Gomm Daddy Gomm

11 April 2012 | 8:25 am | Chris Yates

"If anyone asks me what style of music I play, I say ‘acoustic’ (laughs) which doesn’t really mean anything!”

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“It's always been a side of my playing, it wasn't something I set out to do,” the UK musician says of his unorthodox approach to using the guitar as a drum kit, while also using it as a guitar. “I had my first guitar lessons when I was four years old, with a classical guitar teacher, but he also taught a little bit of flamenco where it's completely normal to put in some percussion using the guitar. I also got into blues guitar playing at an early age, and again, it's completely normal to put in some percussion on the guitar.”

Gomm proceeds to give me a detailed lesson of the Delta blues and juke joints – he's clearly an expert and very passionate about this style of music. His father was a music journalist who used to take his son along when he reviewed blues gigs when he was still very young. His favourite player is Bukka White, who he says is the biggest influence on his guitar style, but his lilting acoustic melodies don't really give any hints to this background.

“It's funny, I like to think of music in genres, but they're really just convenient tags to organise things in your head which are useful in all different areas of life,” he explains, “but my music doesn't really fit into any kind of genres. It works out okay for me really, because even though I don't really fit in anywhere in particular, I get booked for jazz events, I get booked for blues events, I get booked for folk gigs, so even though I'm none of those things, I sort of slot into there. If anyone asks me what style of music I play, I say 'acoustic' (laughs) which doesn't really mean anything!”

The proliferation of websites like YouTube have opened up opportunities for so many bands and artists, but for someone like Gomm whose playing style has to be witnessed to be truly appreciated, it has been a godsend. His track Passionflower has had about two million hits on YouTube.

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“Well it's actually even more than that worldwide,” he says excitedly. “But I've been waiting a while and hoping that one of my songs would go viral in that way a little bit. It makes a big difference. It's funny when people say how exciting it is to get that many people see me play, I have it very much in perspective. I'm good friends with a man called Andy McKee who is a YouTube guitar phenomenon. He's got one song that's had about 50 million views, and in total it's like a quarter of a billion views! So when you have a friend with that many, it keeps it very much in perspective for me! But I think to get the most out of YouTube, you need to make sure you don't put up a wall between you and the people watching. So you don't need a really beautiful artistic video, it needs to have an element of interactivity – it should be just really simple and real.”

Despite confessing that everything he knows about Australia he learned from watching Neighbours, he's very excited about coming out for the first time.

“There was a time when I was a child when every Neighbours star had to have a hit single, no matter how inappropriate it was,” he laughs. “Do you remember the one by Stefan Dennis? He sounded and looked exactly like Sylvester Stallone's wife Bridget Neilsen. That was pretty weird!”