This Hamiltonian blues-rocker believes a life without passion "ain't no life" at all.
After spending the last eight months in Squamish, British Columbia, working with BC Parks on wildlife restoration projects, bluesy-rocker Thomas Duxbury returns to The Steel City with a brand new single, "Ain't No Life".
Reminiscent of iconic 60s blues-rockers, the harmonica-heavy "Ain't No Life" was recorded in BC on a cassette machine.
"My sound and style depends on what each specific song or record calls for," said Duxbury. "For my first record I was aiming for a sort of Black Keys meets Arctic Monkeys kind of vibe, I’m finding my newer stuff I’m drawn to more roots and blues sounds."
Duxbury takes influence from artists like Neil Young, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Eddie Vedder, and The Black Keys.
"I started writing this song in 2020," said Duxbury. "Originally it came from experimenting with new ways of developing songs, this song was written as I was recording the original demo. Trying out drum ideas, moving things around in the form and structure, coming up with ideas to fill up areas that needed something there- for example the harmonica part."
Even though the bones of the single were written back in 2020, it sat on the backburner until 2022.
"It was a process of revising and revising for this song," said Duxbury. "It wasn’t until I started experimenting with recording on a vintage Tascam 424 that I revisited this track. I felt that the sound of that old machine made the song sound how I originally wanted to hear it when I wrote it. It was definitely a tedious process as there are no edits or anything after a take is done, this means that I would have to record each instrument without any mistakes, or I would have to go back and completely re-record everything on that track. Once it was all mixed and everything, I sent it off to Andrew Billone in Hamilton who did an excellent job of mastering this track and getting it all polished and radio ready!"
"Ain't No Life" was inspired by Duxbury feeling forced out of a passion of his, believing as though a life without it isn't truly living at all.
"This song is about a time in my life where I feel I was being manipulated into leaving something I enjoyed," said Duxbury. "I wanted to try and write the last verse in particular as a back and fourth between perspectives in an argument. To conclude with the final chorus saying, “Ain't no life worth living for,” etc. This chorus is basically saying that way of living, you know, taking things out on others, being basically a bully, and maybe even it ain’t no life if you can’t do what you love. It’s open to interpretation."
The musician wants you to chase what fuels you, and hopes that "Ain't No Life" can be the kick-in-the-butt to motivate you.
"If there's something that makes you happy, don’t let anyone sway you otherwise," said Duxbury. "Be who you want to be, don’t let other people tell you who to be. It ain’t no life living for anyone but you! Also, tape machines are kool with a "k"."
Thomas Duxbury's listeners can help support him by following his socials linked below, and by streaming his music on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.