We sat down to have a chat with the two boys behind indie dance outfit Televisor. Otherwise known as Tim Butler and Tom Parry, they’ve been taking 2014 by the balls, squeezing out every last drop of funk-goodness. With releases on Monstercat and Stardust already to their name and a fuck-load more to come in 2015, we thought it was only best to catch them before they take off into the realms of self-apocalyptic global acclaim. Though, as you’ll find out below, they really aren’t the Aoki-cake-bashing-cunt type but appreciative, humble, intelligent and incredibly determined.
If you could have done one thing different with your career, what would it have been?
Tom: I would have liked to have played bass for Jimi Hendrix, but he died before I was born… Apart from that, there’s nothing I would change. I have been trying to make music for a living for quite a while now. I’ve plugged away and finally we are starting to get somewhere. But, baby steps and no rush. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Tim: That’s a tough one to answer. Being here, now, in the position I’m in and being able to do this full time I can’t think of anything I would want to change. Everything has worked out for us, and for that I am very very grateful. There are lots of smaller decisions that play a small part in the grand scheme of things concerning Televisor, and I feel like so far we’ve been calling the right shots and remaining true to ourselves as artists. As long as you focus on your music and stay true to yourself and your art then you can’t go wrong. So, would I have done anything differently? I don’t think I would have
We ask this to most of our interviewees: how important do you think the role of YouTube channels and blogs are for unsigned artists?
Tom: I think that YT and blogs give the underdogs, the new, undiscovered artists the chance to really get their music out there. We’ve had some real help from some bloggers who like our music and we owe a lot to them! Youtube really levels the playing field; anyone can broadcast what they want, so it’s easier for artists to promote themselves.
Tim: Hugely important! If you can stand out and make an impact on the internet, then you are doing something right. Due to the nature of social media, blogs and youtube promotional channels really help create exposure for new artists. As a listener, the simplicity of being able to share something you like to multiple social networks means that there is great potential for content to go viral if its good enough. The more of a reputation you can build for yourself online, the better.
What are your thoughts on the royalties being paid by music streaming platforms like Spotify and Deezer? Do you think it’s fair?
Tom: Are you referring to the Taylor Swift case? Haha! Well, spotify and Deezer do help people to discover our music and they are good measurements of how popular we are, so I think that Spotify and Deezer are good platforms but perhaps there might need to be some more development in how poor, hungry artists are rewarded! On the flipside though, these channels do help to promote our music and we must remember that the final goal of any musician is to be heard isn’t it? In that case, I think Spotify and Deezer do a great job. So many of our fans have discovered us through these channels, so no complaints here.
Tim: Personally I think we are privileged to even have the tools to create this music, let alone a means to share it with the world via the internet. The fact that our music can be listened to by people the can not afford to buy our music makes us happy. If people choose to use spotify over illegally downloading tracks then that makes us even happier! We want to support the industry, and equally as much the people who can’t afford to purchase music. The great thing about Spotify is that is that it benefits the listener with free music and the artist with some royalties.
How would you feel if you found out people were illegally downloading your music?
Tom: Well, we know it happens. Every extra bit of cash we have coming in means we can spend more time making music and less time doing pointless day jobs. Also, each song is very personal to us and of course, we are not making music so we can get a private jet or anything, but every cent helps us to make better music. It may sound a bit crass, but it’s true!
Tim: We are so thankful that a lot of our fans see enough value in our music to want to buy it, which is wonderful. However with every single release of ours there will be numerous ‘zippyshare’ style download sites that are hosting it for free. Personally I don’t see this as a problem, since if someone likes your music enough to download it then chances are they like it enough to share it with their friends. On the flip side, when you are doing this full time then you do have to think about providing yourself with a living. With this being said we would prefer it if people chose to support us by purchasing our music rather than illegally downloading it. Again, this is why streaming services like Spotify. The listener gets free access to the song and we still get a little something in return. At the end of the day we know that for every illegal download of a song of ours there are a handful of supportive fans that will purchase the track to help support us, and for that I am truly grateful.
Do you think physical magazines are becoming a thing of the past or do you think there will still be a market for them in the future?
Tom: Physical magazines have that wonderful ‘print’ smell and have this tactile aspect that can’t be replaced, so there will always be a market for them. Especially amongst hipsters.
Tim: What Tom said!
Do you strive for chart success?
Tom: Chart success means money and money means we can make music full time. We don’t want to make music just to make a hit. If we can stay true to what we love and it tops the charts in a few countries, then of course, we would be over the moon. Making people happy with our music (as happy as it makes us) is the number one goal.
Tim: Couldn’t have said that better myself, Tom!
Who do you look up to as an artist?
Tom: There are so many good artists out there. I love Jimi Hendrix and Daft Punk. For our style, Daft Punk opened up new doors for musicians, so they rate pretty highly. Our Good friends Tobtok, Oliver Nelson and Skogsra are an inspiration to us because what they do motivates us to do better. There are always musicians who are special to you. I love the Kings of Convenience and Paul Kossoff. People who listen to our music have probably never even heard of them and they are not our style of music, but inspiration comes from everywhere.
Tim: Like Tom has mentioned Daft Punk have been a huge inspiration to us, particularly in the early stages of our career with tracks like ‘Rock The Flock’. As our style matures and expands I’ve found artists such as Breakbot to be great influences. At university I studied the work of world renowned mix engineer Bruce Swedien, the guy behind the desk of the ‘Thriller’ album. His production style, the way he mixed, his ideologies, they continues to play a big part personally in my creative process.
Favourite piece of hardware? And is there any piece of equipment you are dying to buy?
Tom: My favourite piece of hardware is a beat up Fender Jazz bass copy that I picked up when I was 18. It’s absolutely amazing and I write a lot of songs on that. I’d like to set up a studio with an old school set-up; Ludwig drums, Orange amps, a Gibson Les Paul, a Gibson SG bass (1960’s models of course!) Thats what I am dying to buy!
Tim: Favourite Piece? Probably my Moog Little Phatty. Either that or my DT770 headphones. In terms of wanting to buy, that list is endless haha! Above everything else I’d really like a nice talkbox and Rack Mounted Moog Voyager to match. Also maybe a Strat, or a Telecaster.
What are your favourite 5 tracks of 2014?
Tom: Tim and me are very influenced by some old, funky artists and I think that this question misses out on some good old funk goodness. That being said, I do love ‘ Number 1’ by Mystery skulls, ‘Higher’ by Tobtok, ‘Now you see me’ by Skogsra, ‘Rude’ by Magic (I know!) and I have to put Tiger & Woods ‘Deflowered’ in there. It may be 4 years old but I discovered it in the summer and i listen to it non stop.
Lemaitre- High Tide (Oliver Nelson & Tobtok Remix)
Skream – Rollercoaster (Even though it was released in 2013, it was my jam last summer!)
Pomrad – Pomslap (Again, not released in 2014, but a track that was on repeatedly throughout summer!)
Chromeo – Jealous
Skogsrå – Now You See Me
Who are 5 artists you are tipping for big things in 2015?
Tom: Our good friends Tobtok, Oliver Nelson and Skogsra will definitely make it big in 2015. Ghassemi has done a remix for us this year and I think 2015 will be his year. There are some great Monstercat artists out there too who will definitely do some big things next year!
Tim: As Tom mentioned, our good friends Oliver Nelson, Tobtok and Skogsrå over at Perfect Havoc will blow up in 2015! They have so much talent between them and are already doing big things. The artists over at Monstercat are always improving and breaking new ground, it will be exciting to see where their careers take them next year!
What do you perceive to be your biggest success to date?
Tom: We have this song called ‘I’m yours tonight’ . I love that song and it really is the perfect mix of Tim’s and mine’s talents. It reminds me of the summer and the piano is so smooth that you could ski down it. I think the video is delish too.
Tim: I’d say making the transition from making music part time to full time back in 2013. Self employment was a tough call to make, but its really been great and I’m happy I took that leap.
Any of your own upcoming releases you’re excited about?
Tom: Oh yeah! We have some amazing songs waiting in the wings. Some of our fans might think that we have been lazy because we have only released some remixes recently. The truth is that we have made loads and loads of songs. There is one in particulate that we are really excited about but you will have to wait until 2015!
Tim: Too many! As Tom said, it may seem like we have been quiet in terms of original releases but behind the scenes so much is going on it’s really exciting! We have an EP due out early next year, we have a few collaborations in the works (one of which we actually finished recently!) and a few shows lined up too. Next year is going to be a busy year for us and we intend to make the most of it!
Check out this mix the boys have exclusively done for us!
Televisor play in London on the 31st January at SHAPES as part of the PHD club night! Tickets available here.
Your guide to the latest music trends.
For submission, general and advertising inquiries go to our contacts page.