Edging in close to the release of his next EP A Sign of Things to Come, Tom Perrett AKA Advance is more than excited to open up about his next futurepop gem. Blending sci-fi elements with social commentary as well as creating club beats that will make any person on the dance floor move their feet, Advance is not ashamed about his latest production. In fact, he goes on to say it's even stronger than his debut album Deus Ex Machina. And if all that isn't enough to get your appetite whet, perhaps an unreleased track from A Sign of Things to Come will. Stream this banger right below and let it be the soundtrack to Advance's words of wisdom below!
Hey there Tom! Lovely to finally chat with you after gobbling up your releases time and time again. How have things been with advance these days?
Tom: Hey, thanks for having me. Advance has been going well. I've been working tirelessly to get the new album finished which now has a title and I think all of the tracks are written too, so we will be looking at getting that done probably early next year. A Sign of Things to Come is just around the corner which the label and I had decided to put out after us deciding that getting the album done this year was highly unlikely. All the same it's four tracks that I'm very proud of - it feels like a step up in terms of quality and the extra remixes from Biomechanimal and Nature of Wires on the digital version are fantastic.
I'd like to take a trip down history lane. You have an amazing EBM/Futurepop crossover going on with Advance. When was it that you were first exposed to the genre? Was there any one band you remember listening to and thinking, “I need to make music like that.”
Tom: Three bands actually. I fell in love with the sound of VNV Nation, Assemblage 23 and Neuroticfish, and that introduced me to EBM / Futurepop initially. It all happened more or less by accident, Advance was never planned so it's a purely organic project in a sense. I started recording different things on a DAW I was using at the time, created an electronic piece and people seemed to like it. From there I decided I would play about with different things and make a couple of rough demos and again certain people seemed to like it. It really all hit when Barry Douglas (COG Promotions in Glasgow) offered me the local support slot for Assemblage 23 and it was then I started taking it seriously. Funnily enough I didn't even have more than three songs written, songs like 'Dead Technology' had to be written to make sure we could play live. At the time I had three songs; 'Fractured Existence' (the first Advance song ever), 'Enter the Wastelands' and 'When We Return'. I wrote 'Apathy' and 'Dead Technology' in a few days.
While Advance's music is all you, your live line-up also consists of Kimberly Copland on synths. Who is she, how did you meet, and why did you choose her for synths during live performances?
Tom: Kim has always been there - she is my other half for those who don't know. She joined as a live member in 2014 and has been involved since then. With the release of the new EP and after the great working relationship we have I decided to include her as a full member. This means in future she will also help with the writing process and I'm fairly certain that people will love what she has to offer. We have been in a relationship for seven plus years actually and we met through a mutual love of this style of music, so it's kinda poetic in a way.
When was it that you first created Advance? And why choose that particular name? Did you ever think of calling your band anything else?
Tom: If I did think of another title at the time, I'm not sure what it would have been, I settled with Advance fairly quick. I would love to be able to give a great reason for the name but honestly I'm not even sure how I settled on the name; it's a name which conjures up different connotations for different people and I like that quite a lot it leaves it open to interpretation.
Looking at your Discogs page, I've only found your label debut Deus Ex Machina on there. Do you have any previous releases, singles, or demos floating around on the internet? If so, do you plan on ever re-releasing that material to the public?
Tom: There is a demo somewhere with three tracks called 'Dead Technology' but I can't see me ever re-releasing anything from back then. Because of how I work I lose a lot of ideas through switching DAW or PC or whatever else that can effect workflow, and I think I've binned more projects than I've saved.
So, let's talk about your latest EP that's soon to come out A Sign of Things To Come. The cover art easily showcases a Blade Runner-esque environment, and it has already been stated that the album has social commentary in it. What messages did you put in A Sign of Things To Come and how did you blend it with a sci-fi theme?
Tom: I'm interested in people's ignorance to their surroundings, A Sign of Things to Come is about greed, plain and simple, and is filled with lyrics like, "We are held in place, like parts of a machine/ we are all just human batteries to feed the elite". It follows this path of how easily people are bought, how people have no real conviction anymore and how control of your own life is an illusion.
How did you approach writing A Sign Of Things To Come musically? What did you do differently to make this EP stand out from Deus Ex Machina?
Tom: I suppose the biggest difference was time, and taking time to get things just right. After DXM I spoke to Adrian the label head and we discussed time periods for the next release. The AnalogueTrash guys are great - they give you time to do right by the project and make sure what you are releasing is worthwhile. I have a great working relationship with AT and one which will probably continue for a long time.
I think I may have touched this above, but how did the lyrics differ in substance from your previous work? Did you feel as if anything presented in this album overlapped in the previous?
Tom: Interesting point, and I would say it's another take on a hopeless society, but this time more contemporary. DXM is all apocalyptic and almost set in the future I guess, and this one is more grounded in reality, or at least our current reality.
I always like asking this questions to musicians, but, when you finally heard A Sign of Thing to Come in its full, mastered form, what did you think of it? Did you find perfect? Did you see any errors? What is your
critique on the album?
Tom: Mostly I heard a lot of positive improvements from the first album. The material is stronger in my opinion and it's more in line with where I want Advance to be. I'm not saying that all the albums will be political because they won't, it will meet whatever subject I think suits the material best. Nothing is ever perfect though. The curse of making music is that you are always improving and by the time you release something you have already improved since that point as well so things are always slightly behind that curve. Although, in saying that I think that it's more important how other people view it, we have seen in the past plenty of times where a band thinks something is their best work and it alienates the people who loved the band so it fails ultimately. It's a tricky one really.
We already gave an early review to the album and gave it a solid 8 out of 10. However, how has reception been elsewhere? Have critics/fans been favoring this EP?
Tom: It's early days but all the feedback so far is really good and it seems to be well received. Ask me that again in a couple of months, ha ha!
And right now what are your future plans? Do you have any live shows/gigs scheduled? If so, where? I also understand you have a full length album scheduled for 2017. Could you give us any information on that?
Tom: This is the first time in ages where I've had no gigs planned, not even local ones. I'm focusing on getting the album done really. If the right offer comes in, I'll have a look and see what can be done but I don't just accept gigs for the sake of gigging if I can help it. That said, I'm hoping we'll play our first show outside the UK this year. Information about the album ... Short answer ... no but the long answer is it's going well. I think all the songs are nearing completion but I would like to take some time to go over them very carefully, cut out bits of filler and have an album which is something I will be happy to release. I have a title but I'm going to keep that under my hat for now.
Lastly, I'd like to thank you for your time and wish you the best! You may use the space below to mention anything I may have failed to cover. Cheers!
Tom: It's my pleasure. I hope all of you enjoy A Sign of Things to Come and I would like to thank everyone who supports the project I am immensely grateful for it. Hopefully I'll see some of you on the road soon.
A Sign of Things to Come is available for pre-order HERE via AnalogueTrash.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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