Q: It’s so beautiful how you entwine nature with youth and growth in the EP. Tell me about the factors that play into you writing “The Boy.”
TOM PEREGRINE: Thank you so much! I’d say that I have always appreciated nature to a degree but at some stage in my youth I grew aware of how great its impact was on my state of mind. I have since explored this relationship with nature and it seems to have manifested in my music. Regarding themes and topics, I have drawn from everything life threw at me during the time of writing, which was about 2014-2019. There were a lot of firsts for me, whether they were in personal relationships, getting to know a foreign culture or trying to make sense of life. I think The Tallest man On Earth and Johnny Flynn were a big influence musically; I also remember discovering a lot of new folk artists at that time. As learning is a process, I am quite aware that outgrowing “The Boy” will likely take a few more years (at best) or quite possibly never come to an end.
Q: Before the debut of your EP, you had quite an adventure around Europe and, in a way, writing “The Boy” was probably an adventure within itself. In what ways do the two compare and contrast?
TOM PEREGRINE: Traveling through Europe was a wild ride at times. It gave me an insight into other cultures and how they undeniably shape us as humans. I think within that, I learned not to define myself by the society or culture I grew up in but rather think of who I want to be and why. This, admittedly, is rather a task for life than that of a boy. In these aspects and through that journey “The Boy” is very much a like. The process of making the EP took many months and seemed diispersed at times. After one initial recording session in studio, we recorded additional instrumental tracks at home, in studio or childhood bedrooms. Like traveling, many friends stepping into the picture and helped where they could. When thinking of making the EP, I never see myself doing it alone. in contrast, traveling meant a lot of new experiences that, after an initial excitement, were not really found in working on “The Boy.” I think this is due to heavy workload in university, a beginning pandemic and the already written songs being recorded as live sessions. Especially the latter gave only so much room for changes but forced us to be creative with instrumental ideas at times.
Q: Some musicians write for themselves and some write to inspire others. What was your purpose with this EP?
TOM PEREGRINE: The truth is probably somewhere in between. Some of the songs are deeply personal, say “Hear Your Heart,” and therefore rather specific. Others address more general issues, like “Better Place” or “Beefriend,” and aim to raise awareness, I suppose. In the end, nothing makes me happier than someone resonating with or reflecting on something I wrote or composed.
Q: If you could choose one song from “the boy” that you think the world
could relate to based on what’s been going on, what would it be?
TOM PEREGRINE: I struggle to choose just one, but it might be ‘To The Boy That I Was Yesterday.” From what I have learned and heard from friends this really is/was a time of reflection. And quite naturally that isn’t always a good or necessarily easy thing. I don’t ever think I have been in my head this much and sometimes I just long for some distraction. This song calms me down a lot. In its essence, it speaks of forgiving yourself, growing past where you are and being gentle with yourself along the process.
So, whether you have grown, want to grow or need to grow, this song is here for you.
Q: What was the easiest part with working on the EP and what was a
TOM PEREGRINE: As I have mentioned, we recorded the six songs in one session as live tracks. While this part of recording was easy and pleasant, it felt hard to go back to recording smaller bits months later when timing and length of the main tracks weren’t easily changed. As this was my first independent release, I had to learn a lot of things that were new to me, which at times felt frustrating.
Q: What was it like working with Australian singer-songwriter and producer Lucas Laufen? Did you learn anything from that experience?
TOM PEREGRINE: I did indeed. Lucas made me and my friend Paulina Bartsch (violin, harmonies) feel right at home. I learned a lot about his style of production and how very subtle changes can have a big impact on the sound. We had a great time and I even got to join him on his tour in early 2020. I miss him a lot and try to compensate this feeling by writing new music and making plans to record with him again as soon as possible.
Q: I find “the boy” inspiring and I think it’s going to breathe life into so many people. I can’t wait to see what you do in your next project. Tell me about your plans now. What are you working on and what can we expect?
TOM PEREGRINE: I feel flattered, thank you for your kind words. Right now I’m just trying to stay sane and keep writing songs. I try to connect with other musical friends but struggle to accept the feeling of this being normality for now. As for my next EP/LP I want to further explore my sound and style of writing; that’s why I experiment a lot with instruments and different soundscapes at the moment. There are plans to gather a few friends, practice new songs, and record them live as sort of one-mic sessions. I love the idea of getting back together in a room or outdoor setting to just feel unity and togetherness.
Interviewed by Taylor Berry