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 Kyle Thomas Interview - May 1st, 2007

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Jedi Master of Metal
Jedi Master of Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 89
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : Walker Louisiana

PostKyle Thomas Interview - May 1st, 2007

Kyle Thomas of Alabama Thunderpussy

1. Thank you for doing an interview with us Kyle! Would you tell our
readers a little on your background such as the early days with
Exhorder, and what led you into music?

My earliest musical memory must have been wen I was about 2 years old- I remember the cloth diaper I was wearing with the big blue baby pin on it- and "Come Together" by the Beatles was playing on the 8 track player in the family living room. As the chorus came up, I froze in a hypnotic stance and grooved to the pumping bass drum. It must have been my first groove to a rock song, but if it wasn't it was the first I can remember. I used to sing Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" into a handheld mike on a tape recorder and absolutely peg the decibel meters into the red, distorting the sound on the tape. I guess they should have known then! After playing trumpet in my grade school years I grew disenchanted and began playing baseball and football until I got a bass. It was pretty much over then, and I jammed in garage bands until I found one worth gigging with that had Jimmy Bower on drums. We were in two bands together throughout our teen years until I joined Exhorder at 16. One band Jimmy and I were both kicked out of, believe it or not! I got kicked out for nor having long hair, and Jim got kicked out for being overweight. Good thing those guys got rid of the weak links.

2. Louisiana bands and New Orleans bands in particular have a very
unique sound that makes one think of swamps and mosquitoes. What are
your thoughts on why that is, and what develops that sound into the
Louisiana music?

Hell, I dunno. Maybe it's the blues, maybe it's the jazz, or maybe it's the fact that we're drinking everyone's refuse at the bottom on the Mississippi River Delta. A lot of the bands have similar influences and grew up in the same era jamming in bands together, so that could also be part of it.

3. My wife and I were both residing in Louisiana when hurricanes
Katrina and Rita both devastated the state. Do you think that the
storms impacted Louisiana metal, and what do you see coming from it?

Katrina impacted the entire world whether you wish to believe it or not. New Orleans is one of the world's most important ports, and the city was flat-out shut down completely for several months. I came back from Houston to Mandeville in the end of September, which is about 30 miles from New Orleans. Things were just getting back to normal THERE at that time. When I finally deemed it safe
to bring my two young sons back to the Greater New Orleans area I had to move in with my brother because my home was flooded and my parents were not yet able to get home and deal with some broken windows and minor things like that. I was the most affected in my family. My ex-wife and I split for good during the evacuation and I bounced from about four different places before I finally settled for good where I live now with my girlfriend and our 3 children. That was 15 months after Katrina hit. My old house still sits gutted in disrepair waiting to have red tape bullshit clear up. I can assure you that Katrina and all of the other things that my sons and I have endured have greatly affected my songwriting, which means probably 90% of the musicians in this state wrote about the ripple effect the storm caused even if it did not affect them directly. Just watching the world news probably got lots of people all over the world intrigued by it and used it as fodder for writing or art or whatever.
4. Tell us about Alabama Thunderpussy. Is the band treating you well
and are you having any freedom in the writing process?

These are some of the best guys I have ever known personally as well as professionally. Everyone in the band has writing freedom as well as critical freedom. If someone hears something questionable that someone else does, there is no veto to control the writing. It is a democratic process which I really dig in a songwriting application. On a personal level it is almost like I have known these guys for years. We all have meshed well together considering I don't live where they do. I have great expectations for this project.

5. I've had the chance to listen to a few of the new tracks, and I
must say that your vocal style brings the band to a newer level! Can
you tell us about the new album, and how was the atmosphere in the

It truly was a fun experience, yet challenging. After I did a demo for "Words of the Dying Man", they basically told me to do whatever I wanted to the rest of the material. When I finally got to Richmond, Virginia in person to jam it was clear that this thing could work on every level. I spent the next few months finishing the remaining songs and we recorded all of them. After that I flew home for a week or two and they started all over again. We essentially did a practice album, tweaked the songs, and re-recorded everything for real. By the time I got back up there they were mostly done with the music. I tracked the vocals over the next week and a half and went home. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the mixing sessions but in this day and age all they basically had to do was email me mixes and I would say yea or nay or just give my basic input. Even from this far away I was able to be a part of it. I can't wait to do the next one, but I'd better finish this new Pitts vs. Preps album first.

6. Can you tell us about the most memorable show to date with Alabama

There have only been a handful so far, but the first Richmond show, the first New Orleans show and Austin and Houston stand out. Also Charlottesville Virginia with RPG was a blast. Those dudes kick ass for sure. Hopefully this summer when we go back out we'll start generating more buzz.

7. What are your thoughts on the current metal scene? Do you see metal
gaining strength or staying underground?

It's hard for me to say. I'm still playing catch up having backed away to be Dad for the last 8 years. I don't know many bands out there, but I can tell you what time Spongebob goes in to work. I know the theme song to the Wonderpets, but not the top metal radio songs. I'd like to help return metal to it's prominent state, but as long as MTV and the media cram their select styles upon everyone it's a tough row to hoe. I may never be rich from this and I may never get back to playing in arenas, but I damn sure know that I will always be remembered for staying true to what I love and making sure that anyone that pays to see me perform whether or not they enjoy my show will never walk away saying I did not appear to give a shit.

8. What are some of your favorite venues to play in the U.S., and also
outside of the U.S. and why?

Man, like I said I'm so rusty and out of the loop! The places I like the best are packed arenas. That's the obvious answer! At the same time though, I'd rather play a small club that is packed to the gills with people begging for more than a packed arena that has a large percentage of people wishing you'd finish so they could see the headliner. That can be frustrating and trying on your mental focus.

9. What bands other than Alabama Thunderpussy are you currently
listening to and would you give us some thoughts on them?

All I'm listening to now is the new Pitts vs. Preps, because I have to finish writing it so we can record! Otherwise the only stuff that I ever really listen to is ancient. I mostly listen to newer bands on tour, and I'm not touring at this time.

10. How was the "Roadrunner United" sessions and could you tell us
about the experience?

It was good for me. It also came at a very good time. At the time I had not been internationally involved in any musical project in almost ten years, and my marriage was failing which ended up being great inspiration to reinvent myself. Initially I was contacted by Monte Conner, Vice President of Roadrunner Records. He had mentioned that Joey Jordison of Slipknot was one of the four songwriters on the album, and that he had asked Monte to contact me about collaborating on a song. At first I damn near laughed only because I had had two deals with two bands go south with the label. However, I ended up thinking it over and gave Joey a call. He seems like a good dude. We spoke for a while and he basically told me that early in his career Exhorder was a favorite band of his and that he and his friends used to aspire to be like us. Thank Christ for them they succeeded. Anyway, he told me "I wrote this song with you in mind- do whatever you'd like with it. It is no linger mine, it belongs to you now." Knowing that the me he had in mind was the thrasher Kyle, I did something I had not done in ages- wrote Exhorder style vocals. Granted, it is a more evolved, late Exhorder style version coupled with the singing I do now, but at the time I rarely did anything quite like it. I am really proud of that song, and believe it stands out on that album. I am also forever grateful to Joey for putting me back on the map, for giving me 50% writing credit, and helping me get my ass back in gear and where I belong.

11. Apart from singing in Alabama Thunderpussy, you also have another
band called Pitts vs. Preps. Can you tell us about that band and what
plans do you have in the works?

PVP is some bad-ass shit, believe it. I am fortunate to have two bands that give me fantastic music to do my thing to. If you like old school metal in the paths of early Priest and Maiden, you'll dig us. Additionally we put a bit of a modern spin on the sound and songwriting, and it also has hints of our hardcore upbringing from time to time. Bryan Cox of Alabama Thunderpussy recorded drums on the new material, and all I can say is I cannot wait for everyone to hear where this band is heading. we also have an album called "Below and Beyond" which can be heard and purchased at for anyone interested in checking it out. We're on good ol' myspace also.

12. As for the local scene in New Orleans and the surrounding areas,
can you tell the readers of any noteworthy underground bands?

Not too many, unfortunately. I don't get out a lot, but off the top of my head Shedding Old Skin, Sinkhole, they're good bands. I am sure there are lots more, but when I am in New Orleans I'm usually just Dad. I have not seen a lot of shows in ages unless I'm on tour.

13. How is the local scene in NOLA after the storms? I know a few
venues closed down such as the Dixie Tavern. Are there any new venues
opening up?

Maybe. It's the same thing I was saying before, I'm kind of the wrong person to be asking. I heard the old Rendon Inn reopened and is now called The Hangar. Otherwise the only places I've played here since the storm are The Howlin' Wolf, Tipitina's, and House of Blues.

14. Being a father and a musician must be very trying, how do you
divide the time between the bands and the family and is the family

This is something that I have battled myself on for 8 years now. When I decided to start a family I was tired and very jaded by the industry. It was easy for me to put on the brakes. After a few years it started to wear on me by not having an outlet to vent with. I love my babies more than the air I breathe, but I am a rock musician. I need that in my life to help keep me sane. I joined a project called Jones's Lounge that recorded an excellent album around 2003, and then I joined Pitts vs. Preps. I was very up front with these bands about not touring, though. I was afraid to leave my children behind for many reasons. After Katrina came and turned everything upside down, I had a newer outlook on every facet of my life. My children are extremely loved and well cared for by me, but I have since realized that starting over in life in my mid thirties is going to be a challenge. I do not have the luxury of going back to college, and I can't do young man's labor forever. I have to return to what I invested most of my life in one more time to see if I can get some sort of payoff other than respect. I have to credit my girlfriend for taking a look at me one day and saying "We've got to figure some kind of way to get you back into music." Within a matter of weeks ATP called, and here I am. I've been away from my sons more than I've ever wanted to the past year, but I have a strong support group that helps me care for them. I make the best of my time with them, and I'm not touring for the party. Just ask the guys I work with. I owe it to myself and my family to try to finish what I started half of my life ago.

15. Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us! Is there
anything else that you would like our readers to know as far as CD
release dates and the upcoming tour?

Thanks to everyone that has supported me all the way back to the garage years. Lookout for ATP this summer on tour, and lookout for a new PVP album later this year. SUPPORT METAL AND BUY THE ALBUMS![left]
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Kyle Thomas Interview - May 1st, 2007 :: Comments

Re: Kyle Thomas Interview - May 1st, 2007
Post on Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:30 pm by Sludgedude
I had set up with Kyle to do another interview late last year, however Exhorder broke up and he felt it better to wait as he has something else brewing. I look very forward to speaking with one of the most under-rated voices in metal, as well as one of the most prolific personages in the underground!

Kyle Thomas Interview - May 1st, 2007

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