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Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Interview with DJ Morgs, Thundamentals

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Thundemantal at Falls Festival

Thundemantal

Falls Festival  |  31 Dec–2 Jan

Ten years deep into their career, Thundamentals’ reputation is undeniable. In 2008 they released their debut self-titled EP and in 2012, a landmark, Triple J, Like A Version of Matt Corby’s Brother. In 2017 their acclaimed, ARIA and J Award nominated fourth album Everyone We Know, led to relentless touring across Australia and Europe. This included supporting A Tribe Called Quest, Macklemore and Big Boi, not to mention performing at almost every major music festival in the country along the way. The band has innovated musically, inspired lyrically and become one of Australia’s most exciting and powerful live acts. DJ Morgs chats with The Echo ahead of their Falls Fest shows.

You guys are more than 10 years into your multi-award-winning career with a number one album debut, a number eight in triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2018, four studio albums, and over 50 million streams worldwide! Do you sometimes just stop and think, ‘Wait, what the fuck? How did this all happen?’

Constantly checking myself on how we ended up where we are now. It’s been a long ride and it doesn’t feel like it’s stopping anytime soon. The feeling of seeing people singing the songs back at us never gets old and is always super humbling, even to this day. I’m always in awe at the responses we get, the feeling really never goes away.

How did it all begin for you guys? Is there a creation story?

We were basically just a bunch of young hooligan/skaters from up in the mountains who shared an interest in hiphop. We had a few of our peers who were coming up at the time and an awesome local venue that harboured these talents. The likes of Down Under Beats crew (who won triple j’s first ever unearthed I believe), Hermitude (the kings) and other artists like Cloud Control and Clever Austin – who is now the drummer for Hiatus Kyote. Having all this talent up in there allowed an awesome environment for learning, improving and experimenting with our crafts. The band officially started when the local radio station ran a competition to win some studio hours, so our first song was born. Then we scored a support slot, opening for Muph N Plutonic in the home town and had to come up with a name quick, alas, Thundamentals was conceived.

Your most recent album release in 2018, Love Songs, debuted at number one on the Aria – Australian Artist charts. What a fantastic entry to this album, which is a bit of a transition for you, showcasing your lyrical abilities and musicianship. What prompted the shift in focus on this release? 

I don’t believe we have ever focused too much on trying to ‘change’ or differ from previous sounds. We are all constantly learning and trying to push ourselves, so change and advancement is gonna happen naturally. The formula is still basically the same as since day dot, I think we are just able to write more refined music these days and accomplish sounds we may not have had the ability to in the past.

The love theme is strong on the album, but the theme goes far beyond that for you guys. You have been spreading the love and raising money for social organisations in local areas in inner Sydney via your Got Love initiative. What was the inspiration behind creating this organisation and what causes have you been supporting?

I like to think we recognise the importance of the position we are in, and our ability to try and give back positively and thoughtfully. I suppose we have chosen to raise awareness for the underdogs generally. [We’ve been] raising awareness and donations for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Newtown, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, and Koori Radio, to name a few.

You’re coming up to Byron to play Falls Festival this year – which is rad! What can your fans expect from your show?

We have been moving into a larger stage show over the last couple of years, and with all the talent that Falls Festival brings, we will be trying to add some additional musicians and/or guests for the show. We definitely like to make it feel like a big party during our sets, but also have plenty of warm-hearted moments in there too. Ha, sounds funny saying it, but that’s kind of how our set is working out these days; party and love.

Thundamentals play Falls Festival in Byron 31 Dec–2 Jan. For tickets and program info go to fallsfest.com/byronbay


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