After releasing its first original record in five years, Australian pop/rock band Thirsy Merc is on the way to Geelong with their latest tunes.
Lead singer Rai Thistlethwayte said he had been living between Melbourne and Los Angeles in recent times, exploring new projects, but still retained his passion for music since the band’s last album.
“In five years a lot can happen. Music is my absolute backbone, it’s my heartbeat, it’s the soundtrack of my good times and bad times in my life,“ he told the Indy.
“It’s my best friend. It’s the awakening element to realisations and to truth. It’s a way of communicating with the world.
“Music has this incredible power.
“It’s about the people you meet and the lessons you learn; music’s not just about notes and rhythms.”
Thistlethwayte’s experiences living at the centre of a global music hub in LA had opened his eyes and impacted the music on the new record Shifting Gears, he said.
Thirsty Merc made a nostalgic decision to return to the same studio and same producer responsible for their first album, dating back to 2004.
Thistlethwayte said the new single The Grind offered commentary on the “cat-and-mouse game with women.”
One of his favourite songs off the new album, Understanding Love, was “almost autobiographical,” he said.
“It’s a very personal song. It talks about all of the different aspects of love and how love is bigger than all of us – my love for my work, my band, romantic love and how travel affects relationships, and most importantly in my opinion the love for my family.”
The band used crowdfunding to fund the record, which gave them the opportunity to share special incentives such as handwritten lyrics sheets or an acoustic performance in a fan’s backyard. The goal was achieved within 48 hours.
Thirsty Merc had an emotional end to 2015 after a fatal road accident killed its stage manager and critically injured the band’s touring drummer, who was left comatose in intensive care.
The band’s van had been en route to a gig in Warrnambool in September.
“It’s been the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my career,” Thistlethwayte said.
“Hearing Mick’s (the drummer) outlook has been inspirational.”
Thirsty Merc had channelled all its energy into the Back to the Grind tour, Thistlethwayte said.
“We’re going to give these shows everything we’ve got.
“It’s taken all of 2015 to get here with all the tools and assets that the record has.
“We want fans to know that their support doesn’t go unnoticed. We’ll be having a party too after the show so we can’t wait.”
Thirsty Merc plays Geelong Workers Club on 23 April.
Originally published at Geelong Independent.