Feb 27, 2023
Solid Alternative Rock
Hello guys and gals, I have some new music for your ears and, of course, I must share. I recently stumbled upon a musician out of Glasgow, Scotland, by the name of Neil Thomas.
By day, he’s a full-time software engineer, and by night, he’s a producer with a lifelong passion for music that has culminated in his latest project, Caustic Waves. Although it is a new project, Neil has been in the business over 20 years. He started out in the mid-2000’s as the guitarist for the metal band Keitel and then switched to bass and backing vocals as part of the power-pop band The Chinaskis.
With Caustic Waves, Neil combines elements from both bands into a melodic and solid rock offering with a tinge of a pop-rock vibe reminiscent of 90’s alt bands such as Trapt.
Launched in March 2022, Caustic Waves came onto the scene with the debut single “Regenerate,” which was the first in a series of single releases throughout 2022.
Neil has continued to stay busy since then writing and recording new material. On Friday, March 3, 2023, a new six-track EP titled “Full Circle” drops via all streaming platforms and as a limited-edition CD as well. Be sure to check out his new release once it drops and pay attention to the standout tracks “Barriers” and “Idiocracy”.
We recently threw some questions Neil’s way so you could get a better feel for this up-and-coming artist and his work.
MaM: If you could cite your favorite band as far as influence, who would it be?
NT: Picking one is tough, but I'm going to go with Helmet. Their 90s output is absolutely essential for alternative/post-hardcore fans, and, in particular, their album 'Aftertaste' is a big influence on my sound. For me, it has the perfect blend of heavy guitars with strong vocal melodies. That's my aim with Caustic Waves—loud rhythm guitars underneath melodic vocals and layers of harmonies. The original Helmet drummer, John Stanier, is a huge influence, too. He has such a unique and identifiable groove, and my approach to drums is very much based on his style.
MaM: We are huge Helmet fans here, too, so good pick. As far as vocal influences, who is your favorite front man?
NT: Jonah Matranga (Far/Onelinedrawing etc) is a big influence on my vocal approach, and he's an absolute legend. In terms of a favourite front man, it's hard to look past Maynard James Keenan from Tool/A Perfect Circle. He is such an enigma on stage, and his voice is incredible.
MaM: Good picks, again. You have excellent taste in music, and we approve. What type of guitar do you play and why?
NT: I play a Schecter C-1 Diamond Series, which I've had since 2005. I bought that guitar when I played with my first band, Keitel. My approach to playing guitar hasn't really changed since then, which is why there's a strong late-90s/early-00s influence to the sound of Caustic Waves. I keep meaning to treat myself to a new guitar, but I still love to play my Schecter, and it suits my sound well.
MaM: Ok, let’s talk gear. How do you achieve your sound and what pedals / gear was used in the recording of the new material?
NT: Although I have a reasonable collection of pedals that I used for demos, the guitar tones on the EP were all achieved with the amp sim plugin, BIAS FX. Amp sim technology has progressed a lot since I started using Amplitube back in 2010, and it wasn't too hard to dial in the tones I was looking for. It was also somewhat out of necessity. I recorded the guitars at nighttime in my home studio when my kids were asleep downstairs. The drums are virtual too, using GetGood Drums - Modern and Massive.
MaM: Give our readers a little more background about you and where you live.
NT: I'm from Glasgow in Scotland. I was born and raised here. There's a brilliant music scene in Glasgow [and] Scotland, and I've been going to gigs since I was 15. Another one of my main influences are Biffy Clyro, who come from a town not too far from Glasgow. I first saw them play in a small pub in 1998, and now they're one of the biggest rock bands in the UK.
MaM: Who all is involved in Caustic Waves? Just you?
NT: It's just me! I'm a one-man band! For now, it's just a studio project, although I do miss playing live so I'm open to the idea of putting together a live band at some point in the future.I did have some guests on the EP: My brother-in-law Adrian McGurn (from the Irish traditional folk band Solás) sang some harmonies on the ending section of 'Idiocracy.’ That part of the song is about the importance of education and investing in the next generation, so it felt appropriate, as Adrian is a teacher. He lived with us at the start of lockdown when schools were closed, and he home-schooled my two boys for a few months. It was during that time that I started recording the EP, and that's when we recorded his vocal tracks.There's also a cameo from my two boys, Jamie and Charlie, who helped me with some backing "woahs" in the middle section of 'Evolution'.
To check out all that is Caustic Waves, hit the links below and be sure to check out “Full Circle” dropping on March 3, 2023!
*All photos provided by the artist
Questions or Comments? E-mail email@example.com