{Behind The Music} Tommy Poppers on Better Off Dead

{Behind The Music} Tommy Poppers on Better Off Dead

Listen to the Live interview
Episode #425: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW TOMMY POPPERS
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio


Better Off Dead…
So this track is about the exhilarating rush you experience when taking revenge. It’s the satisfaction you get from abandoning any rational response and lashing out in retribution – a knee jerk reaction to perceived injustice. It’s misguided of course, and ultimately it leaves you feeling worse about yourself, but it’s quite visceral. The ridiculous thing is, when I wrote it, I meant it.

I genuinely never intended to write an album…
This all began as a purely cathartic process. I was the victim of a serious sexual assault which became the catalyst for me analyzing many of the life choices I had made. I wrote songs on my ukulele about how I was feeling and then I performed them at open-mic nights around SE Asia, while wearing a mask. As Oscar Wilde once said, “give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth!” – well that’s what I did. Many people liked what I was doing and encouraged me to develop the idea. Lots of people were confused, but some of them were one Tequila away from a date rape anyway, so…


The songs are pretty honest and intimate and they swing between the polarities of darkness and light. I was lucky enough to work with a fantastic producer who really understood the material and treated it with the utmost respect. At times the album is intimate and at times it is really gregarious and over the top; but always, you get the sense you are listening to a man in a mask, playing a uke and singing his heart out.

I am currently living back in the U.K…
but I still spend a lot of time performing in Europe and Asia. I don’t tend to play conventional music venues, I mainly play art galleries, intimate cabarets, small bars and queer spaces. To be honest, I’m not really sure where this is all going. I’m fortunate that people ask me to come and sing my songs for them, so I’m happy with that.

Music Industry…
The only experience I have of working in the music industry is when I was way too young and way too high to remember it. For most of my adult life, I have worked in academia and the arts, and now I am sober, so I have everything I need and no false expectations. I stand in my own power and I know who I am; even if I do hide behind a silly mask sometimes, I am authentic and I think people understand that. Life can be hard, but it can also be quite ridiculous, I am all about embracing everything.

John Waters…
I think it’s quite clear why, I mean, doesn’t EVERYONE want to hang out with John Waters? I love the way he sees the world and has a talent for elevating the ordinary into the extraordinary, and making gems out of rocks. I think there are basically two types of people in the world; there are the people who DON’T love John Waters – and then there’s everyone else on the planet that you need to care about.

Website: www.tommypoppers.com

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