Everyone, meet Tom Burke. Tom Burke is the frontman of indie pop outfit, Citizens! whose debut album, Here We Are, is currently saving pop from a black hole of tedium. Tom's also one of the faces of Hedi Slimane’s Spring Summer Saint Laurent campaign. Quite the polymath, then.
Saint Laurent's campaign is, in a word, smoking, and features lots of black and white shots of Tom looking all moody and high fashion. This is ironic because, as we found out , Tom's neither moody and up til now felt much more relaxed in B-store floral shirts. Well judging by this campaign, rest assured all that's about to change...
Grazia Daily: Hi Tom! Congratulations on the campaign. How did it come about?
Tom Burke: Hedi Slimane saw us at Field Day festival [in London's Victoria Park] and we got talking afterwards. He came round to my house where I was living with my girlfriend and took some pictures of us in the front room for his blog. Then a few weeks later he called and asked if I'd like to do a shoot in New York. I'd never been there before so I said yes before I even asked what the shoot was for.
Grazia Daily: Were you familiar with Hedi Slimane pre-Saint Laurent?
Tom Burke: I did know a bit about him, though I didn't realise quite how much he'd done.
Grazia Live: What is he like in person?
Tom Burke: He is a complete gent; very polite and hospitable, with a great sense of humour. He has a very clear idea of what he wants to achieve, which means that he can work quickly. He makes decisions quickly. I was impressed.
Grazia Live: What do you think of the collection?
Tom Burke: I love it. There is a timelessness to what Hedi does. Styles change but some things always stay relevant. The leather jackets are works of art.
Grazia Live: You're in a band, Citizens! Tell us a bit about that...
Tom Burke: Citizens! are a band from London who formed about two years ago. We started the band on a mission to make pop music with imagination and integrity. We felt that pop was becoming something that bands were scared to tackle and we wanted to bring it back to life. We released our debut album, Here We Are, earlier this year. It was recorded in a house in Scotland with Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand. Since then we’ve toured all around the world.
Grazia Live: What do you think it was about the band that won over Hedi Slimane?
Tom Burke: I think it was the live show that hooked Hedi. Our live shows are very intense. We take no prisoners.
Grazia Live: Have you ever modelled before?
Tom Burke: No. I was terrified. Those female models scared the shit out of me.
Grazia Live: Would you do it again?
Tom Burke: I’ll try anything twice.
Grazia Live: What do your bandmates think of your foray...
Tom Burke: They think I am a pretentious, posing t**t and they won’t talk to me any more.
Grazia Live: What’s next for Citizens!?
Tom Burke: We are finishing a busy year of touring with a trip round SE Asia and Japan and then we’ll be straight back into the studio to work on our next album. There should be a new single ready early next year.
Grazia Live: Are you a singer-slash-model, in that order (yes I’m quoting Zoolander)
Tom Burke: Actually I'm a rapper-slash-singer-slash-model. Just you wait and see.
Citizens! are playing some UK dates in the next couple of weeks:
York Fibbers 18th Nov
Brighton The Haunt 19th Nov
London XOYO 20th Nov