeah, you’re also thinking, I'm looking straight at the face of Robert Club. So yeah. Yeah, I'm looking at Robert Club’s face. Okay. And I'll just not
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:00:52
Does any of it, when you like, walk out onto the stage and for you, you played in the middle of the day, right?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:01:02
That for that show? Yeah.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:01:03
When does it start to compute? Like where you are, like you said, you went to Glastonbury like 10 times. That was always like, depend, I think that's the pinnacle for any British musician is Glastonbury main stage. So, did it hit you at any point that you were like, Fuck, like, I am playing my Glastonbury mainstage?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:01:21
Yeah, it was almost sick before I went on stage, shitting myself, but we have this group hug, sort of prayer in inverted commas. But it's, there's not much religious about it. It's about kind of, that's why I can do this. And it can be any number of things it could be lovers talking about. I want to focus on this and that, and one of the other guys will say, you know, let's just feel it's connect. Let's do you know; God knows what we say. Sometimes if we're nervous, it's like gibberish. But you know, having a bloody big hug. And Amy Winehouse was a friend of Lana’s and she passed away. And she'd had that historic show at Glastonbury. And Laura mentioned, having watched the pyramid performance of Amy, I think, in one of the weeks leading up to this bit, and a friend of mine passed away at Glastonbury once years ago. This is West Country times, nasty drugs passing around in our youths. So, there was this sort of tinge of melancholy with Glastonbury too, even though it's the ski farik party place. I'd mentioned that to Baron, as well, it's crazy. This horrible thing happened as well as all these amazing and Baron in the heart in the cuddle had said, “let's do this show for everyone who didn't make it this far.” So, I'm like, fucking choked up.
And it's just it was just couldn't have been more fucking epic, and then my sister weeping didn't bloody help either.
Although, I ended up cackling insanely with joy. So, yeah, but uh, yeah, that it was impossible to escape the enormity of Glastonbury. But you do get desensitized, like, things like Coachella, for the Americans is their Glastonbury. And it just doesn't, to me pales into insignificance. It's, Instagram selfie fest, based on modern phrases, but they're still fucking hundreds of thousands humans, there in shades. But you know, I, remember feeling almost zero nerves. But the rest of the guys are like, it's all about Coachella for weeks. Whereas for me, I'm like, my life is all about the spaceship. And so, the different things, so you know, and then playing things like the Hollywood Bowl, which we've played twice now. And we had a bunch of guest performance for that on the last tour in 2019, the NFL tour. And that was for Lana, even though we're playing all these other fucking huge shows, that was the thing for her.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:04:22
She kind of has their own one
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:04:25
Totally. And I get to that, and I'm like, it's more like, well, this is a freaking cool space is lovely. And I'll FaceTime my dad and show him the things. I've got the Monty Python video of that game. So, you'll appreciate that. Yeah, it's weird. I do get nervous sometimes, but it's full of random things. It might because you haven't slept enough and then you just get in your own head a bit and it will be for a fucking 2000-seater or something. You know. We all got fucking nervous in Rio. Which was the biggest show we've ever done. And that was Sao Paolo, and it was 200,000 people. And it was basically, there's a slight slope on the field. But looking out, was like you, it was people up to the horizon. Right. So, it's like Glastonbury. I think we had the second biggest crowd that year, Dolly Parton on the Sunday at a slightly bigger crowd, so we bow down to Dolly. But that was 120,000 people at Glastonbury. This was 200000. And the thing of Glastonbury as well as it's a live TV thing, so that's the added ship yourself factor.
But this was also a live TV in San Paolo. But something about the energy is a South America. And she sings in, she has these Spanish moment sings but so she has a real connection with South America and Spanish talking countries of Portuguese and stuff. And that show, and it was just I just remember like, his fucking electricity in the air. And it was like Static Energy. And I'm looking out for, you know, to the horizon, but humans.
And as we come on stage, fucking Eddie Vedder is with a bottle of wine. we'd met him before really sweet daughter is a huge, Lana fan. And so, he's dad number one. So, he, does a bit show. He's got his daughter and our mate. So, but it's like, Eddie Vedder is there. And then there's just drones. Everyone's there was no, now you're not allowed to fly drones because it could be any number of bad things could happen. There's like drones flying around my head. And something about the fucking boiling hot, you're like playing in a sauna to like midnight as well. And as the time change. So, I was really absorbed and everybody was spaced out of their fucking mind. And we had a dedicated it was an hour set. And because it was being televised, too. We're meant to stick to this thing because they have the subtitle that comes up on the screen because you're going to play video games now. I think we got four songs in and then Lana said, “okay, guys, what do you want to hear?” She just is like, fuck it. She's like, the most punk rock of all of us at times. Like and we ended up playing, half the set was like wasn't rehearsed or wasn't even anything. But it was that really special show. But it felt really special because it was had no idea it was going to go on this crazy journey like playing.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:07:48
I just can't imagine what that many people would look like.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:07:54
Yeah, it's Lux. Sparks. I don't know. I feel like my mind's eye. The fucking air was crackling with electricity. And you're listening literally, it's an ocean. You're looking at a pink-ish ocean going to the fucking skyline. really surreal. I got really drunk after that. So. Yeah, all right. So actually, me with my arm round Eddie Vedder. Corona. It's like, cold beer I've ever drunk in my life. Yeah.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:08:27
So, it sounds like you've met like quite a lot of people that you really like, admire and like within the music scene.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:08:35
Eddie Vedder, right, which, see it was a fan of Pearl Jam years ago. Haven't really kept up with it. He's just an absolute sweetheart. Yeah, for me, like, I've met and shit shaking hands with a lot of successful musicians. That doesn't mean him definitely had a connection or right. But it's like, oh, yes, you're that bloke off the telly. But you don't say that. But it's like, you clearly are that. Yeah, I remember we played this charity gig for Leonardo DiCaprio has this thing in the south of France where they auction off all that stuff and all the money goes to climate change. Good idea. So, like, so we played two songs back then. This was pre 2016 and it was like fucking, this is pre–Kevin Spacey being caught turned out that he's not the nicest of humans. You know, one of the options is a day you know one on one's acting training with Kevin Spacey. Now that sounds really ominous. Go to a private room. Find predator phrase like that. And then like, from The Revenant just came out Leonardo DiCaprio film, so he was selling off like the map and the belt that he wore on the thing. And bono was there in the front row on the front table. And then here's that annoying little twerp hugely became hugely successful on YouTube. Really good friends with. I can't remember his name; he is a pop star with the biggest pop stars in the world. He's disappeared from view for a little bit now. Justin Bieber. Yeah. annoying little twerp. Justin Bieber's sat at the front row, in a pork pie kind of hat and we kick into blue jeans. And he starts beatboxing along with us, like at the front, but really fucking. I just remember looking at her play. It's like, our lives are fucking weird. I came offstage. And Bono goes, “you fucking rock that” he said. So, I take that. So, I have exchanged words. And I received that Pay. We'd sort of rocks but it's like everyone, these billionaire business money in dinner with their celebrity and model wives, is a very strange and barely clap at the end.
They don't know how to appreciate experience. But I remember going side stage afterwards. And I had seen Leonardo Yeah. Let's just stick with the monitor guy. And he said, I think Leonardo DiCaprio is here. All right. And I'd looked around he was stood like about a foot or could have kissed him. But he was just there. And I noticed like, I just kind of wanted to reach just touch. There's a reason why he's one of the biggest movie stars. No, because he probably is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. He looked just like Leonardo DiCaprio. Right. It's just that, that was a funny moment.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:12:07
Did you say anything to him?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:12:09
No, I don't think I did. I mean, he's about to start comparing stuff. He was like in the wings. I talked to his name drop time because that was a fucking weird gig. But Adrian Brody, you know that actor? He's in pianist and things like that. You'd recognize a bunch of really good Wes Anderson films and stuff. I talked to him about craft beer and the clash. He is a nice bloke.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:12:40
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:12:43
Drummers? Oh, I mean, we toured South America with Back and Blur. Where there was a rotating headline. There are two stages. But the drummer Dave Roundtree of blow was like one of my heroes when I was growing up. Yeah, he was fucking adorable. And he'd every night like watched me twice from the wings and they come offstage and he just be like, shake my hand, but well done. Elder Sage of rock. So, I took I remember having a genuinely nice exchange is the sweetest bloke and like, I was fucking obsessed with blur for about two or three years. They were my favorite bands. And really creative, great songwriters.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:13:36
I mean, yes, I've hung out and chat to a lot of drummers. Radio had both drummers I'd have slightly awkward exchange with those guys. It's weird, like, it's easier when you're at the coalface. Like if you're playing festivals, and it doesn't feel like you're badgering. Or it's like it doesn't feel too stilted like you see someone you're both reaching for the same courage speed in case you like a kid's house get out the office love.
Yeah, I can't think off the top of my head like who always end up chatting to musicians, drummers are usually really approachable.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:14:21
Yeah, do you find at that sort of like very, very elite level of like playing at gigs and that most musicians and drummers are like amicable and a nice to be around?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:14:35
I think they are. Yes, I think they are when you're at the coalface you're doing the same thing. I've definitely met some unsavory fuckers with bad egos. Not at all just like you just like, this is going to come back and bite you or you're going to be thoroughly miserable for the rest of your life, spoilt people acting out. Yeah, but I'm not mentioning any names. I, also I would say that I've met usually people that really sound nice.
And also, I'm playing with Lana and a lot of people like Lana. So that's an in to start an amicable exchange, right? Talking about, Breaking Bad, or whatever but FIFA now the guys from Coldplay turned up Hollywood Bowl. Drummer Will, and Johnny fucking adorable blokes and we just talked about the computer game FIFA for about an hour. Really normal, lovely blokes. I know that producer Rick, I work with Rick sometimes on some stuff. So that's an email as well. So easy to have a nice and easy exchange. If you've got, some link to it. It's not like I've met other people, like some people, you meet, there was a point when I was like, if there's a single payment [1:16:02] or each bug, I'll go in and sort of force him eating lunch with me in case. Yeah, but I try to be self-aware, you know, as well.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:16:10
Yeah. Because you don't want to be that guy either. Right?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:16:11
Well, wanka Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:16:15
I think the only exception for me will be Ben Howard. I think if I ever met Ben Howard, I would like pest to him. And it would probably be quite embarrassing.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:16:23
He's a good writer, right?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:16:25
Yeah, he actually he actually did a cover of video games, I think.
He's done two Lana covers; I think. Yeah.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:16:33
He's great, though. I remember a few years, he sort of was more in public view in like, 2017, 2016. Right? I remember a few tracks on some playlists.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:16:44
Yeah, and this is something that like, not many people have really covered. Because obviously, they see you do like pyramid stage and like the San Paolo gig, and you're playing with Lana Del Rey, what are some parts of like, the job that people don't necessarily see? Or Like, they're not as great as people might think.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:17:02
Well, now I'm in my 40s. So, it's all about his fatigue that gets you and if you're like, anything, if you're doing anything, you're fucking exhausted, then one, it's harder to do your job well, or, be content in your work. And two, it's just not good for morale, like, yeah, so I feel like, for me, when we're doing a lot touring, it's all about maintain, like, when I was in my 20s, and doing tours around Europe, and my little indie bands on my projects, it'd be like, okay, you can drink their body weight and beer as quick as possible. And you don't need to sleep. And you don't really need to eat too much, maybe English breakfast every other day, and then just try and find a club in fucking Amsterdam, you know, I don't want to sound fucking baby. I do. So maybe this is just the truth. I feel like the way it tried to do like, huge shows when you've had zero sleep for several days is fucking stressful. Yeah, it's really because it's a big enterprise.
And, you know, you can do a couple of them. And sometimes they're even better if you're in this heightened weird space. But I would say that, there's one summer I'm not really comfortable flyer, so if you're flying a lot, and I can't sleep on flights, that adds to it. So, it's a combination of that fatigue, flying, but one summer we did 35 flights in a couple of months, was ridiculous.
And I was sort of dealing with not being able to sleep great. And, and I remember being like, I should be enjoying this more, but I'm feeling fucking stressed. But that I'm having to reach for that man to reach for that feeling now because, the pros do outweigh the cons. The boys are vegans. So dietary is challenging. I end up just by proxy in it. And I've enjoyed it. Last couple of tours, just being a vegan to fucking eat vegan and you feel great for it if you just if there's a difference between, takeaway vegan and some posh vegan shit that gets made for you somewhere in a town. And then you've got it when you come on stage. You're like, this is a good vibe. Yeah. So, I know that that's really challenging for the boys, because they are both militant. And I think by proxy, we all get a bit more veggie Lana’s tours are mostly veggie, I think. So, we end up with good if we've got catering and it's usually convert you. What else? I mean, being away from your missus for months on end is challenging. I mean, thank the Lord for FaceTime.
I don't have kids but I know people in our team like our monitor guy says it feels like fucking heartbreak him being you know being away from his kids so that's the obvious shit.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:20:17
Yeah, I think a lot of people don't see the sacrifice you know they just see like the tall pictures or in my case the beach pictures. You know they see a Bahamas, they see a Bahama beach every week and they see the fact that I don't see like anyone that I'm close with six, seven months at a time.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:20:35
Yeah, it's fucking challenging.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:20:37
But like you said the job is fucking sick says that's what it massively outweighs it but there are you know, there is has to be real sometimes and not
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:20:46
lose their shit. Like when you get touring like you know, if you don't manage you stop partying a lot that really can take its toll. You know, yeah, you've got your stick 14 hangovers on top of each other. You get you get people getting fucking depressed and shit, you know? the crew have a much tougher gig obviously, they're going to get up sometimes with no sleep and build the fucking rig and build the stuff and then,
and then being super switched on for the show. Us musicians have a much better kick. Totally.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:21:28
So this is the last one actually, this has been this has been like, one of the best conversations I've had.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:21:34
Oh, splendid. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:21:36
Yeah. So, what advice would you have for people? I know you've touched upon, like, when we were talking about the gospel stuff earlier, it's just like that authenticity of, it wouldn't be right for what you were doing. So, I just want to I would love to know what your advice would be for up-and-coming musicians, drummers or anyone who would love to land a gig with one of the biggest artists in the world,
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:21:58
I think, something invaluable for me. And it just so happens, it's also one of my passions, it's like the electronic side of stuff. So having that in your cannon, in your toolbox. At least even if you can't afford the shit. get your head around. triggering sampling. Definitely playing to click is just rife, like everybody has most bands, or acts have, be click friendly practice to click so you don't give a shit. And so, and it just becomes, I don't even if I can hear it, somebody to play, they'll give up. And that's just from practice, isn't it? practice?
I would say divide your if you're going to do solo practicing divided time up in between work and then passion. So, like, for me, I love fucking early rave music and shit. And like the early programming of beats, which is essentially fast old school hip hop. So, like the Prodigy, before the clown punk scenario got really pushed are fucking innovative. And it's basically Tribe Called Quest approach to beat making. But it's British greasy little thugs. I I'll fucking drum for half an hour to early prodigy just to make a connection with it fucking, you know, divide your time up with the passion and the stuff that you really like, as well as Okay, I want to fucking work on my rudiments for this thing. And I feel like the really good shit now and I do drum sessions. I've learned quite a bit this last year, I've surprised myself and it's often some unique shit that I've done has been because I've had these crazy solo rehearsal times playing against things that aren't necessarily traditional click track. So essentially, if you're playing to electronic music, that's a click track, because it's a fucking robot beat.
I do a bunch of that. I would say, (so that's the drummer), production, all this all that stuff is paid dividends. The fact that I really understood da W. So, logic beat making sequencing, you know, you can get your head around GarageBand initially, and just some form of that stuff. But, I would say it's definitely very useful part of being a team player. Now on something this level. There'll be times when it's like, oh, fuck, you know that that's a horrible sound in a sample like this just a notch that works really great in the record when it's compressed in a certain way. But then when you get the rule of thing, I'll be like, I'll fix that. You know, and so the boys are working something and then I'll just noodle way, I'll clean up the sound a little bit re-bounce it, drop it in the sampler. And I say something about really understanding what that is, as well, the process of production on some level, you don't have to be making Grammy Award winning records. It's really fucking fun as well making beats and stuff. And I feel like, now when I'm producing re mixing things, do a lot of that, I'm always even re mixing I'm putting live kit on stuff. I'm marrying it up with electronic beats. And that's kind of how I ended up with Lana was that my own project repairman was a beautiful combination, I'm really proud of that work still, of me learning sort of production, but mixing electronics with real drums. And then, you know, when they're looking for a drummer that has that, that those capabilities are just so happened to, they knew that I had those skills. So, I would say that's really useful.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:26:03
And is a lot of that like trial and error?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:26:10
I had some really good advice of a bloke, a bloke once said to me, a friend of mine called Ian, who makes a lot of high-end library music and stuff now, but he'd done TV, not TV music. And he said, if you like it, it's right. Right. And it was the best fucking advice, especially at the beginning of that thing. You find out there are certain things that are really useful to know, like, a lot of mid-range clashes with each other. So, you want to be working out how to take away certain tones so that you don't get the soupy sound, that's actually really fucking easy when you know how. But I would say, trial and error. You can make stuff really quickly. Fucking YouTube is just jam. When I get a new plugin now or something. There's some sweetheart nerdling are out there showing you a tutorial on this one thing. You know, and I just fucking I bow down to these dudes, whenever I get a new bit of kit, I'm not reaching for the manual, I'm going on YouTube. And you can be up and running in 30 minutes with a new drum machine thing or something like it really fucking, there will be a good I'd say 99% of time there'll be some bloke or lady person might show you something, we'll be able to show you that thing on YouTube. So yeah, it does feel daunting. But you know, I don't know, some of the best beats ever were like Tribe Called Quest stuff in the 90s. And now, all of that. science behind that is used in modern hip hop and stuff today. Some of the best things he did was a very basic drum machine fed through a fucking guitar pedal, like, Yeah, you can make brilliant shit with very little. Yeah. And I would just say, just do something to make yourself fucking happy. Yeah, the best shit I've ever done. And the reason why I get hired now, is when I managed to let go of, what should this be? and just do something for yourself And that's the good shit.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:28:20
Yeah. And so, because I know, like, in the time of just like, unlimited information, I'm sure many, many players in all instruments are getting lost with like, one minute, it's like, oh, I should be practicing this. And then they see something on Instagram. And they're like, Oh, that's pretty sick. I'll just do that. And so, like they're bouncing from all these places. And how do you navigate that?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:28:46
How do I navigate it? Or what? How should
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:28:51
Yeah. Maybe both? How does one and how do you?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:28:56
I mean, I feel like I've got a clear sense of what I want to be as a drummer. And that it might be learning attract an electronic trappy and wanting to know how to play that with the fucking mental high-hat pattern. And the same swagger in the pockets I learn you know, Denzel curry, like in hip hop beat and I'll learn how to do it because it's a nice interesting challenge. I also want to know how to build it later. But how do I navigate it? I got my few things that I really like and I just want to get better at them. So, there's a tiny bit of jazz on my plane on some Miles Davis. I play along too but you know if I'm going to be alright, let's just jam a jump around the vibe. Miles Davis better fucking bizarre, country music. So, following just following your passions, right? follow your passions and, you know, and just get a vibe get try and get involved. With the music play along to it, I say the guy, the Jeff Buckley drummer says that he plays with St. Vincent. But I, there was a point. And I think that's this, I copied that album grace all the drums from that. I just loved it. And what it was, he was a huge Bono fan. He was a he's a, I picked a thing, and I just fell in love with it. And I just practiced that one thing that I knew I really loved. And now, still now I'm throwing in these odd little Tom things. It's all from 20 years ago. Yeah, you know, and it's, it was a good choice that because it has jazz fucking really interesting rock and groovy heavy shit in it. I don't know if I'm answering your question.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:30:55
It just sounds like you've always been authentic to yourself, which is, I think, because that point can be quite hard for some people who don't have a sense of self maybe but from you, it sounds like you really loved electronic music, and you just followed that. It wasn't like, you set out and you were like, oh, this girl called Lana Del Rey, and I'm going to go and play for her. It was more they came to you because they saw that you were authentic. Right?
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:31:17
Yeah, they wanted someone who could thwap the drums sufficiently as well, which, you know, I like a maniac and repairman. I don't happen to be beats in it. And they knew I had that bit. But, yeah, yes. I Oh, that's lovely of you to say, and I think there was the fucking point otherwise, right. You know, it's such a hard industry. I feel like the good shit comes from when you're passionate. And you have a love affair with the creating the ship. Yeah. I'm definitely waffling
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:31:52
Couldn't end on a better note. Well, I just want to thank you so, so much. Like I said, though, I'll die will remember, if I ever make it to Glastonbury pyramid stage, or hopefully, when I do, I will find you and I will message you, I will tell you.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:32:09
If I can, I’ll be in there and I’ll just have a rubber [inaudible]
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:32:15
I'll just make sure you know when I’m coming, so you’re completely off the bus. And then maybe you can put a wig on and just cry in their side.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:32:27
Yeah, all of the above, for a small fee. Pay Pal is fine.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:32:34
Fine. But yeah, thank you so much. It's been great content.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:32:37
You’re welcome Dan. Nice fun.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:32:39
And I followed you on Instagram.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:32:41
So, like I said, I'm not really doing an awful lot that I intend to come back and do it. I'm checking in for messages and stuff for free. So, but yeah, it still would be the place. Twitter is not so much but..
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:32:54
Yeah, well, sometimes. Depending on where we are, sometimes depending on what ship we're on.
We actually dock in New York sometimes. if I'm ever out now. I'll shoot you a text.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:33:05
Totally. Man. We'd go for a pint.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:33:07
Yes, you can show me around. In my five hours off the ship.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:33:11
We have the plague is gone. There’re only about 412 amazing bars.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:32:17
And hopefully I'll dock 412 times. But no, it's been a pleasure. Thank you.
Speaker: Tom Marsh 1:33:24
Thank you, Dan.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 1:33:24
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