Interview With Tom Hilton – Aldora Britain Records – Tomorrow’s Music Today

Aldora Britain Records is an independent social platform specialising in showcasing the best independent music from across the world. Regualry publishing a weekly e-zine as well as multiple compilations on bandcamp, focusing on undersigned artists. Mods of your generation will be working alongside AB records collaborating on various projects. We will be working closely allowing independent artists a platform to showcase themselves. Tom the man behind the vision of AB Records to become the go-to place to discover new music. We were keen to learn more about AB Records and share his exciting venture with the Mods of Your generation community.

Q: “It’s been wonderful chatting these past few weeks about all things music; our interests, passions and our combined goal in sharing good music with the world. For the benefit of the readers tell us why you started Aldora Britain Records, what you do, what is it all about and what is the vision?”

A: “Hi Johnny, great to be chatting once again! It is so refreshing to meet people who share the passion and the drive to get great new music out there. Rik and yourself have brought another great outlet to Aldora Britain Records.”

“Aldora Britain Records started way back in 2013. I was basically a bored, skint teenager that needed something to do. I lived out in the Scottish countryside. No public transport, no money to get taxis into town, so it was something to pass the time basically.”

“I was mad about music and that was pretty much what I immersed myself in during time at home. It started off with indie bands at the time, my heroes were a local band called Glasvegas. Their self-titled debut is still my favourite record of all time, it resonates with people on a musical level and touches on important social issues which was a first for me at that age. You didn’t see the indie landfill bands touching topics like this, ever. I got really into Mojo magazine, I managed to get my hands on it most months and it was a journey of discovery. The covermount CD was always filled with goodies. I discovered lots of stuff like The Duke and The King, Eddie Fontaine, Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, James and Bobby Purify, and The Jim Jones Revue. Such variety, such depth, an early template for Aldora perhaps?”

“I usually could afford about one new album a month but I needed more. Simple as that. This is when I discovered a band online called The Last of The Troubadours. Amazing! Who were these guys? I searched them up… not a lot came up apart from two EPs and a social media post saying they were looking for street team members who would also be given a few goodies for their troubles. I sent the guitarist and co-lead vocalist, Joel, a message. They were from London as it turns out and wouldn’t be making the trip north of the border any time soon. But Joel liked my passion and sent me the two EPs free of charge. If you like them, say something nice on Facebook or Twitter was the instruction. Okay, go for it mate! The CDs arrived and the copy of Mojo was sat on the side. Why don’t I do an interview? So, that’s where Aldora Britain Records came from. Over the next year or so I interviewed over a hundred artists. Now-established bands like The Spitfires, The Electric Stars and Groovy Uncle and long-forgotten ones like Mamas Lips, Soldier On and Little Liam. I was also lucky enough to have Clem Burke of Blondie and Elliot Easton of The Cars, I almost got Lewis Capaldi too after he supported my mate’s band, The Phantoms.”

“Anyway, after about a year life just got a bit too busy. Job, uni, a budding sporting career. I put together an album to celebrate what I had done, Our Time Will Come, put it out as a free digital compilation and then the whole thing basically faded away. I came back to it a couple of times when people asked. I did an interview with The Stone Thieves to launch an EP and with Darron J Connett when he released his first solo album but the dust had pretty much settled.”

“Fast forward a few years to late 2019, I had finished uni, got a job, left the job just as quickly because the boss was a bit of a … and I was in need of something to do. Might as well give it a go but this time I wanted to make it something. Something bigger than just another indie music blog. Why not make an electronic magazine in the format of Mojo and put out ‘covermount CDs’ in the form of digital compilations? Perfect.”

“I am passionate about music and am passionate about these bands that I feature so an ethos and vision developed naturally. I want Aldora Britain Records to become the go-to place for independent music all over the world. Where music fans can discover quality music and good authentic artists can have their say. You can read about the music, the e-zine, and you can hear the music, the compilations. It is all about a sense of community. A place where artists, fans, bloggers, online radio, indie labels, podcasters can come together. Where they can discover. That’s basically what it’s all about.”

Q: “You have a vast array of featured artists from multiple musical genres throughout the world on the Aldora Britain Records Bandcamp compilations. Does the music featured reflect your own musical taste?”

A: “Yes is the short answer. Genre isn’t and shouldn’t be a barrier. One of the great examples I always love to bring up is a lot of country musicians these days started in metal bands. Could you get two more opposing genres? I love music and I love original music. I think my passion, if I had to single one out, is probably the styles that fall under ‘roots’. Stuff like soul, blues, country, roots rock, folk. But there’s no barriers at Aldora Britain Records, it’s an inclusive community. The only rule is that it has to be authentic. I don’t want people who are singing songs written by an army of songwriters, I want to hear a kid who has picked up a guitar and is singing what they know and what they have lived. Garage rock, punk and psychedelia are big on the compilations just now. A bit of R&B too, a bit of surf, even some golden age hip hop (not the modern stuff). I literally love it all, anything that I find myself singing in the shower!”

Q: “You have worked tirelessly to produce a weekly e-zine packed full of all the latest in independent music? Tell us what we can expect to discover and what is the aim by publishing it?

A: “It’s a labour of love. I will happily stay up until 3am putting the finishing touches on publication day. Someone has to do it. Someone has to spread the word. The great thing right now is so many people are starting to have the same thought process. I’m now working with so many people and we’re all working towards the same goal. Bringing back a golden era of music, even if it is just for a select few. The amount of classic albums that have been produced by bands that have faded away into obscurity is shameful. I want to stop that.”

“What can you expect? A wide variety and a depth that I feel is quite unique. It’s a place where you can go and read about

twenty to thirty brand new artists every week. Most importantly, you will discover your new favourite artist, there’s so much in there covering so many styles and approaches.”

Q: “We are both working collectively on projects in the future with each other and our good friends at Tip Top Pop Show and Lucky Bag Radio Show which I am super excited about. What else have you got going on that followers can look forward to?”

A: “I am really excited about the collaborations with yourself and Rik. We’ll be putting out a Mods of Your Generation compilation and we’ve got something else in the works which I won’t give away just yet. We’re not stopping with that comp though!”

“I’m in talks with Rik about a Tip Top compilation album too and am happy to keep on making the introductions to broaden the scope of music played on Tip Top and Lucky Bag. In return, Rik has designed some pretty cool logos and artwork that you’ll all be seeing very soon!”

“What else? I’m now doing a weekly segment on an American radio show that is broadcast from Massachusetts. It’s called Christian’s Cosmic Corner and I’ll be playing some tunes every Friday night. I actually started last week and gave our mutual friend Doctor Bird a spin. Beth Dobson from Planet Beth radio is also interested in putting out a compilation of her artists, a jangle pop kind of feel. I am also working with Andrea Volpin of Italian blog, Pinball Wizard, and Andrew Wooley of The Uncarved Block to give more bands a further bit of exposure, broadening our community.”

“Finally… I have a couple of projects in the works to pay homage to some of the great independent music of the last ten years that has been lost to time. The stuff that has been deleted from every corner of the internet and only exists in a handful of record collections, well it’s going to be coming back. I’ve already got a couple of bands on board and there’s plenty that I want to approach.”

“Oh… and a weekly e-zine and compilation!”

Q: “You have recently started working with Pinball Wizard providing another platform for Britpop and indie rock bands. Sound exciting… tell us more?”

A: “Andrea from Pinball Wizard was actually one of the very first people I collaborated with that wasn’t an artist. That’s something that I’m very keen to work on. Whilst building up a community of artists and fans, I also want to get other magazines, blogs and radio stations on board. So, there’s loads of people working towards the same goal.”

“Andrea used to do write ups for a few of the compilations and then he interviewed me in January, which was great fun! He’s been fairly busy since then but we’re hoping to push a few bands that I’ve worked with through his blog. The first was a French Britpop revival band, From Constellation, who Rik also loves! I’ve recently forwarded him some tracks by a Missouri-based band, Truett and The Traitors, so hopefully they will be next. He’s doing reviews just now but he’s great at digging a bit deeper so hopefully some interviews soon as well!”

Q: “You have also started contributing to a radio show in Boston, MA named Christian’s Cosmic Corner Radio. Sounds like another exciting opportunity for AB Records, again tell us all about it and what we can expect from it?”

A: “This is an incredible opportunity. To get some AB artists broadcast across Boston is amazing! Chris is a great guy who was introduced to me through a band that I’ve worked with for almost seven years now, Eddie Japan. A great example of the community in action! I’ve loved chatting to him and am really enjoying playing some tracks on the radio. It’s going to be a weekly segment where I’ll play two or three tracks but hopefully I can sweet talk him into some extra airtime at some point!”

Q: “Tell us more about you beside your love of music. What is your other passions and what do you like to get up to in your spare time?”

A: “Just the usual stuff really… some time at the pub, some time with my gorgeous partner, Emma, who always does all the artwork for our compilations now. She’s much more talented than me! During lockdown, it’s all about family, which is no bad thing. We’re loving our daily walks at the minute and we’re lucky enough to live in quite a rural spot so there’s lots of places to go where it’s nice and quiet.”

“I still play cricket too. I played through all the Scotland national age groups and was in the Eastern Knights development squad before moving to England permanently. I spent a little time in Australia too. A club over there wanted me and instantly regretted it! It was all good fun though and I got to see a bit of the world. It also took me to New Zealand which is the most amazing place I’ve ever been. It’s like Scotland but bigger and warmer!”

“Family, friends, music, sport, travel. That’s me.”

Copyright © Mods Of Your Generation, Johnny Bradley 2020, All Rights Reserved. No part of this interview may be reproduced without the permission of the authors.

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