Monday, 2 February 2015

Interview: Thou

I had the opportunity to interview my favourite band of internet motherfuckers for Echoes & Dust.
We all got to use a lot of big words while discussing politics, boundary-pushing heavy music, Aubrey Beardsley, feminism, Dungeons And Dragons, systems of class-based oppression, playing Roadburn festival, and that long-awaited Fiona Apple tribute record.

I'm extremely proud to present my interview with Thou.

(((o))): Lyrically this album marks a progression in a theme that Bryan has mentioned in interviews before; examining the class system, the oppression of the many by the few, and those willing to break free, to escape that same oppression. Heathen is the first album to offer an actual alternative perspective on a way to live life: a focus on the sensual, the personal experience, and abandoning dense population centres in favour of a return to nature.

This is obviously a little more in the way of ‘food for thought’ than your typical doom release, are you okay with the perception of Thou as… maybe not a political band per se, but one with strong opinions about the world we live in? Are discussions and meditations on these topics something you hope to inspire in your listeners?

Andy: You’d likely get five different answers if we were all to answer that question. I think of us as a political band. I mean, we have some pretty blatantly political songs even if those songs don’t represent the totality of our politics. Really, in my opinion every band is political whether they are willing to acknowledge it or not. Life is political; we’re all caught up in the problems of this world. Every choice we make affects someone else.

Bryan: Yeah, “the personal is the political” and all that. I think if anything, getting folks to be critical of themselves, the world around them, and their place in it is a core theme throughout our music. That’s a big part of why so much our output—in the content of the songs and records, or the ephemera we release for tours—can oftentimes be so contradictory (anti-civilization/-technology slogans then pro-technology, utopian revisionist daydreams in the next breath) or self-deprecating. We’re five guys who butt heads a lot of times on our own politics, so musically, we love playing with different points of view, as opposed to proselytizing a set of commandments.

I mean, I’m glad that people tend to think of us as a “smarter” or more conscientious band or whatever—but we can also be total dingdongs just like everyone else. It’s not like we’re just sitting around reading Stirner and Blavatsky and not spending just as much time laying around playing Chrono Trigger or watching Netflix.

That's just a small snippet of what turned into one of the most extensive, illuminating interviews I've ever read with the band. You can read the full article over at Echoes & Dust...