News Reading 2011: Tom Vek

We caught up with the elusive Tom Vek backstage at Reading Festival to talk about his forthcoming DJ Shadow collaboration, new material and the future.

How are you feeling about your set?
I’m feeling good. I don’t go to many festivals really so it’s quite an exotic experience.
I’m going back to London tonight and heading up to Leeds tomorrow. I was going to say back to civilisation but that sounds a bit bitchy, doesn’t it? The sun changes everything, it was terrible weather a minute ago and now the sun’s out and everyone’s a bit more enthusiastic about it. I want to go and see Deftones and then we’ll play and then I’ll probably be pretty exhausted.

Are you nervous?
Just the right amount, the normal amount, I suppose. It seems weird because everything’s going on. The thing about festivals is that there’s something’s happening all the time so it just feels like you’ve just got to slot into that happening, which I suppose is just what happens.

Have you got the show all planned out? Are there any surprises in store?
There’s a mild surprise I suppose. There’s some mild surprises in there. We’ve sort of developed a couple of tracks a little bit from what we were doing before and the set is a festival length set, I suppose. It is considered for the audience but we will see if we were wise or not to consider it that way.
We just play all the hits on my records. It’s a slightly smaller set so we cut it all down a little bit. We’ve got this idea to reinvigorate things. The thing is, with a couple of tracks, we’ve been informed by looking at remixes or re-edits of them for ideas as to how to elaborate on them slightly. So that’s what we’re doing with a couple of tracks, just little, little changes so it should be good. I feel that with the band, we’ve got to the point where we can play the tracks as they are, which I never really felt like we got there the last time around. It was a bit of hard work trying to get that right the first time but now I’m happy that we can do that, now it’s quite easy because of the way we set it up technically, we can just at the last minute decide to play things differently so that’s quite fun.

So what’s next for you for the rest of the year?
I’m appearing on a track on DJ Shadow’s new album, that’s coming out in September. So I’m at the beckon call for if I need to do anything for that. We’ve just announced some more tour dates for November time and I think we’ll be putting another single out before that so we’re just working on that and some remixes and videos. And a couple of other things behind the scenes, I suppose, that will blossom - or not - depending on a load of factors.

How did the DJ Shadow track come about?
It came about because when we were looking for remixes for the first single - I’ve always been aware that I’m on the same label as DJ Shadow and I’m a huge fan of his work. I asked my A&R guy if there was anyway we could get a DJ Shadow remix and it transpired that he was a bit too busy to do the remix and it transpired that he’s only done like two remixes ever, which I hadn’t really realised. And then a couple of weeks later, his management got in touch to say that he’s looking for people to collaborate with on the album and had a basis of a song in mind for me and I physically couldn’t have typed ‘yes’ any faster in the email going back. It probably came in and out in the same send and receive thing. We worked remotely on it and were emailing things back and forward and got it done. It’s a thrilling experience and a lot of fun to be able to offer something that he enjoys and liked for the track. You never know which way these things are gonna go. We’re happy to announce it now that I can see the tracklisting up online and it’s definitely on the album!

Would you consider any more collaborations in the future?
Possibly! I think as a solo artist who sings, every now and again you get asked if you want to guest on a track and I will always listen to them no matter who it is. It sounds cliche but it really does depend on how good the track is. And there’s something that’s fitting into that format at the moment but it’s at before even the point of them hearing anything yet so that still has to stay under wraps. It’s funny being asked to sing on stuff because it’s not my primary concern on my own music. For me, the instrumentation is just as important. I always find it slightly humerous. I try to use my voice in the way I use an instrument and if I enjoy it like a piece of my own music, then yeah. And it’s good to keep busy and to dip into other worlds that may not be familiar with my music that may then want to be familiar with it.

Is there any new material on the cards? Will you be leaving a long gap in between records this time around?
I’m working. I’m all set up now to keep going, which is the shortest way of telling that story. We’re still wondering on whether there’s merit in doing stuff. I am still working, my studio’s all set up and we’re working on new stuff.

Tom Vek has announced more tour dates today - check here for details.

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