Tom Kitty Oliver Interview

Music News 360 caught up with Tom Kitty Oliver prior to the release of his first full length album titled, ‘Just Feel It And You Will Know’. We discussed transcendence, shadow selves, and the circular nature of the universe. Dig in for the deep dive, and special thanks to Tripp Gobble for conducting this transmission.

it has that transcendent moment… the chorus has that transcendent moment

I remember being in the studio and saying…

if this song were ever played at a concert, this would be the moment when everyone would have their hands up

This transcendent, communal moment

the cover of the album is me floating in the Pacific Ocean

the photo was taken from below… it makes me look like I am just floating

that feeling, the feeling of floating, captures the album

It is so interesting to me… because I feel like Nirvana went for that feeling

I have these moments where I will have a Kurt Cobain image flash into my mind

Or I will see kids wearing Nirvana sweatshirts… and I am like…

Oh shit… have I made a Kurt Cobain record?

It is sung from the perspective of the outsider looking in

maybe it is a disembodied feeling..

but it is also a feeling of unity

because when you are not just confined to your body, you can commune with something greater than yourself

so that outsider looking in perspective gives it a vibe

there is an element of that… using the songs to process emotions

they are almost created to be mirrors so that I can see myself back

and hopefully other people will find value in them

whether they see themselves

or in seeing me, they see themselves

Yeah… I think there is some of that self advice

In terms of… how to go forward in life

Like, don’t be overly analytical, sometimes things will just unfold

It comes through on ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’

that is a darker song

It was as if I had a wound, and the energy had to be transmuted

Writing the song was the way I was able to heal the wound

it is about betrayal

I basically just had this feeling stuck in me

A bad situation where I felt that things... basically someone had acted as he should not have

this person was being immoral in his decision making

and I felt that the consequences of this person’s actions were lodged in me, emotionally

it literally came out… the emotion literally came out as I finished the recording process

I cried a little bit as we finished the recording… it was like, “I got it out!”

There is so much greed, especially in the US

The foundations of American culture are based on greed

the fact that Judas would be willing to sell out Christ, this shaman figure, who had taught him everything

for just thirty silver coins, the equivalent of a slave, in that time

It is just like “woah…”

People haven’t evolved past that… we still do that today

I think we all have a little bit of Jesus and a little bit of Judas in us

I’d like to think we can make decisions that pull us in one way or the other

It just feels like more and more, the last 10 years have been sliding into the Judas realm

Don’t believe him!

He just wants the clout and the money…

So much of spirituality as it is marketed is saccharine

it is just the sugar

No, you actually have to look at all of humanity

You have to understand that we are capable of throwing millions of people into ovens

We are capable of gassing millions

Enslaving people

packing them on wooden ships for months… all for money

We have to acknowledge that we have a dark side

That is the purpose of religion…

To show us that we have a dark side and also to show us we have a choice not to go there

without the dark side, without ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’, the album would not be complete in terms of my experience of spirituality

I am taking influences from both Bob Dylan and The Velvet Underground

I got to give a shout out to Wesley Graham for staying up all night with me to record the electric version of Pale Blue Eyes… he mixed the track

The acoustic version was recorded while I was living at home in Georgia

In a way, it is a saying goodbye to childhood, you know?

Understanding that what was is no longer, and now there will be a new thing… whatever that may be

So a lot of those emotions are wrapped up in the acoustic version

it is just one take

It felt so strong and emotionally rich…

I felt that it needed to be on the album, and not only on the album… but the acoustic take needed to be at the top of the track list

It is one microphone, just me and my guitar performing live

It was a really lonely time in my life, and it felt like… certain expectations that I may have had… I needed to let them go…


Man it was so much fun playing that guitar really loud!

‘It’s A Little Strange’ is a reference to ‘Know Everybody You Meet’

‘It’s A Little Strange’ was recorded at John Vanderslice’s studio, Tiny Telephone

I got to play through the big amps with the guitars cranked to 10

It was just like… I want this to be a wall of sound.

If you get really into the track, the lead guitar on the chorus… it sounds like stars moving across the sky

‘Know Everybody You Meet’ was recorded with Mat Jones in his home studio.

Shout out to Mat and his project It is rain in my face.

the two songs share the same lyrics, though the arrangements are different

they, almost in a way, feel like different songs to me, and the lyrics address themes of synchronicity…

that is the fulcrum point of the album

the track divides the record into two with the album ending where it begins

if the listener takes the time to really study the album he or she will realize that it is crafted to be a cultural artifact representing universal consciousness

I feel that’s what the greatest artists do… they tap into those deep images that are within all of us

I guess… I felt like if I was going to take the time to make a full length album, I wanted the emotions to run that deep


So I did my best to weave in as much as possible so…

the listener could experience universal consciousness as I have experienced it… through waking and dreaming

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