Influence: Thor Harris

Swans are playing Brooklyn tonight, and I'm not there!  But I'll certainly blog about another one of my influences, percussionist Thor Harris.  He embodies the creative resourcefulness I aspire to. 

Harris is a survivor of depression, which I am not, but I am deeply moved by this video from the Mental Health Network in which he describes coming out on the other side.  "The secrecy is so potentially lethal," he says, regarding going public about his mental health issues.  His keys to survival: exercise, accepting love, and creative expression, in particular, "making things."  This guy invented the freak flag and flies it all the time.  And there are dogs everywhere, so he had me at hello. 

He is a proponent of keeping down the overhead, like all my favorite creatives.  Check out his advice for living like a king, with pragmatic morsels like "7. Learn to fix things.  Tons of great books and youtube vids on fixing anything.  Or ask an old dude.  People used to fix things.  No shit."

How can you not love this dude, especially when he says his key to success has been cold-calling the musicians he likes and asking if he can play drums for them.  Amanda Palmer, and Bill Callahan (aka Smog), and of course Swans, among others.  What a diverse list!

And of course, the music itself.  Here's a morsel of Swans.  It's religious.