Tom Thum Brings the Beat


    The Blackman | Music

    Brisbane beatboxer Tom Thum brings his unique and entertaining show to Melbourne – teaming up with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. We sat down with Tom to get an inside view into the life as a touring beatboxer.

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By Liv Croagh
14th April 2016

I found out I could beatbox when…
I practiced at it constantly for 10 plus years. It was never an epiphany moment for me, it was something I found out I had a passion for and then the actual skill came wayyy later. (Much to the extreme irritation of everyone around me!) 

My favourite city to perform in is…
It's hard to nail down a specific favourite but off the top of my head I would have to say Berlin is definitely up there. It's always full of creative people that aren't afraid to get a bit wild. I always have a great time there.

The strangest fan encounter was…
Well one of the most fortuitous encounters that I remember fondly was when Delta airlines lost all my equipment on the way to a gig in Salt Lake City (Thanks Delta!). Anyway, losing my bag was annoying… but I put the word out on my Facebook fan page to see if anyone could help me out with some very specific equipment. It turned out there was this guy in the next city over in Ogden that had copied my exact set-up! I ended up hanging out with him and his crew up in the Utah mountains for a few days of music making and adventuring. It was really dope. Shouts to Michael McFadden – you’re a legend!

On the weekends, you’ll find me…
You may not. Sometimes I can't even find myself. Whenever I have spare time at home in QLD I generally like to get away from the city and it's distractions, and work on my passion projects in little hideaways in the forest. Sort of like a hermit but less smelly. 

My most memorable moment on the road… 
Driving from San Diego to San Fran was pretty incredible. Some of the most truly spectacular coast line I've ever seen. Although I just bought a new car so I'm planning to do more travel on the road and less in the sky. Driving through the Border Ranges national park with my lady was pretty bloody memorable too. 

The craziest place I’ve been to…
I am currently on my way back from a gig at a festival called Zermatt Unplugged in the Swiss Alps. That was a pretty huge pinch yourself moment for me. It was very humbling to realise I'd been flown to Europe for five days to perform in a place that looked like it was straight from Lord of the Rings

My favourite music is…
That's something that always changes so much for me so I think I'm going to have to go with the genre I have had the longest love affair with and that has been Hip Hop for sure! But anything that can arouse a creative curiosity in me is generally what I attach myself to. 

My career highlight so far has been…
That is also a hard question but I would have to say sharing the stage with the full Queensland Symphony Orchestra for Brisbane Festival last year was pretty excitingly overwhelming. Just to have that sheer sonic force behind me was goosebump inducing and very surreal, given that the days in which I'm not donning a tux I'm usually hanging out in the park, having some drinks in the sun. Haha! But in all seriousness it's a very interesting corner my career path has taken considering the two vastly different worlds we've mashed together for these shows! 

Check out Tom and his unique talent at Hamer Hall on Thursday 14 April. Or watch him in action here.

Make a night of it, and book in at The Blackman – just a stone’s throw away.

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