Convention Interviews- Print

Supanova- Adelaide by Rotae

Hi guys! I’m sorry this has taken a little white to write up, but like Tom I don’t actually live in Melbourne, so some flying and actual work has occurred between this interview and now! LOL.

Firstly, thank you so much to Tom for giving up part of his lunch time to take this interview with me!

For those who don’t know, there were 18000+ people at Supanova Melbourne, and I’d say 80-85% were there solely for him. Tom was hard at work from 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday, taking photos, signing autographs and doing Q&As. Every fan who met him commented on how kind and thoughtful he was: how gracious he was with their time, thanking them for waiting in line. The staff who worked with him unanimously adored him, telling me that, ‘The man is a machine! He just does not stop working!’ They all commented on how lovely, kind, and personable Tom was, and what a delight he was to work with.

I could not agree more.

Our interview started out by him thanking me for ‘keeping the flame going’, and me thanking him for coming out to Australia, to which he replied:

Tom: I think it was long overdue, my trip to Australia! So it’s nice to finally actually get out here, and you know, have a chance to say, ‘thank you’ to the people who have kept me – well, kept us, all the people on the Harry Potter train – going over the last ten years, so yeah. Long overdue, but it’s good to be here, finally.

Rotae: So, first of all, the obligatory, ‘How are you finding Australia’?

Tom: Yeah, of course, I always knew it was going to be something a bit special. My brother has been here for five years, he said it’s just the friendlier, sunnier, nicer version of England, and it pretty much is, man – other than a few creepy-crawlies that we don’t have – it pretty much is – it’s pretty much just a better version of England. Thoroughly enjoying it!

Rotae: Excellent! Now, I wanted to ask… you, pretty famously, didn’t read the books until, like, the third film. What I wanted to know from you, was every fan has their, you know, first time reading it, how was that for you, reading it?

Tom: Well, it’s quite strange actually, because the first couple of times, I didn’t – something just didn’t click, I don’t know what it was, whether it was a certain age, or… but I just couldn’t get through it. For some reason, it didn’t jump to me like it has for so many others. It was the second book that I read first actually, it wasn’t the first one, and yeah, for some reason, something about that one, maybe the time I read it, but that one hit me like a tonne of bricks, and from there on inwards, I was as geekish as the rest of us, and sped through the rest of the six books as fast as I could!

Rotae: Fantastic! Now, the other thing I wanted to ask you, was you embarrassment threshold… because you’ve been punched by Emma Watson… and pulled down by an invisible Daniel Radcliffe, but then, you go on Twitter and Tweet about how you walk into doors when you’re Tweeting, and how you lost your iPad or your iPhone! You must have a really high embarrassment threshold!

Tom: (laughing) Yeah! Well, you know, I figure, it’s one of those things, I think: the more worried you are about looking an idiot, chances are the more of an idiot you look. So, I kind of let go of that, let go of that threshold, as you say, and usually people are sympathetic to your scenario, and they’re, you know, a bit more happy to help. Yeah, Twitter is good for that, because I don’t feel like I’m telling one person or something? I just feel like I’m telling a group of people, and then they kind of, you know, laugh at will. I try to stay amusing as much as I can.

Rotae: What’s the best, and the worst, thing about being on Twitter?

Tom: Ah… the best thing is definitely the fact that it’s instant. There’s a horrible system of people sending me letters, which take about six months to get to me because it goes through about twenty different hands before they get to me, and they’ve been read, and opened, so it’s not really that personal, and also, for me to reply, it takes about another six months. And it costs a lot of money, for both parties there, so Twitter is instant, I can stay in touch with fans, and answer questions hopefully as soon as possible, and yeah, the list of pros is huge.

Cons… one time, or a couple of times, when you’ve said, ‘Oh, I can’t do this, I’m sorry – I’m working – I’m working somewhere else’, and that day you Tweet, ‘On the golf course! Having a great time!’ it’s like, ‘I thought you were working!’ and it’s like, ‘Oh, dear…’

Rotae: Speaking of golf: has your golf improved because of From the Rough

Tom: I should bloody well hope so! (laughs) It bloody well should have! I spent about six weeks on the golf course, so ah, it has, it has. It was nice, actually, because I came home, and played golf with my friends again, and I did pretty well! So it’s one of the few bits of character research that I’ve absolutely revelled in. I kept saying to Jade, ‘I’m sorry, love, I’ve just got to keep working on my swing! I take my job very seriously, and character research is a big part for me’ you know, so I did a lot of that. That was fun. (laughs)

Actually, when I was out there, cos you know it’s based on about five international golfers and the French guy, the American and the South Korean weren’t particularly avid golfers, but the Aussie… he was a big golfer. So him and I, Paul Hodge, this guy is, Paul and I had our own, “Golf Ashes”… Which I don’t know what I’m bringing up, because he won… Which is most unlike the real Ashes of course…

I must admit that our conversation slightly dissolved here into pretty typical Australia vs. England cricket banter (I assure you, ladies, I gave as good as I got!). Tom also mentioned how amazing the MGC [Melbourne Cricket Ground] is as a stadium.

Rotae: So, Six String Productions! We were told that there was going to be a big announcement about a month ago and then… nothing?

Tom: Yeah, it’s a tricky one, I won’t lie. There are many different factors when it comes to recording stuff professionally, whether it’s album artwork or mastering, ISRC codes [International Standard Recording Code], PRS [type of guitar], all sorts of stuff that I knew nothing of when I used to just record it in my bedroom and put it on iTunes. Now, all of a sudden, we want to do it a bit more proper, and there’s a world of other stuff that comes with it. So unfortunately things have taken a lot longer than expected. However!

Rotae: However?

Tom: However! I can give you the hot information that I’m hoping for three new songs to be available, I don’t want to say when, but within the next month. We’re waiting on artwork and that’s pretty much ready to go, so yeah. Very excited to see. [Tom said in his Q&A the day after that the wait time would be more like days than a month]

Tom also then confirmed that Lizzie Cullen is hoping to do the album artwork. “She’s really busy doing loads of stuff now, she’s such a talented artist, that I feel a bit cheeky asking her to do it, you know, but she’s been very gracious with her time.”

Rotae: So, Supanova, as an event? How’re you finding it?

Tom: Yeah, very impressed! I haven’t done, you know, a whole host of these things, but Supanova have got it down. They’ve got it down to a fine ‘t’, and everyone here, not only the guests, but the crew, the volunteers, everyone is so friendly, so I’ve had a fab time.

Rotae: Great! Now, James Masters [Spike from Buffy] last year did a little concert at the end of his Supanova tour… Anything planned?

Tom: I would love to! I really would. But I’m ah… too nervous (laughs) I kind of fumbled my way through [the Japan gig]. But yeah, I would love to. I would love to do it for Feltbeats only audience really – that would be nice…

Rotae: Aww, we could organise that!

Tom: We could organise that!

Rotae: We can do that!

Tom: Well one day! I honestly have to do it one day. It’s never really been something that I want to do for business, but for fun, I’d love to do it one day.

The lovely Security man (Keith, I believe), then told us we had about two minutes left. Tom promptly apologised for ‘rabbiting on’ – can you believe it? It’s his interview and he’s apologising for talking! That man… haha!

Rotae: Now, have you picked up any Aussie slang?

Tom: Oh yeah! I met a great guy yesterday actually, Anton, he was teaching me all about the Aussie slang. ‘Fair dinkum’, being the obvious, you know. What was that one… ah, ‘You can’t suck a sauce bottle’? Something about a sauce bottle?

Rotae: Oh yeah, ‘Fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate’?

Tom: Oh yeah! ‘Fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate!’ Yeah, that was pretty good. Oh loads of them. Even the phrase, ‘How’re you going?’. In England that would not be- if someone said that, you’d be like, ‘I dunno, by foot, by train or like…’ So yeah, I’m going to bring that one home with me, definitely. You guys have taken the English language and kind of, pimped it out, to be an even better version, I think. I love it.

Rotae: Oh great, so… Australia’s a better country than England… and-

Tom: (laughs) And Australians speak better English-

Rotae: -and what was that about the cricket again?

Tom: (laughs) (something less than favourable) (laughs)

Rotae: (laughs)

Australians and Brits: we cannot leave the cricket alone, guys, seriously! It’s deep and it’s real! LOL.

The last part of our interview was me presenting Tom with a double portrait I had drawn of him: one portrait from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and one from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. I cannot tell you how utterly kind he was in regards to this, promising to ‘treasure’ it and Tweet me a picture of where it ends up. His mother may or may not have also ended up with a shirt or two that I designed for the convention, haha.

And I tell you what, between Tom and I about half of our conversation at the end was us thanking each other HAHA. This is what happens when you get two very polite people in the same, uh, backstage concrete area

Thank you so much to Tom’s manager, to whom I spoke to on Saturday and Sunday, and the staff at Supanova for helping organise our interview – they were all so friendly and helpful.

And finally, once again, I’d just like to thank Tom for his time, hard-work, patience and kind words. Still not convinced he’s not a Hufflepuff, but there you go

Peace,

Rotae

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