All good things come to music fans who wait, and if you’re in the Tom Vek camp, the wait is over! Amidst rumours of illness, even death and facebook groups agonising over possible reasons for his disappearance, finally, the man of mystery has returned.
Since setting our ear-drums alight with his definitive debut album, We Have Sound released in 2005, the enigmatic Tom Vek (real name Thomas Timothy Vernon-Kell) has been taking time out to perfect his second offering. If you missed him the first around Vek is a highly skilled, London based producer and singer whose blend of clangy electronics and inspired song writing resulted in a pivotal debut album and earned him a dedicated following. Marking his return, Vek released the first song, ‘A Chore’ in April of this year, taken from the second album Leisure Seizure.
i-D online tracked Tom down to hear about the lengthy journey to the album, his appearance in the OC and his feelings on the changing musical climate. Hit play to hear the new Esser remix of Tom’s track ‘Aroused’ and check out his imitable but classic style in the photograph by Can Evgin, all exclusive to i-Donline.
What¹s the story behind your new album Leisure Seizure? The story goes, pseudo-boho art school smart-ass gets his scrappy first album released by a major label, then sets about making another one whilst growing up through the minefield of mid-twenties impending adulthood and tries to satisfy both characteristics, wants to keep control, sets up own studio, works with trusted people, finishes another more mature but still appropriately rough round the edges album that ultimately documents the process in a loosely encrypted fashion.
Now that you¹re back, what excites you on the current music scene, anyone you would like to work with in particular? 2005 was the last year of the old music industry I realised, and I’m really grateful I got that experience, having grown up being fascinated and in awe of it. Everyone knows what’s happened since, it’s uncontrollable and I try not to let it affect how much I still value the creation of new music. Lots of things excite me, some friends’ bands are up to cool stuff (Esser for example who did this remix), working out how to get the music across visually and in a performance sense is fun and hard work. Lots of great people to collaborate with, I have a track on the new DJ Shadow album which I’m thrilled about. I’d like to work with the producer Tchad Blake, but he isn’t answering my emails.
Not everyone will know that you made a made a guest appearance on The OC in its third season! What was that like? One of those unreal moments – when we got the call, we’d just finished promoting We Have Sound but it gave the album a bit of exposure in the states in 2006 which was cool. I watched all the episodes as homework and got pretty hooked, as many others did. Quite strange to see the fictional ‘Bait Shop’ venue as a complete set, it even had its own designed posters for the fictional gigs, I still have one somewhere actually, I think I’ll put it on my wall.
What are your passions and hobbies outside music? I’m passionate about design, which has broadened to product design, I love the industrial design world, its principles and players - Henry Dreyfuss, Deiter Rams, Nato Fukasawa, Jony Ive. I’ve enjoyed watching Apple’s astonishing influence in bringing the standards up to where they should be, whilst not always getting it right – I am a total product design snob. I’m also into american post war fiction, the cynical stuff; Updike, Easton-Ellis, McInerney, Bukowski. I’m finding some great writers like Mark Lindquist and British writer Michael Bracewell who write in a similar sardonic style.
Text: Laura Hinson
Photography: Can Evgin