Thomas Fiss was once a member of Varsity Fanclub, but made the decision to go solo in 2009. Since then he's released three EPs, the most recent RT/EP (with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, toured the U.S., and will be hosting The Shop 'Til You Rock tour. J-14 chatted with Thomas about his music, songwriting, and dating advice.
J-14: Did you always know music was going to be your career path?
Thomas Fiss: I went to high school that was very academics based, and in order to go to it, you had to choose an extra activity -- either sports or music. I was really into sports growing up and I was going to continue with that, but I ended up going with music. So music was a fluke. I actually applied to San Diego state for their music program, didn't get accepted and the next week signed at Capitol Records. Honestly, Its one of those things where you can't let people say, "No you can't do this," or, "No you're not good enough."
J-14: What's the weirdest place you've ever written a song?
Thomas: I live in L.A. right now but I'm from San Diego, so I do a lot of commuting to see my family. I usually write most of my stuff on the drive. I'll just leave my phone on record. I feel like my car is a creative environment for me -- it's a little different.
J-14: Have you ever had to deal with a particularly mean thing that someone said to you?
Thomas: Being in entertainment in general you deal with that on a daily basis with people saying 'Oh you're not good enough, you'll never make it, oh this isn't really that good," it goes back to everyone throwing their opinions in and again you've just got to suck it up and sometimes you need to listen and take advice and criticism. I think sometimes it's good because if you had people around you saying you're perfect all the time, then you'd never grow. I think you need a good balance of accepting it and pushing it away at the same time
J-14: Do you have any dating advice? Maybe the best place for a first date?
Thomas: Baby steps on a first date! I think something simple like a walk on a beach or going go-carting is good Something where it's active and fun. I think going to the movies on the first date is a big no-no in my book, like what are you going to do -- not talk to her for two hours? It's so awkward, so stay away from movies on a first date.
J-14: What are some upcoming projects you're working on?
Thomas: Oh upcoming stuff, I'm looking at a tour in the UK right now so I'm really excited with that and finishing up Shop 'Til You Rock tour which was hosted by Demi Lovato last year and this year I like to say that I took it over unofficially. But yeah just touring and I'm gonna dive into the studio in a couple months, another EP so I'm just hitting the road.
Photo: Rachel Sheehan/J-14