- Tracy Heck
Thomas Thunder on new singles and forthcoming album
14-year-old drummer prodigy, Thomas Thunder has released the title track to his forthcoming album, The Pharaoh’s Temple, which will be out this month.
“The Pharaoh’s Temple” track follows the release of his first single, “Crystal Illusion.”
Both tracks feature Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo; Dream Theater, Alice Cooper) on keyboards, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns n Roses; Asia) on guitar and Tony Franklin (The Firm, Jimmy Page) on bass.
Growing up with influences like Tool, Pink Floyd and Dream Theater, Thunder’s own music is a complicated mix of instrumental progressive rock and metal.
The songwriter and musician’s raw honesty, energy and advanced harmonies are sure to capture and hold the imagination of his listeners.
Recently, Rock Life spoke with the young prodigy.
Q: How are you doing today?
Thomas Thunder: Great, thanks! Things are going really well for me.
Q: What would you like people to know about your music?
TT: I want them to know that I make progressive metal and that I’m a songwriter and drummer. The musicians on my songs are well-known, professional musicians and the music I write is complicated. I also want them to know that I’m 14 years old.
Q: Have you been happy to the response to your new single, “Crystal Illusion?”
TT: Yes, I’ve been very satisfied with the great response so far.
Q: You’ve got some well-known musicians playing on the track. How did that come together?
TT: Derek [Sherinian] sent out a post on his Instagram a couple of years back and I sent him my song and he referred me to the other musicians. It’s been such an honor to work with them.
How it worked is that I wrote the song and then I sent it to the professional musicians and they played their parts on something that I’d already wrote.
Q: It’s pretty cool that you were able to get that type of attention at your age.
TT: Yeah, it’s very cool!
Q: Have you found that your interactions with them have helped you grow musically?
TT: Oh, 100%! I like any kind of criticism or anything that they give me. I mean, they’ve been very satisfied with my work so far and they’ve helped me grow so much as a musician.
Q: And you’ve got the album coming. Are the other musicians playing on any more tracks?
TT: Yeah, they’re playing on seven of the nine songs on the album. Derek is actually playing keyboard on all of the tracks.
Q: How did you get started in music? Was it something you always wanted to do?
TT: Yeah, I started playing drums when I was five years old and I started songwriting when I was nine.
Q: You had some great inspirations in Dream Theater, Tool, Pink Floyd etc., but it’s still hard to believe that you are making the kind of music you do at your age. Did that style just come naturally to you?
TT: Yeah, it really did. Progressive metal is what I’ve always wanted to do.
Q: What drew you to it?
TT: Well, almost everything: the melody, the writing, the complicated time standards. Really everything about those songs. I fell in love with it at first listen and they inspired me to write my own music.
Q: And what’s next?
TT: I have a video out for “Crystal Illusion” now on my Youtube channel and I have another single coming. Then the album is out in September.
Q: Will you be playing live at all?
TT: This Fall, I’m hoping to have a live stream and play a few songs from my album on my Instagram. I’m working that all out right now. I’m completely looking forward to interacting with my fans and playing songs and opening people up to my music.
Q: You are pretty active on your social pages as well sharing things like your many cover tracks. What’s the best feedback you’ve gotten so far?
TT: Thank you. I think the best feedback has been from the musicians on my songs. Just today, Bumblefoot called me a professional song writer and prodigy. That’s a real honor!
Q: And are you working on new music?
TT: Of course; I’m always writing music.
Q: Have you ever thought about making a concept album like some of your inspirations?
TT: Well, I already have written one for myself. I wrote it when I was younger, but I never thought of professionally doing one. Maybe that’s something I could look at doing some day.
Q: I know you play a number of instruments, but the drums are your baby, correct?
TT: Yeah, they are my primary instrument. I do have some experience on other instruments, including keys, which I do play on some of the songs on my album.
Q: Finally, what’s the biggest goal for you moving forward?
TT: Looking ahead, my two biggest goals are one, to become a studio musician and two, become a professional storywriter and write songs for other artists and bands.