Writing music about life, love and loss, Tom Vevers connects with listeners on a personal and intimate level. Focusing on the vulnerability and fragility of humans, Vevers has a unique style of making you question experiences within a comfortable bubble of sound. We speak with the Scottish singer-songwriter about his new album Space and Time, new bands, early memories and future plans.
OSR: What drew you to music?
Vevers: My family have always been really creative and particularly into music. My mum sings and used to professionally. She was in an Abba tribute band for a while whilst I was growing up so lots of memories of those songs. My brother started playing the guitar and playing in bands when he was in high school and eventually taught me how to play. I’ve just always been surrounded by music ever since I was little and so many moments in my life are soundtracked by particular songs. Music just has this way of eliciting emotion that I find so powerful.
OSR: What is the backstory to your album Space and Time?
Vevers: One of my best friends passed away in 2016 and as a result, I struggled to cope and have dealt with depression and suicidal tendencies since then. I’ve been in and out of therapy and am doing a lot better these days. These songs were written at different times over the last year or so about personal experiences, my relationships and my own thoughts and feelings. They’re just cathartic for me. At my lowest ebb, it’s difficult to communicate with people about what’s going on in your head and music allows me to vent those feelings. These songs were an outlet for the grief I was going through at that time. It sounds like a pretty heavy topic for an album but I’m doing better now and these songs, whilst very personal and quite visceral, aren’t all doom and gloom. A lot of the tracks have this hopeful quality about them too.
OSR: Do you have a favourite track from Space and Time?
Vevers: Purely just for how different it sounds to anything else I’ve produced, I’m a big fan of ‘2006’. It started out as just guitar and vocals but ended up as this bouncing, energetic almost dance track. It was great fun to produce as each little piece came together and I’m really proud with how that one turned out.
OSR: What about a least favourite one?
Vevers: I’m really proud of all the tracks on the album production wise but my least favourite is probably ‘Space/Time’, purely because it’s so deeply personal and it’s a tough one to hold back the emotions with when performing it. I get a slight sense of nervous dread before playing it. I love the song and the feeling of relief that comes with belting out those big choruses is great but just confronting the emotion makes it a taxing one to perform.
OSR: What do you hope people take from the upcoming album?
Vevers: I just hope that anyone listening enjoys the tunes first and foremost. I spent a long time on these songs and I’m really pleased with the end result. If anyone themselves is struggling at the moment, we’ve all had a fairly stressful year regardless of your own situation. I hope that if anyone is in a tough spot they can perhaps listen to these songs, feel understood and maybe find a similar sense of catharsis to what I felt writing them.
OSR: Describe your music in one sentence.
Vevers: Raw, visceral and personal music combining attention-grabbing melodies with a strong, emotive and unique Scottish voice.
OSR: What do you think is the most difficult part of creating an album – this includes writing, recording and production?
Vevers: What’s been different about this album is the amount of time I’ve had to do it. With the various lockdowns, I’ve been able to take things slow and get each track sounding how I want. As a result, I’ve been working on them for so long, I’d actually say the hardest part is now releasing it and finally letting people hear it. I’ve grown so attached to them and listened to them so many times, it’s nerve-racking now letting others listen for the first time. Definitely releasing it into the world and letting go is the hardest part for me.
OSR: What is your earliest memory?
Vevers: My earliest memory is me sitting in a buggy in my hometown with the wee plastic cover and it was raining. Nothing crazy but it’s a very vivid memory.
OSR: What would you like to have as your “last meal”?
Vevers: I think bottomless chicken wings as you then might be able to indefinitely prolong whatever is making this your last meal.
OSR: Can you recommend any new bands to our readers?
Vevers: There’s a songwriter from Glasgow called Lizzie Reid who recently released an EP called Cubicle; I’m a big fan of that just now. The new singles by Gojira have all been superb for any metal fans out there and the new album by a band called Ghengis Tron is pretty stellar as well.
OSR: Do you have future plans?
Vevers: I’m eagerly awaiting the return of live music. I’ve got tickets to a few shows that I cannot wait for. Also to be able to perform again will be so much fun. That’s usually how I socialise with people; at gigs or open mics. My plans for the next year or so are to keep recording, maybe release the odd single here or there and if possible do a wee tour of Scotland and maybe slightly further afield too to promote the album. Fingers crossed we’re on the way out of lockdown this time and we can all get back to supporting our local music scenes.