In Conversation with… Tom Grennan

Conor Giblin chatted to Tom Grennan on the last date of his sold out March UK tour at The Leadmill in Sheffield...

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'Lighting Matches' album cover

How has your UK tour been so far?

It’s been amazing, all the shows have been wicked, every city’s given me love. Couldn’t ask for more really.

The album is finally coming out on 6th July – what inspired the album title and what can we expect from the record compared to what you’ve previously released?

‘Lighting Matches’ comes from a place of igniting my career and igniting a flame that’ll hopefully be everlasting. Expect different things, it’s not all just one style. I didn’t want to stick to one genre, I wanted a mix going on.

In ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ you sing about being satisfied when someone sees that different side to you – is that what music is all about for you? Proving yourself to people and being able to make music that transcends a lot of different genres?

100%. Being diverse anyway is cooler than sticking to one thing. But the album isn’t so totally different, it all comes together as a whole.

Songs such as ‘I Might’ show quite a romantic side to you – do you think you’re a romantic?

I am romantic, yeah! You’ve gotta be. My mum brought me up to be nice and kind and romantic.

A song that really stands out to me on the record is ‘Sober’ which is SUCH a tune – can you talk a little bit about what you were feeling when you were writing that and how that song came about?

I was really hungover actually, it wasn’t from a deep, meaningful place. I just didn’t want to be drunk anymore. I’d say I have an addictive personality, I know that if I carry on with certain things like alcohol and going out, then I’d get too used to that life.

You first moved to London to study acting – was that always the dream before music became an option? 

No, I went to study acting so I could try to teach myself how to do music. I did it because I enjoyed it but mainly because it’d give me time to pursue music, I never intended on doing acting full-time. Maybe it’s something I’ll do later in life.

What are some of your favourite films?

Forrest Gump, all of Tom Hardy’s films, I need to watch Titanic actually because I’ve never seen it! I like superhero films, romantic films, chick-flicks…

It was so cool to see you featured in Charli XCX’s video for ‘Boys’ – how did that come about?

She’s a friend of mine, so she asked me to be in it. It was an honour to be asked because there was some really big people in that video. She smashed the video, she smashed the song, it’s a wicked concept.

In that video, you’re doing the dishes – did you do the dishes much when you used to live at home? Or were you a lazy teenager?

Oh I did the dishes, if I didn’t do them I’d have been slapped! [laughs]

One of the things I love about being a fan of you is how grateful you seem to be for everyone that supports your music and it’s awesome that you make the effort to meet fans after the show – is that something you take pride in? 

Yeah, because I’m just a normal guy from Bedford and these people, who are my fans now, are supporting everything I’m doing. Tonight’s gig is a Sunday and if I was them, I would not be coming out on a Sunday evening but they’re here and they’re supporting me, so I feel like I’ve got to always thank them and be grateful, and I am.

Did you ever get to meet any artists you look up at gigs you went to a few years ago?

Not fully, I’ve met a few people like Alex Turner, I met him at a festival which was pretty mad. You meet these people and you kinda forget about it sometimes, unless it’s your absolute hero. My hero is David Beckham, I met him the other day. I went to a party and he was there!

Looking ahead to the summer, you’re on the lineup for TRNSMT Festival in Glasgow along with Arctic Monkeys, and it’s the week before your album comes out, so that show’s gonna be pretty special! Are you a big Arctic Monkeys fan?

Unbelievable. Arctic Monkeys are my heroes as well, they’re one of my favourite bands and everything that they’ve done just gets better and better, so to be on the bill with them is just amazing.

 

Lighting Matches will be released on 6th July, via Sony. Tom’s latest single ‘Sober’ is available now:

Tom has also announced a 15-date tour of the UK and Ireland, his biggest tour to date, taking place this October and including shows at London’s Brixton Academy and Manchester Academy.