WHEN ASKED TO DESCRIBE MY CAREER I REPLY: “I learnt almost everything I know by mistake! It’s been like driving the wrong way up a one way street, with people screaming at me to turn around! I just ignored them, driving faster and more erratically, confident in the knowledge that things don’t change if nothing gets broken.”
“My earliest memories are of attempting to write music age 6. By age 14, inspired by Stings playing in The Police, I begged my parents for an electric bass guitar; but a year later, blown away by Steve Lukather’s blistering solo in ‘Rosanna’, I sold everything I owned to play lead guitar.”
“The first day I had an electric guitar, I played it for 11 hours straight! By the next day my fingers were so sore I could only play for two hours; I haven’t looked back since …”
As a fan of diverse artists such as: Toto, Jeff Beck, Ministry Of Sound, Miles Davis, Skrillex, Yes, Joe Satriani, Pendulum, Van Halen, Gary Moore, and Steve Vai; Tim’s distinct blend of ultra-funky Latin rock mixed with dance instantaneously conjures up the holiday spirit of escapism, with all who hear it.
“I’ve got no problem explaining ‘Guitar Mashing’” TIM says animatedly. “It all came about through mixing genres, and having a determination to challenge the established norms; I’ve always had a distinct sound and love noodling around and writing it.”
Anchoring it all is TIM’s incredible guitar work. As immediate as it is undeniable, its power is matched only by his production skills, which are slick in the extreme. “My ultimate aim is to bring virtuoso instrumental guitar to a much wider audience.”
“Inspired by my guitar heroes, my debut album ‘Bald On The Inside’ was a true rock Latin funk fusion experiment” laughs Tim. “It was such an accelerated learning curve. I bought a whole bunch of instruments and recording gear, then whilst leaning how to use/play it all, I made the album.”
“Holidaying in Ibiza for the first time during the summer of 2004 really changed things. My first night out was to Judgement Sunday to see the legendary Judge Jules, but what really struck me was his live sax player Rogue jamming over his funky set” muses TIM.
“My immediate thought was; I could do that just as well if not better; but not for one minute would I have dreamt that by Christmas I would be in Judge Jules’ studio composing Spanish guitar mixed with Techno for his debut artist album, let alone replacing his sax player for the Radio 1 Ibiza weekend’s events by the following summer.” He adds impulsively “’Guitar Mashing’ was conceived in Ibiza that summer,” his smile lighting up the room.
By this time TIM was busy composing and recording for his second solo album ‘Guitar Mashing’. “It was a pivotal moment, a bridge if you will. I’d spent lots of time focusing on tricks and technical ability, but I started to realize that melodies and production where the key to where I wanted to be, so started devoting all my efforts to that end.”
TIM struggled in the education system due to his severe dyslexia as “Stockport education authority did not recognise it at the time as a disability, so I did not really get any help through school, apart from some sympathetic English teachers my Physics teacher giving me extra classes after school out of the kindness of their hearts,” says TIM “That Helped me get four GSCE passes at C grade.”
He went on to Salford College of music but “dropped out before I got kicked out. I could not cope with the written work. I find it difficult even to hold down an ordinary job. I lost jobs in shops because I could not cope with my ABCs.” He adds: “Running through the refectory naked at lunch break probably didn’t help my chances, but I won the bet!” comments TIM laughs raucously.
So TIM upped sticks and moved to London signing up to study at The Guitar Institute (now known as: The Institute of Contemporary Music performance) whose alumni number Ed O'Brien (Radiohead), Jack Doolan (Cyper 16), Matt Park (Helsinki, The Noisettes), Andrea Goldsworthy (Paloma Faith & Kate Nash), Arni Arnasson (The Vaccines), Ben Sargeant (The Script), Jihea Oh (Labrinth), Drew McConnell (Babyshambles). He won a diploma after 12 months, but dyslexia hampered his chances of returning for potential further studies towards a full degree.
“At the time I thought my life was at an end and it made me very low, but now I look back, I see my dyslexia as a gift. It has given me extra-ordinary improvisation, composition and arrangement skills.”
“I still have no idea how the things I write and play come together:” Tim laughs infectiously. “I don’t worry about scales and keys or what notes I’m playing. It’s all down to how it feels and if it captures people’s emotions.”
“At live shows I always aim to have a good time and carry the audience with me, I’m unquestionably the instigator of the Chaos & mayhem at the party.”
“Music is the God given saviour in my life; because when I’m busy with my music, it keeps me on the straight and narrow, if you know what I mean…”