Name, where are you from?
MF Tomlinson (Michael Francis Tomlinson). I’m from Brisbane, Australia and I currently live in London, UK.
Describe your style in three words?
Classic, Modern, Storytelling.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Impossible to say. Here’s two though:
1. The Drones at the Zoo in Brisbane when I was 18. This is Gareth and Fiona from Tropical Fuck Storm’s previous band. I got kicked out of this terrible student bar and wandered over to this club, I had no idea it was a venue at the time. They (The Drones) were electrifying - the guitarist kept throwing his amp off a table onto the stage to get a massive reverb splash - it was so exciting! I think that’s when I really decided that I wanted to play music.
2. This year I had the chance to feel that same formative energy at End of the Road Festival. It felt like I was kinda being born again. The line up was incredible and I was incredibly inspired by the heroic Kate Tempest as well as Low, Metronomy, Cate le Bon and Beak. Also the new stuff by Michael Kiwanuka - amazing! I was also super excited by newer acts (or acts that were new to me) like Squid, Stella Donnelley and Mitski. I left feeling nourished and refocussed as an artist.
If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Big question! Well, my first thought is the Travelling Wilburys - you’re ticking a few boxes there. Also, I bet they had fun. Also David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust era with Mick Ronson. Also John Cale, Kate Bush, Moondog! Can I just play at The Last Waltz? I’d be too nervous. Basically I can’t choose.
Which subcultures have influenced you?
Well, I am clearly an alumnus of the school of indie rock. I guess right now you would call me a hipster (proud to be a hipster I guess) but back in the day, I was mad for punk, rap and skateboarding. What this basically entailed was hanging out in car parks, hardly landing any tricks (aka being really noisy) writing our shitty tags on the curb, listening to the Chronic 2001 on our Discmans, smoking cigarettes THEN putting loads of Lynx deodorant on so no one would be able to tell.
Years later I watched this talk by Rodney Mullen about falling – about how skateboarders fall—fail—, over and over again. So much so that they aren’t afraid to fall or fail, or rather they’re not afraid to try and keep on trying until they succeed, no matter how long it takes or how much it hurts. It was pretty powerful to hear one of my heroes redefine what I’d been doing in that car park.
This question makes me think of key friends who showed me the way into all these different worlds - I’ve always relied heavily on that one cool friend to show me where it was really at. Thanks, pals!
I’ve also spent time in very intense subcultures, especially punk, which taught me that I should ONLY listen to punk music. The cool thing about subculture these days is it’s so much less defined - a lot of ideas are being shared: it makes life a lot more interesting and fast-paced.
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Trippy question - giving me Bill & Ted vibes! Well considering right now my latest single is called Nietzsche’s Day Off I guess I am duty-bound to say, Friedrich Nietzsche. Judging by the lyrics he’s a pretty fun guy! In all seriousness I would probs wanna meet him later in his life when he’d mellowed a bit - I am reading ‘Human, All Too Human’ at the moment, he seems pretty tender in this period.
Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
The Moth Club cos that’s where the best goddam show is gonna be going down on the 27th of November for the Nietzsche’s Day Off single launch featuring Artificial Pleasure and Corinthians. The Moth is such a wonderful place to go see bands. ALSO… the Paradiso, The Zoo, KOKO, the Brudenell Social Club, Brixton Academy, The Lexington & La Maroquinerie.
Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
The world is full of people that deserve more recognition.
Here’s some of my favourite acts that I think should be better known…
The Cleaners from Venus, Bill Fay, Laurie Speigel & Lizzie Mercier Descloux.
Also here’s some acts from RIGHT NOW that you should check out:
Ed Dowie (his album The Uncle Sold is one of my faves), Player Piano, Ben Salter, Sophie Jamieson is back! Also, do you know Alabaster Deplume?
MF Tomlinson emerged this year with his debut single ‘Nature Boy’ and the following ‘Sum Of Nothing’. The songs have had great support from Radio X and BBC Introducing, along with critical praise from the likes of Clash, Beat Magazine, Happy Magazine and more.