Described by some as the best thing to ever come out of Wiltshire, West Country post-rockers Thought Forms recently released their third studio album titled ‘Songs About Drowning’.
The 45-minute album is a true powerhouse of hypnotising, sonic majesty, featuring the addition of bassist and producer Jim Barr to the line-up. We caught up with them on their recent 14 date UK tour to talk about the new album, the state of the industry and playing a gig in front of Ramsey Bolton from Game of Thrones.
So first off, you’re half way through your UK tour at the moment, how’s it been so far?
“It’s been really good so far, we’ve been playing a few familiar venues and some new ones too! We’ve met some really nice people and support bands, we played Bristol last night which was a bit heavy because it’s our home territory and our label is based there. We had a lot of friends there and we got a bit drunk and now we’re all feeling a bit shattered” said guitarist Deej.
Drummer Guy continued, “We’re playing London tomorrow at the Shecklewell Arms, we played an all-day psych festival there a few years ago, which was pretty cool. One of the actors from Game of Thrones was there, I can’t remember his name…”
“It was the torturing guy” Deej butted in
“He was there on a date, and I wanted to say hello to him but I was too scared” Guy said.
So your latest album Songs About Drowning came out a couple of months ago now, you’ve had a bit of time to reflect on it, how do you feel about it now you’ve had the chance to tour with it?
“We’re really proud of it” said Charlie
“It’s really fun to play live, it’s a completely different set and different sounds, I think it mixes with the old songs really well!” said Guy
Did the making of the album feel risky? Because the process of this album was completely different to Ghost Mountain and you didn’t play any of the songs live before you released the album.
Guy said “There’s one song called Woolf Music which was created by an improvisation that we did at a festival of the same name, which Charlie set up in Seend in Wiltshire. So that song was born fro that improvised set, but that’s the only thing we did live beforehand.
“Yeah, it was quite scary but I think we were confident with what we were putting out, and as soon as we played it live we knew it was right” said Charlie.
Guy continued “it was like backward engineering for us, doing it all in the studio and then learning to do it live”.
“There was also a few gigs during the recording process, which was good for our confidence too” Jim said.
How do you feel about your audience? You guys have quite a specific sound, do you feel like your scene has some gaps around the country?
“Yeah, there will be places that we haven’t played before, and you try to push it as much as possible, but if people don’t know you, it’s going to be hard. But the important thing is some places you play to like, 10 or 20 people and you think there’s no point, but actually if those people really enjoy the experience, they will eventually come back and bring more people” Said Deej.
Charlie continued “It’s much better to have a few people who are really into it, rather than a room full of people who don’t give a shit”.
“There was one time a few years ago, we played a gig in Cambridge and it was literally us, the other band and a cat, and we just messed around and an improvised thing and a whole new songs came out of that experience, so those kind of shows are just as important as playing to rooms that are rammed” said Deej.
So what’s next for Thought Forms?
“We’re hoping to get back to Europe for some shows and maybe some festivals too, once we get back we want to get together more often and start jamming and writing more because we haven’t really had the chance too” said Charlie.
Guy continued “We’ve also got a few covers to do, part of our pledge campaign was to record and release a few covers, one of which is Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, which my dad put on there”
“It’ll be good because before when Charlie was living in London we would only rehearse when we had a gig coming up, but now we’re all living in Bristol we can get together more often and have a regular practice room” Said Deej.
What’s the biggest challenge for you guys when you tour? Do you get on each other’s nerves a lot or anything like that?
“We actually get on really well; I was expecting us to have a lot more arguments on the last tour seeing as we were all cooped up in such a small space. I think it was easier because we weren’t driving ourselves so we didn’t have to worry about things as much” said Charlie.
Guy said “Me and Deej have a little squabble now and then but that’s more of a brotherly thing”
“Yeah, you can’t be in the situation that we are now, where we’re like family and we’ve been a band for ages, there are moments where we pick on each other and piss each other off, but it’s like a family and we all love each other very much. Plus, nobody has tried to suffocate me while im sleeping so far so it’s going well!” said Deej
Tell me about your recent live album EVIL, how did it come about? Was it planned or did it just kind of happen?
“Yeah, we did so many gigs in Europe and we recorded every show and we had planned to make an album out of that for our pledge campaign. But we did the album launch in Bristol and we got some extra musicians in and the whole gig had a really good flow to it, it was a really special night so we decided to focus on that, it’s good to document that sort of thing” said Charlie.
Thought Forms latest album Songs About Drowning, as well as their entire discography is available through Invada Records.
Words by Rob McKelvey