TOM DREAM TALKS WHINNIE WILLIAMS - TEXT EMILY HARRISON
2015 was the year the 1970’s came back with a vengeance, and what could be more seventies than Elvis? Tom Dream's first solo video capitalizes on the current popularity for the era with the King himself. Whinnies new song, ‘Too Strong’, is situated in a kind of 70’s dream world all silk shirts, bejeweled cat suits and micro shorts, not to mention some first rate synchronized disco moves. We had a chat with Tom to find out more about his unique interpretation of the songs lyrics and how much fun it was making his first solo video a shiny seventies sequin fest.
Word Is Cheap: How did you approach visualising the lyrics for this?
Tom Dream: The track is all about men having trouble opening up and speaking about their problems. It’s a bit of a live topic at the moment and one that definitely deserves more attention, so it was important to get this message across, but in a way that wasn’t too heavy. Having an Elvis impersonator as our lead character meant we could deliver this in a way that was consistent with the style of the rest of the video.
Music videos basically consist of asking annoying questions on Facebook for a week and then driving around in a van for three days picking things up. That’s my experience of them anyway…
WIC: The video definitely has a seventies feel, all catsuits, polyester and Elvis impersonators was it fun trying to recreate that era?
TD: It’s fun collaborating with people who get what you’re trying to do. Whinnie had a load of the props already, but having Aimee Croysdill to style and Amy Exton on set design really brought the whole thing together. I do now have 100 square feet of shag rug to flog at the next Word is Cheap carboot sale - you are going to do this right? Good. I'm banned from Ebay.
WIC: It looks like a lot of set-ups, was it a tough shoot day?
TD: Yeah there was a lot to get through but we had an awesome crew, and help from friends and management on the day to pull it off. These things wouldn’t happen if people weren’t into the idea, and up for sacrificing their time to help bring it to life. Music videos basically consist of asking annoying questions on Facebook for a week and then driving around in a van for three days picking things up. That’s my experience of them anyway…
WIC: I like the way you mirrored the moves of the lead singer with that of the impersonator, how did you connect Elvis and Whinnie in your mind?
TD: Thanks WIC. It was important to show they were connected in some way throughout, until their relationship was fully revealed at the end. And the moves are so iconic, I wish we could have included more. Whinnie and I are planning a follow up video for this actually, in which we’re going to get a hundred people to come down and be Elvis in Space. You should come.
WIC: Is the guy who plays an Elvis impersonator actually an Elvis impersonator? How did you find him? (I am envisioning a queue of Elvis’s waiting up to audition for you..)
TD: That would have been cool! We were convinced Ray Winstone was going to be our Elvis until about two days before the shoot, so ended up having to do a last minute online casting to find someone else! Richard Ginn was our saviour. In his application form he’s stood next to a garden shed holding a drill with a massive loveable grin on his face - we knew right away that he was our man. Funnily enough he’s actually a Buddy Holly impersonator, but his character mattered more than his ability to imitate Elvis. He did a cracking job either way.