Artist Name – Caustic Waves
Formed when? – 2019
Based in what city? – Glasgow, Scotland
Social Media accounts/website/contact info?
Bandcamp – https://causticwaves.bandcamp.com
Neil Thomas – vocals, guitar, bass, programming
Sub-genre(s) of your music? – Alternative Rock / Post-Hardcore
Favorite artists, influences?
RTA: What was the story in forming the band?
Neil: My previous band (The Chinaskis) went on hiatus in 2017 when Robbie, the band leader / songwriter emigrated to Dallas, Texas. We had been working on our debut album, which I was co-producing. The album sat unfinished, and then after a while I decided to dust off the Pro Tools sessions and get back to work on it. I did as much as I could with the tracks we had recorded, before passing it back to Robbie to finish it off over in Dallas.
Working on the Chinaskis album really gave me a renewed interest in music production, and I was keen to have another project to work on, to try and improve my production skills further. I started writing the songs that eventually became CAUSTIC WAVES in 2019. I hadn’t played guitar or tried to write songs for quite some time, and it happened quite organically. I was just enjoying playing again, jamming away, and before I knew it I had sketched out the song ‘Knocking At My Door’. Before too long, I had demoed 6 songs and then set about recording them in my home studio, just as lockdown hit in March 2020. I slowly worked away on the tracks in the evenings and at weekends, and also took various courses to help improve my mixing skills. I mixed all the songs myself, before getting them professionally mastered.
Although I’m a one man band, I decided to adopt a band name to help with the promotion, and in March 2022, CAUSTIC WAVES was launched, with the debut single ‘Regenerate’.
RTA: What is the inspiration in your music?
Neil: My influences are very much rooted in late 90s / early 00s alternative rock and post-hardcore. I didn’t have a particular agenda when I started writing the songs… I just followed the same approach from when I was a teenager playing guitar in my bedroom, jamming along to the likes of Deftones and Helmet. That sort of sound is really just part of my musical DNA, so when I start playing that’s the style that comes naturally.
RTA: Last album/EP/single release?
Neil: The last single release was ‘Barriers’, in October 2022.
RTA: Any upcoming music releases?
Neil: The 6-track EP ‘Full Circle’ will be released on 3rd March 2022. It includes the 5 songs I’ve released as singles, as well as the new track ‘Knocking At My Door’. It will be on all major streaming platforms, as well as a Digital Download and Limited Edition CD via Bandcamp.
RTA: Upcoming shows/tours for the next year?
Neil: Caustic Waves is currently a studio project, although I’m open to the idea of putting a band together and gigging and some point in the future!
RTA: What artist(s) would you want to tour with?
Neil: One of my favourite bands is The Dear Hunter. I first discovered them when I lived in Portland, Oregon back in 2007 and was blown away. They’re great musicians, and I’d happily watch them play every night on tour.
RTA: What is a venue you always wanted to perform in? Why?
Neil: Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow here in Glasgow is my favourite venue, and I’d absolutely love to play there! I just saw an amazing gig there last Friday – Hundred Reasons, supported by Hell Is For Heroes and My Vitriol. Three of my favourite alt-rock / post-hardcore bands from the early 00s, together on the same bill all these years later! The Barrowlands is just such an iconic venue that I’ve been going to since I was 15, and it has an incredible reputation for being an amazing place to play.
RTA: One story you’d like to share about the band?
Neil: I decided to keep myself busy last year by doing some vocal cover videos for my YouTube channel. I generally pick songs from bands that have influenced me, and one of the first songs I did was ‘Going To Panic’ by Handsome. The band was a bit of a supergroup, formed from ex-members of Helmet and Quicksand, and they released one album in 1997 before splitting up. It’s a fantastic album, and definitely an influence on my own music.
After I released the cover video I was absolutely blown away when the guitarist Peter Mengede gave it the thumbs up and shared it on his own YouTube channel! He’s an absolute legend, and one of my heroes – he played on Helmet’s seminal ‘Meantime’ album!
RTA: What brand instrument(s) do you play? Any favs?
Neil: I play a Schechter C-1 Elite guitar, and a Fender P-Bass. I bought the guitar way back in 2005 when I played with my first band Keitel, and it’s still going strong. I haven’t really changed my approach to playing guitar since then, which is another reason why my playing is so reminiscent of the late 90s / early 00s. The Schecter still plays great, and suits my style of music perfectly. The Fender P Bass is also pretty old – I got that in 2009, not long after I joined The Chinaskis. You can’t go wrong with a Fender for a classic no-nonsense rock bass tone
RTA: What is a song of yours that means the most to you?
Neil: ‘Regenerate’ is quite a personal song that discusses some of my own flaws and regrets, and it’s really about wanting to grow and improve myself. When I played the tracks for some friends, this was the song that seemed to resonate the most, so I decided it should be the first Caustic Waves single.
Check out our review of Caustic Waves here!