THESE ARE THE DAYS, THESE ARE THE SONGS
AN INTERVIEW WITH MICK THOMAS (WEDDINGS PARTIES ANYTHING)
Mick Thomas? What the hell has he been up to lately? Well, quite a lot. A new book, a new compilation album, and recording new music. I had the chance to catch up with Mick recently at his home in Australia (it was on the phone, and I was amazed that it was Thursday night in Toronto and noon in Melbourne). Mick had a great deal to say about many things.
First the facts. Mick is releasing a new book…These Are The Days – Stories and Songs by Mick Thomas, on March 31, 2017. There is also a companion CD set, These Are The Songs, to be released in March as well.
“The books started as liner notes for a greatest hits package”, says Mick. “It just grew from there, it became bigger and bigger. Melbourne Books became interested and I wanted to produce something really beautiful and substantial. Also, there is a lack of (sheet music) books of Weddings, Parties, Anything material, so this book could serve multiple purposes.”
“From there,” Mick continues, “it was a chance to bring everything together. I have always seen my career as solo and Weddings Parties, and there was this imaginary line at 1988 dividing everything up. My editor said ‘you created that line, it really is imaginary’, so I erased the line and organized the book to include solo, Weddings, Sure Thing, everything, but it is not chronological. It is arranged as a setlist.”
Mick has a great deal to be proud of, since he has written, produced and sung some of the best music in the last quarter century. Beginning in 1984 with Weddings, Parties, Anything, Mick and the band tore up folk/rock/punk music and made it their own. Their discography is full of iconic songs that are indispensable. The original line up basically split in 1989, although Thomas would form other versions of the band and continue to release albums under that name until 1998. River’esque, the last Weddings studio album, is well worth searching out, if only for “For A Short Time” an incredible song that has been adopted in Australia for many occasions. From there Thomas released several solo albums, worked with his brother Steve Thomas on a soundtrack (The Tank), played with The Roving Commission, and formed his current band, The Sure Thing. His career has now spanned four decades and he continues to gain younger fans while maintaining his loyal core audience.
Mick continues, “I mean, how many gigs can we get away with without playing “Father’s Day”? It is a joy to us and the audience, especially what I can do with the song now, but at the same time it is a rush to hear the crowds respond.”
The new book is not an autobiography, although there are aspects of his life throughout, nor does he give away what the songs are about. “People get what they get out of the song. This book is for people who are curious about my career, and there is stuff about Weddings, but the book is not giving away what the songs mean. The cool thing is there are younger people in my band now, total musicians, who are into the heritage of the band, which makes playing them exciting again.”
So Mick Thomas has caught up with his past, put together the book and compilation as a means of closing a chapter, a very long chapter with many sub-chapters, but it has freed him up to move on with his art. “I have been getting a bit excited. I have been writing and I am ready to charge into a studio to do a new album.”
Both the book and the CD set are available at Mick’s website, www.mickthomas.com.