With an eclectic roster that dances in and out of the realms of the Ghost Cult, Polymath PR guru Tom Brumpton took time out from his Christmas shopping to discuss his 2018, and his optimism for what is coming in 2019…
You’ve worked with a host of great bands and labels this year, but which have been your favourite and most memorable campaigns (and why)?
You don’t ask much, do you Steve?! OK, working with APF Records was awesome. Andrew Field is someone who is super passionate about music, and genuinely cares for the bands he works for which was brilliant to be a part of. We did the new Under record, and the response was awesome.
I’ve also been back in the saddle with two of my favourite bands; Ireland’s Dead Label and Switzerland’s Invoker. I love those guys. DL’s drummer Claire and I basically spend our days exchanging pictures of our dogs with one another, and Invoker’s bassist Andy is a massive nerd, so we just sit and swap movie trailers and comic book suggestions. We just finished consoling each other over the Avengers Endgame trailer.
What have you got coming up in the first half of next year that we should all be getting excited about?
PR wise, I have the new Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters record coming out. This makes me very happy as Beth is one of my favourite people and one of the best singers on the British scene today. Also, Invoker are about to hit the road next March, so I’m working with them on that. Andy and I are gonna go watch Captain Marvel together.
Otherwise, my film, The Guiding Light! I’m literally sat researching Stephen Sondheim lyrics as I type this! We’re in pre-production right now, and it has been a super intense but amazing process. I cannot wait to share both Beth’s new record and this film with everyone in the new year!
What have been your favourite albums this year?
OK, I’ll keep this limited to my top five:
Richard Spiven – Real Time (Fine Line)
I was looking for something that was super chill and lo-fi, and I found Richard Spiven’s new album Real Time. It’s just a beautiful, easy listening electro jazz record. Perfect for winding down after a long day spent talking about Metal bands.
Johann Johannson – Mandy OST (Lakeshore)
Man, I am gutted Johann Johannson is no longer with us, because he was a pioneer. I love his work. Mandy made it onto my top ten movie list this year, and his soundtrack for it was great. A fascinating blend of lush ambience and harsh drone. I believe Stephen O’Malley from Sunn0))) worked on it too. Awesome record.
Halestorm – Vicious (Atlantic)
I am very late to the Halestorm party, but good Lord, Lzzy Hale’s voice! I haven’t heard power and control in a vocal performance like that in years! Vicious is an absolute stomper of a record and I’m chuffed to bits they’ve been nominated for a Grammy. Totally deserve it.
Carpenter Brut – Leather Teeth (Caroline)
I found these guys via Lulu Davis at Incendia PR. I spent all of 2017 banging on about how amazing Ulver’s last record was and she recommended this. Massive sounding, great melodies and full of energy, it reminds me a lot of The Prodigy, which is never a bad thing.
Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest (Metal Blade/Nuclear Blast)
I love Nergal, I think the dude’s fantastic. His Me And That Man record was on my top ten list last year, and he’s outdone himself with I Loved You At Your Darkest. Raw Satanic extremity smacked upside the head by a fabulously broad musical pallet. Best Extreme Metal album of 2018.
What are you hoping for under the tree this year? And any New Year’s resolutions you’re happy to share?
My folks are great at surprises even after all these years. That being said, I guarantee they’ll be some super expensive coffees and chocolates. I’ve also asked for a couple of books I really want. Honestly, though, just getting to spend time with my family this year will be wonderful.
Resolutions; I’m gonna wrap up like a nerd and quote Captain Marvel; higher, further, faster, more!
Merry Christmas, everybody!