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interview

Tom Eagle

Musicians' Union

Tom Eagle has been The Musicians’ Union Regional Officer for the East & South-East since 2019. Prior to working for the MU full time Tom has worked in various sectors of the music industry including performance and recording as a drummer and education as a lecturer in music performance and music business. Tom has performed in over 25 countries and continues to perform occasionally. 

Tom Eagle

Where are you based?

London & Norwich, UK

Where do you work? What do you do?

Musicians’ Union. My day to work involves advising members in our region (we have around 6,500 in our region and 32,000 nationally) on all aspects of the music business, from copyright to touring the EU. I also do visiting lectures and represent members in discussions with their employers.

What are you listening to?

Chubby and the Gang, The Chisel, Small Axe soundtrack, anything on Daptone Records.

How do you discover new music?

I discover a lot on social media, through Instagram but also on Spotify and through word of mouth. I also get Vive Le Rock! Magazine every month which is great at promoting new bands.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

Most of my daytime listening at my desk is done through Spotify because it’s easy to use, but I still have an old Tellux record player in my office that I use most afternoons. I then have a main hifi which I listen to records on so I still buy everything I like on record, to support the bands, and so you then have it forever. I think people sometimes forget that they could lose their entire collection if they only have it on Spotify.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Everywhere! Working at my desk is probably where I do the majority of my listening (especially to new stuff), but music is always being played in this house, and my headphones go everywhere with me.

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

Instagram and Bandcamp.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

It is certainly easy to listen to music from streaming services, no downloading, putting records on etc. My main frustration is that having so much music available impacts my attention span and sometimes I have no idea what I want to listen to, that’s when I go back to my record collection.

“having so much music available impacts my attention span and sometimes I have no idea what I want to listen to, that’s when I go back to my record collection.”

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I keep new records to listen to in a separate rack and have a ‘new listening’ folder on Spotify.

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Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Mainly by word of mouth or I’ll send someone an email or text if I think there is something they would personally like.

Anything you want to “promote”?

The Musicians’ Union of course! I’ve been a member for a long time and always will be, even though I don’t play that often any more. They are a great Union and offer a lot of help to members, from contract and legal advice to campaigning on behalf of our members such as our #fixstreaming campaign.

"I still buy everything I like on record, to support the bands, and so you then have it forever. I think people sometimes forget that they could lose their entire collection if they only have it on Spotify."

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