Spindrift - Interview with Kirpatrick Thomas and Photos from MHOW, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11 ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spindrift - Interview with Kirpatrick Thomas and Photos from MHOW, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11

Video: Spindrift - "Space Vixens"

Spindrift has been around for almost twenty years and the band just released its fourth full-length disc, Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1, early this year. This disc shows the band continuing to follow its Western / Morricone muse and "the album featured 14 theme songs to various film scores they are set to and up to 8 different directors participated in the project. The film clips, music videos, and movie trailers were all premiered on IFC and featured films by Burke Roberts, J. X. Williams, Abigail Bean, Simon Chan, and many others. The music crossed genres such as Bollywood songs, Science fiction, Exploitation films, and Film noir." (from Spindrift's official bio)

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Spindrift founder/guitarist Kirpatrick Thomas prior to the band taking the stage for the second of two sold-out shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Spindrift - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11

BrooklynRocks: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me! Would you mind starting out by talking a bit about the current tour and what the reception has been so far?

Kirpatrick Thomas: We kicked off the tour on October 6th in Los Angeles, which is where we are from, and did some shows through the Southwest before we hitched up with Dead Meadow and played with them in Austin. From Austin, we shot over to Houston to start off the first show of this tour with Black Angels, Dead Meadow and Spindrift. Since then, we have been going since mid-October. It is 20 shows with the three of our bands and 40 shows with just Spindrift headlining. The reception has been awesome having these three bands play every night. It shows the weight that Black Angels can carry - headlining three nights at Williamsburg Music Hall - they really bring it out. Dead Meadow does pretty well themselves so they were able to back the tour. For us, we have toured a lot so we can bring out what we have.

Spindrift - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11

BrooklynRocks: How did the current lineup of Spindrift come together? I've been watching the band for years and it seems like it has been you along with a rotating cast of band members.

Kirpatrick Thomas: We started the band in Newark, DE and that was in 1994. We started out as a four piece - we were getting out of college, added a keyboard player and became a five piece. Though the 90's, we did a lot of shows on the East Coast and the South but we weren't getting anywhere. We were playing psychedelic rock, garage rock and experimental blues. We really liked My Bloody Valentine, The Doors, Hawkwind, Chrome and those types of bands but it wasn't until I moved out West that we decided that we got to get out of here and try something new and different. Basically, moving from one place to another, we had to change some band members. The way I see it is that we go through a rotation every five years. It just happens like that but this current lineup has been set for over two years now. The previous lineup was five years and the one before that was also five years. We have been out in LA for ten years now and it has been going really strong. I think with every lineup change, I get a little smarter about finding musicians that I would like to interact with.

Lucas Dawson (Pedal Steel & Guitar) was floating around in Joshua Tree and he said that he played pedal steel and he wanted to play psychedelic pedal steel so we started jamming. Then I got James Action (Drums, Autoharp) who was in Salt Lake City and I had met him before and he played autoharp. Originally, I just wanted an autoharp player and them our drummer left so he said he played drums. I decided to give him a try and he moved to LA to join the band. I had seen Sasha's (Mellosonic, Vocals, Flutes) solo thing around LA and she had already approached Spindrift to be in the band. So it was just me as the mainstay and Henry (Evans) the bass player as hold-overs from the previously line-up.

Spindrift - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11

BrooklynRocks: How did the new disc, Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1, come together?

Kirpatrick Thomas: The new disc is basically a musical resume for film composition so it is a compilation as well. The songs are from a bunch of films that we did while we were living out in LA. We had done our own film, The Legend of God's Gun, and that got our foot in the door as far as being known as an indie film composing score band. Once we started doing that with the Western we did, other people started asking us to do scores for this or that film. Next thing I knew, we had a really big catalog of stuff and we could put out a compilation of all the different film scores that we had done. So we worked with different directors for each song and each song is for a different style of film and a different genre of film and that created a unique album. We went out and road-tested it for a while and figured out what we wanted to lay down officially.

Spindrift - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11

BrooklynRocks: Now how much of tonight's set is going to be from the current album and how far back do you go in the catalog?

Kirpatrick Thomas: We go back to about 2003 - we play "Red Reflection" and that was written around then. In fact, on the new album, we have a new version of "Red Reflection" because it has gone through so much changes over years. This time out, we really nailed the spooky, atmospheric Western style that we were trying to go at.

Spindrift - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11

BrooklynRocks: What Los Angeles like these days? Going back a number of years, I remember bands bitching about pay-to-play on the Strip.

Kirpatrick Thomas: The Strip is terrible...you shouldn't go near that place unless they really request that you do. The best parts are downtown LA and the Echo Park / Silver Lake / Highland Park scene and also out in the desert. Hollywood has some pretty good venues - occasionally, the Troubadour and The Roxy will have good shows. We have played most of those places. The glitzy side doesn't really appeal to us because we are very underground indie film-maker style stuff.

Spindrift - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 10-30-11

BrooklynRocks: Here is the last question - what's next for you guys and where do you want to go from here?

Kirpatrick Thomas: There could be Classic Soundtracks Vol. 2 because we scored a few more films that haven't been released yet. We about to score another film called The Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace and that is a mountain man film, shot in the Colorado Rockies. It is very authentic and is done by a talented director named Burke Roberts and I'm sure that we will do more film works beyond this. As a side thing, one thing that we really enjoy doing is playing old traditional cowboy trail and folk songs. We break this down with traditional instruments and three and four-part harmonies and we are definitely going to do an album like that pretty soon.

BrooklynRocks: Thanks for the time tonight and looking forward to hearing what comes next.