In high school during our Christmas concert, I wore a sparkly indigo-blue bowtie with a matching cummerbund, 12 pleated white tuxedo shirt, iridescent black pants and a covered denim jacket, ripped into a vest adorned with studs all over the front, on the back in shiny square studs spelt the name of the rock band “IRON MAIDEN” in large block letters. If someone had told me, back then, approximately 22 years later that I would have the good fortune to interview one of the original members of Iron Maiden, I would have cackled with laughter and called them CRAZY!
What Tony Moore has done for humanity, let alone the music industry is genuinely remarkable and all of this in one lifetime. Tony has seized every opportunity to not only succeed but consistently challenge himself, not exclusively as an artist more importantly as a human being. Tony is an innovator and trailblazer who has taken full advantage of our new found modern day technology by brining tremendous music to the masses.
Rania: Are you a classically trained keyboard/synthesizer player?
Tony: No, my father was, and I grew up listening to him playing all the greats from Rachmaninov to Chopin. But although I had a few lessons when I was young I found it hard to read music and follow a structure, I learnt to play by ear and was composing from about 12.
Rania: How many posts have you held in the music industry?
Tony: Hmmm, I have done so many things over the years but, Singer/Songwriter, Keyboard Player, Musical Director (in a band), Radio Presenter, Promoter, Producer and Manager.
Rania: Which one of these posts are your favourite and why?
Tony: Singer/Songwriter, I will often stay up all night writing and singing because it releases an energy in me that I can find in no other outlet, it gives me the greatest joy.
Rania: What inspired you not only to take up flying but also the concept of Acoustic Airwaves?
Tony: I had always been intrigued by the idea of flying, but later in life, when I did some consultancy for a very good wage, I decided to use the money to invest in my wild dream. I immediately loved the challenge and focus it required and I love the precision that is required…as I was learning I not only felt that it was a privilege to be able to do it, but that I wanted to do something with the flying that had a purpose (more than just flying around in big circles for a few hours) I saw that there was space in the plane and felt it was like a flying transit in some ways. I thought wouldn\’t it be cool to fly to gigs with all my gear in the plane…that quickly morphed into the idea of doing it to raise money and awareness for Teenage Cancer Trust. In the last month of my training I started booking 15 airfields and telling them about my idea, some got behind it and others didn’t really understand what I wanted to do (or even why), I started the tour about a month after I got my license, it was insanely ambitious and there were a few moments I thought I might die! It was far beyond my skill level but naivety and enthusiasm are very contagious as they say, fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. At the end of it, my awareness of flying was incredibly sharpened, but as I look back on it now I get a chill and wonder how I ever did it! However, we raised money and lots of press for TCT and I am very proud of it.
Rania: What lesson do you want your students to take with them after leaving your “History of Song writing” class at the Institute Of Contemporary Music and Performance in North London?
Tony: That there are 3 keys to success you have to have: a hit song, sung by a hit voice arranged and recorded with a hit production as history proves this to be the case!
Rania: How does the ICMP fit into the wider music industry?
Tony: It is part of the whole new explosion of music in education – it is exciting and challenging to try and gather together a faculty of great educators who can share their wisdom and experience and help a whole new generation find their way.
Tony: The Brit School has many more disciplines across the entertainment world, they both focus on different but essential skill sets.
Rania: You’ve dedicated your life to music, what did earning the Gold Badge mean to you?
Tony: It was one of the most memorable days of my life and I feel honoured (literally.) It is an award from my peers and so it has a priceless place in my heart. I never did anything with my life except focus on the things I loved and tried to share my passion with those who would listen, so to be recognised for that was a surprise and extremely touching.
Rania: What do you feel are some of the challenge emerging artists face today in a high tech world as opposed to when you first started out?
Tony: Well, the competition is fierce, it\’s hard to be completely original, often the short cuts (celebrity focus) take artists to far too fast and they don’t have the experience to support themselves. It has always been hard – but I also feel music has become less \”vital\” to people and is more of a social experience. You hardly ever saw a camera at gigs when I was starting out – now your performance might be filmed from 10,000 different angles if you are a big star. However, I think there are fantastic opportunities for artists that never existed before and so often the challenges are balanced by new ways of working and being able to promote yourself.
Rania: What is the most valuable lesson you feel every musician should learn about his or her interactions within the music industry?
Tony: Never take it personally, don\’t be surprised if people let you down and be the best you can be ALL the time.
Rania: Does The Bedford automatically live stream every performance?
Tony: Unless there are technical issues, we try and share the shows as much as we can, usually every show is webcast.
Rania: Has The Bedford ever thought of having audience participation via Skype/Google Hangout during a performance?
Tony: Yes, but we try and create sustainable, long term online streams, and that requires us to be as simple as possible, in the future we are looking at ways of being even more interactive.
Rania: How has streaming live performances helped both the artist and The Bedford?
Tony: I know of some acts that have had music released and shows booked outside of the UK by industry people who saw them online. It has helped build our reputation worldwide, we often get people come to London, and visit for the first time after having watched live for a long time because they feel part of the extended Bedford family.
Rania: Is there a place that you have not travelled or performed at that you would like to?
Tony: Australia and New Zealand and the Philippines.
Rania: What do you feel are some of the struggles modern day venues face with regards to current technology and promotion?
Tony: I think one major struggle is having enough man power/man hours to dedicate to filling the never ending void of social media that demands feeding all the time
Rania: What is the secret to establishing and maintaining a successful venue such as The Kashmir and The Bedford to entice people to actually go to the venue?
Tony: Making it personal, going beyond the extra mile in creating great sound and a great experience and booking the best music you can find, I always like to think that the events I organise are INCLUSIVE rather than EXCLUSIVE.
Rania: Do you have any artist rituals before composing a new piece?
Tony: I just drop everything when I feel inspired and try and find the nearest instrument!
Rania: All artists go through a creative block, how do you deal with yours?
Tony: I don’t worry, I look back at the (sometimes years) when I have written nothing and seen that suddenly, when the moment is right, I will write!
Rania: If you had a super-power, what would it be?
Tony: To Manipulate time!