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Interview: My Life as Ali Thomas discuss their music and latest single “RINN”

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Based in Bangkok, Thailand, musical group My Life as Ali Thomas recently made a comeback with their newest single “RINN.” With Pie as the lead singer, Rack on the guitar, and Taw on drums, the trio came together in 2014 to launch their music career. From there, My Life as Ali Thomas acquired gigs at bars in Bangkok and eventually set out to release their music on mainstream platforms. Their newest single “RINN” dropped in January of 2021 representing quite the resurgence in music since their last release Paper, which was their very first album released in 2016. My Life as Ali Thomas produces wide-ranging music that liberates the mind and soul. Always experimenting with sounds, their liberating vocals and distinctive themes ensure that there is truly something for every listener. 

I had the chance to catch up with My Life as Ali Thomas regarding their newest single “RINN,” the creative flow of creating music, and their history thus far in the music industry.

How did you all meet and start making music together?

Hi my name is Pie, I sing for My Life as Ali Thomas. I met Rack, our lead guitarist, about five years back at a live house in Bangkok, Thailand. We jammed together that one time at the live house and then ended up playing at a show a week later. We were scouted by a music label not long after that show, Rack brought in a drummer and a bassist at the time. Unfortunately the drummer didn’t stick, and so we found Taw, our drummer now, just a few months after that. We recorded our first album “Paper” as a four-piece band, unfortunately again our bassist left the band after the album release.

Your first music to ever be released on musical platforms is from a live performance in TiggerTwins studio in Bangkok with Young Man and the Sea. Were the two songs released from the performance (“Lover to Lover” and “All My Inventions”) the very first songs you ever created as a musical group?

That’s correct “Lover to Lover” and “All My Inventions” were the first two recordings released under My Life as Ali Thomas as a complete band.

How long did it take to complete your debut album Paper?

Paper was our first album, it was our first of just about everything including the music production, working with a producer, using a recording studio, basically our very first step into the Thai music industry. The production process took about a month, most of the songs on Paper were written prior to My Life as Ali Thomas as a band, so it was mainly mostly arranging those acoustic demos into a full band sound. For Paper we spent most of production arranging, the recording didn’t take that long, we didn’t have to rearrange anything new much after having met with the producer. And then we went into mixing, which was more of a delicate process, and definitely took more time than being in a recording studio.   

What are your favorite songs from that album? What about them stands out to you?

We choose “Daughter and Son” and “Winter’s Love.” “Daughter and Son” was our first jam, basically it’s our first original piece. None of the band members knew each other from the beginning, we came together because of the band, and “Daughter and Son” really reflected that because it was so new to all of us, because we were strangers and the respect for one another was nice and it really came through in the music. We also choose “Winter’s Love” because it’s a pretty song! And 12/8 time signature is nice.

Your music has been described as genre-defying. How do you all work together in the studio to ensure that you showcase your individual talents and create something you all love?

We meet in the middle…hahaha, or we try to. Definitely having an open mind is important. We all have that creative control OCD syndrome, but it’s important to try to keep that to a minimum when it comes to working creatively in a group with creative-minded people. Trust is also nice to have, it can feel a bit uncomfortable when things don’t go exactly your colour, but you’ll have to trust your colleagues too because we’re a group, and to make something that’s bigger than all of us, we have to work together. It gets ugly sometimes, but the end result is nice, it’s new. 

You described your most recent single “RINN” as a made-up word that serves as an inspiration to defy expectations and restrictions. How did you come up with this name? 

The name came when we were writing the main verses for “RINN,” there was a sound in my head and I just slurred out the word “Rinn,” and for some reason I didn’t want to change any of it. And so when we explained the name “Rinn” to people it just sort of became a concept of why not?

What is your process for creating a song? Is it different each time or do you follow a plan? 

For us it spins in a circle. Someone will start a nice riff, or a beat loop, or a drum solo, or melody, or words… anything that has a strong feeling, and that person will pass it on to whoever’s got the idea next. And we pass it around until the song’s finished. Nothing follows the plan, it’s hard when we get ahead of ourselves it’s hard to catch up, it’s easier to work with what we have, and then we go from there. 

Are you guys currently working on new music? 

Not currently no. We’re working on making Peppermint Town into a live act.

Do you have any post-COVID touring plans?

Not sure… but we hope so! We miss touring ! :))

Stream “RINN” here.

Check out the band’s brand new single and music video “My Red Golden Sun”:

Follow My Life as Ali Thomas on their socials:

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