“Just go for it, live to the max, enjoy what you’ve got and no more holding back!” – Thorne Hill
Well it’s been a busy time for UK Country just recently and with many of our homegrown artists about to embark on tours I thought I’d bring to you an interview of one of those artists. I first met Thorne Hill back in June at Buckle and Boots Festival where we did this interview, it was my first time seeing him live and I just love his energy and in fact his whole personality which shines through in his music. In November he will embark on a UK tour with Narn but before I bring you all the details of where they are playing and how to get tickets, let me tell you what Thorne had to say!
Can you tell me about your journey so far in Country music?
Yeah course, how far do you want me to go back haha! Well I’ve been singing my whole life, literally from the minute I could talk I was singing. I really didn’t consider it as a profession until my teenage years when I won a talent competition and thought I might have something going on here and from there on in I focussed on trying to better myself as a performer and I had a lot of jobs, I spent ten years as a backing vocalist and dancer, touring the World from the minute I turned 20 and I spent a considerable amount of time doing that, then I came back a few years ago and thought I need to find a new path. I’ve always been a massive Country music fan and been drawn to the lyrics and stories although I was brought up with a lot of different music, Country kicked in in the 90s with the likes of Garth Brooks, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood, that was it, I fell in love with Country music and it never left me, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I started writing and playing it, it’s probably taken me about six years to get here and it’s been an awesome journey of self discovery and I don’t think it really took off until I met Justin who produced my latest album and since then we’ve got the band together and we’ve got to this point. We’re excited to see where this can go and hopefully fly the flag for British Country music, show the World what we can do.
Can you tell me a bit about your inspirations growing up and what you’re listening to now?
I’ve always had the greatest respect for the legends of Country music, Hank Williams and the roots of where country came from, Roy Acuff. Country music has kind of come into its own… it’s amazing, watching it and hearing it develop through my own life time, let alone the people who have a few more years on me that have really seen where it’s come from. The hardest question, the one thing you never want to be asked is what is Country Music? Because it’s something different to everybody. Some people are back in the 50’s and 60’s and say that Country music ended there. But I love everywhere it’s come from and everywhere it’s going. I think it’s appealing now to the younger generation and it changes and brings in new fans like any genre. I’m loving the modern side at the moment and in terms of the album, we took influence from a broad range of Country, there’s elements of bluegrass in there, elements of that real kind of rootsy Country, that Nashville side of things, we wanted to bring the whole spectrum. So every track will be different and everyone will have a different favourite, so we’ve not really had a stand out track on the album and that’s what we wanted to show with this album, to show respect for the roots of Country and to show we’re fully capable of doing the modern Country too and the response has been immense.
Can you tell me a bit about your songwriting process?
I don’t really have a set process, I know some people will say the lyric comes first or the melody comes first but for me it’s just whatever comes into my head you know, it comes in so many different forms and from so many different places. It could be a conversation with somebody or something you over hear or a melody. I get to talk about how these songs come together and the inspirations behind them in these writers rounds and for me particularly, although some of it comes from a personal place, other things inspire me too, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the World and get a good deal of life experience and that goes into the music as well, I just hope it connects with someone. So yeah they all come about very differently but I do tend to focus on the lyrics as they are the most important part of the song for me. You’ve got to give the impression that it means something, whether that’s a party anthem or a deep heartfelt, heartbreak, we’ve all been there at some point. Everyone has a song that you know sparks a memory, maybe it’s in a particular place or a certain part of your life and that stays with you and creates memories.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written a song about?
Oh wow let me think, it’s really funny because I’ve not had the opportunity to write anything too crazy yet.
Well that’s my challenge for you then!
Yes! Well I kind of write about what happens around me and I’m trying to dig deep now to see if anything weird has happened but nothing’s coming to mind haha. I mean that thing happens all the time when you’re having a conversation and then someone says, you should write that down there’s a song in there somewhere. But yes, challenge accepted!
What are your mid-gig thoughts?
Funnily enough I had this conversation yesterday, because someone came up to me straight after the gig and the first thing they said was “my God you’re a nutter on stage.” To be honest it’s probably more my pre-thoughts, I’m a pacer, so before I go on stage there’s this sudden burst of nerves and I think ok time to get in the zone and I pace and someone said to me “dude are you ok?” It’s really funny, the minute I hear that first drum beat it’s like you suddenly pin point the zone and you get into this character and to me it feels like something really takes over. You see the audience and you see how much fun they are having and it makes me worse, the crazier they get the crazier I get and to see people really dig your music, to see them singing along it makes me crazy. I’m prepared to leave everything on the floor right then and there. It’s like an auto pilot, I’m that into the lyrics and stuff, everything’s there and I just soak up the atmosphere and try to make every show different because your audience is different. I’m in the moment, I’m enjoying it and I aim to perform to the max and it’s like this tennis match, they feed off you, you feed off them, I love it.
What’s next for you? Have you already started thinking about album 2?
Gosh, I’d love to start album 2 but we’ve still got to get album 1 out to a few people first. We’re still in a position where people are saying we’ve never heard you before, and it’s great getting to new people and getting new fans. That’s our mission. We didn’t expect much from this first year but we were approached instantly when the album dropped we were approached by numerous festivals and numerous gigs to join their line up because they were so impressed with the album and we’re so lucky to be asked by BCMA to play on their stage. So what next? Bring it on. You never know what’s round the corner so I’m just thankful for what I’ve got and plan on enjoying it.
So there you have it folks! And about those all important tour dates as you don’t want to miss Thorne this November, like he said, when he performs he leaves it all on the floor, he really is a born performer so grab your tickets at seetickets.com. Below are the details of where he is playing and when!