Interview || The One With Tom Begley from Bossk

Bossk released their latest album, "Audio Noir", in the spring of 2016. Even though the album made it to my yearlist and the idea of an interview had been in the back of my head since, it wasn't until recently when I ran into bassist Tom Begley that I took my chances and asked him to answer a few questions.

U: “Audio Noir” was released two years ago, receiving positive feedback –I actually included it in my yearlist for 2016. I know the album was in the works for about 3 years; how is the creative process like for Bossk? 
Tom Begley: It's very varied really, we wrote Audio Noir very differently to anything we had written in the past. In recording terms we are still a very young band, so we tackle each release as it comes. These days a lot of material is pre-written at home then brought to the rest of the band for feedback and thoughts. We are about to begin writing more music, so we will see where that journey starts very soon. 

U: Did the dynamic in the band change since reforming in 2012?
T.B.: Of course, in that 4 year period some of our lives had changed drastically. We have all been friends since we were children, which made the reunion a lot less complicated than some bands that reform after a long break. I personally spent that 4 years working within the music industry, so my scope and understanding of that element of the band had developed a great deal. Over all we had become a lot wiser than we were in 2008.

U: How important was it for you that your first full-length was released on a well-respected label such as Deathwish?
T.B.: Very important! We had always been kinda on the fringes of labels when we first existed, never really in anyones spotlight. I have worked for Converge for a number of years now, and my relationship with Jake is one that lead to the album coming out on DW. We are an independent band, with pretty unusual touring and release patterns, and we wanted to be part of a label that understood that aspect of the band. There was a huge amount of interest from other labels around that time, but mostly ones that wanted us to commit to 3 albums or so, sign a contract etc. We hadn't even formed a plan for the band past the release of the record, so we felt it would make more sense to release it through a label that would suit the ethos of what we were looking to achieve. 

U: One thing that really baffled me upon the release of “Audio Noir” was that some people paid more attention to the genre of music instead of the actual music. How do you feel about labels? Is it more liberating to write music that doesn’t belong in only one box?
T.B.: People always want to clarify what they are listening to, mainly so they can provide a platform of understanding when trying to describe it to others. We are not really concerned with what people take from our music, it is open to your own interpretation. We often get referenced as being instrumental, but we have a vocalist.... We started the band initially to have no off limits areas for writing, and that is really all we are looking to continue. 

U: Bossk creates soulful music that people can really connect to.  What are some of the bands that you find yourself connecting to?
T.B.: 3 of us have been huge Tool fans since we were 15 or 16 years old. Their complete disregard for what they are 'meant to do' was very interesting to me growing up, and I really found this interesting. Cult of Luna were a huge connection for us way back that has continued to this day. They took us on our first real tour, and really opened our eyes to what was possible for a band playing that kind of music. 

U: You’ve been a band for almost 15 years (and no, the hiatus doesn’t count for this question). Do you have a favorite memory that really stands out?
T.B.: There are so many great memories! I do remember very well the headline tour we did in Spain in 2007 I think, no GPS, shit van, roasting hot tour, had no real idea what we were doing either. Everything was exciting and new! The tours we did with cult of luna will always stand out too, that first Underworld London show with them was really memorable. 

U: Your house is on fire and you only have time to grab 3 items before you run away (pets and family are safe). What do you take?
T.B.: My original Bossk LP releases, and the scrapbooks I've kept of all the bands I've been in over the years. Its one big box, would take two hands. And probably my passport. 

U: If you could have a 1-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age would you call and what would you tell yourself?
T.B.: To have bought a house 10 years ago. 

U: If there was one issue you could swipe off the face of the Earth, what would it be?
T.B.: Marijuana being illegal. 

U: Final words and future plans?
T.B.: New music will be coming, thank you to anyone thats supported this band over the years. 

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