Pulling the Strings

Pulling the Strings

Tobie Tripp is a man of many talents; he’s a conservatoire-trained guitarist, violinist and piano player. He has forged a career arranging, producing and performing with a huge selection of artists including Kwabs, All Saints, Jess Glynne, Blonde and many more. He specialises in string arrangements but is equally at home performing live and has played some of the most iconic stages in music, from Glastonbury Festival to Jimmy Kimmel. We caught up with Tobie to find out what he’s up to on right now...

MPS
Who are you working with at the moment?

TT
Currently touring and performing with Tom Misch (Violin/Guitar) & Tom Chaplin (Piano/Violin)

MPS
What kind of work do you get the most satisfaction out of?

TT
The fact I am able to do what I love for a living is something I am always grateful for but there are two major things I enjoy the most. One of which is getting into the studio, be it either performing and writing strings or starting something new from scratch with an artist – it's the perfect time to experiment with new sounds and ideas which enables you to really connect with other musicians. The second thing is something that got me wanting to become a musician in the first place which is being on stage and performing live in front of anyone who wants to come and listen – this makes the hours of solitude practicing and rehearsals worthwhile. As much as I love to be in a studio you can never beat the connection and relationship you can build with a live audience.

MPS
You arrange for, and perform with some amazing musicians but do you write your own material?

TT
I do. A few years back I had my own project called 'The Tripp Ensemble' which consisted of a core band, string ensemble and choir, in which I played keys, violin, guitar and was one of the main vocalists – was great fun but was hard to fund such a big ensemble of musicians! I have recently started up another solo project under the name 'T.Lawrence' which has been great to do in-between writing and arranging for other artists and gives me a chance to express different influences from people I've worked with or listen to. I am also in the process of writing an E.P. with Alfa Mist which I am very much looking forward to finishing.

MPS
Can you pick out a favourite gig?

TT
This is a very hard question... I've had a few of 'Holy S***!' moments. I can think of a couple, one of which was in Johannesburg, South Africa, with Tom Misch. Really felt it in the moments where we were all improvising on stage and you could tell the audience were with us all the way, making you feel like you could really be creative and bounce off them – they were even singing my violin lines which was overwhelming! – honestly never experienced an audience like that before. Another moment was performing with Tom Chaplin at Wembley Stadium supporting Electric Light Orchestra. This was incredible for many reasons, but just being in front of thousands of people on an iconic platform was a moment I'll never forget.

MPS
As a performer and multi-instrumentalist, do you have a preference as to which instrument you’re playing?

TT
Violin has always been my main instrument since the age of 4. Even though I love playing other instruments the violin will always be what inspires me to write and perform.

MPS
Who do you count among your musical influences?

TT
Another hard question... I grew up with a lot of classical music such as; Beethoven, Ravel, Wagner, Bach, and Tchaikovsky. But I soon crossed over into different genres and discovered the incredible music from other artists, the main ones being Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, D'Angelo, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Bon Iver and Radiohead. I am always listening to new music and am currently really enjoying Anderson .Paak's 'Malibu' and Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau's new album.

MPS
If you could go back to any musical era what would it be?

TT
Honestly can't think of just one. I think we now live in a time where we can cross over into a lot of different genres/styles and it is getting more and more accepted by the listeners to show this in your music which is really exciting... so I think now is a good time.

MPS
What was your first guitar?

TT
My Dads old acoustic that originally lived in the attic.

MPS
What guitar are you playing at the moment?

TT
My main guitar is a Fender Strat.

MPS
Tell us about your Timeline, what made you chose it?

TT
I chose it to expand on my violin sound for live performances and for experimenting in the studio. It is so versatile and easy to use making those spontaneous moments on stage that little bit easier to create different sounds.

MPS
How do you make this work creatively?

TT
There are so many preset's on the TimeLine that makes it easy to develop on and change depending of the sounds you want to create.

MPS
Is there anything you have parted with that you really miss? 

TT
I'm normally a really good hoarder! Although there was a time I needed money to buy my current Strat so I had to sell my Fender Jazzmaster, which I wish I still had.

MPS
Can you think of anything that really changed things for you, and why?

TT
BigSky. Honestly the best sounding reverb I've heard from any pedal which really changes the game for any instrument you want to put through it.

MPS
Is there any advice you can offer to people starting out on their musical journeys?

TT
From starting out in my journey I've been given some great advice from people I will always look up to. And from talking to them they've taught me to always have clear goals of where you want to be when practicing and performing with other musicians, but it is healthy to be flexible and allow change to happen be it either musically within your playing or career wise.

Find out more about Tobie at tobietripp.com

 

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