The Thirst: Bringing Effortless Cool To A Street Near You
In the run up to their headline gig at the O2 academy Islington, we caught up with Brixton Funk-Rock band, The Thirst for an interview. The four piece have been together for a while having grown up together and saw some early success having been signed to Ronnie Woods record label Wooden Records and subsequently supporting the Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols and playing at festivals such as Glastonbury.
More recently The Thirst have been in the studio recording their self-titled album (due for release in 2016), popping up around London busking with their new songs for unsuspecting Londoners and tourists alike and prepping for their headline gig. Gaining plaudits and fans along the way, the next few months look like they’ll be pretty busy for the Brixton boys.
So how did you all meet?
Well, Mensah (frontman) and I (Kwame – bass) are brothers and we went to the same primary school as Mark (guitarist). Who went to secondary school with Marcus (drummer).
Were there other mates/siblings that didn’t make the cut when it came to forming the band?
There was almost a fifth member, a mate of ours that grew up on our estate, he was a wicked guitarist but was a bit of a loose cannon.
Do you remember your first proper gig together?
Yea our first proper gig was at the Dogstar in Brixton. They were offering to pay £400, only thing was they wanted us to play two 45 min sets and we only had 5 songs. So we ended up writing 20 songs in two weeks, some of them weren’t any good and some of them made the first album. We were so nervous before the gig, all our friends and families were there. Not sure if we were any good, we were just happy to be getting paid to play music.
How did you end up with your current style of music?
Our current style of music is a hybrid of punk, indie, funk, rock and soul. We kinda stumbled across it throughout our career, it took a while but once there it just felt right.
If you were to pick a track that you wish you guys had written what would it be?
I would’ve written Marvin Gaye’s version of “Heard It Through The Grapevine” such a effortless vocal performance for me it’s an absolute masterpiece.
Gentrification is a pretty hot topic at the moment, particularly in Brixton but how do you think it’s affecting the music scene of the area?
Gentrification is having a massive affect on Brixton and the businesses/people who have been there for years. It was sad to see Plan B go as we’ve played there a few times and it was a great venue. There are still lots of live venue’s in Brixton let’s just hope they can brave the storm of gentrification.
What’s your favourite venue to play in London?
Our favourite venue to play in London is the O2 Islington purely because its going to be our biggest London headline show to date but really loved playing the 100 club as it’s such an iconic venue and you get to share the stage with such great musicians past and present.
What kind of opportunities has being in a successful band opened up for you that you otherwise might not of experienced?
Being in a band has given us the chance to see the world. To play music, hang out with your friends and get paid for it is a beautiful thing.
What’s your favourite The Thirst song to date?
My favourite thirst track at the moment is a track called ‘Superman’ it’s still being mixed. It can change all the time, I guess it’s what we’re working on at that time.
How important is social media now in terms of growing your fan base and interacting with your supporters?
Social media is so important right now. Being able to interact and respond to your fans is just as important as making posts and updating timelines.
If you weren’t involved in music, what would you want to do with your lives?
I would of probably been a footballer or a video game tester.
We saw you busking outside Brixton station the other day, and you’re known for popping up busking around London. Do you prefer it to performing in a venue?
We just love playing music doesn’t matter if it’s inside or outside although in the winter I’ll take a venue anyday. Busking for us is just another avenue for people to hear our music. It’s great because it cuts out the middle man, if people like it they stop have a listen if they don’t they keep walking.
When can we expect your next album?
We’re releasing a single ‘True’ on Jan 8th, with three more singles to follow with the album coming out in the latter part of the year.
Where can we see you performing next?
Our next show is at the O2 Islington on December 10th.
You can pick up tickets for their headline gig at the O2 Islington on the 10th December HERE
Craig David or R Kelly? R Kelly
Glastonbury or SXSW festival? SXSW festival
Meat or alcohol? Alcohol
Favourite place other than Brixton? Tokyo