Tommy Homonym is one of our more unique rising artists to feature on Entertwine. A writer of pop music, Tom (not Tommy) has a special someone who has helped him reach his musical successes and realize his full potential. This person is Tommy, his alter-ego. We mostly were interested in his alter ego, but I guess we threw in a few questions about his music too!
Entertwine: You go by Tom, but it seems as if Tommy is your alter ego, is this correct? If so, explain what brought this type of characteristic into fruition?
Tom H: Yes, Tommy is my alter ego, but this is not the first time my ego has been altered, and I mean that in the veterinary sense. I’ve always had a desire to make music, but I’m an artist and a playwright, and I thought that provided more than enough rejection in my life, so I suppressed the musical impulse. But my singing voice kept leaping out, almost like an independent living thing, and in the midst of a really bad depressive spell I was going through, the Tommy persona formed in my mind, and emerged to pretty much save me a couple of years ago. I was really, really down. Working on the record and discovering that I could write and arrange songs has been a great, sustained joy.
ET: When did the music start to be an interest of yours?
TH: I’ve always loved music and was fascinated by the idea of writing and producing pop songs, which I immersed myself in vicariously, mostly by way of an obsession with the Beatles and George Martin. I would try to write songs myself, but they were always kind of stilted; I’d write rhyming poetry and try to set it to music, and it never came to life. It wasn’t until I started recording my own versions of other people’s songs that I began to understand how to build them from sonic, rather than purely cerebral ideas. Also, new kinds of software came along that allowed me to work around my clumsy fingers and compose for virtual instruments.
ET: Have you always worked together?
TH: No, Tommy’s a newcomer. He’s been waiting a lo-o-ong time to come out and he is very demanding. But I surrender and obey willingly. After all, he obeyed me and stayed hidden for, like, 40 years, so I owe him.
ET: Do you and your alter ego agree on musical styles? Or does Tommy bring out another side of you when writing and producing?
TH: We are simpatico. We merge into one being when the music is cooking. But we each have our strong suits. Tommy’s more brave; he’s a little autistic and doesn’t care what people think. But I’m the one who’s experienced in sex and love, both of which he is largely indifferent to, so the emotional core comes from me. Then he brings the chutzpah to put it out there. Heartbreak plus cojones makes music happen, I guess.
ET: Why did you wait so long to record an album? What is your favorite song off of it?
TH: The waiting was for the courage, the technology and the voice to reach maturity. My voice kept getting better with age, and finally I decided that if I didn’t give this a shot, something wonderful would go to waste. I think my favorite song is “From Over Here (to Over There).” It’s the shortest, and maybe the simplest, and I think it sounds simultaneously old and new, intimate and distant . Every time I hear it, I find myself smiling and swaying. But I love them all. Each song was an adventure to make.
For More Info on Tommy Homonym:
Anyone who wants to burn a CD of Uglier than You from downloaded tracks is welcome to download this free set of jewel-box art, including booklet, tray insert and label HERE.
“Irresistible” music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5KJUowahLA