The Exuberant Thao : Interview

Thao deceptively upbeat hammering drums, lilting guitars and a full horn section, ending in a crescendo of exuberant pandemonium.

With super-producer and friend Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon) again at the helm and guest turns from an impeccable cast including Andrew Bird, Laura Veirs, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists, and close friend and new 4AD artist Tune-Yards, Know Better Learn Faster finds the band luxuriating in musical maturity, by turns rambunctious and raucous, hushed and intimate with excursions into sonic adventures.
Debut UK single ‘Body’ Out Now


www.myspace.com/thaomusic
WHO ARE THE BAND MEMBERS AND WHAT DO EACH OF YOU DO IN THE BAND?
willis thompson- drums, percussion, is the tallest by far. adam thompson- bass, vocals, keys, bakes bread on tour, thao- guitar, vocals, songwriter, sleeps in the van the most

WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU MAKE / PLAY ?
country and blues and folk influenced dirty indie pop

WHERE ARE YOU FROM ?
we are all three from virginia but are scattered throughout the states now

HOW DID YOU GUYS GET TOGETHER AND WHEN?
we met in college in virginia and were oddly drawn to each other

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ?
60’s pop and rock and Motown and country blues and people with beats and emotion

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART OF BEING IN THE BAND FOR YOU ?
the consistent touring that makes your real life harder to handle and be a part of but we are getting better at it.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR EARLY DAYS AND HOW THEY DIFFER FROM NOW ?
we used to stay with whoever was kind enough to have us on their floors, then we shared beds in shitty motels, then we found priceline and more stablility and now have our own beds but share rooms in hotels that don’t smell like gasoline.

WHAT WAS THE LAST GIG YOU PLAYED, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT ?

last night i played a solo show with my dear friend Mirah in San Francisco at the Noise Pop festival and i loved it and had such a fantastic meaningful time.

DO ANY OF THE BAND HAVE ANY IRISH OR NORTHERN IRISH CONNECTIONS ? IF SO TELL US ABOUT THEM ?
you know i can’t recall off the top of my head but i’d wager that odds are better with adam and willis. we all really enjoy ireland, does that count? adam drank guiness at a bar in the Dublin airport at around 5 in the morning the other month… what about that.

WHAT’S THE MOST SUCCESSFUL THING YOU GUYS HAVE DONE TO DATE ?

stayed grateful.

WHO HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY ?
our manager Slim Moon, our label Kill Rock Stars

WHAT’S COMING NEXT FOR THE BAND ?

we are going to skype and come up with a band iphone app. idea and then realize we have no way to make it happen and then we will just talk about what kind of granola bars to put on the rider.

IS IT HARD BEING A NEW BAND IN TODAY’S INDUSTRY ?
hard to say because it is the only frame of reference we have but it doesn’t seem any harder than being new at anything else.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE INTERNET AND SOCIAL NETWORK SITES TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BAND ?
the internet makes me nervous because of its breadth and mystery. i suppose it is very important to the success of any band these days but i am unaware of how much it has helped us in particular. i don’t stay on top of it much because i have found i am very sensitive to screen glare.

QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS:
WHO’S THE MESSIEST IN THE BAND?
thao. no question. ever.

WHO IS HARDEST TO LIVE WITH ON TOUR?
we have worked hard at easy living so we are all pretty agreeable at this point.

WHO IS THE JOKER AND WHY ?
we all have our moments- adam is a great physical comedian and willis has an incredible southern accent and thao does the running man and mc hammer dance at random and on command. this all comes out when we are stuck in traffic or 9 hour drives or trapped in the airport.

WHO MOANS THE MOST ?

thao. onstage. only.

WHO IS THE MOST ROCK ‘N’ ROLL & WHY ?

adam because he can smoke whole cigarettes.

WHO IS THE LOUDEST ?

thao. but that is not saying much because adam and willis are really quiet.

WHO IS THE MOST ANNOYING ?
depends on the situation.

WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING THING SOMEONE IN THE BAND HAS DONE ?

when i was 12 i accidentally flashed the whole 8th grade at an assembly.

WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH IN THE INDUSTRY ?

Orchestra Baobob/ kind people

WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH IN IRELAND OR NORTHERN IRELAND AND WHY ?
i love sinead o’connor and van morrison. seriously. i know we have no chance but i love them and will always love them.
www.myspace.com/thaomusic