INTERVIEW: Thought Forms

Wiltshire based three piece Thought Forms are soon releasing their second album 'Ghost Mountain' via Invada Records. The album is out on February 18th 2013, and until then you can read an exclusive interview with the band right here. You can also hear the new track "Sans Soleil', and versions of 'Ghost Mountain You And Me' and 'Song For Junko' by scrolling down this page. Go HERE to listen to more music from this incredible band...

The album was produced and recorded by Jim Barr (Portishead live band of 20 years) and sees Thought Forms evolve and expand their sound into new territories. Their trademark sonic explorations are still here; ethereal doom, heavily psychedelic soundscapes and shoe-gaze. But the band have also taken their guitar-destructive cacophony and mixed it with a more 3 minute pop song ethic, which can be heard on 'Sans Soleil', the first track to be revealed from the album.

Since their well received debut album in 2009, the band have been touring constantly; this has included full North American and European tours with Portishead, festival appearances at various ATPs and shows with bands like Mugstar, Beak> and Six Organs of Admittance.

I spoke to Charlie Romijn from the band about the new album...

So who else has been involved in the making of this album, and who handled the production duties?
"The album has been engineered and produced by Jim Barr (bass player in Get The Blessing + Portishead) at his studio in Bristol. This is our first time working with a producer and he’s been great, he’s contributed so many interesting ideas and pushed us in the right direction with arrangements – it’s been really good to have an objective outside influence."

At the moment, is the album nearing completion or is it all done?
"We were given finished masters of the album last Thursday!"

There's been some fantastic artwork on Thought Forms records so far... who is doing the artwork this time round?
"Thank you! This time around we have some beautiful images from Sam Wisternoff – we’ve been working with him on a video and the stuff he was coming up with was just stunning; it was EXACTLY what we had wanted for our album cover but were unable to execute ourselves and he kindly agreed to let us use it for the sleeve. Sam is exceptionally talented – he makes music under the name SJ Esau and is a total wizard of all things visual – check out his eclectic offerings here:"

Would you say it's a progression from the first album, and if so how?
"It’s definitely a progression; it’s quite different from the first album. The most obvious thing to mention is that there are a lot more vocals on Ghost Mountain than there were on Thought Forms."

In what ways has the recording process been different this time round?
One difference is that we’ve had a lot more time in the studio than ever before and with longer gaps in between sessions, so we’ve had time to let things breathe and settle and go back to them with fresh ears. With our self-titled album, we went in and very much tried to capture what we do live, on record, no overdubs, just the three of us playing in a room. This time around we really wanted to make an album, make full use of the studio and the fact that we were working closely with someone whose music we really love."

When did work on the album begin and how many different stages has it gone through?
"We first went into the studio with Jim last December, just for one day to see how we liked the studio. He won us over by showing us his tape delays and we started working on the album properly in February. It’s been through a lot of stages since then! 
Recording the basics, overdubs, rerecording, writing new songs, many mixing sessions and finally the mastering and reshuffling the tracks about twenty times but it was worth it, we’re really happy with it now!"

If you had to pick a personal highlight from the new album what would it be?
"Hmm… that’s a hard one! It changes often but at the moment I’d have to say it’s a track called “Afon”. It’s a very quiet, dreamy song and something we’ve actually struggled with because it’s so delicate that it’s a hard one to get right live – we came close to shelving it but the drum sound and subtleties that Jim gave it have made it perfect for us."

In terms of the songs being composed, how does that process work for Thought Forms? Is it usually a case of jamming or is there ever a time when band members will bring in particular material to work on?
"It’s a bit of both really – often we’ll just be improvising together and something will come out of it and hopefully the recorder will be on! But other times one of us will bring in an idea and we develop songs from that."

Thought Forms will be back on the road this November for another tour with label mates Beak> and will support the release of the album with a tour of Europe in Spring 2013.


06 - AFON
08 - O

THOUGHT FORMS TOUR DATES (with Beak unless marked otherwise) :

15/11/2012 : Brudnell Social Club, Leeds, UK
16/11/2012 : Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK
17/11/2012 : Stereo, Glasgow, UK
18/11/2012 : Whelan's, Dublin, Ireland
19/11/2012 : Kazimer, Liverpool, UK 
20/11/2012 : Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham, UK (headline show)
22/11/2012 : The Lexington, London 
23/11/2012 : Green Door Store, Brighton, UK (headline show)
24/11/2012 : Motorcycle Showrooms, Bristol, UK (with Soft Moon)
25/11/2012 : The Full Moon, Cardiff, UK (headline show)

Sans Soleil from Thought Forms on Vimeo.

"Thought Forms own their instruments and they use them limitlessly, creating striking and powerful music. They do not sound forced or overproduced in any way, but rather organic and open-ended. They are heavy at times, but in the end, they feel like a fresh breath of air in the world filled with generic and overproduced music..."

- I Am Not A Musician, November 2012

"Powered by muscular rhythms, their slacker soundscapes are both raw and monumental..."
- Happening Magazine, March 2012

“They rose from zoned out scrapes, wobbles and caresses into blissed out echoes of Bardo Pond, Can and even a little My Bloody Valentine.”
- The Joy Collective, 3rd June 2011

“Crushingly heavy, shifting from an opening exploratory drone to towering riffage”
- Drowned In Sound, 18th June 2010

"This is soaring, epic stuff; the sound of effect pedals being tortured and sacrificed to the Gods of thunder, phaser set to stun and delays and fuzz too.
- Kerrang Magazine

“Thought Forms are creating the dogma of sonic worship.”
- Alt Sounds, 13th September 2009

"Thought Forms have created a record that is pure testament to kids with guitars. Think Sonic Youth, think My Bloody Valentine.... think Mogwai. Big fuck-off riffs with nice beefy distortion, hazy power slides through alt rock miscellanea."

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