Next month Tom Chaplin brings his solo tour to Bexhill. Daniella Gavin caught up with him to talk live performances, life lessons and living in the Garden of England…
You’ve been all over the world since you were last here performing at The Forum, Tunbridge Wells. How is everything going with the current tour?
It’s been amazing. I’m a little bit weary from it all to be honest – I seem to have this strange life where I’m trying to balance late night performances in places like Germany and France with the early mornings that come with being a dad. I’m having a great time though! It’s all going really well with the tour, and it was so nice to finish the short run before Christmas at the Forum in Tunbridge Wells.
How did it feel to return to a local venue compared to the worldwide venues you’ve been visiting?
I’m actually hoping to make that an annual event as it was so fantastic to return to my home town to perform! It was lovely to talk to the crowd in a personal way; I feel like my show has become much more about me telling a story rather than just a rock show. That kind of engagement is always better than just playing AT people. Crowd interaction is key. Europe has been much the same as well, other than a few language barriers, I feel people are just as engaged.
And what is the story behind your latest album, The Wave?
There’s a real theme of dark to light which is evident in the narrative arch of the album. It’s a reflection of how my life has gone in the last few years. I stepped away from Keane and was initially so excited about that, as well as then having my daughter, but actually 2014 ended up being a difficult year. I’d had problems with addiction in the past, but 2014 was the year it came back in its very worst form and the timing couldn’t have been worse. The album doesn’t linger there though, and it’s about the journey out of the dark place. There’s a real focus on repairing relationships. There’s a song, Quicksand, for my daughter and the song Solid Gold is written for my wife. Ultimately, it’s about repairing my relationship with myself. Trying to fix me, really.
When you’re away from home, what do you miss the most about local life?
I love Kent. It’s completely decompressing. Life in a tour bus, dressing room, or hotel is great but it has a certain intensity to it at all times. Whilst I love it, I couldn’t spend 365 days a year that way so I love that my life in Kent is the polar opposite. We have an old Kentish cottage with a beautiful garden in the middle of nowhere. I’ve got my wife and my daughter there so it’s my sanctuary. I love knowing my local area too – which pubs to go to for Sunday lunch and which to go to with friends for a drink. I love living in the Garden of England.
And what does the future hold for you?
I’m always very wary of plotting out too many future plans. I like to be open to whatever comes my way. I do have a great idea lined up for the end of the year, however, and I need to get my skates on and organise that once I’m back in Kent in April and June. It’s a secret at the minute – I want it to be a surprise for everyone! Long term, I’ve still got more distance to run on my solo adventure. One of the advantages of being a solo artist is I can try anything, so with an open mind I can happily say I don’t know where I’m going exactly but I know it’s going to be fun and I’m going to be okay. I’m excited for the future.
Tom will be performing at the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill on May 24 and 25. For details and tickets, visit www.tomchaplinmusic.com