I’ve been busy but finding plenty of time to do sheet-masks, so I guess that means I’m really good.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Casual”?
’Casual’ is a fun song about trying to mold yourself into a different person in order to fit into a relationship that isn’t meant to be. The sentiment swings from “We’re bad for each other, we could both do better, this should be casual and never get too intense” to “Let’s make this legit, wanna see the world with me? I think you’re the one!”. I honestly think this captures a lot of people in the beginning stages of a relationship in the modern world.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
You bet lol. My life!
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I’m pretty visuals driven, but most of the ideas I have are prohibitively expensive, and I find compromise a tough pill to swallow. Like, if I want to make a video in Antarctica, I’m not going to just jump in front of a green screen, you know? I want to GO to Antarctica
The single comes off your new EPs En route: London and Los Angeles – what’s the story behind the title?
So, I’d been making a bunch of songs after my first record came out, all while moving to LA, changing labels, and while my management restructured. The songs were about as scattered as my brain was. I had a song called “Los Angeles” which I loved, and it really sounded like how LA felt to me. Originally being from London, I wanted to find a way to try and capture that city too and once I had written it, I realized how the two cities had such distinct, contrasting moods that really helped bring all the other songs into focus sonically and thematically. It made a lot of sense to center the EPs around that contrast.
How was the recording and writing process?
Long. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, simply because of how much was going on in my life. By the time I’d found a direction I had been writing the songs with a tonne of different people over the space of 2 years. It took an additional year to bring all scattered songs together in a coherent way.
What role does New Zealand play in your music?
It’s good as a chill home-base. Something about being there feels like the pressure is off, in ways both good and bad. LA makes you feel like inactivity is complacency and laziness whereas NZ loves to lift up that “go-with-the-flow” mantra. After living in the US for a year I learnt the importance of access to nature that feels isolated. My house in New Zealand is so close to a great big forest and unbelievable beaches, so there are plenty of places to be truly alone with your thoughts.
Does the success your music has been getting puts any pressure on you as you release new material or rather the opposite?
The first single was a song that everyone agreed on, no matter who I played it to, I got a response ranging from “this is really good” to “this is your best work by far”. The other tracks were more varied with everyone having different favourites. So, every time I release a track it honestly feels like a stab in the dark. I always want to step up my work with every new song, but I had to be real with myself in knowing that “Acid Rain” was always gonna be the one. Anything else beyond that is just extra-nice. I have a pretty good feeling about “Los Angeles” though. Just putting that out there into the universe.
What aspect of these particular two cities did you get to explore on this record?
It’s less a geographical thing and more an energy thing. London, to me, has this palpable historical element. It feels stately, solid, but also has this undercurrent pulse of culture and people who are constantly coming and going. I like that it’s grey and cold, but everyone still lives there. Nothing about London feels like an escape, living there is a choice that requires a certain level of self-assurance. Los Angeles is this weird, hazy, fantasy land. It’s optimistic and bright and lit-up from the hopes and dreams of millions of people. It’s a truly aspirational place and I really tried to capture the hopeful, warm, bold, spirit.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
On this release, I don’t think there is anything made-up. It’s all pretty autobiographical, which I honestly think just comes from the amount of time I was able to spend writing. Nothing about this has been rushed so every song on this project comes from a real feeling/moment/situation.
How does the life on the road influences your music and writing as a whole?
I’ve only really toured once years back, every other “tour” has been a run of 3 shows that hasn’t really disrupted my life in any significant way. But that’s all about to change.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m touring Australia and New Zealand this month, which would be my first tour in 3 years. I haven’t played in Europe since 2015 so getting back there is a huge priority for me. Some of the fans there feel like little internet pen-pals and I miss them dearly. And there are so many new friends be made.
What else is happening next in Thomston’s world?
I’m getting stuck into the album already. Going to make sure it doesn’t take 3 years! Yikes.