Matthew Thomas The Joy For­mi­da­ble

Thomas rocks out in the din­ing room

Rhythm - - BEAT! -

Where did you record drums for new record, AAARTH?

“We recorded the drums in a com­bi­na­tion of Rizty’s [vo­cals, guitar] old house, which her dad lives in, and then other parts were recorded else­where then sam­pled and re­con­structed. There is a lot of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion on this al­bum. Some of the tracks, one drum­mer can­not do in one take.”

How’d you set up to record in a house?

“We just con­verted the din­ing room and went from there. Put mics in dif­fer­ent places, had mics up­stairs and in the kitchen. There were a lot of times when we were like, ‘What’s that click­ing sound? It’s not the click!’ And Ritzy would shout, ‘I forgot to take the clock down in the kitchen!’ So she’d go and grab that. There are a few sounds of cows out the back, be­cause it’s in the mid­dle of nowhere in Wales. There’s the fridge hum­ming, and other things like that.”

Is this ma­te­rial go­ing to be chal­leng­ing to play live?

“We’ve al­ways lay­ered the drums and all the other in­stru­ments, so it’s al­ways in­ter­est­ing to recre­ate those sounds live. I spend a lot of time fig­ur­ing out how to recre­ate the sounds with four limbs. Ob­vi­ously, you can’t play every os­ti­nato ex­actly how it was, but through a com­bi­na­tion of stick­ings and pick­ing the bits that stick out, I’ll play a part as close as I can get to the record­ing. We al­ways try to make the live per­for­mance the best we can with the three of us and cre­ate a re­ally good show with what we have. There are more dy­nam­ics, there’s a lot go­ing on live be­cause we’re quite an en­er­getic band. I put a lot of move­ment into my play­ing.”

Is there a lot of jam­ming?

“We do a lot of im­pro­vi­sa­tion on­stage. A lot of times we’re mak­ing quite a bit of the set up on the spot, ob­vi­ously within a given struc­ture but it’s pretty open. Some­times we don’t even know how we’re go­ing to end the song, we just feel it out and see what hap­pens. For ex­am­ple, ‘Whirring’ – you never know how that song is go­ing to end. Mu­sic has to be from the heart and you have to play what you’re feel­ing. Com­ing up with a part depend­ing on your feel­ings is more of an in­ti­mate per­for­mance, be­cause it’s real. Some of the songs don’t even sound like the record­ings when we play live, be­cause we’ve com­pletely fid­dled around with the struc­ture. And we’ll do that from tour to tour to keep peo­ple in­ter­ested. They can come to one show and we’ll play a song one way, and then we’ll play it a dif­fer­ent way another day.”

Any stand­out tracks from the drum­ming per­spec­tive?

“‘The Wrong Side’ has some fun things to play in 6, some cool bell pat­terns, odd tom things and polyrhyth­mic stuff. It’s not the quick­est and hard­est of songs, but it’s quite com­pli­cated and it shows a bit of dy­nam­ics and fi­nesse, in­stead of just smash­ing ev­ery­thing all of the time.”

AAARTH The Joy For­mi­da­ble Out now

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