We sat down to interview singer-songwriter Tim Brooks, with questions about his latest single, biggest influences, and future gigs on the cards. He has recently released a new single titled Quicksilver, which can be found after the interview
By Jane Howkins
You’re releasing a new single titled Quicksilver soon – what can you tell us about that and what does the title refer to?
I am! It’s a four minute blast of modern rock melodies. The whole theme of the song is about escapism and the the euphoria of getting the hell out of something that is doing nothing for you, about escaping into the night.
The title comes from the chorus, which is all about the blending of lights, sounds, feelings, and colours, so I thought it was a good word to sum up the feeling of the track!
Why did that track feel right as a single, and do you have any more plans to release any more singles in the near future?
I think it’s probably my most concentrated and straight up track that I’ve written, – certainly as a full band thing. I have a habit of leaning towards the Hold Steady/The Smith Street Band approach and making very long songs with lots of lyrics and different choruses (which will probably become apparent for future singles!), but with this one, it’s certainly the easiest to get your teeth into.
There will be one additional single for sure, and then maybe 1 or 2 videos for some of the additional tracks.
Do you have any plans for a full length release, or even an EP? If so, can you tell us more about that?
Oh yes. This is step one! The album is all recorded and well on the way for mastering, so….later in the year? I work in 6 month increments at the moment so I can’t really be any more precise than that!
You’ve been compared in the past to artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Frank Turner, and Gerard Way – are you a fan of those artists?
Oh 100%. Those three are some of the pillars that hold up my musical foundation! Frank is just the bonafide blueprint for a singer songwriter, in terms of how to connect with and build a tangible fanbase, and how not to stop.
Bruce is Bruce – you know? Anyone with that longevity, who plays three and a half hour shows into their late 60s deserves the moniker “The Boss”.
And I mean, I also grew up on that mid 00s emo/post hardcore scene! It’s weird, it’s almost a negative thing to admit now, but I think for anyone who grew up around that summer in 2006, they know exactly what I’m talking about. Taking Back Sunday/The Used/My Chemical Romance/Jimmy Eat World – they’ve all seriously influenced who I am as a person and my songwriting style.
What influences you most as an artist, and who have you been listening to recently that you can recommend our readers check out?
I have five key bands that I can’t separate that are like my building blocks: Counting Crows, Death Cab for Cutie, Frank Turner, The Gaslight Anthem, and Bruce Springsteen.
I’d say in the last 6 months, groups like The Hold Steady and The Smith Street Band have really come into their own for me due to how lyrically dense and reference heavy they are.
Just anything that’s really heartfelt and means something.
Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK in the future? If so, where and when?
I do! I am always out and about with acoustic shows, I have a full list on my website at timbrooksmusic.com
Me and the band are looking to have perform full band shows around May.
What sort of shows do you most enjoy playing, and where do you enjoy playing the most over here? Any chance of a show in York anytime soon?
Rowdy ones. I’ve cut my teeth in pubs, and that’s my crowd. A venue where there are band stickers all over the place, where the doors are missing on the toilet cubicles – that kinda vibe.
My music is energetic and raspy, so somewhere that accommodates that really. I’ve had some pretty awkward sweary moments whilst up on stage at what I’d call more “clean cut” venues.
And 100% about York. I’m not against travelling the length and breadth of the country to get my music out there!
Do you do much work on the festival circuit at all? It’s coming up to that time of year now. If so, how do you find those sort of shows compare to your own gigs?
Yeah, there’s a few coming up! It’s a different kind of setup really. Right off the bat it’s much more of a you against them sort of thing, and part of your job is to win people over. I mean if you’re on at a slot in the early afternoon, at 30 degrees, faced with a crowd of sober punters, it’s naturally going to be a different sort of sell than blasting away at a packed bar right around happy hour!
In terms of how my performance differs… can I drop the “I treat every show the same” cliche in here? Sod it, I’m going to!
Why do you think people should check out your music, and what can people expect from a Tim Brooks gig?
Simply because I genuinely believe people will like it. I’ve used up my cliche quota above, so I’m not going to go banding about phrases like “I can’t be pigeon holed!,” but I feel I’ve managed to blend a few facets to some of my favourite artists into my music!
I thinkit’s the lyrics as well. With a background of playing acoustic guitar in pubs, let me tell you that in that situation, you have 3 or 4 weapons in your arsenal, of which the quality of your lyrics is certainly one. I like to write songs that are reference heavy and are specific to moments in time, the sorts of things that people put on fridge magnets and pinterest posts!
Any last words for the fans?
Stay tuned (another cliche)! In all seriousness, I have a lot going on in the near future. I don’t intend on slowing down or stopping, so there will be a fairly constant and consistent stream of activity on the horizon.
I should also say thanks – seriously. There are a select few people that have really bought into what I’m trying to do from the outset, and they should know how much gratitude I have for that.
Click here to check out Tim’s latest single Quicksilver