I first ran across Welsh indie rockers Toy Horses on YouTube. Suitably impressed, I badgered band ukulelist Tom into answering a few questions.
Your ukulele playing in Toy Horses is very different from the usual uke fair. How did you develop your style?
I started playing the uke a couple of years ago after hearing George Harrison’s Brainwashed album. I’ve always played the guitar previously so I kind of thought of it as a mini guitar and played it like that. In fact I’ve never really played much lead before but when you’ve only got four strings it’s easier to get your head round! I think it’s such a great songwriting instrument too. I have written many songs on the ukulele that I would never have written on the old six string.
What’s in your ukulele collection?
Not a lot!! My electric Risa which I love to bits. I had such feedback problems with my acoustic uke, also it’s a bit of a talking point at gigs. Not many people know what it is. My only other uke is a Vineyard, it’s pretty good instrument but does start to go out further up the frets. Actually I lied ‘cus I do have a third, the trusty £10 mahalo, that’s the one that got me started on this uke trip!
What can we expect from Toy Horses in the future?
Toy Horses have only been going since last December but we’ve had a great run of luck. As well as quite a bit of radio play we are in the final of the Intel unsigned bands competition in Camden in November. We are also off to Clonmel in Ireland for the final of a songwriting competition which features my uke heavy tune ‘But What About The Future’
In January we head off to Nashville to record a few tracks with Ken Coomer(Wilco) and in breaking news we’ve just found out that we are playing SXSW in Austin Texas next March!
Where can people get their hands on Toy Horses stuff?
MySpace. We currently put our songs up as and when we record them and let people download them for nothing! ( there does seem to be a problem with the myspace player at time of writing this) This is subject to change of course if we become global superstars!!!! :o)
Theres also a few different little videos floating around youtube.
Anyone who likes our stuff is welcome to leave heaps of praise on the myspace page. We love that!!!
On a semi-related matter, does anyone know what happened to MySpace downloads? Ever since they changed to the new player, I haven’t been able to get anything.