Tim Arnold (musician)

Tim Arnold (musician)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Tim Arnold

Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Timothy Marcus Arnold
Alias =
Born = London, England
Origin = London, England
Instrument = Singer, Guitar, Piano
Genre = Alternative
Occupation = Musician, Songwriter
Years_active = 1995–Present
Associated_acts = Jocasta, Tim Arnold

Tim Arnold is an English songwriter and musician from Soho, London.

He was the frontman of a band called Jocasta in the mid nineties.

He has released 9 albums, 1 with Jocasta and 8 solo albums.

Early life

Tim Arnold's childhood was a rollercoaster ride (mostly in a VW Camper Van!) through Europe, as his mother (‘60s singer Polly Perkins) performed cabaret in theatres and nightclubs. Between the ages of 8 and 14, he lived in France, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Hailing from a working class theatrical family, the smell of the grease paint was so strong that at 14 years old he decided to leave his mother's home in Spain and return alone to England to study at the Rudolf Steiner School and join the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Arnold was the youngest initiate ever to join the ancient order of which the poet William Blake had been a former chief. Bizarrely enough, Arnold completed the Orders’ Bardic teachings in 1990 and so, therefore, is actually a ‘Bard’ (no doubt influencing a director to appoint Arnold as a composer at Shakespeare’s Globe in 1999). It was at The Rudolf Steiner School that he formed the band Jocasta with best friend Jack Reynolds. In 1994, Arnold and the band moved from Hertfordshire to London. Arnold originally intended to take a place at St. Martin's School of Art that he had been offered but instead took a job in Soho, working as a chef by day and a doorman by night in an illegal drinking bar.



By 1995, Jocasta had signed a worldwide record deal with Sony. They were signed by the then titled subdivision of Sony 'LRD' or 'Licensing Repertoire Division'. A company within Sony that was set up to work with smaller record labels in the UK, most effectively so with Alan McGee's Creation Records' stable of artists such as Oasis, Primal Scream, The Boo Radleys etc.

Jocasta's management set up their own label, V4 records and were distributed by Sony for their first two singles 'Go' and 'Change Me'. The success of the singles earned the band much praise at Radio and a rosy future was believed to be likely. However, in early 1996, Jeremy Pierce, the managing director of LRD announced he would be leaving Sony to set up Richard Branson's newly formed label V2 Records. Although he had intended to take Jocasta over to V2, the band had recently been getting attention from Radio DJ's Steve Lamacq and Mark Radcliffe. Ever keen to protect their investment, Sony kept the band and moved them over to Epic Records to be looked after by the head of the company, Rob Stringer.

Epic released the single 'Something to Say' and upon poor sales, decided to re-release the bands previous singles 'Go' and 'Change Me'. Although an artistically frustrating move for the band, it worked. At the start of 1997, 'Go' was 'A listed' by BBC Radio One and championed by Jo Whiley as single of the week, it also featured on a number of TV shows, including the BBC Saturday morning show, Alive and Kicking and ITV's Video Tec. After a short European tour, Epic then re-released 'Change Me' which became Mark Radcliffe's single of the week, again at Radio One.

By now, a growing fan base expected Jocasta to become that year’s model. Arnold’s writing was unique in the unprecedented way he managed to infuse his poetry in his music, also bridging the gap between his classical arrangements and rock sensibilities. It set Jocasta apart from the herd, more Britrock than Britpop. The debut album, ‘No Coincidence’, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, is a collection of well-crafted and powerful songs that should have become cult anthems with a little help from destiny. The band played sold-out venues of 5,000 capacity, but the sort of fate that was a favourite subject of Arnold’s songs (and the source of his band’s name) took a sad turn. In a bid to win the ‘Business As Usual Award’, Sony terminated the contract on the day the album was released.

hakespeare's Globe

In 1999 he signed a publishing deal with V2 Music. he also became Master of Music at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, composing original music for Peter Oswald's "Augustine's Oak", a new verse play written especially for the Globe.In 2000 he briefly begun a new band called Spearshaker. The band recorded some demo's at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales, but nothing materialised.

In 2001, Arnold left V2 and signed to Universal Music Publishing. For two years, he wrote and produced music for newly signed artists at Universal, mostly Pop, R & B, Garage and Hip Hop.


In 2003 Arnold travelled to a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. He was practically adopted by the abbot of the monastery who encouraged him with his music and that, in turn, opened new artistic horizons. Under the guidance of the monks, he engaged in the composition of an album in which the music was created by following cracks in the earth, which metamorphosed into pop rock melodies.

"Lokutara" was his debut solo album, written and recorded in Thailand with the assistance of the monastery's community.

"Secrets of Soho"

This marked the start of a frenetic urge to compose new material. Arnold released a series of albums in a row, finding a great success (particularly in the music press) with his people and places album "Secrets of Soho" (recorded in Francis Bacon’s spiritual home – The Colony Room), quite simply the best and only concept album about London’s Golden Mile by a writer who, along his way, has both dined and begged at The Ritz. During the promotion of the album, Arnold began to perform his remarkable and spine-tingling rendition of the Edith Piaf classic, ‘Je Ne Regrette Rien’, a most poignant song considering his history.

"Soho Confidential"

Seven live tracks recorded throughout venues in Soho in 2006including Tim and his ensemble's unique rendition of theEdith Piaf classic, 'Je Ne Regrette Rien'.

This album also features an in depth and achingly honestinterview by BBC London's very own lord of pop, Gary Crowley.As well as finally revealing the real secrets of Soho, Gary gets to the heartof Tim's fascinating lifelong journey through music.

A companion to 'Secrets of Soho'

"Hijo De La Luna"

In 2006, Arnold got together with Chilean lyricist and journalist, Antonio Ramirez and embarked on writing new lyrics to selected tracks that Arnold had previously recorded in English.

The result is a collection of Spanish versions of songs from Arnold's first three solo albums, including a song called 'Perfectos' (originally recorded with Jocasta as 'Perfect') and a cover of the famous Mecano song 'Hijo De La Luna', which literally means 'Moonchild' - a fitting title for a Cancerian singer.

"Clever Ain't Wise"

Album of Pete Doherty songs.

“I recorded this album in one sunny afternoon in France.I have done so with care and respect for a fellow songwriterwhose private life often overshadows his great songwriting. It was a lot of fun to do and I hope I have served the songs well.”

"Another World"

Another World is Tim Arnold's 8th solo album.

By his own admission, Another World is the album that Tim Arnold has always wanted to make, particularly in his role as a string arranger.Both Arnold and producer Jack Reynolds (former Jocasta guitarist) set out to make an album that was acoustic, intimate, string laden and simply beautiful.

This album has shades of Damien Rice, Nick Drake, Cat Stevens and a deliberate nod to Michael Nyman, particularly on the closing track, Feeling The Change Inside.

Another World was made with the kind of DIY initiative that is so often applauded these days, although it was not really a matter of choice.

Despite being well known throughout the echelons of the British music industry, this album has been made entirely independently. Whatever the reason, it has not disheartened this tenacious solo artist from making album after album, resulting, now, in his best work to date.

The contributing musicians are some of the finest in London, who usually play for more popular artists. Cellist Nick Holland (Michael Nyman, Balanescu Quartet), violinist Jonathan Hill (Feeder,Travis) and Anna Phoebe (Nitin Sawhney, Oi Va Voi). Their involvement in the album is one of loyal support for one of the UK's most dedicated and prolific singer songwriters.


A collection of Arnold songs, re-recorded instrumentally and re-arranged for strings and piano. Released exclusively as a free Christmas album by Peter Gabriel's label, We7.

The Waits

The Waits is the brainchild of Tim Arnold, a prolific solo artist who also served as the driving force behind 90’s Brit Rock band, Jocasta.

The project was originally going to be a solo effort, but soon evolved into a band after he recruited the talents of classical musicians Nick Holland and Jonathan Hill, later to be joined by bassist, Pete Skipper and drummer Dave Keeler.

The band’s music is deliberately epic, rocking, and orchestral, with just enough of Arnold’s signature pop style to make the songs catchy and addictive.

All of the songs share a unifying thread revolving around Shakespearean themes.

Arnold wrote several letters to actors, including the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Derek Jacobi, each letter simply asking the question:

“If you had to chose one theme in Shakespeare’s works that showed us more about the ‘human condition’ than any other, what would it be and why?"

Many of these actors replied with insightful answers, inspiring Arnold to write the lyrics that he now describes as ‘personal reactions’ to those replies.

Fusing Mozart with the angst of the Smashing Pumpkins and ripping Rimsky Korsakov into the realm of Radiohead-esque sound-scapes, please welcome the concept and band, that is… The Waits.

. [ [http://www.myspace.com/thewaitsmusic The Waits music] . Accessed 2008-05-24.]


Ever since 1996, in interviews, Arnold has always confessed his passion for the music of Mike Oldfield. Apparently it was after reading the back cover of "Tubular Bells" when he was 12 and seeing all the instruments that Oldfield played, that Arnold decided that making music was going to be his profession (Arnold actually worked with Tubluar Bells producer, Tom Newman in 1998).

Whilst living in Spain as a child, Arnold relied on his elder brother to keep him up to date with current music. Arnold became well acquainted with the music of ECM Records, namely Stephan Micus, Zakir Hussain, Jan Garbarek and Keith Jarrett. Whilst these artists influenced Arnold as a musician, his love of Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Queen is what made him start writing pop songs instead of long 20 minute pieces of music.

Whilst in Spain he also became a fan of Mecano, even going so far as to cover Hijo de la Luna on a Spanish language album that was released in 2007.

By his own admission, Arnold's melodies are largely influenced by the classical music he grew up listening to such as Ravel, Mozart and Debussy. He has also said that musically, Jocasta was an experiment to meld the sound of the Smashing Pumpkins with The Beatles. The influence of John Lennon has been mentioned more than most and is often due to Arnold's trademark NHS granny spectacles which he has worn since he was 9 years old.

Other influences on Arnold's work as a musician, writer and composer include Antonin Artaud, Ray Davies Jimmy Page, Barbra Streisand, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Ultravox, Mingus, Nick Drake, Sylvia Plath, William Burroughs, Frank Sinatra, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Roger Waters, Arthur Rimbaud, Billie Holiday, John Lydon, Steve Reich, Freidrich Hundertwasser, Lerner & Loewe, Fluxus, Stevie Wonder, Elias Canetti, William Blake, Janes Addiction, Burt Bacharach, Gustav Klimt, Luang Por Charoen Parnchand, Lenny Bruce, The La's, Rudolf Steiner, Oscar Hammerstein, John Hurt, Peter O'Toole, Phil Spector, John Dee, Pythagoras & 'Sir' Francis Bacon


*Jocasta - No Coincidence (1997)
*Seeker's Serum (1998)
*Lokutara (2004)
*En Route (2005)
*Secrets of Soho (2006)
*Soho Confidential (2006)
*Hijo de la Luna (2007)
*Clever Ain't Wise (2007)
*Another World (2007)
*Restrung (2007)


External links

* [http://www.timarnold.net Tim Arnold's official website]

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