Today we as Ruveur Team, are happy to share this interview with Tom Rosenthal. He’s one of the favorite artists of us. We can describe his music as short, insightful, crafty, sweet, and folksy tunes. As to the meaning behind Tom Rosenthal’s lyrics, he put it as: “It all makes sense if you sing it like it makes sense.” We hope you are all enjoy while reading this as much as we did!
Ruveur: Your daughters, Fenn and Bess released an EP called “They’re Awake!” in March this year. (Congratulations to them by the way!) They have the chance to discover their talents and what they actually like while they are kids, unlike many others. Did you have the same opportunity as well? How did your journey start?
Tom: I didn’t have quite the same opportunity as they did but I was lucky that my godmother was a piano teacher so she taught me and I started my journey like that!
R: You released a song called ‘’Jim and Dwight’’ this year which is about the characters from The Office, you have a song about the conversation between a person and a lizard. It seems you don’t have a limit for your songs, it is quite fascinating. So, what is your creative process like?
T: I don’t have a process at all apart from thinking of an idea and making it a reality!
R: In some of your songs, you speak about existential dilemmas as if they are everyday problems. Let’s take ‘’Don’t You Know How Busy and Important I Am?’’ as an example. There’s a part where you sing ‘’Maybe I’m just trying to distract myself from my mortality!’’ One can say one of the most complicated dilemmas of humankind inspired you. Where do you get your inspiration exactly?
T: Mostly from conversations with friends, words in books, or just walking around!
R: There is a great connection between the melodies and the lyrics of your songs. In ‘’Take Care’’ the lyrics sink way deeper with the melody, in ‘’Bob in the Rain and the Lizard of Hope’’ with the change of tune you emphasize it is indeed going to be alright. Do you start with the tune or the lyrics? How do they affect each other?
T: It can be either way! What I say is do whatever works for you. Sometimes it’s one and sometimes it’s the other but most important is to be free.
R: You release your songs under your label, Tinpot Records. What are the pros and cons? How did becoming a label owner change your perspective on music releasing?
T: The pros are that you get to keep most of the money, the cons are very few apart from you can’t become the next Ed Sheeran without a label.
R: After your cover of ‘’Home’’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros went viral on TikTok, you released an album called ‘’Stop Stealing the Covers!’’ which includes several covers of different songs like ‘’Bootylicious’’ and ‘’Can’t Help Falling in Love’’ under the name ‘’Edith Whiskers’’, your pseudonym. Can you introduce Edith to us?
T: Edith loves doing covers, is an old lady but still fresh, and her best friend is called Clive Cougar-Vale!
R: Are you currently working on anything new? If so, what should we await from you?
T: Yep I’m working on a new album that will be out next year!
R: As anyone can see from your playlist ‘’Rosenthal’s Relative Unknowns’’ on Spotify, you have a great taste in music. Can you choose a song for readers of Ruveur?
T: Well I can give you one: Jon Willoughby – Dayblind.
R: What do you aim for with your art? When a person listens to your songs or watches your videos, what would you like them to feel or think?
T: I think I want my songs to be useful. If that means people dance then that’s useful, if it helps console them then that’s useful too. My aims are very low.
R: Lastly, what would you like to say to the people and the readers of Ruveur?
T: Thanks for reading and listening and the best of luck with your wild lives!