6 Dec 2020
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Tommy Ill - Tommy Ill Newsletter Interview

22 Nov 2009 // An interview by Shade
What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?

That’s a hard one. I think the first Camp A Low Hum was probably the best for me, mostly because there was just such a good vibe. The audience was in such a good mood, we were outside, the sun was just about to go down, we were drinking cask wine on stage and smoking cigarettes. Really, for me at least how good a gig is totally depends on the mood of the audience, if they are having fun then so am I – which was definitely the case with camp.

What is your favourite NZ venue?

I’ll have to say the Mighty Mighty in Wellington. Doesn’t always have the best sound, and doesn’t have a green room, but there’s always an awesome crowd and we always have the most fun there. The drinks are cheap, the staff are charming and the people are always interesting.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

The Cosbys, because their songs are brilliant and their live show is a hell of a lot of fun. 47 Diamantes because they are awesome. Rap Authoritar because he’s totally underrated and is a much better rapper than I am.

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

I think I’ve reached a point where I’ve done so many things that could be considered embarrassing that I actually don’t find anything that embarrassing anymore. I’ve worn little more than tinfoil on stage. I’ve dressed up like a bumblebee. I made a really dirty joke on stage at an all ages show in Christchurch. No one got that it was a joke either which made it even worse. There were quite a few angry parents staring at me. I thought it was pretty funny.

How do you describe your music?

Rap music for people who prefer The Brunettes to Smashproof.

What can we expect to see from Tommy Ill over the next year?

An incredibly swift rise to success in mid January, followed by a full length album, songs in the top 40, massive corporate sponsorship, the development of a substance abuse problem, a Woman’s Day scandal, rehab, another string of top 40 hits and brief return to fame before fading into obscurity by December. Kidding - but hopefully a full length album!

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

Make as many friends as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask people for things. Always use a fake name and phone number when talking to groupies. Steal the other band’s rider. If you punch someone in the head, hug them afterwards. Be nice to your audience.
 

About Tommy Ill

Tommy Ill is many things - including prolific. He's released three EPs - Toast & Tea Kettles (Empathy) in 2007, Matchsticks (Loop) in 2008, Come Home Mr. Ill (Loop) in 2009 - an eponymous debut LP Tommy Ill (Loop) in 2010. Plus in 2012, he entered into a semi-sexy marriage of convenience with EMI New Zealand and released his sophomore album New Hat And A Haircut - bringing Loop along for the ride as some type of proverbial mistress.

Hailing from Wellington, Tommy Ill has earned a reputation for haphazard live sets and great party tunes that blend traditional rap, vintage soul and fun indie rock samples with playful beats. With his debut release came two bNet award nominations (Best Hip Hop Track and RadioActive song of the year) and his song Bill Cosby made it into the top 10 on almost every bNet radio station in the country. Likewise, tracks from his follow up releases have received similar privileges.

Never far from mischief, Tommy Ill, has also lent his wayward talents to others over the years, making a number of guest appearances on other artists’ tracks - including Bandicoot’s single Pretention Blast Gold, 47 Diamantes and Armageddon.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tommy Ill

Releases

Fearless Bueller
Year: 2013
Type: Album
New Hat And A Haircut
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Iron Gosling
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Tommy Ill
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Come Home Mr. Ill
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Matchsticks
Year: 2008
Type: Album

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