Ukulele Video of the Year 2008: Rod Thomas – Same Old Lines

Rod Thomas – Your Love Is A Tease (Ukulele Version)(MP3)
Uke Hunt exclusive.

A very deserving winner in my opinion: instantly catchy song, fun video, singalong chorus. And it’s easy to play on the ukulele: there are chords for Same Old Lines here.

I got in touch with Rod to ask him a few questions, and not only did he do that, he also recorded a ukulele version of his song Your Love Is A Tease just for us (you”ll be able to get the original versions of Same Old Lines and Your Love Is A Tease on the forthcoming mini-album Until Something Fits).

When and why did you first pick up the ukulele?

I’ve always loved the sound of the ukulele. I’d gone on a little spree of buying slightly twee instruments (glockenspiel, melodiker) for a live set, and then bought a ukulele on ebay. Then I loved playing it so much I bought a better one, and now my uke with a pick up for playing bigger gigs with my band.

How did the sock-puppet/kids’ TV theme of the Same Old Lines video come about?

I’d been talking for ages with a video director who was meant to do ‘You Get Goodbyes‘ but didn’t. I played him ‘Same Old Lines‘ and he got back to me straight away with the kids’ TV show idea, which I loved, so we worked on it together for a few weeks, and then I turned up at the studio to find this amazing set all built and painted, it was amazing!!

Have you ever been told, “It’s not you, it’s me”? And have you ever used it yourself?

I think everyone’s probably used it to some degree. Yes I’ve been told it! Although in the song it’s not about one particular time, more the line as a palm-off in general.

I heard you were supposed to be on the Today Programme talking about making a living as a musician but got bumped. So what advice would you give to someone hoping to make it in the music business?

Yeah I didn’t realise the show got bumped until I saw the other interviewee – Keith Jopling – blog about it. Advice … well not to expect anything to happen very quickly. Work as hard as you possibly can, explore as many avenues as you can for being creative, be resourceful and I guess set yourself a goal and just keep working at it. I’ve been working really hard at this for years now, and set up my own label to put stuff out. It’s taken a long time and a lot of re-working my live set (from solo acoustic, to band, to solo with loop pedal, to loop pedal plus band) to get people to take notice.

How’s the debut album coming along? And how has it been working with Boom Bip?

The debut album is coming along well! First though, there’s a limited run mini album (first 4 singles plus bsides and remixes) out on March 2nd called Until Something Fits while I finish off the debut album proper.

Working with Boom Bip was amazing. He’s an incredible producer and musician, and I’d been following his work for years, so getting chance to spend over a week working with him and swapping ideas was just great. We’re both really happy with the two tracks we did together. I can’t wait to put them out!

What can we expect from you in 2009?

I’ll be doing a little UK tour around the mini-album release, then I’m playing at SXSW in Texas, which I’m so, so excited about. There’s a Welsh theatre tour in May with Devon Sproule and probably a coupe of festivals come summer. And the proper album will be finished. Maybe even a few more ukulele versions if there’s the demand for it… So quite a lot I think!

You can pre-order Until Something Fits here and badger him for more ukulele versions on MySpace and Facebook

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