If you’re looking for a new band to soundtrack your summer, then look no further than indie-alt five piece, Thunder Club.
The Baltimore based band, made up of Garrett Cusack (lead vocals), Dennis Chen (guitar, vocals), Pete Burkhardt (guitar, vocals), Conor Johnston (bass, vocals), and John Burkhardt (drums, percussion), have just released their new EP Summer Vice, which is guaranteed to shake up your life.
The three-track EP includes their new single ‘Go Ahead’, a guitar-driven offering laden with infectious hooks and an irresistible summery feel. It’s the type of song you’ll want to play in the car at full volume, with the windows rolled down. The EP also includes ‘Pocketbook’ and ‘Hot Words’, which showcase the band’s versatile sound.
We recently caught up with Thunder Club to discuss ‘Go Ahead’, Summer Vice, touring, Baltimore’s influence, and much more.
How would you describe Thunder Club’s sound in three words?
Energetic, bodacious, and dynamic.
How did the band form?
Long story short…Conor, Garrett and Dennis all went to high school together and played music throughout grade school. Pete was an old friend that also played music with Conor and Garrett throughout their childhood. John, Pete’s brother, began playing with the guys after Pete invited him over for a jam. Ever since then it’s been gravy.
Have you always wanted to be musicians or did you have other career aspirations?
That would be a hard YES. Although, Dennis always saw himself as a local food aficionado.
Congratulations on the release of your new single ‘Go Ahead’, we love it! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Thank you, thank you! It really means a lot that you enjoy our music. There’s a TON of stuff that went into it, but it’s mainly about relationships people go in and out of throughout summer. It’s about capturing those moments with people that you form short, fleeting, but memorable and important bonds with during those couple months. It also helped that we recorded it in the middle of winter as we were all looking forward to summer, that definitely influenced us to have some summer/beachy vibes to our tunes.
How long did it take for the song to come to life?
We got lucky with this one. Pete had a chord progression and Dennis had a real doozy of a riff and it spawned from there. We had the structure for the verse down in less than an hour. It took two weeks to get the rest of the structure put together, and another week or so for Garrett to write the lyrics. All in all, it came together super naturally and relatively quick!
‘Go Ahead’ forms part of your new Summer Vice EP. All three tracks have a different vibe to them – how did you decide which tracks made the EP?
We felt like they were our strongest songs live and wanted to capture our live attitude as best as possible. Those three songs are the best for what we wanted which is to get people moving. They all have the central theme of Summertime behind them – a little bit of chaos, with a dash of romance, and a ton of good times. We feel they show how multifaceted our music can be as all three songs are very different.
We love the EP as a whole but our favorite track is ‘Pocketbook’. Which is yours?
It’s like picking your favorite child, and it’s almost impossible. Although each of us might give a different answer, as a band our favorite definitely has to be “Go Ahead”. It’s such an easy song to get lost into – it’s pretty, it’s groovy, and very easy to connect with.
How is Summer Vice different from your debut self-titled EP?
It’s more mature in sound. We had a better identity as a band coming into the recording of this EP. We had more time to prepare this time around and the overall structure of these songs have a bit more balance to them as opposed to the last EP. The songs are more adventurous in sound and structure.
You’ll be performing an EP release show later this month. What can people expect from a Thunder Club live show?
ENERGY. Pure energy. We love bringing it to the stage, and sharing it with the crowd. We like to party and all we really want is for everyone else in the audience to have a good time dancing and to have a night they won’t forget. This is, until the tequila starts to set in… we’ve really gained a reputation for throwing incredibly fun and engaging shows!
Are there any plans for more live shows soon?
Of course! We’re looking to branch out of Baltimore and have a show lined up in August in Lancaster, PA. We’re also looking to play another Baltimore show in September as well as a DC date that month.
You’re a big part of Baltimore’s music scene and it’s been incredibly supportive of you. How has Baltimore influenced you musically?
Thank you! We absolutely love our home city. One massive influence on us is through the radio station WTMD. They always support local music and give Baltimore bands an incredible platform to promote their music on a broad level. Hearing other Baltimore bands on the radio is always inspiring and influential to us, and the relationships we’ve built with our fellow Baltimore bands make us all a family!
What’s been your band highlight so far?
It’s a tie. Creating, recording and finishing our new EP, ‘Summer Vice,’ and performing our first sell out at the event space at WTMD, which was mind blowing as it was also being broadcasted live from the station.
What would you like to achieve next as a band?
Getting a GRAMMY. But short term would be touring the US and making this a full time thing.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Film a couple music videos, play more shows, and have as much fun as possible! We want as many people to hear the EP as possible and to spread the Thunder Club love!
Summer Vice, which includes ‘Go Ahead’, is available now.