RJ Thompson has just released new single, The Girl & The Gunman, and has a forthcoming album with Echo Chamber out on 17th November.
He spoke with The Fountain about his new record, which is first full studio LP, and about the inspiration behind this piece of work, the divisions and yet the melodies that exist within the album.
TF: So you are about to release your first full studio LP in November with Echo Chamber, you must be ecstatic?
I’m really really proud of it, yeah. It’s the best album I could make at this point in time… a very clear snapshot of myself, my opinions, and my views on the world at this point in time.
TF: Obviously the state of the world today has affected you with this album. What inspired you to take this political stance with the LP?
There’s a lot to write about at the moment… it’s very hard not to have an opinion, positive or negative. I wanted the album to actually mean something… not just a collection of pop songs. I wanted it to reflect what is going on in the world if you really sat and listened to the lyrics.
TF: Echo Chamber is an obvious bubble, which reflects our social media circles. What made you decide to title the album this?
The opening track on the album is called Echo Chamber, and that song really sums up the theme of the album for me. It’s a track about us all… we’re all guilty of isolating ourselves with our own set opinions, and not wanting to stray from them. All of our friend groups, social media pages… they all feed into that. And all it really achieves is a division. The whole album revolves around those kinds of themes, so it made sense to call the album that.
TF: How would you describe this album to followers and fans of your music?
As political as the lyrics get at times, it is still a pop record. I spent a lot of time over the last couple of years trying to nail down the kind of artist I want to be. I think when people label themselves a “singer songwriter”, you are almost expected to fit into a certain mould, and I wanted to get away from that. I wanted to make a record that I loved… something that was influenced by all the great artists I grew up listening to (Michael Jackson, Prince, Springsteen), so you’ll hear some retro synths and percussion through the album, mixed together with more modern sensibilities.
TF: Writing such poignant tracks with elements of funk and other layers I am curious about your process?
It all starts with melody for me. Finding a great melody (and chord structure) is the hardest and longest part of the process. The lyrics on this album followed quite quickly, I guess because there is just so much to write about at the minute. And once the basics are in place, that’s when you can start mucking around with all the fun stuff… finding great sounds and “producing”.
TF: And to be supporting Jools Holland and playing the SECC in Glasgow is a pretty big deal. What are you looking forward to from your Glasgow crowd?
I’m just looking forward to playing these songs live. It’s nerve wracking… it’ll be a big crowd… but Scottish crowds are always great. And Jools’ crowds are always really attentive and interested in new music.
For more on RJ Thompson and information surrounding his album release click here.