INTERVIEW: TONKS Searches For Simple Happiness on "Windows Down & Dying"
Dryjacket bassist Ian Foley recently debuted his solo project, TONKS and is gearing up to release his debut album, Windows Down & Dying on November 16th. With Windows Down & Dying TONKS not only explores what he calls “simple happiness” but also finds the freedom to write music that speaks to him, regardless of sound or mood. TONKS offers an introspective collection of songs that fans will not only be able to sing along with, but also connect with.
Ahead of the release of Windows Down & Dying, we caught up with Foley to talk about the new project, his goals for his new music and plans for the rest of 2018. Read the full interview now below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about TONKS for anyone who might not be familiar?
I’m Ian Foley, and I play bass in the band Dryjacket. I’ve been writing songs on my own for years and this is my outlet to finally put music out on my own. TONKS is a harry potter reference, and for those not familiar, she is a Metamorphagus. I’ve been using that name for the project to allow it room to change and be whatever it chooses aesthetically and sonically.
What have you learned from your other musical projects that have helped you to create music that you could be proud of as Tonks?
I think the number one thing I’ve learned from writing with Dryjacket is that writing is something that takes discipline. You can’t always wait for a song to come to you. Sometimes you have to sit down and put hours into something until it sticks, or you have to step away from it and move forward with something else.
You recently announced your debut album, Windows Down & Dying. What are you excited for listeners to hear on this release?
I’m really excited for people to hear the different instrumentation on the record. I recorded all of the violin tracks (to the best of my ability). It’s something I want to get better at, but I was happy to be able to record the string parts I heard in the songs.
It being your debut album as TONKS, was there anything you wanted to accomplish with Windows Down & Dying?
I really just wanted to make a cohesive acoustic record on my own, and sort of prove to myself that I was capable of organizing all of the things it takes to make an album. I’m proud of the record and I hope that it will be the first of many.
You’ve mentioned before that Windows Down & Dying is about prioritizing happiness. Were there any subjects that you knew you wanted to touch on in regards to that? Was there anything you knew you wanted to talk about on this album?
I really wanted to touch on “simple happiness.” I wanted the songs to reiterate simple concepts like “call your friend back. They’ll understand you’ve been busy”… “Stop trying to make something work that’s not going to”… “Life will get boring, so dig deeper into your hobbies.” I think life can be very long, so you need to keep busy and allow yourself to be entertained by ordinary things.
How do you feel you’ve grown with the writing and recording of Windows Down & Dying?
I feel like I have a better grasp on how I should plan for the second record. There were some instrumentation things I skipped out on because I was indifferent, but the process has made me better at hearing what a song needs in order to be filled out.
What would you like listeners to take away from the album?
I hope people will cover the songs and sing along with their friends. I also hope that people will listen to the record, in their car on a road trip, or outside on a cold night. Some of my best memories are of people sharing new music with me on long car rides. There is no better feeling.
With the album out soon, do you have any big plans coming up? Any shows in the works?
There are a handful of release show dates planned that I am excited for. I’m also planning a full US tour for March. I want to play as many shows as I can right now, so feel free to invite me to play your house shows!