Tom Shotton – Forever Home (Q&A)

There is considerable renewed interest in Singer-Songwriter Pop and Soft Rock, so characteristic of the 1970s. Tom Shotton’s Forever Home is for Gilbert O’Sullivan, Christopher Cross, and Chicago fans, to name a few. While listening to Forever Home, it became clear to me that when a songwriter uses these styles, there is nothing to hide. You will have to come up with only good songs, and a refreshed version of what once was. Et voila!

It seems you knew exactly what sound you wanted when you entered the studio? 

At the beginning of the recording process, I didn’t have any clear idea about whether it would be an album or just a few tracks. My main intention was just to get the ball rolling again in terms of making music cos I’d taken a few years off and had mostly just been playing drums for other bands. I did know that I was consciously writing songs that were attempting to create intimacy with the listener, so I tried to bear that in mind from day one. I wanted it to sound like it was recorded in a warm room on a cold day! 

And it was easy to grab?

Yeah, I know the kinds of sounds that I’m looking for and which instruments and gear to use in order to achieve the intended vibe. I’d not written for individual string players and a horn section before, so that was a nice new experience. 

Those magical moments when you’re working in the studio. Which moment was the most magical?

The horn section all recorded their individual parts remotely, and then we just plonked them into the track. When we first played back the song ‘Back Home’ with all the horn parts in, it sounded like Chicago or Blood, Sweat & Tears or something – it was just unreal, and we had them super-loud and upfront. That was pretty magical. 

How would you describe your place in the music industry?

Honestly, I’m probably more of a consumer. Since I was 12 years old, I’ve always made music either as a player or a writer or both but tend to give very little thought to it playing much role in anybody else’s industry. I have my own little micro-industry now, and it’s nice to be making music and records. That’s about it!

The record is done and released. Getting it heard is not that easy, or is it?

I’m pretty good at promoting my stuff in my own idiosyncratic DIY manner, and I’ve been fortunate enough that a few people have checked it out and offered some kind words about the record. I’m putting it into some carefully selected record shops, which is a nice thing to do cos I love record shops. I’m glad they still exist!

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