INTERVIEW: Thomas Corpse – Jess and the Ancient Ones

Finnish band JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES have made waves in the world of rock and metal since their self-titled debut in 2012. Kick-starting their careers in the realm of NWOBHM, JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES quickly developed their own unique style and have become one of the most exciting new bands to keep your eye on. With their new album The Horse and Other Weird Tales recently released, we chat to Thomas Corpse about it and the style they’ve made us all fall in love with.

First of all, many thanks for taking the time out of your day to speak with Distorted Sound, how are you?

Thomas: I’m all fine and dandy. Just woke up a few hours ago, and been drinking coffee and listening through my vinyl collection. Sunday, Sunday…

The Horse and Other Weird Tales has just been released, how is the reception going for you?

Thomas: It’s been received with smile and joy, so I think it’s all good. Really psyched to get to play them new tunes live. Lovely!

Your lyrical concept is based on the personal occult experiences of yourselves, can you expand a little more into that and what inspired the new album?

Thomas: For years and years my mental set was one coloured in a way, and these days all the colours run free. My search for the left hand path finally led me to the message of love, and so the lyrics come out as eerie hippy lyrics? I just let it go when writing lyrics, and pour my subconscious on paper.

You very clearly draw inspiration from the more mature side of rock and heavy metal. In an era where music is constantly developing and evolving can it feel a little more difficult to reach people when you’re embracing the classic?

Thomas: I love that certain raw honesty in them old albums, and don’t care too much about super produced albums of today. It’s too flawless for my taste. I love to hear when the fuzz cracks up, or the vocals distort in high screams etc. Music used to have more soul in it. I think people miss it, but don’t even realise it. But when they hear that good old music, they immediately feel it in a different way.

Can you tell me more on how the unique sound for JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES come about, it is very old-school but it has got a lot of its own twists and turns?

Thomas: It’s a mixture of everything we love I guess. Surf, garage, psychedelic, jazz, rhythm & blues, soul, etc. We are not afraid to try out different ways, as no idea is too wild. It’s all about the groove and the soul, with thoughtful lyrics.

You’ve gone from initially a seven piece to a five piece, has the transitioning made it hard for some of the older material? 

Thomas: It has, as in the early stages of the band, we had a ton of NWOBHM in our sound. Twin guitar harmonies here and there you know. That older material needs to be arranged again in order to play them live. Sulfur Giants is a very requested song still today, and I think that in some point we will take it to our set. We’ll see.

What’s next for JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES?

Thomas: Shows coming up, so some fine parties await ahead. Also, new material is already taking it’s form. 2018 will be a busy year for us!

Thank you for your time and your new album is absolutely incredible. Hope you are enjoying the glory of its release.

Thomas: Thank you for this chat and support. Really lovely to hear that you have enjoyed the album!Much love <3

The Horse and Other Weird Tales is out now via Svart Records.

Like JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES on Facebook.

Jessica Howkins

Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.