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INTERVIEW: BILL TOMS & HARD RAIN

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Got No Use (For What You Selling Me)”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

This song was written in regard to the acceptance of alternative facts in our world.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

One was released off the studio version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oRKsm8mRCY

The single comes off your new album Live – what’s the story behind the title? Is it as obvious as it sounds?

It is. We recorded one night and picked 13 songs that worked as a whole. It represents our live show. Which in my opinion is the strength of the group.

How was the recording and writing process?

Again, this group of songs is the representation of what we do every night.

What was the selection process on what songs to perform live for the record?

We had a live CD released in 2011 so we didn’t want to repeat any songs. We also have the Soulville Horns now so we wanted to highlight that part of our presentation.

How would you say you have grown since your inception a few decades now?

I see things clearer. I am more comfortable and understand my voice as an artist. I seem to have distinct ideas of what I want instead of searching. Also, the content grows up. Lyrically and musically. I try to age gracefully.. maybe

How Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits has influence your writing?

I was influenced as a writer by Tom Waits at a young age. 1975 I was a freshman in high school. I had a student teacher in English class who would right a line from a Tom Waits song every day (sometimes Bob Dylan). This gave me the appreciation of the words and the manipulation there of. Bruce influenced me with the drama and dynamics of the presentation on record and live.

What role does Pittsburgh play in your music?

A very large part. The characters running through all my songs are Pittsburgh based in some way. Also the Rhythm and Blues and Soul music that was a staple in the city in the 60’s and 70’s was very strong pull for me.

Any plans to hit the road?

We are doing regional shows in Durham, NC/ Baltimore MD/ Cincinnati OH/ Columbus OH/ Cleveland OH. As well as DC, and hoping to go back to Europe at the end of the year.

What else is happening next in Bill Toms and Hard Rain’s world?

I have been writing a lot. I would like to use the horns in different ways. Using them with strings and acting as atmosphere instead of always having the typical horn lines.. Still a work in progress. Hope to have a studio album out in the next year or two…

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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