There’s a very prominent anarchist symbol in the Nick Thayer tour logo. It’s one of the many little indications that this electronic artist and Stereosonic veteran – off to Europe for a month after his Australian tour with Mat Zo – has a hard rock background. Although he’s worked extensively with Tommy Lee and Pete Wentz since his electronic conversion, Thayer tells ZOE KILBOURN the turning point came with a single Chemical Brothers concert.
“Until that point, my perception of electronic music was incredibly rudimentary and very narrow minded,” says Thayer. “I had no idea that electronic music could sound like that and move you like that. I started listening to electronic music, started going to concerts and clubs, and found that records and synthesizers were generally easier to deal with than lead singers and drummers.”
Thayer released his latest EP, Dominion, for free download in August. It’s a collection of four glitch-dub-electro-house tracks that teeter into protest anthem territory.
“I think Dominion was certainly an extension of the previous EP,” says Thayer. “There are track titles on the previous EP like Totalitaria, Soma. All these Huxleyan, Orwellian themes. It’s something I’m very interested in – the whole Edward Snowden security, Big Brother-type life we all start to live now, through things we opt into, like Facebook, and through things we don’t. I’ve said before – music is about telling stories, and these are the stories of my life, the things I think about day-to-day.”
Tracks like Drop That are filled with the kind of chops, doubletime synth fills and rich bass that Bangarang -era Skrillex could get behind (and did – the Collide EP was released on his label). Given how hard-hitting and texture-heavy his tracks tend to be, it’s refreshing to see how Thayer considers himself foremost a songwriter.
“When I’m making music – I’ve done a lot of work with Tommy [Lee, drummer] from Mötley Crüe, too – our focus is ‘Let’s write a cool song.’ People don’t hum basslines, they hum songs. If we’re recording drums, we’ll record them for the whole track. It might turn out that I use them all the way through or only for the first two bars. The point is that it comes from the place of writing a song, and you can redact it from that.”
Matan Zohar, a friend gleaned from Stereosonic 2013, is particularly well-suited to this upcoming Thayer tour.
“Mat’s such a unique artist,” says Thayer. “He’s incorporating so many styles into what he does. I’m really excited to play these shows with him and sort of push those boundaries, I guess. It’s not going to be main room bangers, that’s for sure. He’s always pushing boundaries in the way you connect with people. I’m really excited for these shows, it’s gonna be really good.”
HALLOWEEN WITH MAT ZO
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1 @ METRO CITY
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29 @ CLAREMONT SHOWGROUNDS