Thumper: “we are chomping at the bit to tear the place asunder this year”

by James Hendicott
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Dublin rockers Thumper are on the road to debut album ‘Delusions of Grandeur, after long being the darlings of the down and dirty live rock show.

It’s been a long, slow road, from the days when the name represented just frontman Oisín Furlong and his ramshackle recording techniques, to a full-on, double-drummer act crammed with pulsating personality.

“In the early days, when I was just releasing lo-fi tapes and throwing them around Dublin, I was anything but slow and steady,” Furlong laughs. “I recorded stuff fast, made 100 copies and got rid of them. Years later when the project had transformed into a collaborative unit we released the Out of Body Auto-Message EP and although that was a little more methodical, it was still fairly ramshackle.”

“The slow-n-steady approach to this album was more a consequence of circumstance than any master plan. I do think it was for the better though. Our favourite records by King Gizzard, Dandy Warhols, Oh Sees, Diiv, none of them are what you would describe as minimalist, so I’m glad we took the time to really dig into this as a ‘studio album’ as opposed to an artefact of our live experience in 2019. Maybe we’ll take that approach in future, but for this release slow and steady was the name of the game, and it was a nice change of pace.”

The album, Furlong says, is essentially a nod to the journey. “At an hour long, our debut album is technically a double album,” he says. “We actually ended up having 13 tunes on it, but whittled it down to the necessary parts. Apart from the lyrical themes of the album, the title ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ is kind of in acknowledgement of Thumper beginning as a bedroom recording project, and through some twist of fate ended up as a 6 piece band with a double debut album.”

“When we decided to lean into that concept I thought it would be funny to include a completely over the top 3 part tune like we’re some prog band or something. It actually ended up being a really enjoyable creative task, as it was totally outside of our comfort zone to compose something like that.”

“When we returned home on a last minute flight from Germany, where we were touring in 2020, Alan got a taxi straight to our home studio and started burying himself in the songs,” Furlong recalls. “I didn’t see him for months because of restrictions. When I finally got in to see what he was doing, the songs [we had already recorded] had begun to transform from something that resembled a garagey Stooges-esque album to a much more considered wall-of-sound type vibe. In retrospect it was probably a form of therapy, we had all this energy that was pent up and meant for the road, and needed somewhere productive for it to go.”

That energy, thankfully, can finally be released when the album sees the light of day and the band return to performing in front of what’s sure to be a delirious Dublin crowd in the coming week or so.

“We were heartbroken to cancel our Whelans show in December because of Covid, so we’re absolutely dying to squeeze into upstairs Whelans for our album launch party on Friday March 18th,” Furlong says. “After two years of booking and cancelling shows, and mainly getting to play in front of camera crews for live streams, we are chomping at the bit to tear the place asunder this year.”

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