I’ve been a fan of Tut Tut Child for just about his entire career. One of my favorite tracks of his, “Broadside Bordello,” is actually the first track ever uploaded to his YouTube channel, and I still listen to it every once in a while for that healthy dose of nostalgia. From his Dance To It EP, all the way until his most recent Ask Your Friends First EP, I’ve been following TTC’s work and admiring his ability to transport listeners to another dimension. It turns out, that was his plan all along.
Tut Tut Child is heavily influenced, in almost all facets of his persona, by the popular book Alice In Wonderland. He regularly takes passages and themes from the book and folds them into his music, and his debut album might be the most stark example of that yet.
Though not every song has a direct thematic parallel to the book, Come To The End; Then Stop is a wonderfully diverse and opportunistic album that takes direct inspiration from the fanciful world down the rabbit hole, as it were.
With epic collaborations between long-time vocalist friends and a surprise appearance from Prodigy guitarist Jim Davies, Tut Tut Child’s debut album sets a high precedent for himself in the future. Listen below, and read on as I interview TTC all about his inspirations and album.
I’ve been told that a lot of your artist identity stems from the Alice In Wonderland book – your name, many of your track titles; is the name of the album, Come To The End; Then Stop, also a book theme?
TTC: It is, yeah. It comes directly from a passage in the book, actually from a segment from a longer passage. But yeah, there are a lot of songs that are named directly from it, and some which are based more on the themes of the book. A lot of my old music has been based around it as well, two of my old EPs for instance.
I thought it was a really good place to jump off from, writing about Alice In Wonderland. It’s a book which can go in any direction, there are no rules and it’s always looking to surprise you. As a musician, you don’t want to be confined to anything, and the book really shows that any direction can work and it can create a surprising effect.
I’ve actually been a fan of yours for a while now, ever since “Broadside Bordello.” Do you ever go back to your old material for inspiration, or maybe to even pull out some old samples?
TTC: Oh really?? Wow, that was before my Monstercat days. [laughs] I do, actually. Sometimes I think it’s good, in order to move forward, to see where you’ve come from. And there are a few songs on this album where I went and opened up a few of my really old patches and took some presets which I made in them, and then I was like, “How can I make this almost unrecognizable but still have the same feel as what I was doing back then?” So there are a few tracks where… like the track “Eat Me,” one of the basses in there is basically the same bass which I used in “Dragon Pirates” which is from my first EP. But it’s so layered and different, you wouldn’t notice it. I thought it was good to take some really old influence and put it back in the new album. It might be a thing which people pick up on, it might not.
The Monstercat community is so focused and ravenous, I don’t doubt they’ll pick it out.
TTC: Oh yeah, they’re pretty amazing. They never seem to miss anything.
So how did you get Jim Davies on “Talking Of Axes”? I didn’t recognize the name at first but when I looked it up, he’s the guitarist for The Prodigy!
TTC: We both occasionally worked for Sony doing music for TV shows, movies, stuff like that, and so they were having a Christmas party and I met him at that. He happened to be familiar with my stuff and he told me he had my music in his gym playlist, and I was like, “Cool.” And we just kinda got chatting and then it was quite a while later that we talked about the idea of him being on one of my songs. And I was like, “Pfft, of course I want you on one of my songs. Why not. The guitarist from ‘Breathe’ and ‘Firestarter’, it would be a dream come true.”
So when I started writing that song, I knew that the finishing touch would be having him on it. I sent it over and he liked it and then we took it from there. I’m really happy with how it turned out. He gets the most ridiculous guitar sounds, it’s brilliant.
There are a bunch of different styles of tracks on the album. Going back to Alice In Wonderland, how do you use those influences in not just what kind of tracks to make, but how to compose them?
TTC: Each time I’d start a song, instead of saying “here’s a tempo” or “here’s a genre,” I’d read a passage and say, “Okay, there’s some cool visual ideas here. How can I put those across in a musical setting?” So usually I’ll sit down at a keyboard or at my guitar and I’ll start playing with some ideas. And usually I’d be able to know if it’s fitting what I’m trying to portray. And sometimes there will be parts in the book where I’ll almost want to recreate what is actually happening.
Like in “Talking Of Axes,” at the beginning, there’s almost like a pots and pans kind of noises and a bit of a cacophony going on. That, I wanted to mimic a passage in the book called “Pig & Pepper” where it’s in a kitchen and there’s lots of things being thrown around. There’s like a baby screaming, it’s all rather chaotic and I thought that would be a very interesting thing to try and portray in a song. And so that was the starting point for that. And… I think it turned out how I wanted. [laughs]
You mentioned visual imagery earlier. Will there be any music videos for the album?
TTC: Ideally yeah, I would like to do that. There are a few songs especially which I think would work. I don’t want to go into them too much, but that’s definitely the next step for me. I think that’s the natural progression, now that the album is done.
You bring back a lot of favorite vocalists for the album, like Danyka Nadeau and Augustus Ghost. But one that’s missing is Laura Brehm.
TTC: I loved working with Laura Brehm, yeah, but rather organically it just didn’t happen. Sometimes I’ll write a song and I’ll know who I want for it exactly straight away, and I think that’s just how it happened on this album. I’d love to work with her again, she’s got an amazing voice.
How long would you say the album has been in production for?
TTC: Some of the songs on the album I had started before the last EP had come out. [Ask Your Friends First.] I think it’s been over a year and a half writing. The track “Queen Of Your Heart” took me well over a year. Many of them are shadows of how they first started out. I probably wrote close to 20 songs for the album and then these are my favorite 11.
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