THERMOLUMINESCENCE are a two piece band who have been on my musical radar for a good deal longer than they have been on yours due to me going through University with one of the bands two members. That being said, this is definitely not a case of me building hype for a band just because I know one of the guys. After hearing their latest full length effort, DISCODISCODISCODISCO, an album that sounds like current era Radiohead ‘going goth’ for halloween (in a very good way) and playing a tribute set to the mid-late 1980’s, I thought it worth my time chasing Adam Glasspool and Will Bowles aka THERMOLUMINESCENCE up about a few not so trivial things.
1. Who are you and ‘where’ are you coming from with your music?
AG- Not sure what the position of our music is. The blend of digital and analogue is something we’ve always thought about when recording. Whether it’s using analogue instruments in conjunction with electronic ones, or using digital tools to fuck up and destroy analogue instruments. Most of Stop Worrying is guitar. Not that you’d know it.
WB- Some of my favourite sounding recordings have been made in sheds, garages and toilets. Even though we use perfectly good equipment and software which produces a beautiful, clean sound, it’s nice for the music to inhabit the very low fi spaces it was created in. For that reason, recording this album was quite destructive. Take a really beautiful sound straight out the synthesiser, then make it sound disgusting. That’s our ethos for recording. Our other ethos, as it were, is to throw enough shit at the wall and hope some of it will stick.
2. How do you feel your sound has evolved over the course of the bands life, do you hear it becoming more ‘honed’?
AG- I’m not sure it has become ‘honed’ as you say, but maybe i’m too close to hear it. The previous records were messy because they were supposed to be messy, and this one’s definitely more focused, so i guess in that respect it might be true. But i also think this album has some variety in it, and that’s Will bringing that to the table, rather than me. Having a new set of eyes suddenly really digs you out of holes and traps you would otherwise fall into. This record certainly isn’t a repetition of what we’ve done before. It’s almost like we’re a different band. The only thing that has remained is the ethos behind our stuff.
3. I can hear more influences on this record than I can count on my two hands, who are the biggest influences for you guys personally?
AG- I have two sets of influences, being the lyricist and vocalist as well. For the music I know we were listening to a lot of LCD Soundsystem for production techniques. There’s something James Murphy does with bass and drums that sounds amazing. And we couldn’t work it out. Caribou for sure. Berlin period Bowie, although I’m not sure how much of that seeped through. The Chap, who for some reason get to have their cake and eat it. They’re weird and accessible and that fascinates me. One of the best gigs Will and I have been to was The Chap at the Lexington. Lyrically it’s people I look up to. Morrissey, but everyone looks up to him. Matt Berninger of The National. Michael Stipe. Again, not sure how much of that gets through. I tried to make the lyrics pretty immediate. I didn’t have anything until about 30 minutes before we’d press record and then we’d see what came out.
WB- For me, in the atmosphere of the album, certainly Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Black Moth Super Rainbow (for their broom cupboard sounding production values). Melodically and instrumentally, post ‘Kid A’ Radiohead have always been a massive influence.
4. What are each of your favourite pieces of music on the record and why? Also your favourite lyric and why?
AG- Round+Round. It’s the first one we really nailed. Favourite lyric- no idea. I like that I managed to use ‘man’ in I hope U live 4EVR. Hopefully I’ll help you, man. Doesn’t sound like it should be in a song. I’ve always liked lyrics that are funny and sad simultaneously.
WB- My favourite piece production wise is Betray Yrself. We recorded a really lovely, floaty, almost folky piece. We then went away and ruined it with the intention of turning it into something utterly unlistenable. I think we almost succeeded in that respect. You might be allowed to hear the original version one day. My favourite song though is Round+Round.
5. Adam, you own the label and seem to run the show with a DIY ethos. What comes next for you guys and what comes next for the label? do you plan on touring or putting out any other artists?
AG- Live shows definitely. I’m then putting out some things by other artists. Then we’ll start work on number 4.
WB- I have a mountain of unreleased solo stuff sitting on my hard drive which hopefully Adam will be kind enough to release soon. Watch this space.
6. Why Gary Oldman? Also, did you know his sister plays Little Mo in Eastenders?
WB- I did not know that. Thanks. It’s kind of a sequel to Jeff Goldblum from the last album. They are two of our favourite actors with names that also conveniently make good song titles.
AG- See will’s answer. And no I didn’t. Glad I do now though.