Thirstbusters: Ryan Thomas – Guitar, Zach Sorgen – Vocals/Keys, Chase Jackson – Bass, Forrest Mitchell – Drums
Hometown: Berkeley, CA
Genre: Pop Rock/Jazzy Flavorings
When I first heard the music of the Thirstbusters I was immediately captured by their pop rock jazz fusion style. They create music well beyond their years. The melodies, harmonies, vocals was a complete package of something special in the making. Besides being the editor here at Joey Voodoo, I’m also the booking manager for the Surf Spot Restaurant and Music Venue and I needed to book these guys for our venue ASAP. It was exciting to catch up with them and see what they were up to.
Joey: What’ happening fellas, thanks so much for your time! Tell us where you’re from and how the band came together?
Thirstbusters: Hey Joey, thanks for featuring us on your site! We’re all up at our singer’s house in Berkeley, chillin’ and doing some songwriting together. So, Chase, Forrest and Zach (bass, drums, vocals/keys) started playing music together way back in elementary school. We met Ryan at Berkeley High School where we all played in the Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble. Our band got its start when the four of us would stay after band to jam on pop/rock covers and originals. We had so much fun, we decided to form a band and have been together ever since.
Joey: What’s the story behind the band name?
TB: The band name really originated as a joke. Our high school had the slang term, “Thirsty,” which meant that something was uncool or bad, basically a synonym for “wack”. We were submitting our band to a local battle of the bands contest and obviously needed a band name in order to compete. As a joke from a friend, we went with the suggestion of “The Thirstbusters” and it stuck ever since.
Joey: You guys have a jazzy feel to your music which blends so well with your pop style. Who are your musical influences?
TB: Our musical influences are super varied. It includes pop/rock super-groups such as U2, Coldplay, Radiohead and of course The Beatles. Our influences also include up-and-coming indie songwriters like Bon Iver, Tallest Man on Earth, and James Blake. Our jazz influence has come somewhat naturally through our experience playing jazz together in high school and college, but usually we aren’t fully conscious of how our roots influence our current sound.
Joey: What three words best describes your music?
TB: Honest, Polished, Up-Beat.
Joey: Congratulations are in order as you just released a new album Caught Between. Tell us more about the album and what can fans expect to hear?
TB: The music ranges from hard rock to funky RnB to chill acoustic. Incorporating instrumental solos as well as delicate arrangements for strings, horns, and a gospel choir, “Caught Between” expresses musical, lyrical, and conceptual sensitivity. The songs are catchy and relatable, like the title track of “Caught Between,” which reflects something we all go through. For us, it’s about our personal passage through college, a time-tested transition from childhood to adulthood. Each song shows a different side of our experience, from philosophical self-discovery to light-hearted party anthems. This driving concept is also present on the album cover, in which each band member appears multiple times, caught between different sides of themselves.
Joey: What two bands would be part of your dream tour?
TB: Damn, tough call! Most likely, Dave Matthews Band and Coldplay. Dave Matthews Band because we all admire their musicianship and sheer tightness as a band. Coldplay because they’re one of our primary influences as songwriters and because of their skill as incredible performers.
Joey: What’s on the agenda for summer and the remainder of the year?
TB: We have a number of upcoming summer shows throughout the greater Bay Area promoting our new album and music, all of which we’re super excited for. We’re also planning on doing two music videos from songs on “Caught Between.” In addition, even though we just finished our last album, we’ve just begun work on our next album and are planning on doing tons of songwriting this summer!
Joey: Fellas thanks again! Any final words or shout outs?
TB: Looking forward to the show at The Surf Spot and thanks so much for the interview Joey!!