In an age where Australian music belongs to a generation of genre-bending do-it-yourselfers, none lead the charge quite like Tom Gaynor, better known under his hip-hop moniker Allday. His repertoire of songs is a vibrant tapestry woven from broad influences and personal stories and having just dropped a new tune, album news and tour dates earlier last week, we caught up with him to see what’s next.
Tom rang me from L.A, his already soft voice squashed through a remarkably bad connection not at all aided by the fact that I was on a $9 burner phone* and sitting in my bedroom closet**. Hi? Hello? Hi? Is this Tom? Yes, who’s this? Tianna from Rabbit Radio. Oh hi, this is Tom. What was your name again? Tianna. It was a regular comedy of errors and I prayed the recording would pick up more than I did. Spoiler: it did not.
I managed to ascertain that he was now in L.A indefinitely but has plans to return next month to hit up regional Australia with Groovin’ the Moo. We briefly chatted about Amy Shark and the Darkness, more tour plans in June and the rocky process of his new album Speeding before the call dropped and we decided to continue it 21st century-style.
Hey Tom! Sorry for the connection - maybe it’s this phone, maybe it’s the Pacific Ocean between us. Up for finishing this via text?
Tom: For sure
Tom: I ran out of international credit Tom: Sorry
No stress, the connection was useless anyway. I think we were talking about the album process. You said music took the backseat for a while there?
Tom: Yeah, I mean, I would try to write a lot but I didn’t know what to say anymore... I just knew a bunch of the old Allday subject matter couldn’t come out of me organically anymore. That and doing too many drugs, always being on tour, doesn’t make for lots of great music coming out. So yeah, finally got an album done.
How’d you get past that creative block and discover that you still had stuff to write about?
Tom: I think I just had to rediscover the most obvious thing ever: that music is supposed to come out naturally, because it needs to come out of you. So recently I’ve been back in that place which is nice.
Tell us about your collaboration with Japanese Wallpaper on your new track In Motion?
Tom: So basically I liked his music and said let’s make a song. I think he was already friends with Mallrat, maybe that’s how we connected. I went to his studio and we like a lot of the same music so we listened to music for a while, then built the backing track. Well he did, and yeah, I went home and wrote the song.
I see you’re also bringing him on the [Speeding] tour with you in July, along with Nicole Millar. It’s nice to see such a diverse lineup. Is it important to you that you’re not pigeonholed or put in a box?
Tom: I mean everyone would love to control the way they are perceived by the world but in the end you can’t always do that.
Totally. But there does seem to be this new breed of multi-faceted artists doing things their own way. Who’s getting you excited in Australian music right now?
Tom: Oh shit
Tom: So many people
Tom: It’s hard because I’m friends with a lot of people and I don’t wanna forget anyone.
No pressure! It’s great to be surrounded by so many creatives that inspire you and push you to step up your game.
Tom: Yeah I’m super proud of Australia as a music and art making country, not just the artists but the consumers and the industry because we prioritise the art side over the business side more than most countries. And that’s why we have such a disproportionately large amount of great artists come from Australia.
I couldn’t agree more. I imagine its a whole other ball game over there. Do you have a plan of attack in building a career stateside?
Tom: Not really! I mean, I’m trying just to make more music, make it better and better and hopefully it catches.
I’m positive it will. I lost a lot of what you said on the recording so I just wanted to bring up Groovin' the Moo again before I wrap this up. Is this your second time on the bill?
Tom: That’s ok! Yep. Did the first Groovin’ in Adelaide (or Oakbank) in 2014 and it was super fun. Groovin’ is one of the best festivals to play and also go to. I know this because I usually drink all my rider and walk around in the crowd.
Have you toured regionally often?
Tom: I’ve been basically everywhere in Australia where there are enough people to fill a small room. A lot of places that I probably wouldn’t visit if not for music, so that’s a plus.
So we’ve got Groovin’, a new album, a new tour, a new tune, new content... Not that we need it, but anything else for fans to look forward to?
Tom: I think I’m back in a good place writing songs. So way more songs, more video stuff like Chubby Chronicles and other rubbish. And yeah!
Rad! Well I won’t keep you. Thanks so much for the chat. I got my grocery shopping done and cooked a mean breaky - aside from minor tech difficulties this was the easiest interview ever.
Tom: Thank you heaps!! Well done, I accomplished nothing in this time!
Interviewer: Tianna Harris