20 questions with singer-songwriter Tom Bem
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Success and positivity.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
I’ve adopted the Olympic motto ‘Faster Higher Stronger’. It’s mine now.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
Kerry Katona remains unacceptable. Fake tan, child abuse, negativity, Abercrombie & Fitch, TOWIE, Manchester City, EDL, BNP, The X-Factor, homophobia, animal cruelty, Red-Bull, racism, auto-tune, poor grammar, cheese, rudeness, facetiousness, idiocy, religion, inflating pub prices, Michael Gove and being boring.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Being class president in year 4.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Financial wealth is the only thing I don’t have. I am blessed. But hypothetically speaking, my answer would be success in songwriting.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
Consume, be silent, die.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
No one chooses who they are in life. You do not choose where you are born, your ethnicity, sexuality or financial background. In the life lottery, I got a winning ticket – I am truly blessed and eternally grateful. For me, it is my moral obligation to help others. I don’t have much money, but I am infinitely richer relatively to others in the world. I support a lot of charities. Red Cross, WWF, Marie Curie and Cancer Research.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
Being an ‘artist’, I have to be on all the social networks at all times, so I couldn’t really live without my phone. Fortunately, I’ve never had a phone that’s blown up. Perhaps she had exceeded her data allowance. Always, check your bloody data allowance.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Sir David Attenborough, Stephen Fry, Sting, David Beckham, Gary Kasparov, Imogen Heap, Quincy Jones, my mum, Nelson Mandela, Jeremy Paxman, Morgan Freeman and Poirot just in case something crazy went down.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
That’s the hardest question imaginable for me. I am currently too hungry to have the clarity to answer that.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
What a disappointing set of options. Coffee or red wine will suffice thank you.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Mine. I am ALWAYS invited.
Who is the most positive person you know?
I’m up there. My manager Eric is also up there. I try and surround myself with positive people.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
‘Faster Higher Stronger’.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
Something fairly understated and humble like a Ford, Skoda or Ferrari. Probably a Ferrari.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I am an exceedingly good chess player.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I live in a townhouse with no chimney or fireplace. If I were to have a mantelpiece, I would take a picture of it, frame it, and then put it on the mantelpiece because I am so terribly art-school like that.
Tom Bem-Hodgkinson is a singer-songwriter from South-East London. He has co-written songs with double Ivor Novello Award winner Chris Difford of Squeeze, Bastille, Adam Levy and Mike Lindup of Level 42. He has recently release his third EP, Pass It On.
View Tom Bem’s official website here.
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