Tim Burgess is a nice bloke, isn't he? Charlatan, prolific tweeter, coffee fanatic, proud Northerner, blonde bombshell -- he's lived a helluva life (just read his memoir Telling Stories if you don't believe us). What's more, it's not like he's lived a helluva life and then swanned off to make cheese in Chipping Norton or something. On the contrary, the past few years have seen Tim release a second solo album, write a second book, found a record label (O Genesis) and generally be a rather passionate supporter of new music -- his touring Tim Peaks tent becoming an important rite of festival passage for many up-and-coming young bands. He is simply, one of the good guys, and with a new Charltons record, Different Days, on its way next month, we thought, what better time for a Slumber Session from the man himself? Go on then, Tim, send us to sleep.
Hello Tim. What's this mix all about then?
I listen to so much music that a mix is only a freeze frame of where I am at that moment (presently in mine and Nik Void's studio in Norfolk). A mix to me is inwardly about the emotion of the person who put it together but outwardly something you would love to share with friends or even strangers. And nobody has stranger friends than I do ;)
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
It changed with age really, but a spaceman was maybe first. I was about four when we landed on the moon so it was quite an obsession for my generation. Then I saw Top of the Pops and I thought I'd like to be in a band. That was maybe when I was about seven and it stuck with me.
Which was the album that changed your life?
There's been loads of songs that I loved -- and some instant radio beauties from T Rex and Slade -- but an album is one step deeper into the music rabbit hole. For me it was Power, Corruption and Lies by New Order. It sounded like a view into the future -- and two of the band were from Salford, where I was born, while The Other Two, literally "The Other Two", were from Macclesfield which was near where I was living when I first heard it. On top of the songs, Peter Saville's sleeve and Tony Wilson's guidance meant they were instantly the coolest band on the planet
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained a new ability, what would it be?
Being able to fly would be good, but might lead to just ending up being known as "the flying guy". I'm not sure it would be worth it. Everyone just asking you to fly so they could film it on their phone. Could end up taking over a bit. Teleportation, but I'd keep it quiet.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
My four-year-old son loves dinosaurs. Could be a bit scary but worth it to grab some selfies with those dino guys. I get to come back, right?
If it weren't for music what else would you be doing?
Technically speaking, my job at ICI was kept open for me when I left in 1990. Some of it involved cycling round their giant site, delivering post while listening to my Walkman. I really enjoyed it so maybe I'll even end up back there.
If you could ask anyone a question, who would you ask, and what?
I'd ask Brian Wilson if he'd like to work on a song with me. He's playing at Kendal Calling so he might pop into Tim Peaks and we can have a chat over a coffee.
Do you ever fall asleep to music? If so, what?
Often. It's a good thing and quite a compliment but maybe not something you'd tell the person who'd recorded it. You can end up in some quite weirdy dreams. I spent many weekday nights falling asleep to John Peel's show as it was on quite late while I was at school. I spent much of the next day wondering if the band names in my head were real or just a dream. When we were deciding Different Days I'd play the songs we were working on, when I went to bed -- you never know what those subconscious bits of your brain might do to remix it by the morning.
What was the last dream you can remember having?
A lunatic ran for the presidency and convinced everyone to vote for him.
What song gets you out of bed in the morning?
I woke up to You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon the other day. Put a spring in my step
Different Days is out 26 May.
Text Matthew Whitehouse