• jasperpr

Saucy Talk With Off The Record Blog

Updated: Jan 3

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We had a great little chat with OTR Blog founder Thomas Neil. Who graciously made time to chat with us for our second Saucy Talk Q+A. This saucy talk just might become a thing!

What are two things that inspired you to create Off The Record?

The first thing that inspired me to create Off the Record was that I was passionate about writing and music so I figured I’d make a place where I could combine those passions. The second reason was that I’ve always liked helping people, supporting them and reviewing their work seemed like a good way to help people get more exposure and maybe some kind words would also help them to keep working when things get tough as well.

You have eight minutes to pack a bag and get on the bus. Whose bus is it and where are you going?

The buses around here are all stagecoach so I guess I’d hop on one of those, right now I think I’d head to Arran, had a great experience last time I was over and It provided a nice mental reset after working through hard times.

You have just won a music-themed cruise. List nine bands that you would like to see play on the cruise ship and where are you heading?

I’m not a massive fan of the heat, It makes me sluggish and sick if things are too warm so I’d like somewhere either temperate or somewhere where the adventure makes up for the heat. But off the top of my head I’d like to go on an arctic cruise, that way I see untouched beauty of nature, avoid the heat and maybe see some Polar Bears.

As for who I’d like to play:

Twin Heart

Das Plastixx

Gordon's Alive Sway

And Heavy Rapids for my Local bands.

Avenged Sevenfold

Five Finger Death Punch

Panic! At The Disco

And Ninja Sex Party from the more established groups.

There is a deadline of three reviews to be written. The catch need to write each review in a different place. Where would we find you writing these reviews and why?

I do tend to have multiple reviews on the go at the same time and I do them when/where I can find time to do it so this has happened to me. What I’d tend to do is take a listen and see if it fits with what’s going on around me to limit distractions, fast paced album then you do it on the go or while things are going on around you, let's say I’m traveling to work. A slower paced album, take a walk around the park, while listening, sit down at a park bench to write, and if something isn’t quite heavy or fast, is maybe a little emotional I’ll go for a walk in the rain or during a longer journey when I’m not expecting the hustle and bustle of a quick departure. My review style isn’t perfect but it’s very personal, my experiences and what I liked, which can be good but I’ve found to give it my best I do like a backdrop which compliments the review itself, either than or no distractions at all, just close my eyes and listen to it.

What are seven essential albums you recommend others have in their record collections?

'Cardboard Castles’ by George Watsky (In particular check out ‘Moral of the Story, Hey Asshole, and both parts of Tiny Glowing Screens)

‘Dreamland’ by Brent Spiner and Maude Maggart (A tremendous collection of music, from the guy who played Data on Star Trek no less)

‘Let them Talk’ by Hugh Laurie (the guy that played House, and Stuart Little’s dad, wonderful example of Blues music, with someone who is passionate about the genre)

‘The Black Parade’ by My Chemical Romance (Such an important part of my adolescence, personal favourites from it though are ‘Teenagers’ and ‘Welcome to the Black Parade)

‘Human’ by Rag‘n’Bone Man (I loved this album, every single track is amazing and if you’ve somehow missed it then I can find no better use of 41.44 seconds of your time)

‘Without Wonderland’ by Altered Sky (I’ve been a fan of them for years and this album was so great I had to put it on the list)

‘Atlanta’ by Ron Pope (Not only is this amazing album but it was the record the summer I fell in love with my fiancée so it means a lot to me, make sure and check out ‘One Grain of Sand’)

List your top five Netflix shows.

Bojack Horseman


American Vandal

Luke Cage


Where do you see yourself six-months from now.

Hopefully I’ll still be doing Off the Record, I want to be working a full time job, writing in some capacity rather than it being something I do on the side. I’m also hoping by then to have my first tattoo and to have at least started learning to drive.

Who is the first person you interviewed for Off The Record? Is that one of your favorite interviews?

The very first Interview I did ever was with Benny Monteux and that was actually written while I was contributing to New Hellfire Club and I mention it because it's now up on Off the Record. It is actually one of my favourites because while my basic questions haven’t changed much I was far more unsure of myself when I first did that Interview and Benny was super helpful about the whole thing. The first interview I did specifically for Off the Record was with Ali McGowan, and that was because I found her music on Tumblr and thought it would be good for the site, which was still in development at that point. It was also the only interview to date that I ended up doing over Discord.

If we could add an eighth day to a week, and you are only allowed to do non-work related things on this day. What would be your top four things to do?

See that’s hard because a lot of the things I write about tend to come from things I enjoy doing, so even when I’m listening to music or watching a show a small part of my brain is thinking how this could be a review or something like that. But I suppose I’d catch up on some sleep, spend the day with my partner, watch some terrible slasher movies and then spend the rest of the day gaming.

Create a playlist of 10 songs that best describe Thomas @ Off The Record in song titles.

Oh this one is interesting, I think maybe:

‘Human’ by Rag ‘n’ Bone man

‘I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing’ by Aerosmith

‘Smile’ by Mikky Ekko

‘Be Yourself’ by Audioslave

‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ by The Clash

‘Gold Star for Me’ by Dodie Clark

‘Hit Me with Your Best Shot’ by Pat Benatar

‘Non-Stop’ from the Musical Hamilton

‘I Wanna Rock’ by the Twisted Sister

‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey

Check out all things Off The Record Blog HERE

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