21 Oct 2019
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Thomas Brothers - Interview: Thomas Brothers

18 Jun 2019 // An interview by Steve Shyu


Four brothers. One band. Tonnes of talent. Since childhood, the four siblings, Sam, Josh, Joe and Ben Thomas have jammed and now created a tremendous name for themselves, trademarking a style of hook-laden pop-rock tunes.

With a full-length album under their collective belts and a shiny, brand-new single Sorry just released, Muzic.net.nz's Paul T Gheist caught up with Sam Thomas for a chat:

First round’s on me - What will you lads be having?

"Get a cider inside ya" is what I like to say. I am a cider man myself. Josh's favourite is Woodstock but he can't drink it because the caffeine gives him heart palpitations, so he'll probably have a beer. Joseph will have "whatever Josh is having". Ben doesn't drink. Yip, we're the life of the party!

It’s said that you all started playing music together before you could walk - Was there ever a point in time when the four brothers officially became Thomas Brothers?

'Thomas Brothers' officially became our name in 2015 when we realised we needed one in order to enter Battle of the Bands. Up until then, we had thrown a few different names around, but nothing had stuck. Josh suggested we keep it simple and go with 'Thomas Brothers'. I said, "It seems a little boring but let's just go with it in the meantime'... And it's stuck ever since. In all seriousness, we now love the name. It says exactly who we are and what's most important to us: Family.

Despite being brothers, everyone must have different music tastes; what’s everyone’s favourite genres?

Between the four of us, our musical taste buds probably cover every musical genre to ever exist. I generally listen to easy-listening chilled music. Life is stressful and music is my escape. What I listen to can be entirely different to what I write. When I write, I'm expressing myself. I can say all the things in music that I can't say in real life. Josh was typically the heavy metal/rap guy but recently has been on a classical music buzz. Ben likes jazz and contemporary. Joseph is into dance. Music is a big part of what brings us together as brothers and what's seen us through hard times.

Name three of your biggest influences, musical or otherwise.

Eminem, Chopin, 21 Pilots, Coldplay. I know you said 3 but I couldn't knock any one off that list, haha.

What are some key ingredients that make up a Thomas Brothers’ tune?

It usually starts at the piano. I get a sudden flash of inspiration, an idea, a single moment of colour or feeling. Then I try to fill it in a little more. Figure out what the song is about. What is the music trying to say? Every song has its own lifetime. It will tell you what it needs and wants. Then once I've figured out the tune, beginnings of the lyrics and some form of verse/chorus/bridge structure, I take it to Josh who critiques it and helps me figure out if this is a song we want to keep perusing. He's also really great at pointing out what parts of the song need work or developing. If the song gets past this point, we take it to the rest of the band who help us develop it even more.

Outside of music-making, what are your other interests, and does any of it creep into your songwriting?

I originally studied acting at NIDA in Sydney and decided I wanted to be a filmmaker. I made a feature film (Someone to Carry Me) that premiered at the La Femme Film Festival in Beverly Hills, now available on Amazon Prime (wink wink!). Josh and Joseph have both worked in the film industry as stunt guys.

All of us have a love for film-making and that bleeds into our desire to make great music videos. Making compelling stories with our music videos is equally as important to us as making great music. I also do a lot of work for TVNZ, including producing a series of music videos for Seven Sharp's 'Play It Strange' series, for young talented New Zealand musicians.

Joseph currently works for Weta Digital. Ben is a talented basketball player. He plays for the Auckland Rangers and has played overseas in the USA. He's also currently studying to be a chef!

Since the lyrics appear quite deep, tell us a bit about what inspired the song “Sorry” - Was it based on any particular person’s own experiences?

Sorry is about overcoming addiction and the separation it can cause from you and your loved ones. A couple years ago I ended up in a pretty dark place that I, at times, was unable to see a way back from. However, with the help of family, I was able to overcome it. Having a strong connection with family is one of the main themes coming through with this next album, Together. "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together".

What were some obstacles you've all had to overcome to get to where your band is today?

Often negative people can be the biggest obstacles in pursuing your passions. We have found one of the most important things is surrounding ourselves with people that believe in us and support us in chasing our dreams.

What’s the most memorable show you guys have played so far?

Opening for Dave Dobbyn was an amazing experience.

Who are your favourite New Zealand artists/bands right now?

Broods, Theia, Kings!

Care to share any exciting exclusive news of what’s on Thomas Brothers’ horizons? A nationwide tour? New music videos?

We have a brand new music video coming out in the next few weeks for our single Sorry, starring James Davies (from Power Rangers) and circus performer Rosita Hendry (of Cirque du Soleil). We've been working on this music video over the last year. A lot of love and passion has gone into it, so we are really excited to share it with the world!

 

About Thomas Brothers

After 4 years, our self-titled debut album is complete. 12 tracks individually crafted with a distinct Kiwi flavour. Mixed and mastered in New Zealand and New York. We have filmed 40+ unique videos (including 8 music videos) now posted on YouTube. We are giving it our all, as we do what we love most. Come join us on our adventure...

Four New Zealand brothers who all developed a love for music from an early age. Performing in live shows, film and TV soundtracks; including feature film Someone to Carry Me. In 2012 we began appearing in interviews (such as TV Show Seven Sharp) as Pop/Rock Band the ‘Thomas Brothers’.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Thomas Brothers

Releases

Thomas Brothers
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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