Thundercat (Stephen Bruner) is gearing up for the release of his third studio album Drunk on February 24, featuring legends like Kendrick Lamar, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Flying Lotus, Pharrell and Wiz Khalifa. Drunk is the 23-track follow up to his highly successful 2015 mini release, The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam. CLAUDIA MOORE chatted to him ahead of the album release.
What were your main personal influences for Drunk?
The album is essentially about life; it’s not about a fantasy it is based on my reality. The album is shaped by the life I have lived and all the different experiences I have had over time. Drunk can mean so many different things, it can mean drunk in life, drunk on love and it has a different meaning to everyone so the album was about exploring all those different meanings and the many ways that “drunk” can be interpreted.
Drunk sees a lot of big collaborations, what was it like teaming up with musical royalty like Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell?
It was Fantastic! Kendrick is a complete beast and also a poet, his music and words mean so much to so many people and have gone on to inspire and influence so many different people worldwide. Pharrell has gone on to change peoples lives with his music and I am so happy and excited for people to hear the album.
Latest single Show You The Way, features two musical heroes of yours in Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers/ Steely Dan). How did that come about and what was it like?
That came about very interestingly, starting out with a friend of mine hooking it up for me and a lot went on to make that song happen. So many different dynamics where at play during that process. Kenny has been around the block and is very open about his experiences and didn’t shy away from sharing things and that allowed me to open up in return and we were able to create something really beautiful. I see Michael McDonald’s music as the original soundtrack to life and he has really influenced all of my music. I am so glad to get the opportunity to allow them to know how much they inspired my music and me.
Have there been any major lessons you’ve learnt from your previous albums that have helped shape the recording of Drunk?
I see every new album and new song as a chance to chip away at my own personal journey and use the writing process as a way of understanding things more. I think as time goes on I am always using my music to discover and learn new things. Each time I record I want to push things further and take my music to a whole other level. I want to always dive deeper and each album is a progression on the last and a way to advance my personal journey.
What are your plans after the album release?
Maybe read some comics, play some video games, paint my toenails just chill out really and take it easy for little while. Other than that there are a lot of exciting things in the works at the moment so looking forward to where that will lead in the near future.
What are some key messages you want your fans to take away after they listen to the album?
I want people to listen to the album and know they are not alone and just really feel connected to my music. I wanted the songs to be relevant to other people’s lives and allow them to reflect on their own personal experiences. I want people to feel like we are all experiencing life together and going through the same things and we don’t have to do all that alone.
Drunk by Thundercat is out February 24 on Brainfeeder via Inertia Music.