INTERVIEW // Thomas Oliver: On The Story Behind ‘Roses’


Hi there, how are you? It’s certainly been a strange time, how has this time affected your music and creativity?

Hello! It’s an interesting hybrid of increased productivity (due to slightly more time than usual) and decreased inspiration (due to less life-living than normal). I always remind myself as a songwriter, “make sure you live your life too, because that’s what will inspire the greatest stories and songs.” I’ve been doing lots of production and mixing and videos and so on, but I don’t feel particularly inspired to write, because I miss travelling and going to shows and connecting with all sorts of people.

You’ve just put out ‘Roses’, what can you tell us about this track? What was the journey to this piece?

You’re probably not going to believe me, but I wrote ‘Roses’ about a girl I was falling for during lockdown, who later turned out to be not real! Haha. I became quite close with her over a period of a few weeks, and we would speak on the phone at night, sometimes for hours. And she told me a great story about a rose bush from her past which became a life lesson and tattoos on her body, and that (along with my attraction to her) spawned the song, ‘Roses’. But I later came to realise that the identity she had sold me was fabricated. But I’m grateful for the experience because I learned a valuable lesson and got a new song out of it which I love! There’s a cool interview video on YouTube for anyone who is interested to hear the whole story.

At Temporary Dreamer we have a signature question- if Roses could be a colour, what would it be and why?

I’m so tempted to say red, because it’s so obvious and so fitting, but I’m going to say black, to represent the feelings of love that didn’t exist.

You’ve had a very impressive career already, have there been any signature stand out moments that have meant a lot to you?

I won the APRA Silver Scroll (song of the year) award for my song, ‘If I Move To Mars’, so that was definitely an honour and a highlight. And last year I was a top-ten finalist for ‘Best Vocalist’ at the international DNB Arena Awards. But to be honest, I’ve always considered my greatest achievement to be an artistic thing, not a commercial thing, so I have some personal artistic achievements that may not mean much to anyone else, but I hold dearly with pride.

What does music mean to you? How have you connected with music over the years?

For me, it is life’s greatest portal to feelings of enchantment at this existence, and all of the joy and pain that comes with it. It helps us to understand the things which are greater than ourselves, which helps us to make a little more sense of this fascinating existence. I have connected with music by devoting my existence to it, and to trying to serve it in the best way that I can.

If you could recommend one track that everyone on this planet should listen to, what would it be?

The birds outside, right now.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future? You’ve already blown us away with every release so far, so I can surely say that I’m excited to see what you’ve got planned.

Shucks, thank you! We are just about to start our NZ tour and we will be filming and recording some of the shows so look out for some rad live content coming soon. But first, we’ve just released the first of five videos from a studio-live series we shot recently called ‘Massey Live Sessions’. I had my band in the studio for two days, with 9 guest musicians rotating on different songs, and 7 cameras. The results are…the best videos I’ve ever had. You can find the first one on YouTube now, and subscribe to my channel to see the rest which are on their way!

Thanks for the chat, Temporary Dreamer!

Featuring in the International Section due to Australian PR- Jade Gould

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