BY PETE THORNTON
Tipping Point Pete Thornton talks to trombonist & composer Tom Green about his new album, his work in lockdown, his thoughts on climate change, the state of the music industry, and more.
PETE THORNTON: Tipping Point is your second studio album, what’s the story behind the album?
When I was writing the music there was a lot kicking off in the world, what with climate change and political upheaval, and it felt that the global situation has shifted since writing my debut album, Skyline. There’s a lot more angst and global challenges which have influenced the music. For example, the title track is darker, more intricate and definitely a bit heavier, but I also try to keep bits simple to balance the more turbulent sections with some kind of hope. I think that hope is important when dealing with any kind of global challenge. I made Tipping Point and had it all ready for release when Covid happened, and it accidentally gave the title a new meaning. It wasn’t originally about that but it’s all part of the trajectory that the world seems to be going in – to a more unstable place.
PT: Ironically, climate change may have taken a positive turn as a result of Covid – with fewer aeroplanes, and fish returning to canals for instance. TG: I’m passionate about climate change and it’s quite difficult to know whether Covid is going to be overall positive for the climate or not. Before Covid, climate change was at the top of government agendas but now it’s taken a step down. There are lots of movements to build back in a green way but I’m worried that
governments will get the economy going in a cheap and easy way instead. But there has been a real upsurge in people taking more interest in nature because they’re focussing on the area around them, which is amazing. I think that public opinion has been helped by this but the challenge of getting governments to do anything, maybe not. PT:
Tell me about the recording process of Tipping Point.
It’s almost the same band as Skyline, five years ago, and I’ve known them for a long time. James Davidson (trumpet) and I grew up together in Cambridge – we went to jam sessions and snuck into pubs and things. It’s quite a close-knit group. We did a big, eighteen-date, launch tour for Skyline and everyone gets on, so it was a really nice process recording Tipping Point as everyone was so relaxed. We recorded it at AIR Studios in London. It was great, really lucky to get it. John Prestage (engineer) basically produced it, as well as recording and mixing, because he’s one of these engineers who you give the score to, and he’ll follow through and mark in if someone plays a bum note or something, at the same time as he’s dealing with all of the recording stuff – it’s ridiculous! So he was kind of co-producer as well. And a super nice guy, we were lucky to have him. TG:
PT: Due to Covid, the album’s launch tour has had to be postponed. Have you rescheduled the cancelled dates?