We premiere the totally trippy video for Mass Datura’s track “Dream Thief” and enter vocalist Thomas Rowe’s weird world.
Photography by Caroline Brouard
Today’s video premiere comes courtesy of London five piece, Mass Datura. Formed only a year ago, the band have been rapidly gaining serious (read: mad-fun) attention for their super-crazy live performances, and equally trippy video output. “Dream Thief”, the first single off their debut album Sentimental Meltdown, is a dizzying, psychedelic tune, enveloping you with colour, glitter and a decent ounce of weird-as-hell vocals. Swirling melodies come together with warped aggressive guitar tones making for a track at once playful and darkly twisted. Vocalist Thomas Rowe draws upon his hyper-real fantasies, depicting what he perceives as the decaying human condition with his crazed vocals in a totally outrageous video created by Berlin based art director Alex Moonage. With costumes created by designer Simon Preen and a hell of a lot of glitter make-up and what we can only describe as jelly fish style dancing, get ready to enter Mass Datura’s weird and wonderful world… We jumped at the chance to chat to vocalist Thomas about his inspirations, desires and wild views on life. Let’s just say not everything is as it seems.
Tell us a little bit about why you decided to start this project?
Mass datura wasn’t really a planned band, in the sense that it just fell into being a band in a more natural way. The space for us was there at the right time and a few of my friends were around who I have been playing music with or just hanging out discussing music with with since I Moved to England 6 years ago.
What inspires you as creatives?
Existential crises and deep shame, the collected works of The Krankies, Buddha, extra terrestrial sex fetish’s or redheads, the feeling of having no other choice but to make art.
What creative outlets do you have other than music?
I self publish my own books of poems and other creative writing, for me this predates playing any instruments.
The fashion in the film is by Simon Preen, tell us a little bit about this?
Maxine Anastasia who sings on this song with me and also is the main dancer in the video has modelled for Simon Preen in the past. When she showed me his designs I thought they were perfect for the “look” I wanted in the video.
What is the best bit about making music?
All the different stages and the processes in making or performing music have their own perks and downfalls. I do like the whole process of writing the songs a lot, taking one idea that i had in my bedroom and giving it to my friends to interrupt in their own way. We write all the songs together, in more of a collective free way.
What inspires you?
Im pretty sure I am always feeling my way through life, completely open and in the most agile way possible, so I extract inspiration out of everything and nothing at the same time. Its more of subconscious process. I guess some maybe obvious things would be like; my childhood and youth in general, the human condition to always want to fuck things up and be self destructive, lessons of love and tender people, rejection is always a hot topic in my tale it seems.
You’re not formed in a classic way for a musical act, tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah I suppose that’s true, we have added Harry Bohay on a pedal steel which is an instrument traditional used by 10 gallon hat cowboys and drunken backwood creeps. If you listen to Hank Williams you will hear it all over his music. I have always been a big fan of the sound it produces and when I heard Harry was getting one I had to have him incorporate it to the songs I have written.
Do you feel like creating music is really necessary for who you are as a person?
No not really, I mean I’m sure if music didn’t exist I would have found another artist outfit to channel my feelings and express myself. That being said, it is my favourite medium cause I get to mix my writing/sonic ideas with other like minded people. the goal is to always being adventurous and have movement in what I do. Sometimes I think I move too quickly which means others will have to bring me back down to earth.
Who do you look up to musically?
Mark Linkous (sparklehorse) RIP