THUMPER are the Dublin band everyone’s talking about, delivering bubblegum pop through a wall of sonic death. With a reputation for raucous and frenzied live shows and penchant for howling feedback and pounding rhythm, each show is an exercise in unpredictability. ‘Out of Body Auto-Message’ is the first studio record, produced by Dan Fox (Girl Band). In this new phase, THUMPER step away from their early days of lo-fi bedroom recordings into a more widescreen effort – without losing any of the grit that defined the early material.
The band are consistently topping the “Ones To Watch” lists, touring relentlessly – headlining Hard Working Class Heroes well, joining Fangclub on a national tour, playing their first UK show at a sold-out Shacklewell Arms. Following this year’s festival packed summer they hit the road this month with seven back-to-back dates in established music venues of major UK cities. And Northampton [we lucked out there, huh].
New Boots spoke to singer Oisin Leahy Furlong about what makes THUMPER tick.
How did you guys get together?
THUMPER started off as a solo bedroom recording project in 2015. I recorded three extremely lo-fi and gnarly EPs myself and distributed them around Dublin. After deciding to tour the songs a bit, THUMPER gradually morphed into the band you see today.
Growing up, who gave you the “eureka” moment?
There’s been a few eureka moments for sure. Hearing Nirvana and Sonic Youth for the first time was definitely an awakening. Being exposed to Jeffrey Lewis and the Moldy Peaches, and other NY anti-folk stuff was a big thing for me also. The warts-n-all approach they took to mining poetry out of mundane situations was a game changer. When I heard Parquet Courts and King Gizzard, though. That was when I literally turned around and said “I have to start a band”.
Fontaines DC, The Murder Capital, you. This jugular music is a thrilling addition to the music scene. Can you begin to pinpoint why this “voice of Ireland” moment is happening now?
I’m not sure either of the bands mentioned set out with the intentions of being an authentic voice of anything. We’ve all played shows together before any sort of attention was being payed, and the only goal was to be an authentic voice for yourself. There’s always been and still is undiscovered artists here with just as much vitality as anything the heavy hitters are producing, just have to keep your ear to the ground.
Is the spirit amongst the rock bands in Dublin collegiate; “high tides raise all ships” type of idea?
There’s such a vibrant scene in Dublin and Ireland at the minute that there’s no cookie cutter mentality in terms of careerism or competition. But the one thing that is true of all these bands is that the standard of music being created is booming. I don’t think this can be chalked up to rising to meet industry interest, it’s more so the quality of the records that are being put out is so fucking inspiring you can’t help but walk away inspired to aim higher.
Three guitar-players and two drummers is taking things to the limit. What’s the appeal?
Once you go two drummers you won’t go back! We never put much thought into it being a novelty, it just always felt right for us. We’ve a large sound, we’d be selling our audience short if we had any less people on stage [but bring earplugs!]
Describe your live show in five words or less.
Six boys get very weird.
This is your first tour of the UK – exhilarated by that idea right now?
Very much looking forward to meeting the real humans that our Spotify numbers represent, and making a night of it.
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The Murder Capital’s debut [When I Have Fears]. Stunning piece of work.
What can we expect from the THMUPER debut album?
The goal is to subvert all expectations while giving you exactly what you hoped for.
THUMPER play The Black Prince on Wednesday September 25th.
cover photo by Keith Currams