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


Comments: 1182 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

IsNotABelle218 karma

What color is your voice?

_Winters268 karma

Amazing question. Sky blue.

Shenelw148 karma

Are there any artists that you think all Alt-J fans should listen to?

_Winters305 karma

Young Fathers, i think fans of ours will like them. Listen to Clams Casino intrsumentals too. Also the album 'Moon Safari' by Air.

shak956111 karma

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.

_Winters165 karma

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!

shak95673 karma

Wait... how can he do it live if it's reversed?

_Winters209 karma

he had to learn it haha

Brianstormer95 karma

You are playing the album live for a while now. How do you keep it fresh?

_Winters775 karma

Get really high before we play haha

TyFi1090 karma

Any plans for a new album?

_Winters165 karma

WE're currently writing as much as we can, which is hard when touring, but it's definately happening.

Fungi8974 karma

Thom! i've noticed you don't use cymbals in your setup, why is that?

_Winters145 karma

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!

fancyto68 karma

Thank you for being apart of my favorite band of all time.

Whats your favorite flavor of jello?

_Winters75 karma

Blackcurrent hands down

scahh61 karma

Do you like Radiohead?

_Winters123 karma

Ohh yes.

The_Dretones58 karma

Second favorite shape?

_Winters130 karma

My first is actually a cube ;)

eristicrat52 karma

What was it like being married to Drew Barrymore?

_Winters139 karma

Awful, she was hot and everything but like too hot.

tdani032050 karma

What's Bloodflood about? I heard several guesses and i think it'd be the easiest way to find out.

_Winters178 karma

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 .

givemebananabread45 karma

Who trips the hardest in the band?

_Winters92 karma

Hahaha. We're all about equal ;)

splendourmysteryband45 karma

I hear we have something in common.

_Winters42 karma


janeidk37 karma

do you like Grimes?

_Winters57 karma

I like her album yeah, i'd love to meet her she seems very interesting.

cassmonster35 karma

What's the best thing about being in Alt-J

_Winters153 karma

Making and playing music with my 3 best friends.

enchiladachode34 karma

Do you miss Leeds? Any plans for a gig at Nation of Shopkeepers any time soon?

_Winters41 karma

I miss certain parts of Leeds, like Nation of Shopkeepers for example, i would definately be up for playing, if we had the time!

blakewilliam30 karma

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?

_Winters63 karma

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.

sdfggse30 karma

What's your opinion about the band "Foals"?

_Winters66 karma

They're brilliant, one of the best live bands in the world and really nice people, we're friends.

helloitsmaya28 karma

Any chance of a meet and greet in Los Angeles?

_Winters205 karma

Depends how hot you are.

thegirlontheredbicyc27 karma

The one thing you would change in the world if you could ? big or small.

_Winters164 karma

Stop bands/musicians charging for meet and greets. It's disgusting.

rato9426 karma

Hey Tom, how good was last night show in Portugal? Cheers from Lisbon

_Winters38 karma

VERY good, didn't expect such a huge crowd.

jpbralley24 karma

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

_Winters22 karma

I'm glad you guys like it :)

Serek2923 karma

in "Matilda" there are French lines in the lyrics. Does any of you speak French or was it google-translated :)?

_Winters59 karma

Gus speaks fluent french!

enchiladachode21 karma

The last year for you seems pretty sweet, but what is the worst thing about being in alt-J?

_Winters67 karma

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.

wehadamoment21 karma

Just one question. Did you expect so many questions?

_Winters28 karma

I did not.

mcmacjibberjab20 karma

Leon or Mathilda?

_Winters52 karma


me-jane19 karma

What was the last great film you saw?

_Winters90 karma

King of Kong. It's genius.

JayParekh16 karma

Why was the band initially named after "Daljit Dhaliwal".


_Winters26 karma

Because Joe just really liked the name i think, fairly boring.

kojane16 karma

Hey, this is one question in 3 parts

  1. What's your favourite band right now?
  2. What are your thoughts on the recent events with Thom Yorke and Spotify?
  3. Lastly, What's your favourite TV show right now?

well, actually now that I look, it's 3 questions

_Winters39 karma

  1. Young Fathers
  2. 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.
  3. I don't watch TV but i watch a lot of family guy!

kriszep16 karma


_Winters64 karma


TopHatAnthony16 karma

Where is your favorite place to perform?

_Winters37 karma

London. Purely because we're not home much at the moment and it gives me a chance to see my friends / family.

enchiladachode14 karma

What are your favourite video games?

_Winters36 karma

Call of Duty Modern warfare. Mario Kart. Chess on my iphone.

montgommery14 karma

do you think you are a creative drummer? who or what inspires you?

_Winters47 karma

I would say so yeah, I try to be. Abe Cunningham of the deftones is my biggest influence, also electronic producers like Hudson Mohawke.

sundayamy13 karma

Are triangles really your favourite shape?

_Winters37 karma


minerva_sways13 karma

Which album was the one that made you want to start writing music? An Awesome Wave is just brilliant by the way

_Winters56 karma

Collectively 'In Rainbows' by Radiohead got the four of us quite excited but for me as a drummer it was 'Adrenaline' by the Deftones.

swoggle5511 karma

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.

_Winters63 karma

Skrillex. It's a dream of mine to play live for him, it'd be brutal.

InsufficientUsername11 karma

Where in Leeds did you like to frequent the most?

_Winters14 karma

Nation of Shopkeeper, North Bar and LS6 :)

Quaker177110 karma

How do you feel about being preemptively eulogized in Buffalo?

_Winters17 karma

I feel flattered, at first it was a bit wierd but I like it now haha

WallMatt10 karma

Are you guys ever offended by how much people refer to you as hipsters?

_Winters23 karma

Not really, people can say what they like it won't effect us personally.

push300010 karma

aw shit you are probably not here anymore, any way, i have no questions, only appreciation for your music :D

_Winters28 karma

I'm glad

life_is_a_movie8 karma

What colour is next in line for your hair?

_Winters10 karma

Haha, i thought about green, but i'm liking it being brown again now.

janeidk7 karma

whats ur favorite color?? this is v important for me to know and how would u feel if i named a pet after you?

_Winters15 karma

It's probably blue :)

phoebeeanne6 karma

How do you feel about artists (namely electronic) remixing your guys' work?

_Winters5 karma

I'm all for it, it's flattering.

kawaiiclorox6 karma

favorite thing to spread on bread? oh & ily btw

_Winters17 karma

Marmite. <3

t3rrapins6 karma


_Winters24 karma

Joe just made some food now we're watching Rick Stein on TV, not too shabby. You?

REDDITOR_Cat6 karma

Do you like peanut butter?

_Winters22 karma

I'm allergic to peanuts :(

BruschiOnTap5 karma

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!

_Winters6 karma


lomoeffect5 karma

How was Glastonbury for you? Was that the biggest gig you've played so far?

Edit: You sounded great by the way!

_Winters14 karma

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

philharmonics5 karma

I always get the impression that you're the odd-one-out in the band in terms of music taste. Is that just me?

_Winters13 karma

I think it is, i like a lot of hard to listen to music.

Alt_Katie5 karma

Have you been getting any sleep? Δ

_Winters15 karma

Now and again :P i have insomnia anyway so it's all the same.

kmystical5 karma

Boxers or briefs?

_Winters14 karma


Boro_214 karma

did you enjoy school, what A Levels did you take? (very dull question i know)

_Winters13 karma

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!

mikenuu3 karma

Hey Thom, any plans for come to Mexico?

_Winters4 karma

Yeah, this summer!

heytaro2 karma

are you with the rest of the band right now? if so, do they have anything to add?


_Winters3 karma

I'm with Joe. He's too engrossed with the TV to hear me say anything.

gwil-sized2 karma

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 ☺

_Winters14 karma

4) louis CK

5) Crunch Creams!

debrisdetritus2 karma

Hey Thom, what does the color "black" means to you? I occasionally see you wear black jacket or t-shirt.

_Winters3 karma

To me wearing black kind of helps me hide.

Polaand1 karma

What is it like performing barefoot?

_Winters2 karma


Do_Work_Metapod1 karma

Hey Thom, what's your drink of choice?

_Winters4 karma

Gin and tonic!

kknoblauch1 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA, How do you as a band form lyrics - as in your process, who's involved, and subject matter etc. ?

_Winters17 karma

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 ..

alianovna1 karma

whats joe watching?

_Winters5 karma

Never mind the buzzcocks