Thomas Gunn —26 June 2019 on Rocket Shop Radio Hour
The rain cleared up just in time after a surprise downpour for Rocket Shop on June 26, 2019. The hour began with Thomas Gunn, who kicked off his performance with his keyboard and song, “Swimming in Fire,” which can be found on Youtube. The song is a soulful and wistful reflection on a past relationship. Gunn explained afterward that the song was a metaphoric reference to astrology, which he used the analogy of fire and water to describe.
“Does the music fit the mood or does the mood fit the music?” asked Tom, our interviewer for Rocket Shop, after Gunn’s previous explanation.
“Both,” Gunn answered. “I have a lot of emotions…these songs are an outlet for that.” He cited his childhood as the oldest of seven children being homeschooled in Vermont as a source for his inspiration and origin of his musical background. He called himself a “third parent” to his younger siblings; all of which are also musically inclined. Gunn mentioned his youngest sister, who is seven years old, as the most eager to collaborate with him in the future.
“How do you write a song?” asked Tom. Gunn described his “notebooks on notebooks on notebooks” that he has been crafting since he was fourteen-year-old. He is inspired by guests, exploring styles, and learning more on guitar. He began with fantasy writing and playing the piano from a young age. His old notebooks have inspired more songs since his divorce, which he also uses as inspiration for his music. “Doing what feels right in the moment,” he said as the key to creating new and innovative music.
His second song, “Lipstick Ghost,” is heavily rooted in his eighteen years of theatrical experience. The song has a jaunty, yet haunting old circus vibe. Continuing his poetic lyrics, the song is another metaphor for the uncertainty of new relationships.
His last song, “Rain Clouds,” is dedicated to his personal growth as he changes into a better person and the realization of “show things should have been handled.” Gunn’s music is a reflection of his childhood spent outside in the Vermont landscape as he would gain ideas from the streams, roads, and mountains of his rural home town.
Nowadays, he resides in Montpelier, where he has been performing at Sweet Melissa’s for the past month. He can also be found on Instagram at @thomasgunnmusic. He will also be featured in Worcester’s festival, Somewhere Out There, in August, which will support the Young Center, an organization that provides much needed help to children being held in camps at the southern border. For more information, visit the Somewhere Out There Facebook page.
Text by Jenn Travers.
Photo by James Lockridge.