This week I have been mostly digging out old recordings and videos from bands I used to play drums with, dating back to the '90's. This is just a smidgen. Enjoy!
Paint was a band formed by ex-members of Starclub who I auditioned for and became great mates with. "Whitey", their original drummer, left to join Oasis and I stepped in. Lots of Camden gigs (you know the ones), some great recordings produced by JJ Burnel and a deal with Sacred/Sony. It all fell through as these things sometimes do. Shame because, as you can hear, we kicked serious arse.
After all this time, I still find it a bit difficult to talk about Glass Shark. It exploded very quickly for us - albeit on a local level - and then, equally quickly, it fell apart. As is often the case with difficult life lessons, I wish I'd dealt with it differently. What can I tell you? I was young and reckless. Looking back now, I'm incredibly proud of what we achieved and, to this day, people tell me how much they loved the band.
Between 2009-2013 I lived in Dearborn, Michigan. A covers band from Detroit called, Fifty Amp Fuse approached me with a view of bringing me over to work with the band. Since I was a kid I'd dreamed of living in America and this seemed like the right time to go for it. Towards the end of 2010, I hatched a plan to spend the next year making a song and a video every week, partly out of restlessness but, mainly to sharpen my songwriting skills and learn how to make videos. I called the project, Tam Johnstone's Song Explosion. I've taken the videos down now because they're not that great but, I'd like to remix all the songs and re-edit the videos someday.
PAINT London, 1995-1996 / Drums, vocals
"PAINT: three peroxide geezers, dressed in black, forging a tune-tastic post-punk strop. Yikes! They froth. They ferment! Their guitar goes "dagga-dagga!! Paint are precisely the kind of ragged rompers you fall over at 11pm away from the fashionable spotlight. Smashing!" NME (1995)
GLASS SHARK Cornwall, 2006-2008 / Drums, lead vocals
"The chorus power of prime time Nirvana, the danceability of the Gibb brothers on E and the 21st century techno-nous of New Yorkers like The Rapture. They have rapidly become one of the best live bands in the South West" Cornish Guardian (2006)
TAM JOHNSTONE'S SONG EXPLOSION Dearborn, 2011 / Instruments, vocals
A song and a video every week for a year. 13 of the 52 songs became my 2012 album, Fantastic Animals which was put together in order to help with my O1-Visa reapplication. Is this the first album to be released for such a purpose?