Tom Dalgety is an English born producer, mixer and engineer. He is credited for working with various acts, with the most notable work being Royal Blood’s debut album which went on to be certified platinum and was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2014 for best album. Continuing his work with Royal Blood, Tom has worked on the duos latest album titled ‘How Did We Get So Dark’ which went to number one and has currently spent eight weeks in the charts.Tom has also worked alongside acts such as Pixies, INHEAVEN, Ghost, Opeth, Turbo Wolf, Dinosaur Pile Up and Broken Hands to name but a few.
We got the chance to pull Tom away from his projects for a few moments and interview him to find out about various parts of his career, who his favourite band are at the moment and also what it takes to work with Tom Dalgety himself.
Be sure to check out the various other works undertaken by Tom here.
From growing up in Somerset, how and when did you get into music? Was it due to education, a local scene or something else?
The local scene I guess – definitely not education – haha! Well, I grew up about 10 miles away from Glastonbury, so I started going to the festival at very young age. That whole area is kinda infused with a lot of hippie nonsense – which I love! I went to tonnes of local gigs.
What made you choose to follow production as a career?
I was in a band and I just always enjoyed the recording process more than doing gigs. I had a cassette portastudio in my parents’ garage from a very young age – and I would just spend all my time in there. Then, when I was a bit older, my band got to go to a proper studio with a proper producer (Steve Evans) and I just didn’t want to leave … so I didn’t!
Music is an industry that thrives on networking, what industry professionals have helped you get to where you are today?
I guess everyone I’ve ever worked with in some way or another. But people who stand out would include – Spike Stent, Lisa Ward, John Leckie.
What past release would you love to have been involved in and why?
Love this question, I could answer it as an essay (but I won’t). All the obvious ones that spring to mind are ones that I already see as being ‘perfect’ – so I wouldn’t want to jump back in time and fuck those records up! But maybe if I could be there in a fly-on-the-wall ‘tape-op’ kinda capacity. I guess the classic albums that fascinate me the most are Sabbath’s ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’, The Doors’ ‘LA Woman’, Pink Floyd’s ‘Meddle’ and Depeche Mode’s ‘Violator’.
Favourite band/artist at the moment?
Probably a band called Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats. It’s like all my favourite parts of Black Sabbath, The Beatles and The Stooges rolled into one!
How has being in a band helped to shape you as a producer?
Immensely I think. Because I can remember what it’s like to be the over-sensitive control-freak in the band, so I can relate to how it feels to be in the studio with ‘an outsider’. But it also helps on a more practical level when it comes to arrangements, harmonies etc…
How did the opportunity to work at Rockfield Studios come about?
I first went there in the early 2000s, engineering for Bruno Ellingham. Being a rural type – I just instantly felt at home there. And I’ve been there on-and-off ever since! The Maccabees, Band of Skulls, Opeth, Royal Blood, Turbowolf, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Broken Hands – recorded them all there.
What was it that stood out for you about Royal Blood when agreeing to work with them?
When I first met them – they were the session band for another artist. I remember getting into the studio the night before to set up (like an over conscientious dickhead). I asked them to “have a bit of a jam” – so I could sort out their headphone mixes etc… now, that can often be a torturous affair – asking a band to jam. But with this lot, it wasn’t. They played a few covers absolutely note-perfect and some original riffs and ideas – I just thought “I’m having this lot!”
For aspiring bands that want to work with Tom Dalgety, what would it take to get noticed?
Just good, interesting songs really. And great vocals – And I’d much rather hear scrappily recorded iPhone voice memos of cool stuff, than decent sounding logic demos of bland songs.