THNDRTHF / Simple Talks About His Latest Project, “Posting While High” (WOHM)
[Editor's Note: The review for THNDRTHF's new 51-track project dropped last Friday, and as promised, Daniel Wojciech is back with an in-depth interview with the Sandpeople staple and one of the more interesting fellas from Portland's rap scene. Enjoy!]
What are your goals with Posting While High?
If I don’t release some of the music I make, it will just rust in lost hard drives. I can’t believe there’s even demand for it but I get messages every once in a while asking when I’m gonna release something. I guess my goal is to keep the people who actually want to hear something entertained – this album is kind of video game music for life. I want people to put this album on and zone hard.
What have you learned since making tied to things? What has changed? What hasn’t?
This isn’t a “Simple of the Sandpeople” album (which I’m working on the next one right now) – this is a Thunder Thief album, totally focused on music and production, sort of a big overview of my different composition styles and a way to showcase my “sound” without having to give the music meaning beyond the shit just slapping. This album is a lot more like “Thunderthief – The Album” than “Tied to Things”.
What were some of the factors that made this project take so long? A lot of music today feels rushed and not given much thought. That doesn’t seem like the case with this album. Why is that?
A lot of music (and everything else) is packaged for mass consumption and made easily digestible. I don’t really give a shit about that. I know I’m not Jay Z – I’m not trying to be. He’s great by the way. But what I mean is I realize where I kind of fit and I’m cool with that. So I sort of get in where I fit in.
What is Mo-B up to these days?
Mo-B is killin it. I think we might be making another Bad Neighbors album but I have to get some more beats together probably.
Cats or dogs?
I personally had a half German shepherd / quarter Alaskan malamute and quarter Alaskan wolf (mother), but I also got a big orange cat named Misser Smish and I even fuck with turkeys and chickens and plants and shit.
Why don’t you rap on your own shit more?
I do. You mean like on this album? All the raps on this album are one take freestyles that I listened to over and over until I learned the freestyle then I went back and rapped them again. This album was gonna originally have no words but then some of the songs with words are cool. The ones I kept are on some other peoples beats from SomethingAwful.com - I’ve been on the boards there for 12 years discussing rap shit (when I say “shout to the motherfucking goons” that’s who I mean).
What are some of the differences you’ve found in living in Oregon, San Diego and NYC? Any similarities? How has all of this influenced your points of view?
Oregon is where real life happens. San Diego is a long drink buffalo wing surf weekend that never ends. NYC is a bunch of networking and hustling. I never slept more than a few hours a day the whole time I was there for about 7 years.
What is your process? When do you make music? What do you think about when you’re making a beat or writing a song?
My process is usually sparked with a melody or maybe a little weird sample I will hear watching a movie or whatever. Sometimes I’m just smoking and I will play noises and just scape out a weird synth noise. Lay down a fat bass note and just turn it into a rhythm instead of a complicated series of notes.
Who in this world do you respect? Why?
I respect people who stand up for other people. If you see someone who needs help, help them. If a dude is cold in the rain give him a coat. I respect the Smith Brothers, some dudes originally from Oregon but they’re on the East coast now. We were neighbors when we were kids. My homie Adam Glass and most of the dudes I went to college actually grew the fuck up and got houses and had kids. Props to you guys.
What do you want your art to do?
My art is almost just a therapeutic way for me to release ideas and create something out of the textures in my mind and painting with the colors of my life. I make film, paint, etc. but in the context of music I just want my fans to smoke weed and be like, “aw damn this shit HITS,” and then keep smoking. I want to fulfill people’s ideas of what is becoming sort of my own weird sound.
How long does it typically take you to make a song or a beat? When do you know it is finished?
I finish some songs in 2 or 3 hours, some songs take a couple of sessions to finish. Some tracks are worked on and reworked a couple of times. For example, I have a way more finished / polished version of “Die A Stranger” but I like the shitty first draft more – I like that you can hear me trying to think of what to say next instead of being so certain. The methodology of this album is more about not doing what a lot of people are doing, on some hipster bullshit. So sometimes I like the raw version of a song. Some of these beats are just 20 minute loops that I made as sketches and never had the balls to write to them. Some of these tracks are songs that haven’t come out yet. Some of them have.
What’s next for THNDRTHF?