We had the good fortune of connecting with Harry Thynne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Harry, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I feel like I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve given up? I have kept going and given up and then kept going again and given up again. I guess it’s a broad concept? Most of my pursuits in life falter at points and the question of purpose and persistence rears its head. I’ve done my best to not completely lose my mind (mostly) but I think it is important to process these moments in whatever way works for you. Ideally questioning things only leads to deeper understanding. Ideally. Frustratingly, I often find myself thinking my way both in and out of things sometimes… too much overthought is exhausting and kinda pointless. But if there’s an “other side” of that static place, then sometimes moments of overthought can also be useful? And the digging deep part happens and then you feel great about things again and on you trot. My best advice is that it gets easier. The more self-aware I’ve tried to be about my thoughts and behaviour, the easier planning and action has become. The less I pull apart something I actually really enjoy. The more I let go and the more fun it is. I guess by its nature, perseverance is a kind of willful ignorance at times? The choice to persevere when all signs say stop can be like an addiction. Gambling comes to mind… gambling with our time. But by contrast, it’s also fair to say that a life given to the pursuit of something you love or that you find meaningful, regardless of any material or desired outcome, is still a life well lived in my view. I think it’s usually outward pressure that gives way to second-guessing ourselves. Nowadays I prefer to say screw the outcomes whenever I can. Just try to be the happiest version of me and with work, all the good things will hopefully fall into place. We can’t do much better than that I guess? I’ve had both the good luck and the misfortune of finding music at a young age. And once I started performing I realized I had got the bug and was hooked. But, it wasn’t until later in life that I really started to question what I was doing and whether I should change course and try something else. I really tried to unpack it. I found that it’s hard for me to pursue anything else because nothing else I’ve found feels as meaningful a use of my skillset. So I’d reflect that, for someone in my position, the idea of giving up is almost moot. Because, where else would I go? So in less than a million words, I’d say I just try not to give up completely. A little bit of giving up is cool. But then come back swinging and you’ll see yourself at the start again all full of piss and vinegar and ready to keep going. In short, just don’t give up.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
How did I get to this point?
I suppose it’s fair to say that the efforts that brought my career to this point today were a combination of relentless persistence and just dumb luck. Obviously, the support I’ve received from friends and family over the years is inimitable. But if you were to look at my actions and the personal trip I feel like there’s been as much serendipity as there were plans falling into place. Any career in the arts is usually a mixture of these things. Moving to LA was an amazing opportunity and changed my life. After that, a lot of touring, recording and just making a life in that place made it home to me. So much about what I value in life is not just linked to ‘the work’ it’s also the relationships. Everybody knows LA is a hard place to build community or at least to find it enduring. But I feel I did the best I could and I’m lucky to have the life I do there. It became home despite being an unintentional immigrant. Obviously, COVID has shaken that notion of “home” for me. These days ‘the work’ is the most important thing now. The world got its arse kicked and now we gotta fight for what we are after. I suppose it’s good to have a fire lit up under us, the overwhelming cost notwithstanding. Here is a good place to be. But yes, I’m only trying to be hopeful.
What sets me apart/excites me?
It’s hard for me to see myself as “apart” so much of what I’ve achieved and what excites me about music is thanks to its collaborative spirit. As a drummer primarily I usually find myself in a supportive role – which I Love. Teasing ideas out of someone’s head and fumbling through the uncertainty to finding ourselves throwing it all out on the stage is a real trip. But performing live is really the best part. Connecting with an audience and ‘leaving it all on the field’ is what gets me out of bed. Even if I’ve got the shits, performing live changes everything. I feel so much better. Without it this last year has been pretty weird at times. I find a lot of performers out there are not that into it? Usually younger or greener people. But they seem to just get through it as a necessity for the job. I dunno..? I don’t understand it. I’m definitely a performer first. That’s what got me into it in the first place.
What challenges did you overcome?
So without a doubt, the hardest and most persistent challenge for me (and I think all of us) has been self-doubt. In all its insidious ways it creeps in and out of my head and leaves its track marks everywhere. I hate it. I don’t think for a second I’ve overcome self-doubt. It’s just there. I think I’ve tried to just accept that it will be a part of everything and the more I mock it or myself the less powerful it is. That said it’s wayyyyy easier Sid than done. I certainly haven’t sorted that one out. Do let me know if you have any ideas? Secondly, I’d say that managing to move from Australia was a huge hurdle and not one many people realize how hard is to achieve. Not just getting out, but making a life here in LA. Making something to come back to has been a huge achievement in my life. When I moved to LA I knew two people, I had no job I had never owned a drivers license. LA changed a lot of things for me and even when I hate it most, I have to concede that I’m grateful and consider myself incredibly lucky.
What do I want the world to know about what I do?
I always have a few irons in the fire. I’ve never wanted to be only known for one thing. What I’m working on now, maybe very different next time I’m asked this question. But I think this should be a rollicking good time! Whatever it is. I’m at the very least trying to make what I do enjoyable by some metric. Don’t let my over-wrought blabber in this article be any indicator. I’d invite you to come see me perform sometime. It may not be your vibe and that’s ok. But that’s the most genuine I can be.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Ok well, I guess it’s a pretty predictable/simp answer but really the friends and family that have stuck with me are really the ones I owe it to. If you got in my face and pushed me to pull my finger out, or do better, think differently and help me see myself when I couldn’t I can’t thank you enough. I would be such a different person were it not for some special people I’ve been really lucky to have around me for most or some of my life. Relationships have always been my touchstone and characters have always fascinated me. Everyone has something to teach you right? Old friends or music people or foodies of just weirdos I met on set some time. If you left a mark, I am grateful. Even if we never spoke again. I kinda view my life as a sort of slow-burn experiment. So I try to take my time with how I process things and how I make things. I like to immerse and really be in my experience sometimes. Often to my detriment. But I find the richest feelings are reflected in my relationships. Oh and food. Food is everything. Friends who food with me. Thank you. I love you. You get me the most.
Other: Artist insta: @andyclockwise @natswhatireckon @petewilde