Tom from Snow Patrol graciously took time between shows to answer a few conventional questions for us.
USOUNDS: Your tour started in Denver on May 23rd. Did you know that Denver is nicknamed Menver because there are supposedly assloads of single dudes there? What would you tell the people of Menver to expect from your live show?
Tom: Come to this show and get yourself a girl. Oh! and free beer?
USOUNDS: Free beer is a good motivational tactic. Menver is actually the #1 city for singles in general, so hopefully you guys were able to sow some of your wild oates over there. What were your favorite tour stops in the past?
Tom: It’s great to see what lies between the two coasts (US) and we love an adventure but I’d have to say the places I enjoy are the port towns. I think they have the best history and the most colourful people. I think this is probably because I’ve always lived in port towns, I can relate better and I start freaking out if I haven’t seen the sea in bit.
USOUNDS: Yeah, I think as far as port towns go, itís all fun and colorful until someone drowns. What is your opinion on the “Not proven” verdict that is controversially used under Scots law? Do you feel that this verdict can unfairly hurt someone’s public standing, or do you believe that it is a court-based judgment that should not consider civilian opinions and should possibly replace the “Not guilty” verdict as an alternative to condemnation?
The members of Snow Patrol generally feel most comfortable roosting on barren stretches of desert.
Tom: Law is pretty confusing at the best of times especially a law as old as ours (me being Scottish). Don’t get yourself in a situation where it’s going to affect you and in turn you’ll never lose sleep over it again.
USOUNDS: Yeah, some of your laws have practically been around since 700 BC. Have you ever partied so hard that you shit your pants?
Tom: In the early 90’s I used to go to Ibiza a lot and would stay up partying for days. There’s a good chance at the end of a good 3-day event I ‘double ended’ (sick and shit at the same time) but it was such a hazy period of my life. Have you ever laughed so hard that you shit yourself?
USOUNDS: Sadly, pretty much every time. And unfortunately, I was born extra jovial and easily amused so Iím kind of over how rowdy and awkward that can get. Your song “Chasing Cars” was on the Grey’s Anatomy season finale. Dr. Stevens is ridiculously hot, but it’s kind of weird how she keeps trying to get boned by a patient in need of a heart transplant. Any thoughts on this?
Tom: The only show I can watch which is about the medical world is ĎScrubsí. Hospitals tend to remind me of my own mortality so I tend to stay clear. However, if the said transplant was a success and a healthy heart is rendered, then why not?
USOUNDS: Yeah, I think they are married now. OrÖheís dead. One of the two. You had to change your name from “Polar Bear” to “Snow Patrol” after a band with the same name threatened legal action. Eric Avery from Jane’s Addiction is in that band. Would you say the bassline from “Mountain Song” is righteous or super-righteous?
Tom Itís all right.
USOUNDS: Did you ever watch ďHead of the ClassĒ when Billy Connolly was on it? Do you think heís uglier than Howard Hessman?
Tom: Donít know who Howard Hessman is, but that was a really disappointing period for Billy. Next to Sean Connery heís the best Scottish export of that generation. Fortunately heís got it together again and is funny as hell again although heís smoothed out his accent for the benefit of a wider audience. Swearing in Scottish just sounds right, doesnít it?
USOUNDS: Ul wham yeh, yeh fuckin’ wee basturt! (Yeah, youíre totally right.) The Proclaimers Ė Were those guys brothers or cousins or what?
Tom: Ha! Ha! Theyíre brothers. The Proclaimers are alright and are important to Hog-many (New Yearís Eve) as a dram and a snog. It doesnít matter how cool you think you are, I guarantee you know at least part of one of their songs.
USOUNDS: Iíve never been that cool. So when Iím lonely, well I know Iím gonna be Iím gonna be pretending like I know what a dram and snog are. Out of the whole band, who get the award for ďLongest dumpsĒ?
Tom: Between Gary and me. We both take sufficient reading paraphernalia on every trip. Too much info me thinks. Whatís with the fece obsession?
USOUNDS: Oh, thatís nothing, don’t worry about it. About six of my friends got pregnant to the song ďRunĒ. This is actually more of a statement than a question.
Tom: And I, witnesses.
USOUNDS: You have 10 seconds to come up with something that rhymes with Snow Patrol, and it canít be ďGlow Hut MoleĒ. No cheating.
Tom:: Bowl the troll? Could be in the next Olympics.
USOUNDS: Man, itís almost like youíve had to answer that one before. How do you think you do with the 35-40 year-old Native American demographic? Can you ask your label?
Tom: Mmmm, throw in a tricky political one, eh? The importance to respect and relate to the indigenous population of any country is paramount to our party.
USOUNDS: Do you hate Ireland? Because I do.
Tom: I love Ireland to bits (and normally Iím in bits when Iím there), itís my second home. Iíve made a lot of friends there and I’ve been made feel welcome on every trip but then again the Scots and Irish go way back. Just look at the dynamic of our band (3 Irish and 2 Scots).
USOUNDS: If prehistoric animals were still around today, but there were only a few of each species left isolated in a desert fortress where millionaires came from all over the world to watch them battle not only for their lives but for the preservation of their bloodlines, do you think youíd still be doing Snow Patrol?
Tom: Not likely, weíd be dead in the preliminary stages probably stomped by the duck billed platypus, the most feared animal on the planet.
USOUNDS: What records are you currently listening to? (Other than Gnarls Barkley.)
Tom: What Iím listening to right now is things like Editors, Ladytron, The Shins (still), Arcade Fire (still), Blackalicious, Interpol, Belle & Sebastian, Hot Chip, Spank Rock, Secret Machines, The Juan Maclean, M83, PanicoÖto name but a few.
USOUNDS: What do you think about MySpace music? Are you getting as much ass on there as Gnarls Barkley?
Tom: I have trouble answering emails so why torture myself further? My advice Ė get outside and meet people.
USOUNDS: Do you know Gnarls Barkley?
Tom: We just did an outdoor even in my hometown of Dundee with them and TV show in London last week. They were great although I only spoke to the drummer. He was pretty cool though.
USOUNDS: Ah, I’d give 10 years of my life for that. And finally, why do children love to dance?
Tom: Children love to dance because itís a natural response to music. Also they havenít picked up some of the social awkwardness that we sometimes show.
USOUNDS: Very well said. Thanks Tom, we wish you the best on the rest of your tour.