Interview: Thomas Hewson - Tailgunner

We interviewed Tom, bassist of Tailgunner, the band that is banging the heads of metalheads around the world with their debut album.

Interview: Thomas Hewson - Tailgunner

Tailgunner are a Heavy Metal band from the UK that are causing a stir thanks to their debut album Guns For Hire. This Day In Metal thought it was an extraordinary debut that had not been seen since the likes of Iron Maiden or Angel Witch. See the full album review here.

Recently I had the opportunity to interview the band's bass player Thomas Hewson. We talk about Tailgunner and their future goals and plans.

TDIM: First, thank you very much for your time and attention for the realization of this little interview, my name is Edson Escalante from This Day In Metal, the truth is that I personally like your work a lot and your debut album I was already waiting for it since I listened to your first single.

Tom: Thanks for having me Edson! Killer to hear you like the album, thanks!

Edson: The first question I would like to ask you is about your name: Tailgunner. The first time I heard the name, Iron Maiden immediately came to my mind, how big was Maiden's influence on you?

Tom: Funnily enough I’m listened to the No Prayer album right now! Of course their influence is huge, Maiden are the greatest Metal band ever. However, we really try to keep certain things to a minimum. For instance, though many reviews insist otherwise, there are actually no gallops on the whole debut album. Ultimately, it’s so important to us to have our own sound, otherwise what’s the point?

Edson: Besides Iron Maiden, it is very noticeable the influence that thrash and early 80s speed metal had on you, specifically which bands played an important role in the creation of your sound and style?

Tom: For sure! Helloween are another huge influence, especially the first three albums. Megadeth we love too, of course Judas Priest, and King Diamond also. There’s literally a hundred bands from the NWOBHM and similar time period I could name too.

Edson: Being an opening act for a heavy metal star like K.K. Downing I think is something that not everyone can boast, what sensation and learnings did you get from sharing the stage with KK's Priest and Paul Di'Anno?

Tom: KK heard our band somehow, and liked us enough to open his first show. What a total, crazy honour that was for us! We learned loads from playing a show that size, and of course talking to KK and his people. Blaze Bayley was there too, he also gave us a load of advice… and asked us for a signed album!

Edson: The chemistry you have as a band is audible and from the videos of your performance in Wolverhampton you look and sound amazing, but I saw on your Instagram account that you were in search of a new guitarist, a couple of weeks before playing and releasing your album, in what way did it affect you to almost very quickly look for a new guitarist?

Tom: Actually, it was a really great thing for us. We had a lot of problems with our previous guitarist, and in May the final straw came. We fired him when we had a big festival later that week, so it was very stressful, but Rhea (Thompson) did such an amazing job learning the set and stepping in. People are really loving her too! After that, we headlined a smaller festival in Scotland and so the show with KK Downing was actually her third show with us, so we had loads of confidence. We will audition guitarists this coming weekend, and then make a decision.

Edson: What does Tailgunner mean to you?

Tom: Tailgunner is simply the band I always wanted to be in, since I was a kid. Just pure Heavy Metal exactly the way I want to play it, with no compromises or apologies. What size we become is really up to the rest of the world!

Edson: What is the next step for Tailgunner? Obviously I know you are focused on the promotion of Guns For Hire, but, do you already have a date to start working on your second studio album?

Tom: Actually, I started to work on album 2 almost 2 years ago! I like to stay ahead of things. So that’s coming together very nicely! We will tour Guns For Hire as much as possible over the next couple years though.

Edson: Here in Mexico there is a good amount of fans that love traditional heavy metal and we are delighted with your work, are there any plans for you to visit Mexico and South America?

Tom: Amazing to hear! We’d really love to come to Mexico and the rest of South America ASAP! Ask your metal festivals to book us!

Tailgunner's debut album, Guns For Hire can be listened to on digital platforms or purchased in physical format.

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