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Premiere: Thought Creature Share New Album 'Ocean Dream' + Interview

Premiere: Thought Creature Share New Album 'Ocean Dream' + Interview

Monday 16th April, 2018 9:47AM

Ex-Wellington psychedelic artists Thought Creature have re-emerged with Ocean Dream, their first long-player since their mind-expanding 2008 debut Teleport Palace. Comprised of co-songwriters Will Rattray (Full Moon Fiasco) and Danny Brady (Elan Vital, Death & The Maiden), the band's new album was recorded in the Capital City's famous Tug Boat in order to capture dreamy, sub-aquatic vibes. Their previous release was the electronic cyber-pop of Total Recall back in 2012, which prompted the shapeshifting duo to relocate temporarily to Berlin, before Brady returned to New Zealand to work on his Dunedin-based musical projects and Rattray remained in Germany to help kick off his label Fantasy Fiction Records with fellow ex-pat Aporia.

Ocean Dream sees the band return to the swamp-grunge guitar/drums/bass grooves of their classic debut record, they're embarking on a long-awaited national tour this Thursday starting in Dunedin, joined live by friends Andy Frost (Coyote) on drums and Jelena Mirceta (Full Moon Fiasco) on synth. We're excited to premiere Thought Creature's new record, listen up to Ocean Dream and read our chat with Rattray below about the album and what they've been up to over the last six years...

Hi Will, congrats on the release of Thought Creature's new album Ocean Dream! It's your first long-player in ten years - where's Thought Creature been and how did Ocean Dream come about?

Thanks Chris! I've been living in Berlin and Danny has been in Dunedin, so we haven't really been able to be as active as we were when both living in the same city. Our old drummer who played on this album didn't want to play live anymore and Danny and I wanted to try a something a little more electronic so we made the EP Total Recall and toured with that set up in Europe, Australia and NZ. This album is essentially Teleport Palace 2 and it got a little lost for a while as we couldn't really play some of the songs with an electronic set up. Super excited to finally release it!

What were you thinking about when you and Danny were making Ocean Dream?

I couldn't really say for Danny what his thought process was at the time, but for me in terms of themes I suppose technology, mythology, mysticism and psychology are all quite present. The writing process with us was always a but jammy, just playing a riff for an hour and condensing that into a four or five minute song. I really wanted it to have a submerged watery sound and Bevan Smith who produced it has a lot of super effects units so we ran it through a lot of out board gear. I suppose the ocean as a metaphor for consciousness is the over arching thread that ties the songs together.

How's it sounding to you after spending some time away from the record?

Actually it's been great revisiting those songs. Generally if you make an album, by the time it's finished you've heard it so many times it becomes difficult to listen to, but listening to it now after some time away I feel that it still sounds relevant which is a relief.

You'll be touring again this month, who's be playing in the band this time around?

We have Andy Frost on drums who plays in Coyote and used to play in Tiger Tones which is exciting as we actually were hoping he would play with us years ago but it never eventuated. Jelena Mirceta, who plays in my other group Full Moon Fiasco is playing synths, and of course Danny Brady will be back on the bass guitar.

What keeps you busy in Berlin?

Berlin's great for culture. I can DJ there and play live, tour around and check out different places. The weather is a bit brutal, but the friends I have there are great and I learn a lot from the different characters knocking about.

What's your involvement with Fantasy Fiction Records?

Fantasy Fiction was started by myself and Mitch James who plays in Aporia and also Full Moon Fiasco. It's just a vehicle for the various projects we are involved in and our friends projects that we like. It ties in quite well with the radio show we have on Cashmere Radio in Berlin, and it's also a way to curate and collate music into one place. Earl from Sherpa has a really great album coming out with us through his solo moniker Early Sans which is exciting.

It sounded like Thought Creature was living a bit rough for a while over there - I remember you were saying you were based in a half finished building for a bit?

Ha! Yeah, it wasn't that rough, but we did have a stint where the building we were living in had been bought by developers. They had managed to get all the tenants out but this one guy who was fighting to keep the place. He rented it to us and it was a bit mad as the builders were renovating the building and constantly trying to get into our apartment. After a while we all went pretty crazy from them smashing about, and yeah it was essentially a building site I guess.

Who do you play with in Berlin? Where do you play?

I play with my other group Full Moon Fiasco in Berlin, and Europe. We play all over. There are some really cool venues there. Bassy Cowboy club where we did our album release is a beautiful cavernous space that unfortunately won't be around much longer. I also DJ a lot under Cosmic Palms in bars and in night clubs. The clubs are pretty wild and they have great sound systems.

What's it like being back in New Zealand after spending time away?

Great!! I'm a nature boy deep down and the scenery is so cool here. I really miss it living in a large metropolis.

Any hints as to what's on the setlist for the New Zealand tour?

Ohhh, well without giving to much away, Hits!

Will you play any old stuff?


What's on the horizon after the tour?

Well I'll go back to Berlin and Danny is pretty busy in NZ with his other projects Death and the Maiden and Élan Vital so for Thought Creature I can't say for sure at the moment. I would love to play some more shows in Europe, so hopefully that comes up on the horizon. Let's see.


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Thought Creature
Thu 19th Apr
Dive, Dunedin
Thought Creature, PGX
Sat 21st Apr
Hell Fire Club, Lyttelton
Thought Creature with Power Nap
Tue 24th Apr
The Wine Cellar, Auckland
Thought Creature
Thu 26th Apr
Lucky Bar, Whanganui
Thought Creature, Lucky Jim
Fri 27th Apr
Caroline, Wellington