Hey, alright? I'm Thom the drummer in the band alt-j and i'm gonna be here for an hour answering your questions, don't be shy and don't ask me anything related to your homework because i'll get you into trouble.
If you're unfamiliar with alt-J you can listen to our debut album 'An Awesome Wave' here
Amazing question. Sky blue.
Are there any artists that you think all Alt-J fans should listen to?
Young Fathers, i think fans of ours will like them. Listen to Clams Casino intrsumentals too. Also the album 'Moon Safari' by Air.
The use of some kids' xylophone is brilliant. But seriously, how did you guys come up with the electrical tape guitar technique in "Taro"? That is GENIUS.
Gwil was just fucking around in the studio and recorded that part just because it sounded good, then for some reason which we don't know, the track got reversed and that's what that sound is, a mistake!
Wait... how can he do it live if it's reversed?
he had to learn it haha
You are playing the album live for a while now. How do you keep it fresh?
Get really high before we play haha
Any plans for a new album?
WE're currently writing as much as we can, which is hard when touring, but it's definately happening.
Thom! i've noticed you don't use cymbals in your setup, why is that?
When we first got together we had no room for anything, i just used a kick and a snare, and it just stayed that way, i used more things for recording and never felt the need to introduce cymbals!
Thank you for being apart of my favorite band of all time.
Whats your favorite flavor of jello?
Blackcurrent hands down
Do you like Radiohead?
Second favorite shape?
My first is actually a cube ;)
What was it like being married to Drew Barrymore?
Awful, she was hot and everything but like too hot.
What's Bloodflood about? I heard several guesses and i think it'd be the easiest way to find out.
It's about the feeling you get when faced with dread, like you're about to get punched, or you've realised you've left your fucking passport in the hotel .
Who trips the hardest in the band?
Hahaha. We're all about equal ;)
I hear we have something in common.
do you like Grimes?
I like her album yeah, i'd love to meet her she seems very interesting.
What's the best thing about being in Alt-J
Making and playing music with my 3 best friends.
Do you miss Leeds? Any plans for a gig at Nation of Shopkeepers any time soon?
I miss certain parts of Leeds, like Nation of Shopkeepers for example, i would definately be up for playing, if we had the time!
I want to preface my question by saying that I have listened to An Awesome Wave at least weekly since last spring and I am still blown away by it every time.
Alt-J's songs are completely packed with often obscure references; how long does it take you guys to write a song? Do you do research during the process or are the songs mainly about information you guys have in your heads already?
Thank you i'm glad you enjoy it so much :) IT takes usually around 4 months i think. We go in and out quite a lot and really take things apart. We know how much taking time on a track benifits, it's not worth just settling for something you 'quite' like, it has to be perfect.
What's your opinion about the band "Foals"?
They're brilliant, one of the best live bands in the world and really nice people, we're friends.
Any chance of a meet and greet in Los Angeles?
Depends how hot you are.
The one thing you would change in the world if you could ? big or small.
Stop bands/musicians charging for meet and greets. It's disgusting.
Hey Tom, how good was last night show in Portugal? Cheers from Lisbon
VERY good, didn't expect such a huge crowd.
Just had a mini heart attack when i saw you were on here. No questions just wanted to say that you are my bfs and my favorite band and to be super mushy our song is dissolve me. You guys rock :D
I'm glad you guys like it :)
in "Matilda" there are French lines in the lyrics. Does any of you speak French or was it google-translated :)?
Gus speaks fluent french!
The last year for you seems pretty sweet, but what is the worst thing about being in alt-J?
Good question. For me i think it's the constant traveling, airports, taxis, trains all the time get tedious and I'm the kind of person that needs routine, i miss home quite a lot.
Just one question. Did you expect so many questions?
I did not.
Leon or Mathilda?
What was the last great film you saw?
King of Kong. It's genius.
Why was the band initially named after "Daljit Dhaliwal".
Because Joe just really liked the name i think, fairly boring.
Hey, this is one question in 3 parts
- What's your favourite band right now?
- What are your thoughts on the recent events with Thom Yorke and Spotify?
- Lastly, What's your favourite TV show right now?
well, actually now that I look, it's 3 questions
- Young Fathers
- I think he has a point, but i don't think spotify is a bad thing I think it gives people access to music which they might not be able to hear otherwise.
- I don't watch TV but i watch a lot of family guy!
WOULD YOU MARRY ME?
Where is your favorite place to perform?
London. Purely because we're not home much at the moment and it gives me a chance to see my friends / family.
What are your favourite video games?
Call of Duty Modern warfare. Mario Kart. Chess on my iphone.
do you think you are a creative drummer? who or what inspires you?
I would say so yeah, I try to be. Abe Cunningham of the deftones is my biggest influence, also electronic producers like Hudson Mohawke.
Are triangles really your favourite shape?
Which album was the one that made you want to start writing music? An Awesome Wave is just brilliant by the way
Collectively 'In Rainbows' by Radiohead got the four of us quite excited but for me as a drummer it was 'Adrenaline' by the Deftones.
If you could drum a gig for any artist (other than Alt-J obviously) who would it be. Also fellow drummer and huge fan, thank you so much.
Skrillex. It's a dream of mine to play live for him, it'd be brutal.
Where in Leeds did you like to frequent the most?
Nation of Shopkeeper, North Bar and LS6 :)
How do you feel about being preemptively eulogized in Buffalo?
I feel flattered, at first it was a bit wierd but I like it now haha
Are you guys ever offended by how much people refer to you as hipsters?
Not really, people can say what they like it won't effect us personally.
aw shit you are probably not here anymore, any way, i have no questions, only appreciation for your music :D
What colour is next in line for your hair?
Haha, i thought about green, but i'm liking it being brown again now.
whats ur favorite color?? this is v important for me to know and how would u feel if i named a pet after you?
It's probably blue :)
How do you feel about artists (namely electronic) remixing your guys' work?
I'm all for it, it's flattering.
favorite thing to spread on bread? oh & ily btw
Joe just made some food now we're watching Rick Stein on TV, not too shabby. You?
Do you like peanut butter?
I'm allergic to peanuts :(
Daddy would you like some sausage?
All joking aside, love your album, Tesselate, Fitzpleasure, and Breezeblocks are my favorite, but not in that order. Keep it up! Can't wait to see you live!
How was Glastonbury for you? Was that the biggest gig you've played so far?
Edit: You sounded great by the way!
Thank you! It was one of the biggest yeah, we've been lucky to have a few big festival shows this year, i loved it
I always get the impression that you're the odd-one-out in the band in terms of music taste. Is that just me?
I think it is, i like a lot of hard to listen to music.
Have you been getting any sleep? Δ
Now and again :P i have insomnia anyway so it's all the same.
Boxers or briefs?
did you enjoy school, what A Levels did you take? (very dull question i know)
I hated school because i didn't understand it, school is an intense place. I didn't take A levels, i only have 1 GCSE!
Hey Thom, any plans for come to Mexico?
Yeah, this summer!
are you with the rest of the band right now? if so, do they have anything to add?
I'm with Joe. He's too engrossed with the TV to hear me say anything.
Hey Thom, here’s a few to pick and choose from:
1) first song lyrics that come to mind? any lines that you love? can mediocre lyrics put you off a track?
2) when do you typically favourite tweets that you get?
3) you're always very gracious and good-humoured in interviews so kudos for that. what's the most boring question you get asked?
4) favourite stand-up comedian?
5) your favourite biscuit?
6) your current laptop background?
(if you guys do An Awesome Wave skin for Macbooks, I'd die happy!)
Cheers and stay cool ☺
4) louis CK
5) Crunch Creams!
Hey Thom, what does the color "black" means to you? I occasionally see you wear black jacket or t-shirt.
To me wearing black kind of helps me hide.
What is it like performing barefoot?
Hey Thom, what's your drink of choice?
Gin and tonic!
Thanks for doing the AMA, How do you as a band form lyrics - as in your process, who's involved, and subject matter etc. ?
Joe writes the lyrics, he reads a lot of books, watches a lot of films and writes idea's and influences he's had from doing that ..
whats joe watching?
Never mind the buzzcocks
What color is your voice?
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