I wrote a song the very first time I ever picked up a guitar. It’s true. I remember it vividly. I was at an elementary school friend’s house and his dad’s mariachi-style guitar was sitting isolated in the corner. I picked it up and started to blindly strum away probably not hitting a single proper note. Thirty minutes later I had written my very first song. Now don’t get me wrong, the song was absolute horse-shit. But to me I had just finished day one at Rock n Roll High school and I wanted more. This was also at the height of “Guitar Hero’s” popularity and at the time all my friend’s and I were obsessed with it. So when 6pm rolled around and my mom came to pick me up I told her “Hey mom, I really want to get a guitar. Pleeeease?” She kindly obliged and a week later I got my very first acoustic guitar. This “event” paved the way for me not only as a musician but as a human being.
I knew from the jump that I was never going to be the next Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea. No matter how much I admired the people who can absolutely shred their instrument of choice for me it was all about the way certain songs could move you. That’s why I feel forever indebted to songwriters like Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke (Radiohead), and Frank Ocean among others. At the end of the day music is a medium that emotionally carries you to a place you’ve never been before. We as listeners all have those handful of songs that we hold dear to our hearts because of the weight of it’s emotionality. Whether you’re going through a breakup, dealing with a loss of a loved one, or falling in love there are songs that hit you harder than most and stay with you for the rest of your life. Every time you turn it on it brings you back and for that split second you’re momentarily teleported to a time of familiarity.
As a songwriter you’re forever honing your craft, switching up your vantage point, and changing direction. One of the things I take pride in is having something meaningful to convey lyrically, as well as musically. I think that’s what makes the four of us in Thames work so well is that we each share that same mindset in our songwriting. We know the way music can affect people and we take pride in being able to flip that out into the world with our own unique spin on it. Being able to touch people the way other musicians have to me is something I don’t ever want to take for granted. Music is that silent friend who’s always willing to listen to your deepest and darkest secrets at all times. It’s not only an escape for the listener but for the songwriter as well.
Favorite Record Store
Vintage Vinyl (Saint Louis)
Favorite Concert Venue
Delmar Hall (Saint Louis)
Other Bands You’re Involved In
St. Louis, MO
Thames is led by frontman and principle songwriter Gabriel Jackson. The band first formed upon Jackson randomly meeting guitarist Zander Hayes in the dorms of Webster University. The two began writing music together, working on material Gabe had been writing in secret for years. After drummer Sean Buchert was added to the mix, the trio spent the fall of 2016 preparing for their first show, without any actual songs to play. After that first show the band still needed a permanent bass player. Connor Fiehler would prove to be the right guy, despite the other three members various attempts at making him uncomfortable during their first rehearsal together.