How does it feel to be back?
It feels great, I look forward to it every year. Every time it’s getting closer, we are all friends and it is great to see my other coaches again and chat about what we have been doing and what’s happening. It’s exciting.
What’s the one thing that you look for in each series?
I like natural singers. I like singers that sound like they really mean it and it’s something that is a natural thing for them to do. They are not trying, I don’t want people that just want to be famous. But you don’t know that until you start talking to them, when you hear them first of all it has to be a natural way of singing and not forced. You don’t know it until you hear it really. That’s the truth. But that’s the kind of singers that I like. Now that could be a big voice or a small voice, It doesn’t matter, there’s a spark that I can’t explain until I hear it. The song is also very important, if you pick a wrong song and you might not come across as well as you should. So all those things, it should sound natural.
What can singers expect if they are on Team Tom?
I will find out what kind of songs they like to sing, what things they sound better at singing than others. I like to suggest things sometimes that maybe they wouldn’t expect that they haven’t tried before. Because I think that it’s good especially for younger singers to experience different types of songs. But I can generally tell what they are capable of singing. What their style is and where their passions lie. I want to know what they want first of all, I want to find out from them what they are looking for.
What’s the dynamics between all of the coaches?
We all really want the same thing, we want to give new singers a chance to try if previously they haven’t made it. Some of them are older, retired and they’ve come back or people have gotten married and had children and then want to pick up where they left off. We all want to help them reach their goal really and we all feel that. But we are all different in what we are listening to. I can tell sometimes if somebody comes on whether he or she would be better suited to Olly or Anne-Marie or will.i.am.
How have you found having the live audience back?
You can get feedback from the audience that are in the studio, because you can’t see. Especially in the Blind Auditions, you can’t see the people and they can. Sometimes you can listen to what they are experiencing, you can sort of get a little gage from it, if they are getting excited and they are up and they are enjoying it. You know that the person is delivering visually as well as vocally. We are only interested really in what they sound like before we know what they look like but the audience does help. Anything live is always more exciting I think, when you do live shows with an audience people bring something special that you can only get from people.
What would you say makes the Voice so popular?
First of all, it’s because there’s new singers every season you know you are not getting the same thing, the format basically is the same but you get new singers so you are seeing and hearing new talent all the time and that keeps going on and on so it’s always fresh in that respect. The singers are new and the songs are different from what you’ve heard before and you get a chance to find out about the singers, you know where they are from and what they want. It’s an exciting thing I think.
How does it feel to be back on the road after the tour was cancelled last year?
It was wonderful, it was a thing that you can’t experience anywhere else. Recording is great because you are making new things when you make records and you do TV shows which is great as well but there’s nothing quite like being in front of a live audience. It changes nightly and that’s because the people are different you see.
Did you get a chance to celebrate your birthday this year as you couldn’t celebrate your 80th last year?
I just celebrate life! That’s the thing like every birthday is like another tick to me, it’s like wow, I’m a new year older and i’m still here and still enjoying what I do. That’s the great thing for me, is still being in the business at eighty one years old, I am still having as much fun and excitement as I did when I started. I’m making new records, doing new things, and carrying on.
What is your secret to being eighty one, looking great and being in shape?
I’m lucky I’m in good health, I’ve got nothing wrong with me, I’ve got no debilitating illnesses that bother me, it’s just wear and tear, that’s about the only thing that has happened to me. So I’ve been lucky, I’ve tried to look after myself, I’ve tried to be aware that you need rest but you need exercise as well.
You know you need to do certain things that the body and the mind need to survive and I think the better care you take of yourself, the longer you’ll live but there’s going to be a certain amount of luck involved as well because some people do everything right and they still get some terrible disease or something that they can’t control so I’ve been lucky. I think it’s luck but I do work out, I see a personal trainer and I try to keep as fit as I can. My voice is still in great shape, everything is ticking away nicely.