What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would have probably studied harder at school if I had my time again. That said, I don’t have any regrets because we can only live in the moment and look forward to the future and learn from our past!
Who inspires you and why?
Countless musicians inspire me… everyone from Keith Jarrett, through to Joni Mitchell, to the rock band Weezer and too many more to mention in a short time – for their amazing musical contributions to the Earth. That said, I think the greatest inspiration has come from my parents, who were always so supportive when I was showing an interest in playing instruments at a young age.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would probably somehow prohibit social media from ever being a thing. I just feel like too many people are addicted to it and although it’s got so many great points to it, it also wastes a HUGE amount of time. But yeah, I don’t know, it’s too big a question. If we could work out how to get along better, that would work well. And I’m not talking about just one or two people having a disagreement: I’m more referring to how countries can go from peace to war times. But humans are only human and that’s in our nature. I can’t see this changing any time soon, sadly.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
Sounds nuts but as someone who travels quite a bit, being home is like a holiday sometimes! I go to my place in LA sometimes when I’ve finished a tour and just catch up on sleep, go down to the local shop and grab a coffee, and look at the verdugo mountains out of a window. No planes to catch, nowhere to need to be, no gig on, I also just fire up my good speakers and listen to an album or two that I haven’t heard for a long time. That’s a nice holiday!
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I think when I’m in Australia, Sydney Harbour is pretty breathtaking. It’s got so many vantage points, and my two favourite would probably be the Opera Bar (around the Opera House, looking back at Circular Quay, with the Opera House on the other side), or the views from McMahon’s point, from the north side of the Harbour Bridge, but smack bang side on view of that, with the city skyline perfectly situated behind and around it, with a big expanse of water acting as its own reflective floor to the scene. And particularly that view is far enough away to get the whole panorama in in one field of view for the human eye!
What are you currently reading?
Last night I was reading a PDF of a knitting pattern that I bought online for my Mum for Mother’s Day, it seems quite complicated to me, and I would definitely drop a stitch if I even attempted the first few stitches on it. I bought it from a site called www.ravelry.com – which is sort of a combination of Pinterest and eBay for fibre artists!
What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been listening to Dan Carlin’s Blueprint For Armageddon in his Hardcore History podcast, and also been listening to Thirsty Merc’s mastering of a new album we are planning to put out. Oh yeah and last night I chucked on a bit of Cheap Trick which was hilarious and fun while getting dinner with my Girlfriend. The song was If You Want My Love, which is classic sounding stuff!
Letting things be, being able to let go of things that worry you, and letting yourself be ok with things. It takes patience and acceptance. That’s hard a lot of the time but in those moments where those elements are in balance, I definitely feel happiness. I feel happy to know that I’m alive and that in itself is a gift.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m going on tour with Joe Satriani in September for a huge US Tour. I can’t wait for that one. Also, my band and I are touring up until that point all around Australia and I truly hope to get a few more gigs in with my friend Ben Vanderwal (who I’m playing with at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.)
Rai explores his musical beginnings and the quiet side of jazz in an evening of ballads, jazz standards, and classics from the great American songbook in The Quiet Side of Rai Thistlethwayte at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival on Thursday 16 June 2022. For more information, visit: www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Rai Thistlethwayte – photo by Riccardo Raiti