Who is Thomas Graves?
Talking to Stephen Parrish about music during his time at Bucknell was a usual occurrence for me. Every conversation we had lead to us discussing theoretical concepts, new tracks, or singing octaves, and I knew from our interactions that he was a truly talented musician with a musical vocabulary and repertoire that was extremely respectable. This is why, when I received a Facebook inbox from him around a month ago telling me to listen to a new track called “Prague” by Thomas Graves, I didn’t think twice and immediately clicked the Soundcloud link. After listening and deeply enjoying the track, my first question was, “Who is Thomas Graves?”
I wasn’t surprised to learn that Thomas Graves was, in fact, Parrish himself. Over the past month he has put out some outstanding electronically produced music on his Soundcloud account and has slowly been making a name for himself. The tracks show his mastery of musical and digital technique, and share ambient-experimental qualities similar to that of Flying Lotus. At this point his music has had over 1000 hits on the site, and I felt compelled to learn more about Graves’ process of creating and producing his music. Read my interview with Thomas Graves below; it is sure to offer those who are beginning to produce electronic a glimpse into the creative process of a true musical veteran.
Can you talk a little about your artistic vision in terms of the way you are currently going about creating music?
I am into music that has an ability to be seen accompanying something visual, like something interesting on a muted T.V.
Who has inspired you the most?
People who collaborate with the visual arts: Flying Lotus, Howard Shore.
How has Bucknell influenced the musical direction you’ve taken (if at all)?
Bucknell was a tremendous place for my growth as a musician. I learned as much as I could in my three years singing a capella, and in my two years in the choir, and it led me ultimately to the idea of music production.
What are the five albums you’re listening to most right now?
Flying Lotus - 1983
José González - Veneer
King Tubby - Dub From The Roots
Blink 182 - Enema of the State
What are your future plans for your Soundcloud account? Any albums, mixtapes, EPs, etc. in the works?
Yes. I’m polishing up two, possibly three little tracks for release this upcoming week and the weeks after. I want to continue to experiment and learn and then I plan on developing a concept for an album.
What do you think is the biggest problem young musicians have making a name for themselves, especially on their own?
With all this exacting music technology, it’s easy to get lost in the world of audio effects and lose the time that would otherwise be spent creating music. I wouldn’t call it a problem but definitely something keep in mind..
A piece of advice to those who are starting to create music:
What helps me write is a muted YouTube video of anything interesting. I would urge people to try that if they hit a block or something.
Look out for more to come from Thomas Graves in the future and follow him on Soundcloud!