Oh hi there // Thomas Oliver

I’m a singer-songwriter who plays guitar and Weissenborn (acoustic lap slide guitar), but I’m also a Drum & Bass vocalist/MC.

My day usually begins with editing a bassline and ends with editing a bassline. Sorry, you can probably tell that I’ve been editing a bassline constantly for the last few days! It sounds killer, so at least it’s worth the effort! Haha.

Name your three favourite places in Auckland to eat, drink and play.
Almost every time I come to Auckland, I make a trip to The Fridge in Kingsland for a chicken, pesto and mushroom pie. And every time, they blow my mind. I love to have a drink at The Golden Dawn in Ponsonby. As for playing, I was lucky enough to play at the St James Theatre once. Pretty hard to beat a venue like that!

Tell us something we’d be surprised to know about you
When I was about twelve years old, I had an obsessive compulsive habit whereby I had to speak in a multiple of eight syllables every time I spoke. Just like that; that last sentence was forty syllables. I got really good at counting syllables as I spoke, so no one ever knew. And if you asked me a yes or no question, I would always have to embellish upon my one-syllable answer with a seven-syllable explanation. The human mind is a crazy thing! Glad that particular habit is over.

Pick a book and a park you’d like to read it in, anywhere in the world.
I’ve recently been told that Neil Young’s biography is amazing, so I would choose that, and I would read it in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, where Crosby, Still, Nash and Young played in 1991.

Tell us a little bit about the concert this weekend.
The main initiative is to establish our nation as one that would welcome the Syrian refugees with open arms, and to make them feel at home here. We want to band together as a society and contribute our support for them, after considering the war and hardship with which they have all been faced in their homeland.

How did you get involved?
Rodney Fisher invited me to be a part of it, and I was stoked to be able to contribute music to this cause. I am proud to live in a country that opens its heart to people from all around the world.

What else do you have in the works for 2016?
I’m currently finishing a solo album which I’ve been working on for a couple of years. So far, we have released one song from it, called ‘If I MoveTo Mars’. The song has been so warmly received that I can’t wait to release the full album. It’s a new direction for me, musically. It’s essentially a singer-songwriter album, but pulls in a plethora of influences from all over my musical journey to date. It will be released later in the year, and I’m super excited about it.

If everyone in the world had a theme song that played when they walked into a room, what would yours be and why?
John Williams’ Jurassic Park Theme! There’s no question about this one. I have been in love with this soundtrack since I was seven years old. I went to see Jurassic Park five times at the movies when I was a kid, and the last couple were just to hear the music again. In 2013, I arranged the theme music for a Weissenborn and filmed the session when I recorded it. I put it on YouTube and that video has just crossed a million views. John Williams is a master, and I love this particular soundtrack so much that I would be stoked if I got to hear it every time I walked into a room!

Head to Silo Park on Saturday 23rd January to see Thomas Oliver play alongside other Kiwi musicians to support the resettlement of refugees in NZ. $20 Koha. Find out more here.