thoughtsandnotions.jpgLIVEtheLIFE Magazine is happy to be corresponding with up-and-coming Filipino-Christian band Thoughts and Notions. Thoughts And Notions is a pop-rock band in the tradition of Jars Of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer.

With a sound that hearkens back to Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer, this band, which started out as a a fund-raising project between friends, now has a debut album out (Thoughts And Notions: In Awe of his Amazing Love, distributed by Praise Music). Cuts from the album include My Love Song and Earthbound Angel.

LTLM: Tell us about how Thoughts and Notions started.
Jasper Tan (chief lyricist): Thoughts And Notions started as a fund-raising project. We actually had no intentions in taking this project seriously except to just record, produce, and sell the album in church and to our friends with the proceeds of the sale going to our church’s youth group. I used to be our church youth group’s worship leader and Thrina (lead vocalist) was one of our music ministry singers. Wilbert Tan, who originally was a big part of the band, also was a part of the music ministry team. After years of playing other people’s songs, we decided to write our own songs and dragged along Thrina to the project. I was the lyricist, Wilbert would provide the musical arrangements. And Thrina would be our vocalist.

When our church mates and peers prodded us to send a copy of the CD to Praise Music. Not long after they offered us a distribution contract. Since by then, we were obliged to bring our music to a live audience, we decided to audition additional members especially since Wilbert would be leaving us for another band. That where the rest of the guys would come in.

LTLM: How do you write your songs? What process do you follow?

Jasper: I always write the lyrics first since I don’t know how to play any instruments. And then I try to surf through my influences and tell Wilbert what my idea of the sound would be (the first album was basically me and Wilbert doing the songwriting chores.) I’m such a lyrics person. I always regard the lyrics as the heart and soul of a song. For the second album, I intend to do the same, except that this time, the rest of the band can also pitch in and write their own songs. I will also try to keep the songwriting partnership with Wilbert going. Maybe one to three songs. The rest would be a collaborative effort between the rest of the band and me, as well as their own compositions. I’m thinking of making it 50-50 contributions.

LTLM: You claim Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer among your influences. How do secular and Christian artists influence your sound? Alvin Carreon (bassist): They inspire us, so, yes, they have an impact on our music.

Thrina (vocalist): We fit our music to (pop and Contemporary Christian music) with our positive message.

Jasper: I’m a fan of Rivermaya, a Filipino pop-rock band. I also enjoy female-fronted Filipino bands, as well as Coldplay and other Brit bands. It is a lot of help in terms of the influence because we more or less know what type of songs are clicking in the market. Since we would want to share God’s good news to a lot of people, we make it a point to write songs that we feel would be catchy enough to warrant attention from Christians and non-Christians. Our type of music is actually so wide that we cannot even put it in a box. We would just like to forcefully call it power pop.

LTLM: What song are you currently servicing to local radio? How are you promoting it?
Alvin: We’re promoting Savior, Earthbound Angel, My Love Song and Brand New Day during our gigs by guesting on radio stations.

Thrina: My Love Song is pretty catchy because of its upbeat and unique tune. Earthbound Angel is the most well-known song from our album so far because of its inspiring love-tinged lyrics and acoustic tune. Brand New Day‘s alternative pop sound is nice to listen to. We released Savior to Christian stations because it’s somewhat of a worship song.

LTLM: Two less serious questions. Name a guilty pleasure.

: I am a computer addict! Shhh…

Jasper: I also write sappy love songs and brokenhearted songs.

LTLM: What flavors of ice cream are you?

Alvin: Chocolate, vanilla and halo-halo.

Tim: Vanilla.

Adonis (Drummer): I’d say Rocky Road because my life is full of obstacles but it’s sweet because God is on my side.

Thrina: Vanilla. Simple but sweet!

LTLM: Tell us about your individual ministries.

Alvin: I try my best to be in the local ministry of our church.

Tim: The Band.

Adonis: Right now, I’m currently playing bass guitar in our church band.

Jasper: I lead a unit in our church’s singles group.

LTLM: What are your favorite Bible verse and why?

Tim: Matthew 6:13a, its prayer to escape temptation and trouble.

Thrina: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers” (1Timothy 4:12) This verse inspires me to do what is right and fight for what I believe in.LTLM: We’re so thrilled to have had this time with you guys. Any last words for our readers?

Alvin: Enjoy what you have now because you never know what the future might bring.

Tim: Please support original Filipino Contemporary Christian music!

Thrina: Always believe in yourself and Support the local Christian bands!

Jasper: I’m asking everyone to support all OPM CCM bands. The CCM genre is already big in other countries, let’s make it as big as theirs here in our country. Do buy our album, not only us, but to every OPM Christian band that you know. We could really need your help to keep our ministry going.

Check out Thoughts and Notions’ interview at The Spirit Radio site (online Christian music radio station) here.
Visit their website here, their blog site here, and email them here.