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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Talking Shop: Sandi Thom

Scottish-born singer Sandi Thom, 25, whose single I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker went to number one after building her reputation through internet webcasts, talks about her UK tour, the internet and dishing up chips for Coldplay's Chris Martin.


Sandi Thom
Thom's album Smile... It Confuses People was released in June

What has life been like since the success of Punk Rocker?

Things have been going very, very well. I've been all over the world, and I've done things like T In The Park, Top of the Pops - just loads and loads of stuff really. It's been an amazing year so far.

You faced a backlash after the success of the single, with some people saying your webcasts were a cynical marketing ploy. How do you feel about that now?

I'm fine about it, but when it did happen it was a little bit saddening. It is such a shame when you do something and people take it the wrong way or say it's something it's not.

But the only way you can deal with it is to laugh about it and joke it off. I think if I had taken it all to heart it probably would have really affected me.

What gave you the idea of live gigs over the internet in the first place?

I actually only first heard of webcasts at a gig last year in Edinburgh. I had never heard or thought about it until that point and it seemed like such a genius thing to do.

My car breaking down on the way to a gig was the straw that broke the camel's back. It was the final excuse to go ahead and do it because getting the money to repair the car, or pay for petrol to get me to gigs, was becoming so difficult.

The car is actually being towed back to my mum's house in Scotland as we speak because it's dead.

Do you think the success of your two singles and the album have silenced your critics?

I think there is something in that. Punk Rocker stayed around the top 40 for 20 weeks or something, and it is still at number one in Australia after five weeks, which is madness! I think that is a genuine sign of people actually just liking the record, rather than it being hyped up.

How important is the web to young artists like yourself?

The web has given artists back a lot of power back. It's a medium you can use to talk directly talk to an audience without going through other forms of media to get there. Also, it's very cost effective if you don't have money - especially if you're not signed to a major label and don't have the money to put ads on the TV and get your record on the radio.

Sandi Thom
Thom peformed at the Digital Music Awards on Wednesday

Practically everyone I know has a MySpace account and it's a given that you have one if you are a musician. It's opening more doors and giving artists another platform to promote themselves on without being signed.

But I think it is also important to realise that there is a balance between taking care of the digital stuff as well as going out to do the live gigs, because, at the end of the day, these people will want to go out and see you live.

It's ironic that you sing about older, more simple times "when record shops were on top" in Punk Rocker.

It's quite funny actually! I wrote it two-and-a-half-years ago now, so obviously I didn't know I was going end up webcasting, so if that's an excuse for it, that is one!

Maybe in 30 years time someone will be singing about the good old days of the internet?

Yeah! Exactly. That's what happens when things go into the past and become archaic. I saw somebody sitting in the airport the other day with a tape Walkman. I thought, my God! I haven't seen one of those in over 10 years!

Did you ever honestly think your career would take off in the way it has?

I always wanted to live my life and play music and make my living that way, but I don't think I ever thought I'd get to this point. I've always been a bit of a dreamer, so I guess I probably dreamt about being on Top of the Pops, but I don't think I ever realised I'd get there. I am quite gobsmacked.

Is it true you once served chips to Chris Martin of Coldplay?

I used to work in a studio in Liverpool that had a cafe bar next to it. Coldplay recorded part of Parachutes there, and ate breakfast every morning. I worked there briefly when I was at university and I served them all breakfasts, which probably had chips on them.

I don't think I actually knew who they were at the time and it was years later I suddenly had this moment of epiphany... oh, that was Coldplay!

Any rock n' roll stories to share?

My band and I did get thrown out of hotel recently in LA because we were a bit rowdy and a bit drunk and people were jumping in pools at 4'o'clock in the morning. It was a bit debauched, but I guess we are all young! What else do you do when you are young?

I hear you're partial to the odd cigar...

It's true! I quit smoking in February and now I've got a bit of a thing for cigars. They have to be big knobbly ones like Del-Boys, not those little things. Cohibas they are called. They take practically a whole year to smoke!

What next for Sandi Thom?

Well the UK tour kicks off on Wednesday in Cardiff, so it'll be nice to stay in one country for a while and drive around in a tour bus and get really scruffy. We are working on the next album, which I really want to get out next year. It's all good fun.


SEE ALSO
Label boss dismisses Thom rumours
06 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Thom curtails Crazy chart reign
04 Jun 06 |  Entertainment

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