Tom Hingley, former lead singer of seminal Manchester-based indie band Inspiral Carpets, will be performing at the Official Carter USM Aftershow Party at Brixton Jamm this Saturday night. Tom has recently written a memoir of his time with Inspiral Carpets and we caught up with him to find out more about his life post-Carpets.
Interview by Barney Evison
Have you played in Brixton before?
I played Brixton Academy a few times with Inspiral Carpets. Back in the day we made a live video there during our sold-out show in 2003. The Jamm’s a great venue, I’ve played there a few times. I’ve got some good memories of Brixton.
Your recent book, Carpet Burns, tells the story of your time with Inspiral Carpets – what’s in there?
It’s a roaring travelogue of the Manchester scene and includes lots of funny stories. There are stories in there about the Happy Mondays, about Noel Gallagher [who worked for the band as a guitar technician before forming Oasis with his brother] and about our time on Top of the Pops with Mark E Smith. The book is really an affectionate remembrance of my time with the band.
How about your other work – your solo music and activity with your other band, The Lovers?
I toured with The Lovers in September, we played 8 gigs – we’ve been together for 11 years now. I’ve also been keeping busy with my solo acoustic stuff – I played 140 gigs last year, pretty much working 7 days a week. It’s an exhausting life but I love it.
You’re also a visiting lecturer at Salford University – what do you teach?
I lecture on professional studies in music, teaching people how to become professional musicians. It’s a self-employed universe and you can’t rely on talent alone to get paid. There has always been more supply than demand in the music industry.
What’s your top piece of advice to young musicians starting out today?
Do it as a lifestyle, don’t do it to make a million pounds. You should play music to define yourself and to bring meaning into your life, not to earn lots of money.