Day off to first national tour

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian

From the Southerlys Tavern in Dongara to playing in venues along the east coast, folk-rock musician Tom Day has made quite a name for himself in a few short years.

Having just released his latest single, When I Fall, the singer-songwriter has embarked on his first national tour, which will see him play around Australia over the next two months.

Although Day is now based down in Margaret River, the 26-year-old was born in Geraldton and called Dongara home for 16 years.

In fact, Day’s first big musical break came about in Dongara when he was 23. “I first started playing in front of people at the Southerlys Tavern,” he said.

“The owner saw me playing one night and put on an open mic night just so I could play.

“It was probably about six months after that when I started getting paid gigs and I thought I’d just give it a go, see what happens.”

Day said it was inevitable that he would one day fall into music as his dad was a musician and there were always guitars around the house. But music wasn’t something he pursued right after high school. Instead Day moved to Perth and did a boat-building apprenticeship.

Five years later Day was back living in Dongara, before finally relocating down south to further his music career.

“There’s only a select amount of places you can play in the Mid West,” he said.

“I wanted to go and play music and I thought I’d have more luck being a novice in the music industry down there than trying to start out in Perth.

“At the start it was pretty daunting. There’s a lot of hard work because no one knows who you are.

“It’s still pretty hard, but people start knowing who you are and what you do and it kind of snowballs as you go along.”

In 2016 Day released his debut EP, Searching for Splendour, with the first single, Vent, quickly reaching No.1 on the Triple J Unearthed Roots chart.

Day’s upbeat songs are usually inspired by his own experiences, writing about relationships, what’s happening around him and the perils of working full- time. But for his latest single, Day decided to have a go at tackling a more serious topic, mental health issues in the music industry.

“I wrote When I Fall mid-last year. It was right around the time there was a lot of talk about (mental health) in the media,” he said. “We all go through the ups and downs in the music industry, and sometimes it can be pretty overwhelming and difficult.

“I’m not very good at writing slow, sad songs, so I thought I’d try and write it in my upbeat, fun style.

“This was the first time I’d ever done anything like that. It was a little bit daunting when I put it out there but the response has been pretty good so far.”

Although Day has left the Mid West off his upcoming tour, he said he might return before the end of the year. Day is also hoping to release his second EP in 2018, if he can stop for long enough to buckle down and work on it. “It’s difficult time-managing but there is one in the works coming soon,” he said.

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