John Christopher Thomas

FAULT: How was 2010 for you?

It was a blur, really. My third son was born last October–so I’m just now trying to sleep regularly again. It also seems like whole the year went by way too fast. I turned 45, so that made me think about health and being creative. Songwriting wise, it was pretty bleak…not very many new tunes were written in 2010. I seem to write the same five songs over again, and just re-arrange them differently. Luckily, there’s a backlog of original songs that I’m crafting  lyrics to. Good words are hard to come by for me!

FAULT: You started playing the piano at 7, who was your favourite musician growing up?

Albums seems to stick out– more  so than artists to me. Growing up, I’d say Wendy Carlos’Switched on Bach II, had the largest influence. It was on my record player nightly, since I couldn’t go to sleep without it. Sam Cooke’s 45 Bring it All Home to Me/Having a Party was also huge. That was my mom’s 45, and I just wore it out. Later on, Supertramp’s Crime of the Century was big, since it seemed so cinematic – especially the title song.

FAULT: Was there a defining moment of your childhood that guided you into a career as a musician?

There was something that affected me at age 15:  I was at on the school bus humming a tune that I was trying to remember. It had a funny melody to me, with a clunky sounding piano.  I couldn’t remember the song, but I really liked it. A week later John Lennon was killed, and the airwaves were saturated with Beatles’ tunes. Listening to one station, I realized that tune I was humming was Imagine.   I later read that he was in a  band called the Quarrymen in his early teens. Having a band at 15 sounded like fun, and that’s when I started trying to play in bands in the city.

FAULT: How would you rate yourself as an artist?

That’s a hard one. I don’t think I’m capable of accurately rating myself. Depending on the day, I’ll think that I’m pretty damn good…other days I feel pretty worthless. But I’ve always thought of myself as a painter and songwriter, ever since I was a little kid. All artists and musicians have this common language. The ideas of composition, harmony, space and dissonance–you can easily exchange those terms from music to art. It’s just a part of me as well. If no one ever notices my songs or paintings, it won’t really matter in the long run – I’ll be creating until the day I die.

FAULT: What is the story behind “Bring it Back”?

That stemmed from an argument I had with my wife years back. I was out a little too late with some friends, and when I came home, she wasn’t  happy at all. It made me want to be young and carefree again. I also regretted a few nasty things I said to her, but it was too late to take those words back. A couple of years later, the music had been written for the song, but with no lyrics.  I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could press rewind and erase all of the mistakes we’ve made in our lives? The person in the song is more desperate, though. He thinks there’s a way to actually go back in time, and live a better life than he’s living now.

FAULT: Do you have any live shows planned?

I do, in an acoustic setting, here in the Dallas area. It will be just me and a guitar and possibly with a percussion player. I’ll need to post some clips on You tube as well.  It’s funny though, even though I’ve played live a lot, I really prefer writing songs for other artists. Maybe because I’m too lazy to perform!

FAULT: Where can people hear more of your stuff?

I’m pretty spread out along this digital landscape, which is good for someone like me who has ton of inertia to overcome.  People can hear tunes at John Christopher Thomas at Myspace, as well as Reverbnation. Another site, Audio Sparx, has my songs in the high quality that it was recorded.  An indie CD release I made in 1999 called Low Fi:Hello is available on I’m out there, so hopefully it’s fun to find some of these tunes.

FAULT: What are you currently working on? And what can we expect from you in 2011?

I’ll be releasing a CD called Again and Again in March, 2011. It’s taken over ten years to put these songs together on a shoestring budget, so it’ll be nice to make them available for people to hear. There’s a concept CD called Forget Yourself under the penname Sweaty Monk, which is available for licensing through Pump This has more of a relaxing world vibe to it.  There’s another album that I’ve had in mind for years called “Pop Music for Grown-ups.”  Almost half of the songs have been completed, but it’ll probably take another year or so before the rest are polished enough to release.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?
I have to pick only one? …well…if push comes to shove, I’d say I have a terrible short-term memory…with extreme difficulty following directions. Unfortunately I can meet someone and not remember that I’ve met them a week later…maybe it’s because I’m absent minded…yeah… let’s stick with the short term memory– causing all sorts of embarrassing things to happen!