With such an unusual name, this english artist music will certainly leave an impression on you. With a folkish acoustic sound, Tobias's soulful voice and his witty lyrics all make the great musical project he's been developing for a while. He was nice enough to answer some questions for me recently, such as the meaning of his name and his albums meanings.

Read the interview, buy his music and watch some videos after the JUMP ...

Buy his music HERE (NL) or HERE (UK).

*Why the name Shoes and Socks Off?
It’s a reference to the Gandhi vs Tenenbaum tennis match in The Royal Tenembaums, Riche is heartbroken and has a traumatic game, and does some weird shit… …that and it was a line in my lyric book that I then went on to use in a song for one of my other bands.

*What is the attractive of choosing such an unusual name?
It’s never seemed unusual to me. It just seems a bit dumbass to me now. I’d like to change it actually, to Labrat.

*Do you believe that choosing one makes your overall music sound more interesting at first sight?

*How would you define yourself as an artist?
Impatient. I have too many things on the go at once, but the priority just comes round in a cycle. It never feels like I’m getting anything done, because there is always so much other that I want to be working on.

*Who would you name as your biggest influence?/What is your dream collaboration?
Probably Nirvana. Not so much for this project, but for music in general. They such flippancy, it was perfect. I’d love to work with someone that makes real organic hip-hop, or some dance. I could get really into that.

*Who else plays with you?
A whole bunch of people. Sadly they’re all in bands already. Lately I’ve been lucky enough to have Alex Polakowski on drums and James Bryant on bass. Alex is in a phenomenal band called Nitkowski, and James is one of the bassist in a catastrophic band called Palehorse. Yeah, Shoes and Socks Off has a pretty series rhythm section. On the new record though there will be some new folks. James Trood, the drummer from Tangled Hair will be contributing some beats, and Tom Dolby, a dude from back home, is playing piano. They’re talented dudes.

*I read it started off as a joke, is this true?
Not so much a joke…it was more an effort to get the girl.

*How it developed in an actual band then?
It all came about real organically, and very gradually. The early songs just kinda happened, then we recorded them. Before I knew it, I wanted to make a follow up record, and so it begins….

*What can you tell me about your life?
I moved a lot as a child. Lots of different schools, and even as an adult, I have moved countless times. Even as I type this, I’m on the floor in my new place in London. I studied Art Graphics and Media at college, and didn’t go to Uni. Think I would like to now, though.

*Before going solo, you played in other bands?
Before/during Shoes and Socks Off I played in Meet Me in St. Louis, and Shield Your Eyes. Before that was Push to Fire. At the moment I’m also in a couple of other bands. One is called Venison, it’s very new, and I am really excited about it, and the other is called Love Among The Mannequins, with whom I have just recorded an album called Radial Images, and it will be out in August on Function Records.

*How has that influenced your carrer? What have you learnt from that?
I don’t like to think of myself as a singer-song-writer. I think that this project could appear in a number of ways, as a band, a solo act, or a two piece… I guess my past live experiences have taught me to keep things open and loose, because it could easily get really stale.

*Your first album, "From the Muddy Banks of Melitzer", was recorded in a bedroom in one day, how hard was to do it?
Not hard at all. We just set up the mic’s and did it.

*What's the meaning of it's name and the album's concept?
The name was just a joke to a friend called Cargill. He and I are big into Nirvana, and he used to sing in a rad band called Melitzer. It’s just a rip off from a Nirvana live album title. Its just a joke.

*The second album, "Hand-reared Suburban Piglet", featured the same songs as the previous album, how different are they?
Very. There’s a whole bunch of different people playing on those songs. I didn’t actually have all that much control over how the songs came out. It was scary.

*Why did you re-recorded the same songs when you could record new material?
The first ten songs just sounded to me like they had the potential to be something different, not just acoustic songs. I thought it might be interesting to build on them, see what happens. This process really dragged on though, by the time we were halfway through, I had nearly finished the follow up record.

*Why did you change it's name? Does it mean the same to you or the album's meaning is totally different to the previous one?
When I first started working on that record, it was with the help of a dude called Rhys Baker. We were talking one night via emails and such, about life and such, when he called me a hand-reared suburban piglet. I thought it was hilarious, so I decided to put the re-worked songs under that title. I guess that each time I record, naming the album, is like naming that period of my life, so it had to have a different title to the first record.

*Then it came "To Where the Skyline is Fortified with Windows and Doors" in 2009 and "Robin Hood Waiter Champion Have-Not" in 2010, why the names?
While trying to find a title for the third record, I was reading through my lyric book with my Mrs. When I read out that line, she really liked it. I don’t even remember what it meant exactly. The fourth album title is a mixture between a reference to the book Fight Club, and also a 5 year long waiting game I seem to have gotten myself caught up in.

*Why do you pick really lengthy names for your albums? Do you believe it's something that defines your music?
No, not at all. I just hear things, and read things, write stuff down. Sometimes they just come about at the right time. The next album name is quite short.

*You said your last album is your best yet, why do you say that?
It just seemed more confident that the others, a bit closer to the mark. I think it just started to feel as though I knew what I was doing.

*Do you write all your songs? What inspires you to write one?
Yes I do. I take inspiration from my guts.

*Is there a new album in the making? What can we expect of it?
There is a new album, in-fact, I think there are two. The first one is gonna be screwed up. I don’t want it to be a folk record in any way. It’s going to have a lot of beats, and pianos. I want to make sad songs that you can dance to. It’s coming along nicely so far, and I’m learning a lot.

*What can we expect from you in the coming months?/What are your plans from now on?
The plan is to finish this record as soon as possible, then hopefully release another one immediately. That’s the plan, anyway. There’ll be some tours, I want to get back over to mainland Europe. Touring in the UK is not so great, unless you go to Leeds and Matty Otter is the promoter. Also, we are releasing a lyric book soon. It’s just a small book, full of the words for Shoes and Socks Off, Meet Me in St. Louis and Push to Fire songs. I’m really proud of it. Also I will be recording Venison soon, and touring with Love Among The Mannequins. Like I said, Impatient.

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