A Couple of Questions with Tam Johnstone of The General Store
ALSO: The General Store was featured in our The Best Albums You've (Probably) Never Heard feature.
For those just learning about Local Honey now, can you give a nutshell of your career prior to its release?
I'd already been in the music biz for about 10 years, working in studios, playing in bands, but I was always working on my own stuff. It's just that I didn't consider myself a decent songwriter until I started working on Local Honey.
Do you recall any anecdotes from the recording of the album?
It was a weird time for me, as I'd just come out of a long-term relationship, so I was in a spectacular mess. I recorded it all in my bedroom in about a week, and my roommate had to put up with me doing harmonies or playing a tambourine at 4 AM.
Did you expect it to have a better commercial reception than it did?
Well, at the start, I didn't. It was other people who suggested I put it out. I thought it was way too personal and “whiny”…like, "oh, poor me. I'm so tortured and I don't have a girlfriend,” etc. Who would want to listen to stuff like that? Lots of people, apparently.
Are you pleased to find that it still maintains enough of a following to make its way into this piece?
Absolutely! I figured a few people would buy it, some of them would like it, and that would be the end of it. But when the first bunch of reviews came in, I was gobsmacked, and the fact that there are still people discovering the record for the first time makes me feel very proud.
What are you doing now?
I'm about to release the next General Store album, called Mountain Rescue. It's taken a long time to find a label for this one, but, finally, it looks like it's coming out in a couple of months. I also have a new band called Glass Shark, who are attracting a bit of interest in the UK. It's very different from TGS.
Check out General Store's official site for more info.