Following their heart-stopping collaborations via #1 Dads and record-breaking performances, Tom Snowdon and Tom Iansek have returned as No Mono, releasing debut album ‘Islands (Part 1)’. Armed with arguably the most unique and soulful voices in Australian music today, the two Toms have bunkered down to create a soulful opus full of bed-lit melodies built on mountainous synthesizers and buzzing drums. With ‘No Mono’, they make their biggest statement yet.
Credit: @jeffandersonjnr of Tom Snowdon
If your music was a person, what would their personality be like? Do you have any character that comes to mind?
Tom Snowdon: I think Edward Scissor-hands would be a good one – A bit gloomy and isolated but with a deep goodness.
Tom Iansek: My music would either be several people or one with multiple split personalities. I feel lots of things and I like to have lots of avenues to express these feelings.
What’s the plan for 2018?
Tom Snowdon: We released our first record earlier this year and have just finished a national tour to support it. We’re getting back in the studio pretty soon to finish of some more music. I’m looking forward to having more music out and playing more shows next year.
Tom Iansek: Create, release and tour lots of music. Being in the studio making stuff is probably my favourite part of being a musician, so this is likely where I’ll be spending a large part of my next year. I’m also looking forward to developing the No Mono live show in interesting and creative ways to build a deeply immersive experience for our fans.
What’s on your music bucket list?
Tom Snowdon: I’m really happy making music as No Mono – it’s awesome working on songs with Tom most days. Apart from that, I think it’d be awesome to write music for a dark, twisted film. I also enjoy collaborating with others, a few who’d be awesome to work on music with – (Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins, Massive Attack, Fever Ray, Kayhan Kalhor … + lots more).
Tom Iansek: Before my first band started touring, I had barely seen any of Australia. Since then, I’ve been all over the country many times, spent a bunch of time in the US and Europe, even had a few weeks in India! There are so many wonderful places music could take us. I mostly look forward to being surprised by where we’ll end playing and who we’ll end up meeting.
If you had to choose an album title as a quote to live by, which one would it be and why?
Tom Snowdon: From Here We Go Sublime by The Field. I’ve always loved those words.
Tom Iansek: I had to google album titles to answer this. Living your life by an album title may not be the wisest way to live your life in many cases! Saying that I did see an album by Miles Davis called “In a Silent Way,” I feel understanding space and silence -knowing when not to play a note- is crucial to creating music with depth. In this spirit I could live my life.
What is the most bizarre moment you’ve experienced during a performance?
Tom Snowdon: I once completely forgot a song. I was performing with my former band in Germany and I just blanked on what I had to do, it was the strangest feeling. We ended up just jamming for a couple of minutes before I remembered the song, then we played it properly. I don’t know if the audience knew what was going on, but I was proper embarrassed.
Tom Iansek: There’s been people at concerts taken away in ambulances, rain during festival performances so hard that half the stage had power cut mid-song, unexplainable noises coming from unexplainable sources, things blowing up. But probably the most bizarre stuff is the stuff that punters call out during the set: marriage proposals, people wanting to have our children, song requests for songs that we didn’t write etc.
Credit: @jeffandersonjnr of Tom Iansek
If you could perform in a concert with other musicians/bands of your choosing, who would they be?
Tom Snowdon: A reformed Talk Talk, Björk and Nils Frahm.
Tom Iansek: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Khruangbin and Badbadnotgood
What’s on your Spotify playlist at the moment?
Tom Snowdon: Currently playing Ross From Friends, Skee Mask and Khruangbin.
Tom Iansek: The Return by Kamaal Williams, Solo Piano by Chilly Gonzales, Sex and Food by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Soundtrack to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Morricone
If you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give about the music industry?
Tom Snowdon: Don’t listen to your head, follow your intuition. Also to enjoy the journey.
Tom Iansek: “You’re doing great, relax, have fun and enjoy the journey, there are no mistakes”
What’s in your gig bag?
Tom Snowdon: In my little touring bag, I have: Armaforce tablets, betadine throat gargle, a book, my Audiofly IEMs, my laptop and a little stereo iphone mic for recording on the road.
Tom Iansek: Armaforce tablets, noise-cancelling headphones, a good book (that I never read), meditation app on my phone, gaffer tape, snark tuner.
Why do you use Audiofly IEMs?
Tom Snowdon: The drivers in the AF180s are great and I don’t hear much outside noise on stage. I also really like how they’re packaged.
Tom Iansek: Great quality sound, comfortable and easy to use, no-fuss live monitoring solution.
Check out their MV, Butterflies, below: