interview | tourist

Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Tourist, aka William Phillips, is gearing up to release new music with an EP coming out at the end of October, so we asked him to tell us all about it and spill the beans on what it’s been like supporting Bonobo on tour.

Where are you and what have you been up to today?

I’m in Los Angeles, California and I’ve just woken up. Therefore I’ve not been up to much this morning, aside from making some coffee in my hotel room and listening back through what I was working on in the studio yesterday.

The video for ‘We Stayed Up All Night’ has just come out, talk us through how that came together.

We asked for pitches from around 10 directors, and funnily enough most of them came back imagining the same story. It became clear that it was going to be a story about young kids on a night out, and so my choice was that of a stylistic one. Daniel Brereton’s style was one that I thought would suit perfectly for the kind of story we wanted to tell and so we went with him. There’s a kind of British Wes Anderson thing he has going and it really works with the song.

A remix package for the single has also just dropped, how did Tom Demac and Matthew Dear become involved?

We asked them, and to my surprise they both said yes.

What can we expect from your new EP? Will it sound very different from U?

It sure is different, I think the mood of Tourist will always feel consistent but I’ll aways try to find new sounds that help express it. With this EP I wanted to be more collaborative, having written an album of quite singular instrumentals, I had a natural inclination to open up my world a bit more to working with others. Sonically, I just tried to move away from my natural instincts and usual starting points – I learnt that my process is completely arbitrary and there are many means to accomplish good creative work.

What’s it been like supporting Bonobo on tour in the States?

It’s been great fun, we live in similar worlds musically so the crowd has been really responsive. It’s not felt like they’re smiling politely and waiting for the main act, which is nice as sometimes support slots can feel somewhat stapled on. He has incredibly loyal and enthusiastic fans, and it’s inspiring to see someone six albums into his career sell out really big shows. I’ve been playing in front of far more people than I ever do as Tourist so it’s been a real privilege.

What are you listening to at the moment?