A CHIT CHAT WITH THE "THUNDERWOOD" OF 9ELECTRIC
GIVE US A RUNDOWN OF HOW 9ELECTRIC BECAME A BAND AND WHERE YOU GUYS FOUND EACH OTHER?
Mikey (guitarist) and Micah (drummer) were in a band called My Evolution that broke up about the same time my former band Opiate for the Masses had broken up… a good friend who was also the lawyer for both bands played match maker and put us all in touch. Coincidently, my old friend Casey (bassist) answered a Craigslist ad for the band (he didn’t know I was working with these guys yet) and the lineup was set.
WHATS THE STORY BEHINE YOUR SINGERS NAME “THUNDERWOOD”? (JUST CURIOUS)
Thunderwood started out as a joke porn name (my last name is Underwood) and it ended up making a lot of sense for me as an outlandish front man screaming at an audience every night.
SINCE THIS IS MY FIRST CHANCE SPEAKING WITH YOU GUYS I WANTED TO REWIND TO 2012 AND ASK HOW IT WAS WORKING WITH WAYNE STATIC (RIP) ON THE TRACK DESTROY AS YOU GO AND HOW THAT SONG ALL CAME ABOUT?
Wayne was so cool - Mikey, Micah and I had toured with Static-X in our prior bands, so the introduction was already there. I think Micah played Wayne a track we were working on and they both joked about how it could have been a Static-X song. Wayne agreed to sing on it, came into the studio and just slayed. It was pretty surreal for me.
YOU GUYS ARE RELEASING A HUGE DEBUT ALBUM JULY 15TH ENTITLED THE DAMAGED ONES. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SITTING ON THE RECORD AND YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE RELEASE AND THE WHOLE ALBUM SINCE ITS NEARING THE DATE?
The album was finished earlier this year but the artwork and photos came together more recently. I’m just really happy with the vibe of it all. It’s the most slamming sound and the most cohesive album I’ve ever worked on - everybody really delivered.
YOUR WRITING PROCESS IS PRETTY COOL SINCE YOU GUYS ALL WRITE AND BRING IN IDEAS. HAS THAT HELPED YOU GUYS IN THE LONG RUN WITH WRITING SINCE YOU HAVE SO MANY IDEAS OR DOES IT GET TO BE OVERWHELMING AT TIMES HAVING SO MANY OPTIONS?
Too many ideas are the best problem you can ever have as a band, as long as you’re all galvanized as a group and you know where you want to go with it. My writing workload in this band has been greatly relieved by the other guys’ talents. It’s really allowed me to become a better singer and performer.
MELODY SEEMS TO BE A BIG PART IN YOUR WRITING ALSO IS THAT SOMETHING THAT COMES FIRST A CATCHY RIFF OR MELODIC HUMMING VOCAL AND THEN YOU WORK AROUND THAT?
Each song develops differently - they all have that kernel though, the first spark of inspiration that everything else is built upon. You never know where it’s going to come from. A lot of times for me it’s a catch phrase that pops in my head, something very immediate. That source of inspiration always leads to a type of catchiness - a clear intention.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOUR BAND TO KEEP UP WITH THE CURRENT MUSIC SOUNDS DO YOU TRY TO LAY OUT A MODERN TOUCH BUT STILL KEEPING WITH THE 9ELECTRIC BASE SOUND?
I think keeping up with the times is crucial when you’re doing anything creative - it’s how you stay informed and relevant. It’s how you save yourself from doing something too obscure or self-indulgent.
THE SINGLE THE DAMAGED ONES HAS AN INTENSE OR EVEN PROFOUND MESSAGE WHICH ALL OF US AS HUMANS CAN RELATE TOO. WHAT WAS THE NEED IN THIS TIME FRAME OF YOUR CAREER TO WRITE A SONG LIKE THIS AND HOW DO YOU FEEL IT CAME OUT?
Casey brought that one to the table. The demo he made was so bare; an acoustic guitar and a pretty rough vocal (he broke his throat playing basketball, so his singing abilities were pretty limited) and I had to fight a little bit to get the other guys to consider the song more seriously. I’m really glad I did. It wasn’t a matter of what the song meant emotionally, really… It was about how all the elements (melody, chords, lyrics) worked together and how it made me feel. I’m so stoked how it turned out.
DO YOU FEEL AS A BAND YOU HAVE WRITTEN AN EMOTIONAL RECORD AND HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT TO YOU?
All music is emotional to a degree. Music is the architecture of emotion in its simplest form - repeating waves that carry visceral meaning. But yes, this record is a surprisingly emotional one, especially for those who have regarded 9E as a “party band” in the past because of the upbeat rhythms and the crazy stage show. Yes, we can touch on some real shit, too.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FEEL SEXUAL UNDERTONES IS TO THE WORLD OF ROCK MUSIC?
Sexuality is the true engine behind rock music. People systematically try to create a duality where sex is the opposite of good. The irony is that this kind of repression creates an even bigger need for a release. That’s why rock music will always work. It takes someone from self-denial to celebration real fast. It’s the seducer but it’s also its own built-in reward.
AS MUSICIANS DO YOU FIND YOURSELVES ALWAYS LEARNING NEW THINGS ABOUT YOUR CRAFT AND ON THIS RECORD DO YOU THINK YOU HIT NEW HEIGHTS ON EACH OF YOUR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS?
We definitely learned a lot and met new goals making this album. You got to be ambitious. You gotta bite off more than you can chew, back yourself into a corner or whatever and then say “oh shit” and figure it out. Creativity is half inspiration and half problem solving.
YOU ARE KNOWN TO HAVE ONE HELL OF A STAGE PRESENCE AND AFTER SHOW PARTIES WHERE WILL 9ELECTRIC BE PARTYING FOR THE RELEASE OF THIS ALBUM?
Since we’ll be on tour when this album comes out, it looks like we will party in Merriam, KS, at Aftershock. We are gonna tear that place down!
HEARD YOU ARE TOURING WITH GEMINI SYNDROME. DO YOU KNOW THE GUYS AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO LEARN FROM THEM ON THIS LEG OF THE TOUR?
Yeah, this is gonna be a blast. We’ve been friends with Gemini Syndrome for a while and we love those guys. This will be our second tour with them and I’ve learned a lot from Aaron’s singing. He has so much soul. I love that dude. We learn something on every tour we do - I have no idea what I’ll learn this time around.
YOU HAVE TOURED A LOT AS A BAND FOR A NEW BAND COMING UP WHAT THREE SURVIVAL NOTES WOULD YOU LEAVE FOR THEM?
Three tour survival tips for a newer band: Pack a knife, watch your drink, and don’t go down on chicks you don’t know.
LASTLY WHEN ITS ALL SAID AND DONE WHAT WILL 9ELECTRIC WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR?
I want people to remember us as the most gnarly, bitchin’ live band of our time - which is coming up!
JUST A GIRL WHO LOVES MUSIC BEING CREATIVE AND WRITING, THAT IS HOW THE EAST COAST ROMPER BECAME WHAT IT IS FOR THE MODERN ROCK WORLD