Tom Bertram | Interview
Indie Music Monday
January 22, 2017
By Candice Anne Marshall
IMM – Hello Tom! Welcome to Indie Music Monday! We are thrilled to be doing this interview with you sir. Let’s begin: What was your first reaction when you saw that we had showcased you on our website?
TB – Hey guys! I was very excited and proud. It is a great honor to be featured!
IMM – How do you feel about the kind of support you have received in the music industry?
TB – The support has been good. There are a few people that I 110% wouldn’t be where I am now without. You have to find those few that are on the same level as you artistically and also believe in you!
IMM – So let’s get right into your music – Your latest album ‘Dig To Locate’, can you tell our readers a little bit about the ‘theme’ of the album?
TB – The album is as always from my own experiences, I tend to sing about love, growing up, and places that I have been. There isn’t a defining theme but there is a lot of love (and I don’t just mean romantically).
IMM – We know that you have worked with Tim Bradshaw as well – that’s fabulous! How has he influenced your songwriting style and/or music?
TB – Yes, I have worked with Tim Bradshaw who has worked with John Mayer. Both have influenced me very much musically.
IMM – Can you tell us about your career timeline? New readers often want to know the trials & tribulations of an Artist.
TB – I played my first gig in 2010, I think I played Oasis songs in a pub for about 2 hours (or so it felt!) ha-ha. After that, I began writing and progressed from there. From that my first big thing was playing for the Twilight Movie in 2011 so things moved pretty fast looking at it that way!
IMM – Was there ever a time in your career where you felt like giving up?
TB – I’m not going to lie, I am human, we all have frustration and upset. But it’s important to learn not to stay there. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Tony Robbins and he is someone I highly recommend people checking him out, he will kick you into gear mentally!
IMM – Was there any time in your music career where you had that ‘Ah Ha’ moment?
TB – When I changed my style from Rock back to singer-songwriter. It’s all about being yourself. I wanted to be the top rock musicians for a while. When deep down I am a sensitive guy I won’t lie and I love country music, so allowing that to be about of my sound in bits rather than worrying people won’t accept me that way.
IMM – How difficult has it been in getting your music across the pond (so to speak) into the North American markets?
TB – Honestly, the US has been great for me. I’ve found people there really do like to support the up and coming artists as much as the big stars, which is truly lovely. We need it! ha-ha.
IMM – Who would you like to give a shout out to in terms of your creative team behind ‘Tom Bertram’?
TB – Definitely Tim Bradshaw, the man is a genius (although he won’t admit it probably). The best musician I have met without a doubt. And having his belief really reminds me that there is something there whenever in doubt. He’s worked with the best and I feel very grateful to be someone he has chosen to work alongside.
IMM – How has the family support been?
TB- My family are great, they always want me to progress in music. It’s not the be all and end all thought I’ll add. I know there are people who don’t feel supported, but you have to be your own biggest supporter first of all. That is where the magic truly happens.
IMM – What radio stations would you like to also give a shout out to who have been supportive of your music?
TB – The BBC have been really great to me. Playing me on all 39 stations. They mean the world to me.
IMM – Indie Music Monday is a unique blend of showcasing Indie Artists and part Radio Station. This includes interviews such as the one we are doing today. What are your thoughts on these kinds of support systems for Indie Artists?
TB – It’s amazing! As I said, we need the support. There are so many of us trying to get a break, and honestly most indie artists just want to earn enough to do it as their job and be happy. Without platforms supporting indie artists it would be much, much more difficult to get anywhere and we should all remember that!
IMM – How would you say your music is unique and stands out among the thousands of other Indie Artists today?
TB – Being British and living in the UK most of the time, I’d say I do have some Americana / Country hints to my music which there isn’t much of, certainly that I have heard here. Maybe that’s just because I love the US so much though!
IMM – Can you tell us of a time in your career where you may have felt ‘Yeah, this is it. This is the best day of my life’?
TB – That’s a tough one, playing for Noel Gallagher (Oasis) is right up there, But I’d say the day I received the phone call from Tim Bradshaw and arranged our first studio session.
IMM – You also performed at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration and the premiere of the Twilight movie – WOW! Can you tell us how that came about? What was the experience of each for you?
TB – The Twilight show was amazing! The fans there were incredible, I’ve never witnessed enough like it again since. Truly beautiful. The Diamond Jubilee was great too, it was a small stage but it was great to be a part of the occasion. I didn’t get the sword on my shoulder though!
IMM – I am personally a fan of your music as its content, lyrics, sound is impeccable. What is the songwriting process like for you? Do you have a muse?
TB – Thank you very much for that! It varies, it used to be music first always, but I also have started recording melody and lyric ideas on my phone and then when I get to my guitar I will work out the music part too.
IMM – What was working with Tim Bradshaw like?
TB- As I said he is the best musician I’ve met, so it was outstanding!
IMM – We saw that Tim co-wrote much of the content on ‘Dig To Locate’ with you. Can you tell us how that came about and the impression working with this exceptional Artist/Producer has left on you?
TB – Facebook! The power of social media is amazing. I asked him to check out my music, not expecting an answer my any means. He said he enjoyed it and the next think we were on the phone booking in recording an EP which was ‘Back Home, which I wrote myself. We worked so well we decided we would co-write and work together a lot more.
IMM – I am taking an excerpt from your Bio on your Facebook Page:
“Three tracks from the album ‘Not Leaving Here’ ‘World At My Feet’ and ‘Burning Bridges’ have all had radio play on various stations including the BBC and Tom has been interviewed and has played live on both BBC and independent radio around the country
‘Burning Bridges’ was featured on The Mark Forrest Show as a BBC Introducing track, which was aired on 39 BBC Station across the UK, with an estimated 43.8 million listeners.”
WOW! Talk about coming out of the barn gates kicking Tom! What impact has that left on your personally? These are great accomplishments sir!
TB – That was crazy! The buzz was insane after too, I mean pretty much the whole UK heard it.. I had a bit of a moment when I heard it, knowing how many where listening too.
IMM – You claim that the following Artists have influenced you in some way: ‘David Gray, John Mayer, Noel Gallagher, Passenger, Stereophonics, Travis, Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard’ Exactly how have they influenced you?
TB – All in different ways, my hero is actual Elvis but I dare to touch his music! They all have influenced me very much though. Some have big choruses which I have in my own songs, some have a cool groove to them which I have too. I think everyone’s music is a result of the music they’ve heard, isn’t it?
IMM – Let’s talk about your new music video ‘World At My Feet’. I see the video was launched last April. What has been the Fan response to it? What has the feedback been like?
TB – Oh they have been so lovely! The views on it grew really fast too so it was nice to see everyone tuned in for it on its release.
IMM – Who is the creative team behind most of your music videos?
TB – H M Mitchell Photography, Tim Bradshaw, Myself and a company called VEEVU.
IMM – What do you have coming down the pipe in terms of new music?
TB – There is a few projects in the works. I don’t want to give too much away, but keep Sept – Dec free!
IMM – What do the next 3-6 months’ look like for you in terms of your career?
TB – Lots of writing and content. I am enjoying the social media world so I’d like to indulge more into that, especially the live streams. Then back to the basics!
IMM – Okay Tom, final question: We always like to ask our Artists what advice they could give to the next generation or group of New Artists thinking of a career in music?
TB – Please don’t give up. It’s all hard work. I suggest listening to inspiration speeches and looking at inspiration quotes etc. online. Obviously practice and keep writing and playing gigs is key. But I believe one of the big things that doesn’t get spoken about enough is psychology. It is very important to have your mind in the right place and to be able to control it so you don’t get frustrated, wonder why your video got 10 views on its first day and through your guitar out the window! Stay focused and stay hungry. It will pay off.
IMM – Thank-you Tom! We look forward to posting it on Indie Music Monday this week!
Tom Bertram Social Media Links (click to view):