TMF meet Thank You
On the eve of the release of their new album Golden Worry, TMF caught up with Baltimore-based art-rockers Thank You.
First up, would you like to introduce yourselves?
Hey, I'm Michael. I play music with Emmanuel and Jeff.
How are you all and what have you been up to?
We just had band practice at our new practice space in Baltimore. Our friends that have an art gallery let us play in the basement. Thanks to the Current Gallery! Other than that I've been trying to learn Greek and petting my dog.
For The Music Fix readers who may be unfamiliar with your music, what three words would you use to describe it?
Forward, molecular, human. I tried my best to answer without thinking.
You're just about to release your new album Golden Worry, and it's the first to feature new drummer Emmanuel Nicolaidis. How did this affect the writing and recording process, and what does he bring to the table?
When Elke our old drummer left we knew we would definitely have to change the way we wrote. She had a very idiosyncratic way of playing that we sort of wrote around. So it always seemed like the drumbeat was the main focus. For this record it seemed like it was definitely time to make melodies and textures the focus rather than rhythms. Emmanuel's a super solid drummer but is able to play in a chaotic, wild way when the song calls for it but can also hold back and add just enough. He understands songs really well so he always add just what it needs. Oh, and we had to get louder...he hits real hard!
How has coming from Baltimore influenced your music? And what is the Baltimore music scene like?
Baltimore's a pretty interesting place and I know living here effects our lives and that in turn effects our music, but i feel like you could say that about any band and any city. The main thing is there is no Baltimore sound as far as the "rock" bands go...all the bands are so different sounding from each other. So that's a hard question to answer. I don't think Baltimore as a city has that much to do with it. Besides, Jeff lives in New York and Emmanuel just got back from living in California for six months and I don't like to leave the house.
The Baltimore scene is quiet right now. Winters are hard here. Things get more animated in the Spring and Summer. Plus the more active bands are always out of town now. Feel like not much is going on right now but like I said I don't like to leave the house!
One of the most notable things I found with the album was the kraut-rock influence. 'Strange All' in particular had a slight Amon Duul II sound to it. Is this a kind of music you're big fans of?
Oh man! I don't really like Amon Duul! I'm pretty sure the other guys don't either but I'm not sure. I like that they named a record "God's Cock" but that's where my admiration ends. I like some bands from Germany like the first Eroc record and the early records from Faust and some others but we like records from all countries and our tastes in music are all over the place. We never have one specific influence like that. Actually, when we writing this record I was listening to alot of country: Jimmie Rodgers, Porter Wagoner and stuff like that and I definitely noticed some of that influence in my singing and guitar playing but I guess it's all going through my weird filter and coming out as something else. I think people equate us with Krautrock cause Emmanuel is a pretty precise drummer and Jeff and I use a good amount of organ on the record. We like organs. Oh, and I bought two reverb pedals!
What are your plans for the year? Is there a UK tour in the works?
We're going on a US tour in Febuary and it looks like a European tour in May. So yeah, we should be in the UK in May. Also Golden Worry is getting released in Japan so there's a really good chance we're going there for the first time which we're all really excited about. We also might play in Greece which would be incredible. Besides all of that it would be cool to start working on some new songs. I have alot of songs and ideas I've been working on at my house that I'm anxious to show the other two but Golden Worry is just about to come out so maybe I'm being impatient!
Finally, what are your favourite bands / songs at the moment?
"Sign on the Cross" by Bob Dylan, "Lemon Incest" by Serge Gainsbourg and "Small was Fast" by Pere Ubu...those are the songs i'm listening to a lot lately. As for bands I'd say Crawling Chaos, Tall Dwarfs, British Electric Foundation and Alfred Schnittke...at least for now..it changes all of the time....this is 2011 people!