Can you talk to us more about your new single “Running Downhill”?
I’m really excited to be releasing the single Running Downhill. To me the release of the album has been a long time coming, so I’ve been anxious to finally put something out.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Most of the songs I write are never the result of one particular event. But I think the overall theme of the song is change. When the song transitions into the outro, it’s meant to sound like the transition from summer to autumn. It’s about hitting a point in your life when time becomes the single most important part of all your relationships with friends, family, colleagues, significant others, etc.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I actually just finished shooting a video for one of the other songs on the record called Giles Corey, so that will come out first. But there are plans to do a video for Running Downhill in the next few months and I’m really excited to start moving forward with it.
The single comes off your new album Windows Down and Dying – what’s the story behind the title?
The album title Windows Down & Dying came from the anxiety of aging. One evening, in the start of spring, I was driving home from work with the windows down and couldn’t decide if I was really sad or really happy. In the end I just settled things with myself by accepting that the discomfort was something I could live with, and the happiness I had was genuine.
What was the recording and writing process like?
Most mornings I was off, I would wake up at 9ish, make a pot of coffee, then sit in my living room with my guitar, violin, and piano until around 4. I just sat there demoing all the songs onto the mobile version of garage band on my 6s, until I had more than an albums worth of stuff to pick and choose from.
I went into Gradwell recording studio, in Haddon Heights, to record better demos with Eric McNelis from SleepIn. But as the demoing went on I decided I really liked how they sounded and I might as well just keep the momentum going and finish a record.
What aspect of happiness did you get to explore on this record?
This album touches on a very simple, stripped down happiness. In one of the songs “St. Charles Place” I talk about stressing myself out after taking too long to return a friends call. The less time you feel you have, the more important phone calls become. Getting coffee with someone for an hour, or staying up later to grab drinks for someone’s birthday are some of the most important things in life.
Any plans to hit the road?
I will be playing three shows in November to celebrate the release of the record. And the plan is to book a full US tour for March. I’m able to play most of the songs on the record by myself with a guitar so I’m hoping to play as many basement and living room shows as possible.
What else is happening next in TONKS’ world?
After the album is released I’m hoping to play as many shows as I possibly can. I also have a lot of extra songs waiting around so you can expect me to be back in the studio in 2019.