Songwriting Secrets and Inspirations: Inside the Mind of Tom Minor

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Minor who is a London based musician, a musician with  many talents. When we say talents I mean the talent to create elaborative tunes and lyrics that ponder important questions, Tom’s music is fascinating, he blends blues, rock , indie , and his sounds are so appealing that it can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

The title of his latest single, “Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?” is one that steals your attention, I mean that was what really spiked my interest, and I wasn’t disappointed, he actually nailed it on the head. Tom travels on a juke journey via blues-rock rhythms about the intricacies of growth and fear.

In a recent interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh, we get into Tom Minor’s creative world, where he tells us how he is inspired and how his musical style evolved. Come with us as we reveal the heart of Tom’s craft, his thoughts on the music business and upcoming works including his much anticipated first album – “Eleven Easy Pieces by Anger & Disappointment.”

Prepare yourself to take a deep dive into the thoughts and tunes of Tom Minor as he reveals his ideas, tales, and undying love for making music that touches people’s hearts.

Listen to Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years below


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What is your stage name?

Tom Minor, at your service!

Is there a story behind your stage name?

Well, I was born Thomas Miner, and I’ve always been called Tom, so I guess that’s as far as my imagination went.

Where do you find inspiration?

I’d say my musical tastes are quite eclectic and I tend to follow all things indie more or less, often the quirkier the better. I also have an affinity for rootsier stuff, be it blues, country, folk, vintage soul, punk, new wave or even pure classic rock, as long as the song in question strikes a chord in me.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?

I’ve been into music as long as I can remember really. My parents had a great record collection, and I always loved good old rock tunes as well as all the catchy pop melodies of the day they used to play when I was a kid.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?

Not particularly. I did inherit a great deal of love and appreciation for all art forms from my childhood family though. There was always music playing in our home. And although my parents didn’t really play any instruments, they used to sing a lot together along to the radio or records, especially at weekends and house parties.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?

It must have been the slightly older kids in the neighbourhood who seemed to have all the best records. They started learning instruments and eventually formed bands, looked cool and sounded great whenever I had the chance to see and hear them play.

How did you learn to sing/write/to play?

I’m pretty much self-taught. Very few actual lessons, but a lot of listening, reading, trial & error and rehearsing on my own and with others.

What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?

One of the earliest that I recall was this huge free concert in Victoria Park, London, where I went with my school mates. There was this local Brit pop band, whose name I can’t even remember now. I don’t think they ever recorded, but they totally blew our minds, and I’m sure we wanted to follow in their footsteps right there and then. Sometime later we went to see The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys and the like many times over.

How could you describe your music? What is your main inspiration?

I call it classic indie rock, broadly speaking and for lack of a more precise term. Musically, I’d say any piece of music that I happen to enjoy for whatever reason can be inspirational, and I do take a lot of influence from here and there. Lyrically, I guess I’m most often inspired by ordinary everyday things, be it human relationships or more universal issues.

Describe your creative process.

My songwriting process often starts with the title and some kind of basic idea for a viewpoint. Once I’ve come up with a promising candidate for a song title, I’ll let it work in my subconscious for a while, and if it still seems valid enough after a couple of days, I start writing down ideas around it.

Usually the musical embryo of the song begins to take shape at the same time, and the music and the lyrics often write each other hand in hand. When it comes to the recording part of the process, I like the song to be as finished as possible before I start fiddling with the recording gear.

What musician do you admire most and why?

If I could mention only one, I’d say composer Arnold Schoenberg. He pretty much single-handedly changed the course of (art) music by inventing the famous twelve-tone technique in the 1920’s.

Besides him though, I’d name David Bowie. He was obviously a great inventor as well and has had a huge impact on modern music.

Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?

I guess so. My earlier stuff was more straight-forward, and a certain number of nuances and layers both musically and lyrically has no doubt crept in since.

Who do you see as your main competitor?

I don’t really see competitors when it comes to other musicians. We’re all sowing the same field, more or less, and the more good music there is in the world, the richer the culture will get. I guess the real competitors for all musos are other activities like games and social media these days.

What are your interests outside of music? If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?

This is a tough one. Well, I’ve always been keen on reading, from poetry to prose, science and even journalism, so I guess I’d try my hand at writing something myself.

What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?

Finding my own voice and style of writing was never hard for me. But it’s always a challenge for a beginning musician to get heard. I’ve been no exception.

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?

This one is easy: artists get paid way too little by digital platforms.

Why did you choose this as the title of this project?

Referring to my currently single “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”, I always found that classic job interview question fascinating in some disturbing way. So I guess it was just a matter of time before that song wrote itself.

What are your plans for the coming months?

We’re currently mixing my debut album Eleven Easy Pieces on Anger & Disappointment, and it’s due out sometime in April or May.

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?

Hopefully more so in the future. This much I can tell you now: I’m looking to deepen our collaboration with my producer Teaboy Palmer, who’s also a respected roots artist in his own right.

What message would you like to give to your fans?

A humble thank you to each and everyone for following me. And: hang on, there’s loads of nice stuff in the pipeline for the next few weeks and months!

Mister Styx
Mister Styx
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

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