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Sometimes it seems that a band was just meant to play together. There's an immaterial but apparent energy that shines through from the first moment, and only intensifies with experience and hard work. Such is the case with the rock trio Thos.
Thos has quickly become known in the Midwest as something unique. The band offers the energy and spontaneity of a power trio, with three lead vocalists, sweeping harmonies, and well-crafted songs. The three musicians, although only in their twenties, have more than fifty-five combined years of performance experience, and display their instrumental and vocal talents eagerly to a devoted fan base that expects to be blown away at every show. Their live set includes a funk song with a three-man harmonica solo (“Flapper”), a disco chant with a three-man percussion solo (“The Sun Dance”), a punk song with an eerie dub interlude (“Future”), a three-man finger snap vocal intro (“The Luncheon of the Bloating”), the music from the old Nintendo video game “Super Mario Bros.” and a host of covers that no one else has the talent or gall to play (esp. Van Halen's “Hot for Teacher” and Primus's “Tommy the Cat”). Thos leaves a lasting impression on every audience member.
Although the band has great energy on stage, the real appeal of this band comes in its original songs. All three members are songwriters that offer original compositions written in an eclectic array of styles. Thos is very proud to pay tribute to its wide variety of influences, so expect to hear reggae, hard rock, country, hip-hop, punk, dub, drum & bass, progressive, Latin, and pop blended into authentic original music.
Guitarist/vocalist Scott Smith met drummer Kevin Bowers shortly after he moved to St. Louis from his native Kansas City. The two shared similar musical goals, and quickly began playing, writing and eventually living together. A year passed in which the duo played with more than thirty different bassists — some shirtless, some drunk, and some just downright awful — but Patrick Vogelaar, bassist number thirty-one, finally had the range and experience to complete the sound they were looking for. In the spring of 2001 Thos was officially born. The name was inspired by the caller ID abbreviation for Kevin's father Thomas and, somehow, rings of three (uno, dos, Thos!), but this term was really chosen to be a new word with no meaning. The name Thos would be a blank slate on which the band could attach its own identity.
Thos started earning a reputation as a great live band, and quickly began establishing itself in premier venues like The Pageant, Blueberry Hill, and Mississippi Nights in St. Louis, The Hurricane in Kansas City, and The Elbo Room in Chicago. The band has played before thousands opening for such national acts as Galactic and Antigone Rising at the Blue Note in Columbia, Mo., as well as headlining the prestigious venue thrice.
In the fall of 2003 Thos released a five-song EP called Tahiti 1220 , named for the address of the house in which the members all lived and recorded the project themselves. Although the EP was a good showcase of some of the band's best songs, the recording quality reflected the limited equipment and budget they were working with. It was time for the band to record professionally.
To that end, they found engineer Ryan Smyth, who ended up being the missing piece of the puzzle. Ryan had years of experience recording at Clayton Studios, one of St. Louis' best facilities. He believed in Thos’ music so much that he was willing to offer them a discount recording at Clayton by staying after hours and recording them at the expense of his own free time.
Thos has been recording for most of 2004, with an eleven-song, self-titled debut LP due to hit in September. The unreleased album has already met with positive media response. Three of the songs, “Delbert”, “A Better View”, and “Position Grace”, have been receiving radio airplay on 101.1 The River and 88.1 KDHX in St. Louis, and 91.9 WSIU in Carbondale, IL. The band plans on touring to promote their new album in the fall and through next year, and three years of playing together has given them more than enough material to start recording a second album. The band is finally hitting stride in its career, and opportunities are around every corner. The musicians of Thos will not rest until they've made a substantial contribution to the wonderful body of music that created them.
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