Ahead of the heavily anticipated Snowtunes Festival, we got a chance to speak to Melbourne’s very own Tom Gaynor aka Allday about creativity, waterfall walls and his thoughts on the hip-hop subculture.
3a.m. on a typical weekday, what are you doing?
I am at the studio at the moment, just working on a song… Oh you mean 3 in the morning? I’m probably just about to go to sleep at 3 a.m. I usually have something on like a podcast or somebody talking, just to like block out the deafening silence of my eternal loneliness (laughs) so yeah just probably in my bed with the podcast talking me to sleep.
From an Australian hip hop perspective; your music is quite unique/definitely stands out. I know you have mixed opinions on the Australian rap scene, how do you think you’ve influenced Aussie hip-hop? Do you think you’ve changed the game a little bit?
Yeah, (laughs) nah I don’t know, in a way, sort of, I mean but it wasn’t just me necessarily. There were a lot of people that came out at the same time as me. But you know I just don’t, basically I’ve just never really been a part of that sub culture and you know, maybe I wasn’t as a kid, but as I made music I just kind of tried to do my own thing. I don’t really care about the subculture to be honest, I just wanna make music. So you know, good for people to make whatever they want to make I just don’t think that they need to be obscene, I think it seems destructive to creativity and new ideas often.
Do you think your success on this path and doing what you do will influence others to follow suit?
Yeah there’s billion of young rappers who’ve grown their hair to their shoulders now, don’t go outside so they can look all pale and stuff (laughs). Like at the moment, coming out 15 year olds, but that’s cool.
Any young, underground rappers we should be on the look out for?
There’s heaps! There’s so many good underground rappers like young people. I reckon in the next 5 years we’ll have like, there’ll be a new fucking BIG rapper that will be 16 or 17, at least one or two from Australia that will blow your mind and you’ll be like “whoa!”.
I’ve read that your creative process for making music is to work with people you’ve already worked with and sort of just muck around with beats until you hear something you like – to be more in control? Any future plans to produce your own stuff?
Yeah definitely I usually sit with producers and make stuff or like get an idea and take the sound and work on that. So yeah, I like to do that, there’s lots of different ways but I’m pretty in control of it these days.
[On producing] Yeah maybe one day. It’s just at the moment, there’s people like Cam (Bluff) who I work with all the time. He’s like ridiculously good at drums. It would probably take me a lifetime to get to that level of drums so like moreso, I’ll just keep working in collaboration with others and just getting more and more control and more ability myself. There’s still all these people who can do things better than me so I’ll probably work with them.
Are there any particular sounds you like to work with?
As in like favourite type of instrument? I kind of like… definitely like more sad kind of music, some hip hop-y drums. Someone pointed out to me that basically all my songs have piano on them and I didn’t realise it (laughs) Yeah I know. It wasn’t conscious, I just think I like that.
What turns you on creatively? What makes you just want to start working on stuff?
I don’t know, sometimes on the weekend I’ll just walk in like a party or something and I’ll immediately start getting more experiences and seeing stuff, or like I don’t know looking through old books or watching good, artistic movies – that type of shit just makes me want to write a song. Or listening to music, stuff like that. But yeah, that’s definitely where I get my ideas from, often from books and shit but I don’t know what makes me not want to make a song. Probably coming down.. on stuff (laughs) Like Monday to Wednesday, I’m usually not keen on making new songs.
Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
I don’t really get writer’s block per se but I often don’t have good ideas. I can always write something but whether or not it’s good – that’s the thing. So I just kind of usually stop drinking and stop doing drugs and stuff when I can’t think of anything good.
What would you say is your weakness?
Umm, I’m not a very good singer.
That’s a little bit modest.
(laughs) I’ve got a lot of weaknesses. I can’t focus for very long. I don’t like the business side of music like I don’t like checking my emails. There’s a lot of stuff I do wrong but like you know, I’m a good ass rapper so.
Exactly, what else do you need to do! I think emails are tedious for everyone.
(laughs) Yeah exactly.
Do you think you’ll ever branch out from doing music?
Maybe, I really want to do well in music first like I’d love to be a lot bigger than I am now and then I can have the time and freedom to do something else but first I’ve gotta do well in this.
[If you had to choose an industry?] Maybe film or design or art or something like I can see myself doing something that’s chilled. But that’s in like, I don’t know, it’s taking me a long time to get semi-decent at music so it’s a whole other thing I’m not ready for.
In an ideal home, what kind of walls would you have?
Like a magical wall? Ah fuck, maybe like waterfall walls. And it’d be all water so you can walk through them but they’d also be blocking up so you can go through them in another room if you wanted and it’d be like kind of warm.
Are you the Australian Drake?
I think I’m the Australian version of umm… Riff Raff. No I don’t know, I’m not sure I’m probably like… I love Drake but also love Kanye and Lil Wayne and a lot of other people too.
What can we expect for the rest of the year?
Yeah I’ve got my mixtape, I think it could be like tomorrow or something, I’ve been waiting to put it up through this blog thing so I’m just waiting for them to tell me when it’s gonna be, it might be like next week? And then I’ve got hopefully some singles and maybe an album soon.
Catch Allday at Snowtunes 2015, held at the picturesque Lake Jindabyne, joining a ridiculously impressive line up featuring the likes of Tkay Maidza, Hermitude, and Slumberjack. More info here.