Amitie – Stewart Lindsey Interview Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, we start to talk about how Amitie came to be recorded.

Well this one is an album about friendship, and that is what Dave and I have.  I really didn’t think we would make another record, I poured everything into the first record, and put my heart and soul into it.

You get one shot at this to see if people like you, or if people want to hear it, or if they don’t then that’s done, so you have to make the best one possible as it may be the only chance.

I was still sending music back and forth with Dave, and it just sort of happened. He sent me a couple of tracks and soon we realised we were making an album. He has all over Europe attending premiers of Ghost The Musical when some of these were recorded, he would record while in his hotel room, and I would come home from work and it was backwards and forwards like that.

Amitie is a punchy album, coming in at 30 minutes with 9 tracks, I asked Thomas if he was concerned it wouldn’t be seen as a full album?

I’m not really worried about that, to be honest. I didn’t really just want to go back and add a verse here or there for the sake of it, so yes I was a bit surprised at the length, but you know there’s an album by Sam Philips who did the music for The Gilmour Girls, her album Push Any Button is only 30 minutes long, and it’s genius as I keep playing the album repeatedly, so you don’t get tired of the songs as they don’t drag out. You are left wanting more and I hope that’s what happens with Amitie.

My friendship is not just with Dave, I have many friends here at home, but I was in a weird place last year as so many of my friends were beginning to move away, but they leave things behind that will always trigger a memory. A lot fo the album focuses on that.

So we start talking about each track in turn, and Thomas has been very open about talking about the true meanings of the songs.


Storm Came


UE So what’s the storm Thomas, is it literal is it the hurricanes, or is it Trump, is it Covid, I keep applying so many ideas to this songs and finding they all work!

Well it was literal, it was the storms, the hurricanes. When it was written, Dave was in the Bahamas, and the storm had hit hard, I was worried for him, worried for his house and his family, there was so much devastation, but he was OK. They are so frightening,  I’ve been through hurricanes, I know what that’s like, there is no power, no water or food. There is just heat, this really intense heat and you are trying to figure out what’s going on how are you going to survive and pick your life back up.

The song became very metaphorical though, every day we all have a storm that comes and knocks us down, something in our lives, or at work, and we all think we are so different, but we are not really, we all have the same basic needs. We have to pick ourselves up.  Then this year, when the whole world seems to have fallen apart, the song feels like it was a bit of a premonition.

We have so many struggles right now, people dealing with this virus, we’ve not seen anything like this since 1920, I don’t blame any leader of any country or any organisation for their response because no one has ever seen it to know what to do. I put myself into their shoes and I think I don’t know what I would do, where do you start.  You can’t lock people in their homes, they would die, they need food they need medication, our whole world and systems are based around that.  We are now so dependent on each other we can’t actually self sustain in our own homes, most of us have no garden, I don’t, so how could we self sustain. That frightens me.

Then we have the issues of human rights, we are still facing the same situations and it blows my mind that even today we are still facing the same situations we don’t seem to make any progress. I am a Christian man, and I know there has been war and there has been prejudice since the beginning of time, and I fear there will be to the end of time. To survive yourself I believe you have to surround yourself with people who are not prejudiced and then prejudice gets watered down. It is in the bible. You can’t destroy the garden for the weeds, you have to keep growing the garden and then remove the weeds. You cannot rip it all up and toss the good away with the bad.

I don’t have any answers, I try not to watch the news, it blows my mind at how evil people are to each other. I truly believe that vengeance is the lords and only the lords. If someone came to hit me I won’t hit them back. Hate cannot kill hate, only love can kill hate. If you look back through history. People who have fought and did it In such a way that they were not attacking people, but they were standing on a platform and they were explaining this is wrong, and if they were killed it had more impact than if they were bombed. You see that with Jesus, he spread peace and love, he didn’t fight but he was still executed.  Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, she wasn’t hostile, she wasn’t violent, but she did it in a way where you have to throw love at hate.  I hate Facebook comments, I try to avoid those now. No-one is on Facebook making comments to become enlightened, they are just going there to fight and it saddens me.



I hate revealing things like this, but I was picturing myself being on a battle field as a soldier getting shot, and how would I think that that felt like. Turn Me Around And Let Me Know When The Worst Is Over, and the fear of what will happen, but most of all please don’t leave me alone.

 It’s a real heavy song.  I don’t know if it’s right but I find myself loving and singing other peoples songs far more than my own, but sometimes I find myself singing my own song and I think, ah, there must be something to it for it to be hanging around, and that’s what happened with this song.



Last Night I Chased A Monster Across My dreams.  I really had that dream, I was chasing a Scorpion around the room and I could not catch it, but eventually I caught up with it and smashed it.

So of course when I woke up, it was so vivid, it was so weird, what does it mean?, I was straight onto Google. “What does it mean if you are chasing and killing scorpions in your dreams”.Well I found out it means that there are fake people in your life, so I started thinking wow, so who is in my life around me that may be detrimental to me, and it all made sense.

There’s another take on it as well, there’s two voices we have in our heads. There’s the voice that says “you can do it”, and the other that says “why bother, just sit back down”, the 2 voices we are constantly in battle with.

You know some days I go to the gym and I think you look great, keep going, then other days, that voice says you look shit, why are you bothering. The same in a nightclub you go out sometimes thinking yes, I look good, I feel good, then other times it’s you look like crap, no-one is looking at you, you’re dog meat. 

That’s why I don’t need negative people in my life, I’m really good at cutting myself down, I don’t need other people to do that for me. I am the best roaster of Thomas there is, no-one can compete with Thomas.

I ask Thomas if he is a tough critic on his own work.

There are books and books of discarded songs, but I keep them all. I learnt that very early on, never throw them away. You must keep it all, even if you don’t like it, you never know if inspiration will come knocking again, every song is a gift. I have to remind myself of that even if I don’t like it.  I was very bad with my artwork, I used to throw all my work away after it got graded. My art teacher told me she would fail me if she ever saw my artwork in the trash again.

I do not do that with my music, I’m deep into Americana now, it’s only the last few years I’m getting deep into that music. Lucinda Williams said one time that her father told her that visiting your songbook was called “going to the graveyard”,  going back to your old songs and robbing bits from one song a verse from another a chorus from another. I do do that. It happened on the first album when we wrote Confidence. I couldn’t work out a chorus for it, everything I wrote sounded like shit, and then I found one that fell into place from my book.



UE There’s a line in Hold On that really caught my attention “I Cling to the shadows of people who’ve long gone, their words and faces echo still on every wall and window cill”

Simple things would trigger memories as if their spirits were still there, I could look at a wall and a remember things that they have told me or something we have done. They haven’t passed away or anything., but their spirit is still there.

My friends pass through the town, they get married and move away or are in the services, even people from the gym, I would lift weights with them every day, you become really good friends with people and then they move on. I had no idea I would make so many friends at the gym. You get to hear their life story and see their daily struggles, and they see yours. You don’t have to say anything, they are like brothers and sisters, they know.

Of course I noticed those people would come and go, some would leave for good and I would never see them again, but I’m still here, and I wonder will I always be here with people passing through my life or will I ever be the one that passes through to somewhere else. I do believe that it’s OK to get sad, to get depressed, but you have to bring yourself up again.

Another line I ask Thomas about is “Chasing Your Dreams Down Pipes and Rabbit Holes”

Haha, well that’s about me being depressed and about my failed dreams and ideas, not just in music. I have to be busy, and If I’m not, I get down. So you know I go and write some software for certain ideas only to discover someone else has already done it and it has 15,000 features, so I ditch that idea, or I am working on a project at work and then it gets cancelled, or I’m going to do this with my art and it’s just falling apart in my hands, and everything crumbles.

People often tell me that your so good at everything, I tell them I hide all the failures from them, there’s plenty under the rug. How many times have you thought this is a cool idea only to find others have done it, and I feel that all the time and I always feel that I have missed my chance.

I wish I was born in the 80’s into the IT industry, I think then I could have made a difference, it’s hard to make yourself been seen in this industry. I guess it’s the same in music as well today. But I keep thinking about this, and I had a moment yesterday when I thought actually maybe we should take what’s already there and make it easier to use, make it more fun to use. So don’t compete, focus on the original concept and the problem they were trying to solve and make it work better.



I was singing this song for weeks in my head, like I said in Turn Me Around., I realised there must be something about this song because even I’m singing it.

This song was written before, how do I put it, the world burst! You know racial divides and all the human shit that is going on right now. Bit it’s not new that’s been going on for years, which is crazy to me because I live in a community where we are all together , we have one school, everyone comes together here, so when I see neighbourhoods where kids are segregates like that I feel guilty that I’ve been ignorant, I get used to not seeing it.  But if I do see something, I say something, I’m loud I guess. Maybe that’s why people don’t do it a lot around me.

Liberation was about the projects or ideas I was working on being done before, or friends moving away like I said in Hold On and Brothers in Arms, but this is about me thinking about God, and having the thoughts in my head that maybe God is going to liberate me.

Liberation was born out of that, and the song flowed. You have a bad day and come home from work and you go on Facebook and you see these people posting “5 Steps to a Better Life” and you see them getting out of a fancy car parked outside of their mansion” It’s bull crap, why are you lying to people, why can’t you be honest.  You’ve had a bad day, but it doesn’t make you any less human, but I cannot connect with you on a human level because you won’t be human, so unfollow.

I’m tired of the fake. And then you look in the comments and there are sad and depressed people looking to this person as if that’s everything that’s wrong with their life. It goes back to that sentiment of asking someone how are they, and most reply I’m Fine, but they are not. We have been trained through the years as some sort of shielding technique to reply “I’m Fine”,  and you don’t ask people how they really feel, and you just accept that answer.  

Sometimes if I am asked how I am and I don’t say fine, I don’t lie, it freaks people out and they don’t know what to say or how to react. I won’t say I’m Fine if I am not. It weirds them out.  I am told that I over share, my friends tell me I have to be careful who I share with because not everyone’s intentions are for the good. I can’t help it because if I’m going through something I want to tell you, I want your take on it, I want to know what you would do. To say I’m Fine is disingenuous, it’s a lie. Maybe its why so many people go home and are on medications because they are bottling everything up, they are not telling the truth about how they really feel. How was your day, “It Was Shit” Well I may not be able to help you, but tell me about it, just saying it talking about it will help. Just speak it out people, everyone is so guarded.  When you go on Facebook everyone is attacking each other as though they have never done anything wrong, they have never sinned, they have no problems.  Everybody is the pillar of good behaviour in the comments section! We all fall short, and we should all be there for each other. If someone does something wrong, its horrible and maybe they do need to go to jail, but I’m not going to cut their throat. Hell this world is really dark to me, it’s so cold sometimes.

This all leads up to the line at the end of the song, Social Media Shows Life, But I’ve Watched It Kill.

Dave really liked this line because you cannot read that line any other way. There’s no ambiguity, there’s no other way to read it, you don’t have to be intelligent to understand it. I’ve been watching Social Media for years. I’ve watched it destroy peoples lives, damage their self-esteem, people feeling obsessed with their picture not getting 100 likes, well that means I must be ugly. Social Media is not bad, but just know it for what it is, it is a communication platform, that’s all.  In the 90’s we had chat rooms and bulletin boards, but I did not see the hatred on those boards then, not the same we have now.


Hold Your Head High, You Can Change Your Name

This song is all about running away, that’s the duality in me, I want to run away, but I have no idea where to run to, it’s my battle back and forth.

Some weeks I want to run away other weeks it’s no stay where you are it’s comfortable. 

Actually you know, this is the first song that Dave and I ever wrote back in 2012. It ends on a positive though with the words Hold Your Head High, You Can Change Your Name. 

Do you want to start over? I’ll be there with you, go and get your stuff together and let’s go.

That’s the sentiment of this song.



This is 100% about what we spoke about before with people just saying I’m Fine (See Liberation) They will not say how they really feel. It also ties into Brother in Arms.

A lot of my friends who pass through this area of Louisiana are signed up to the military, maybe I should have joined, it would have probably killed me though. I think it’s a very heroic and selfless thing to do, to join, it’s like saying for the next 4 years I’m giving up my own free will, to go wherever I am asked to go, and to protect the country.

Once you are in it, you can’t get out of it. I have great respect for that. I struggle even going to buy a new car, I can jump right out of that process if I am not comfortable.

I meet a lot of military people, and I hear a lot about what people go through. They go to war and come home, and are expected to behave as if nothing happened, they have to come back and mow their lawns, and forget they have destroyed buildings with innocent people In it or their best buddy on the battlefield being killed, the guy they slept with side by side for years, just gone. And they are expected to come home and just flick the switch.

I have tremendous respect for people with PTSD, they have good and bad days, you have to accept that and know that. You cannot throw that person away, they are dealing with a struggle that you won’t understand. They have seen things that you won’t be able to connect with, and you must just accept that and know that.  That’s what the song is about, you went through some shit, I’m still your friend, you want to holler at me today fine, tomorrow we will have a cookout. They sacrifice so much for us.

Freedom In Your Mind, can you imagine, well we can’t really can we, we don’t see it. It’s not cut and dry whether you are a good person or bad person. I believe we are all inherently good people, we have situations in our lives that may make us change.  We all have the components inside of us to make us act good or bad, you just have to hope that yours are arranged in a way that keeps you on the good side.

The thoughts of who we never tell each other how we really feel are all clustered together into that song.



I had a lot of friends that were moving away and I was starting to think about how much they mean to me, they come and go, but at the same time they leave things behind that you remember forever, they change you. You think you won’t have any more friends, but then more people come into your life if you are lucky. Not everyone is lucky and I appreciate that.

In hold on I talk about the people moving through my life, but wherever they are now, they will always be my brothers because they mean so much to me, if they call me up in trouble I will always get on an aeroplane to go and help them.

I thought, wow this is crazy, all through my childhood I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was alone in school, people were not listening to Eurythmics, I was the strange one! I also think if you are a creative person when you are young you are a bit all over the place. People around me were hunting and fishing, that’s not what I do so I didn’t really fit in.

UE : In the song you seem to be giving your friends permission to go, to leave, and be free.

My friends are always telling me to go, to leave town, and they are probably right, you don’t fit in where you live Thomas they say.  I just haven’t found the courage or the place to move to yet, I probably should. All the places I have visited have never felt like home to me. I think about it a lot, Where do I belong?  I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure that out.

There’s a change in tempo in the song, which was Dave’s idea, and I loved it, it turned into a marching band. At the end of the song we layered a whole load of vocals to sound like an army coming, a cadence. It becomes a wall of sound.



This song to me seems to be a prayer of hope Thomas.

Yes, that’s right, there is always hope. When it was written there was lot of shit going on. It’s in the bible. There will be trouble in your days.  If you are a Christian, then you believe that everything is going to be great, but Jesus warns us that there will always be trouble, there’s always going to be trouble. People will always be at odds with each other, they are humans.

That is what makes love is so powerful because it is a choice. If it was just inherent in you, it would mean nothing. That’s why Love and Hate are so powerful. Love is a choice, you choose to love, in spite of what people are or what they have done, you make a choice. Spitballin ended with a prayer so I thought it was befitting to end Amitie with a prayer as well.

This song to me seems to be a prayer of hope Thomas.

Yes, that’s right, there is always hope. When it was written there was a lot of shit going on. It’s in the bible. There will be trouble in your days.  If you are a Christian, then you believe that everything is going to be great, but Jesus warns us that there will always be trouble, there’s always going to be trouble. People will always be at odds with each other, they are humans.

That is what makes love is so powerful because it is a choice. If it was just inherent in you, it would mean nothing. That’s why Love and Hate are so powerful. Love is a choice, you choose to love, in spite of what people are or what they have done, you make a choice. Spitballin ended with a prayer so I thought it was befitting to end Amitie with a prayer as well.

I pictured the people in The Bahamas coming out of their homes or what was left of their homes after the storm cleared and seeing nothing, everything has gone. So What Do You Have? You have your faith and the people around you, we’ve got to come together. God created us all to do that, so we have to pull together, in such a way to help everyone. And so that song became a prayer. Because there’s such despair in the air and then you sing your song of hope. So you replace that message that’s in the air with the song of Hope. Let’s clear the darkness, you know, we’ve had loss, we cried. All right. Now it’s time for us to get up and get on. You have to, you don’t have a choice not to.

It’s like when you have a bad day at work and you come home and you’re pissed off, you know, it can be hard to process, but whenever the sun rises, if you’re so blessed that the sun does rise on you the next day, you get back up and you carry on.

It kind of makes you think that if you could think of all this before tomorrow comes, it might be easier, just like in Eurythmics song When Tomorrow Comes. If you could realise that in your head before when you get worked up, it wouldn’t be as troublesome for you because can say, yes it was a horrible day but is tomorrow is going to be different. If we could think of that pre ahead of time before we come home and start kicking and throwing things around even just in our minds, then we’d be better off.

I still work with that. I work myself up a lot. I know I am a very stressful person. When I played the One Show in LA with Dave, I was staring out the window and before we went onstage someone asked my friend who was with me “what is he thinking about?” They said he’s worried about how he’s going to get home if he’s going to miss the plane or stuff like that”, and they’re like, you have to be kidding. I can’t help it. My mind is always like two to three days ahead worrying about shit that hasn’t happened yet or not even going to happen and I’m trying so hard to fix that.

I’m 32 years old and still working on that. I’m still trying to figure it out. They say though when you turn 40 that everything makes sense. So I’m waiting for 40 and they say when you turn 50 you get free. Itsort of dawned on me that actually everything in the last seven years might never have happened and everything about to come might never have happened.