By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Conscious Rock” artist Andrew Thomases got his music career started in the midst of the pandemic, unsure of what the world would become due to COVID-19, but he knew he couldn’t wait any longer.
A lifelong music enthusiast influenced by 80’s power groups like The Cure, he experimented with a nostalgic sound, with lyrics that also inserted commentary on modern times, never shying away from subjects like climate change and politics.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Thomases about the moment that made him want to become a musician, what people might be surprised to know about him and much more, which you can check out below.
Music Bugle – How would you describe the Bay Area to someone who has never been there before?
Andrew Thomases – The Bay Area is extremely diverse, in every sense of the word. The population is racially and ethnically varied and there are people from all socio-economic backgrounds. Thus, in terms of culture, you can find something for everyone. We also have different geography, weather and scenery, depending on where you are. You have wet, foggy forests of redwood trees by the coast, dry hillsides inland near the suburbs and even some agricultural areas as well. It is a lot more spread out than people realize. No matter where you go, the views are amazing. From the highest point in San Francisco, you can see the Pacific Ocean on one side and then the huge San Francisco Bay on the other, with its beautiful bridges. If you have never seen it, the Bay Area should be on your bucket list.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Andrew Thomases – I have always loved music and my dad said I would hum guitar riffs even as a kid. I remember repeating a descending line over and over and then asking my dad what song it was. We figured out that it was “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles. Then, when I was nine, my dad took me to see Beatlemania on Broadway and I asked him for his old bass guitar. I never took lessons, but I did bring my bass to my summer camp one year and the rock shop needed a bass guitarist for one of the rock bands. A friend asked if I could join and the counselor literally had to show me where to put my fingers on the fretboard. After my first live show, I was hooked.
Music Bugle – What’s your overall goal for your music?
Andrew Thomases – I am now in my 50s and try to impart a life of wisdom into my music. I call it “Conscious Rock” and it is music with a message. My songs tackle issues such as climate change, political tribalism, mankind’s impact on the earth, the problems striving for perfection and how we should all be focusing on making society a better place. I try to convey all of this in a catchy way, as I don’t want to be too preachy.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Andrew Thomases – I am a child of the 1970s and ‘80s, so I am trying to infuse some of the music of that time into my songs. Lots of guitars on many of the tracks, reminiscent of classic rock and then, some delay and synths on other songs, as a throwback to the ‘80s and ‘90s. I have so many influences that I am trying to pay homage to different ones on different songs. As you can probably tell, for example, my track “Cure Me” certainly pays tribute to The Cure – one of my favorite bands from my college days.
Music Bugle – Do you prefer digital streaming or CDs/vinyl?
Andrew Thomases – I have gone the gamut. I still have about 400 albums on vinyl, but I haven’t played them in decades. I finally gave up on my cassettes from my youth, but I did keep some of my best mixtapes for the memories. I have hundreds of CDs, but haven’t touched them after ripping them to digital. While I still listen to my digital library once in a while, recently, I have been streaming nearly exclusively. It is amazing how many new artists you can find on some of the algorithmic playlists, but mostly on the indie playlists.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Andrew Thomases – Again, if you were to track my plays on Spotify – I am sure someone is – it would be very eclectic, which matches my interests. I listen to a broad range of music and artists. Recently, I have been into The Blue Stones and Royal Blood. I also want to give a shout-out to my friend and fellow indie artist Anne Bennett. She has been writing some amazing songs and her voice is amazing.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Andrew Thomases – So, my favorite outdoor activity is downhill skiing. I tend to go to the Lake Tahoe area for that, as it is relatively close and has beautiful scenery. For total relaxation, nothing beats Hawaii. It is actually closer to the Bay Area than is my original home state of New York.
Music Bugle – What do you enjoy more – the creative process or the finished product?
Andrew Thomases – That’s a tough question. The creative process has many ups and downs. There are times of extreme frustration, as well as some drudgery, but then, when you hit on something that grabs you . . . elation! Hearing the finished product is very satisfying as well. In the end, though, I think we tend to forget about the tough points in the creative process and remember the high points, so I would have to say the creative process.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about you?
Andrew Thomases – I am a lawyer. Yep, a full-time professional. Music is my love, but the law pays the mortgage and college tuition. My undergrad degree was in Physics, so I am a high-tech lawyer in Silicon Valley, working on intellectual property disputes. I am also a registered patent attorney. Oh, and I have also jumped off the highest bungie-jump in the world – 340 feet!