Walking up to his front door, music is flowing from inside – two different tracks muddle into one sound and we know we’re about to enter a musician’s den. Thor greets us and invites us into his wonderfully neat, albeit eclectically arranged room, amassed with strange artworks, vinyls, recording equipment and knick-knacks of all sorts. As he sifts through his wardrobe, picking outfits for Jono to shoot him in, I begin our conversation by asking him to show us the difference between ‘everyday Thor’ and ‘on-stage Thor’. He responds with a chuckle, “Well, it’s a very blurred line; it’s the same thing, essentially.”
I soon learn that his idiosyncratic style is not an act, but rather a natural extension of who he is as an artist and what he’s like as a person. His cupboard consists of mostly secondhand clothes that is constantly being recycled as he gives items away regularly. And it’s from this ever-changing closet that he ‘styles’ himself in what he feels like wearing, apropos to the event he’s playing. He tells us about his CTEMF performance, when Andy Esterhuizen and Matt Rightford (who performed with Thor, dressed as Thor) came to his place to get ready for the gig. “They all came here before and we got wigs and I took all the stuff I would wear out of my cupboard for them to choose from. I just recently gave all those things away – the dreadlocks and the hats.” He shows us his dreads, remnants from the ‘fuk bread’ video, which he keeps in a jar on his shelf, so I take this opportunity to ask him about the inspiration behind the unitard. He tells me that they were just looking for a uniform to bring it all together, and the only thing the costume hire had five of were the leotards, so they just went with it.
After he’s dressed himself in an outfit, I ask him about how his style has evolved over time in relation to his music. “I’ve matured,” he says, “in the beginning, when I first released music, and there was an image to accompany that music, it was a little bit over the top. Whereas now I’m getting a little bit older and I’m toning it down and creating more of a focused aesthetic.” Then, he asks us if we want a sneak peak of his new music video for ‘The Clown’ (which has since been released) and he plays it for us. Immediately there are correlations to be drawn with his ‘fuk bread’ video; the unitard makes a comeback, and the video is also shot in one-take, though the tone and intention behind the piece has shifted towards something a little more weighted. “We wanted to do a sort of follow up from ‘fuk bread’ [...] and I wanted to do something that was maybe a little more politically charged that touches on society in some way. But when it comes out I’m going to do this thing where I’m not going to say anything about it and leave it open for interpretation.”
Probing a bit deeper, I bring up how fashion can impact cultural norms, and ask him about his ideas around how an artist’s image can help to break down those norms: “I don’t really typically think about that sort of thing, but what you wear is a big statement, you know? You can’t really choose the body that you occupy but you can choose the things that you wear and that’s like a controlled expression. And there’s a lot of power in it - to be able to put whatever you want on and to have the courage to flaunt it when the world, or people, might judge you for it.”
Thor’s music is the way he expresses his view of the world, and, ultimately, his aesthetic comes from the same place. It is comprised of what he feels comfortable in, the objects he finds in his surroundings, and whatever his wonderfully creative, spontaneous mind might conjure up.