It's rare nowadays to see a musician as hardworking and committed to their craft as Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat. Having played as a session musician and tour band member for Suicidal Tendancies, Erykah Badu and Flying Lotus, amongst others. The Los Angeles Bass Player surprised everyone in 2011 when he released a solo record on Lotus' Brainfeeder label, The Golden Age Of Apocalypse, revealing him to be a star in his own right. Last year he put out his second album, Apocalypse, which featured one of the year's finest tracks 'Heartbreaks + Setbacks' and paid tribute to his close friend and collaborator Austin Peralta, who tragically passed away in November 2012.
As the rain eventually dies off and the clouds begin to reveal some drying sun-rays, we trudge through the muddy fields of Parklife to a tour bus which is currently the residence of Thundercat and Flying Lotus. We catch a brief glimpse of FlyLo, as the Bass player puts on his shoes, and he joins us in the temporary dressing room that has been constructed for him.
I was recently talking to Gaslamp Killer and he told me a story that involves you...
Oh crap! (Laughs)
He told me that when he goes on tour with you, his priority is always about freshening up and getting fed before a show, whereas you just get your bass out and start practicing.
"When I go on tour with Thundercat, as soon as we land, I'm over here taking a shower, I'm changing my clothes, I'm trying to look good, I want to make sure I time my dinner right so I'm not on stage feeling all gross. Thundercat doesn't give a fuck. He didn't take off his socks that he'd been wearing for three days, he just sat down took his bass out and started practicing."
I've been on the road for a long time. I guess that's the best way to explain that! I appreciate Gaslamp's compliments and stuff. It's very hard to be an instrumentalist nowadays, for anybody. If that's your sole income or that's what you do, it has to be for the love of what you do because you're not always going to make it. You still have to keep certain consistency. I also consider every time I'm on stage, practicing, it's almost like playing as hard and fast as you can every night.
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