Sarah, Ronnie, Johnny, Duncan and Matt are the five musicians who make up incredible band The Thinking Men.

The Thinking Men

The Thinking Men

We got the opportunity to put some questions to Sarah Raspin, who plays keyboard and provides vocals in the band. Find out what she had to say below...

For those who haven't yet heard your music, how best would you describe yourself as an artist?

I tend to describe the music as alternative rock because that covers quite a broad range of sounds and leaves space for people to draw their own conclusions. In terms of style, I would say that we're quite guitar-driven and lyrically narrative, we enjoy telling stories around the darker aspects of life - it keeps things interesting.

Where do you draw inspiration and influence from for your work?

Musically, two of our biggest influences are Tom Waits and Nick Cave, but we have quite a diverse range of musical tastes in the band and we all come from quite different creative backgrounds.

Personally, I am a huge fan of the Doors and that definitely influences my keyboard playing, but everyone brings something different to the table. For example, John loves literature, which often influences the way we tell stories with our songs and Ronnie reads and writes poetry, so usually has an influence on the lyrics. Duncan listens to loads of BBC Radio 6 Music so always seems up-to-date with new music and sends through things that he thinks we should be listening to, and Matt loves finding really technical drummers to draw inspiration from for new things to incorporate into his own beats - he would happily sit and watch hours of pure drumming. I can't think of anything worse!

How important is creative control for you when it comes to your material?

Creative control is extremely important to us. It's kind of key when it comes to transforming what interests you into music.

Can you tell us a little bit about the creative process behind your new EP?

Usually an individual comes up with an idea and then brings it to the band. Getting five people in a room to come to some kind of agreement is difficult, but very rewarding when it happens. It's sometimes upsetting when a song doesn't go the way you wanted it to, but you have to learn to do what's best for the song rather than what you want. Five heads are better than one when it comes to these kind of things.

If you could work with anybody in the industry, who would you choose and why?

That depends on whether they have to be alive? I would have loved to have spent just a few minutes with Ray Manzarek and soaked up some of that talent, and to have worked with Amy Winehouse would have been a dream, I've always been a huge fan of hers. In terms of current artists though, it would be amazing to work with Brittany Howard out of Alabama Shakes - she has such an incredible presence on stage - and Sia because I adore her voice.

Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career going forward?

The only solid aims I have are to keep enjoying the music that I play and to continue developing as an artist. There is a real desire within the band to earn a living playing music together and push forward onto a more professional level, but there is also a hunger to keep improving, both in terms of our sound and our performance - I think it's important that we never lose this drive.

What would you say are some of your favourite aspects of your career in the industry?

Playing live shows. We are definitely a band whose life blood flows from playing live. As performers, we do our jobs best when we're standing in front of our fans.

What else should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?

More songs and more shows. We're constantly writing and plan to saturate the UK and perhaps other parts of Europe in the future. In order for people to fully understand The Thinking Men, you need to see us.

Keep up-to-date with The Thinking Men on their official website www.thethinkingmen.co.uk and on their Twitter, @TheThinkingMen


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