Thom Sonny Green: “I need to let go of a lot of this stuff so that I can move forward artistically”

alt-J’s Thom Sonny Green discusses his debut solo album’s creation, his label, Sudden, and writing in solitude.

Most people probably wouldn’t recognise the name Thom Sonny Green, but you’ll definitely have heard his music. Drumming for world-conquering art rockers alt-J has been Thom’s full-time career for more than a decade, though he’s always been making his own experimental electronica. Stepping out of the drumming shadows, Thom’s debut album, titled ‘High Anxiety’, clocks in at twenty one tracks long and touches on themes of isolation, loneliness and anxiety. Moody and atmospheric, he reckons his debut solo project, influenced by the abstract soundscapes of Arca and Clams Casino, would sit better in churches and galleries than gig venues and clubs.

What made you want to go solo?

I’ve been producing music on my own for about four years now and with alt-J taking some time off this year I thought it would be a good opportunity to compile some of what I’d written into an album. It’s not so much about going solo but more that I need to let go of a lot of this stuff so that I can move forward artistically.

And how long have you been working on this project?

I started producing music on my laptop four years ago whilst on tour with alt-J. I’d been really keen to start making electronic music after becoming more interested in the genre. ‘Cologne’, from my debut album, was the first track I wrote once I got a laptop and Ableton. The project was entirely written and produced by myself. I’ve been lucky enough to write with other artists over the last couple of years but that was mainly for their projects.

Where did you record?

It was written all over the world. A lot of the track titles come from the place of which the track was conceived. I can work quite well on tour as it really helps me relax.

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