Interview – Beans On Toast

Musician and songwriter Beans On Toast is about to release a new book titled Foolhardy Folk Tales (keep your eyes peeled for a review from us). We haven’t spoken to him for a while, so I decided it was time to have a bit of a catch-up – find out more below!

By Jane Howkins

You’re about to release a new book titled Foolhardy Folk Tales, which we’ve very excited about. What can you tell us about the book?

I sure can. It’s a collection of stories from throughout my life, covering: music, love, art, money, drugs, touring and blagging it. Plus a free car game, and some get rich quick schemes. It was written last year during lockdown, but it has nothing to do with that, more a wander down a blurry memory lane. 

This isn’t your first book to be released, having also released a book titled Drunk Folk Stories back in 2018. What made you decide to start writing, and is this something you would like to continue more in the future?

At the moment the last thing I wanna do is write another book. I enjoy the process, but it takes it out of you. I’d say I’m a musician first, sometimes a storyteller, but I would never refer to myself as a writer as such. Maybe that’s why it takes its toll a bit. However, I felt the same after the last book was released. So who knows? I certainly try to keep living the kind of life interesting enough to put onto a page.

Are you much of a reader yourself? If so, what sort of things do you enjoy reading, and what have you read recently?

Big time. Reading made me who I am. I couldn’t live without it. My all-time favorite author is Tom Robbins, whom I love. The best thing I’ve read recently is The Overstory by Richard Powers, an incredible novel about trees. I’ve always liked trees, but since reading this, I’ll never look at those silent gods the same way again.

I’ve also been reading some non-fiction, which is unlike me, but I have been blown away by The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes and Human Kind by Rutger Bregman. 

You’re hosting a festival called The Foolhardy Folk Festival on August 7th, to be held in Nottingham. Why did you pick Nottingham to hold the festival and what can fans expect from the festival?

It sort of fell into my lap – I was asked to play a show at the Arboretum, it’s a really beautiful site in Nottingham city centre (loads of great trees there) and then I was told I could program the day, so I took the ball and ran with it and turned it into a day of music, trees and revelry that I’m hosting. 

Do you have any other tour dates or festival dates lined up anytime soon? Would you ever consider doing socially distanced gigs?

I’ve done loads of socially distant shows. I’ve got lots of festivals coming up and a full UK tour in December.

Has the pandemic hindered your work at all?

There’s been a lot of adapting going on, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been hindered as such, no.

Last year you released two albums in December, titled Knee Deep In Nostalgia and The Unforeseeable Future. Why did you decide to release two albums at once, and what can you tell us about the albums?

The Unforeseeable Future was an album of songs about 2020, written during lockdown and trying to make sense of the world as it changed so fast. I’d be more than happy to never sing those songs ever again and leave them in the rear view mirror.

Knee Deep In Nostalgia was an album that would have been written anyway, it was nothing to do with the pandemic. It’s a collection of songs about my life so far, it was released on my 40th birthday and it was produced by Frank Turner.

It was clear to me that the songs wouldn’t work together on an album, so I released two on the same day. 

You traditionally release a new album each December. Is there something in the works for this year, or are you focusing on your writing for now? Do you have any singles up for release anytime soon?

Yep, my new album will be out on 1st December this year as usual. I’m very excited about it, new songs are coming soon, but don’t wanna give the game away just yet!