In addition to releasing six studio albums and a documentary dvd with no-man, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist Alice, Robert Fripp, Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), OSI and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera (amongst many others), and is a member of the bands Henry Fool, Memories Of Machines and Slow Electric.
Tim recorded the album Flame (1994) with Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/ex-Japan), co-produced/co-wrote the acclaimed Talking With Strangers (2009) for Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention), and continues to collaborate with Peter Chilvers (Brian Eno/Karl Hyde).
He has also released three solo albums, My Hotel Year (2004), Abandoned Dancehall Dreams (2014) and Stupid Things That Mean The World (July 2015).
Since 2001, Tim has co-run the specialist online label/store Burning Shed with Pete Morgan.
1. When and why did you start making music - and what or who were your early influences?
I started making music in the early 1980s when I was 18, though I didn’t get my first deals and make my first albums until the early 1990s.
2. “Lost in The Ghost Light” is your 4th solo album, tell us about the recording and songwriting process.
It always starts from nothing and develops out of either playing with sounds or rhythms on the computer or strumming chords on the guitar. Usually, ‘something’ interests me and I become determined to see where that ‘something’ could lead. At a certain point, the creative itch seems scratched and I stop. It’s very instinctive, though the lyric writing, sound selection and subsequent production additions are clearly the result of afterthought and tinkering.
When I’m writing songs with others, they may well have a pre-composed instrumentals that I respond to vocally and then lyrically.
3. We listened to the track “You wanted to be seen”, why did you choose this one for the first videoclip?
Because I felt it represented several of the musical elements of the album. It shifts from the serene to the apocalyptic, so I felt it was a nice snapshot of a few of the album’s qualities.
4. The album was mixed and mastered by Steve Wilson, how was working with him?
It’s always good. I’ve worked with Steven on and off since 1987 and it’s fair to say that we have a good understanding of one another’s personalities and tastes.
Steven mixed and mastered the album, which means that he helped with the audio balance of the music and the sonic quality of the finished result (both of which he’s a master at). He’s one of the best in the field and he also knows what I like to hear, so it was great to get him involved.
5. And you have many great musicians collaborating with you, like Steve Bingham (No-Man) or the legendary Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), how did you choose them?
Steve Bingham’s been my live violinist for years (both in and out of No-Man), so he was an automatic choice.
6. You have an extended career, work with many artist and you are a member of the bands Henry Fool, Memories Of Machines and Slow Electric. But it looks like it wasn’t enough for you and you need to put out all yourself in your solo project, right?
The solo career emerged by accident.
My solo album of 2014 (Abandoned Dancehall Dreams) started out as demos that I’d written for a new No-Man album. Steven Wilson didn’t have time to work on the material so suggested that he’d mix the songs for me if I developed them on my own. I originally put the album together as my idea of what a No-Man album could be. Stupid Things That Mean The World came out of that and accentuated the elements that I thought represented my musical identity.
7. How would you describe your own development as an artist?
It’s impossible for me to say. I just hope I’ve got better at what I do.
8. Which music do you listen to in your free time?
Lots. I still actively buy and listen to music.
9. What else do you want to do as an artist in your life?
To continue to be excited by what I do.
10. Please recommend any artists to our readers.
In terms of new and undiscovered gems, I’d recommend Keaton Henson’s Romantic Works, which he describes as being DIY Classical. In some ways it’s like a more organic and fragile version of approaches by Brian Eno and Max Richter. I also liked the 2016 album by Ryley Walker, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung. He’s a young-ish US based singer-songwriter who’s developed his sound out of influences from Bert Jansch, Tim Buckley and John Martyn, and taken these traditional approaches somewhere fresh (adding hints of Post-Rock production etc).
11. Are you going to play any release show? What about touring?
Hopefully, there will be a tour. I did a couple of shows with iamthemorning at the end of 2016 and we’d like to do more joint gigs. At the moment, I’m due to be a special guest at the UK version of the Marillion Weekend and I’m hoping to add more dates soon.
Thanks a lot!