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Spreading his wings: Ex-Swans dummer tours with Thor & Friends

Thor Harris doesn’t sit still for too long.

In fact, the Austin, Texas-based musician is in Los Angeles working with a friend on his coming album.

“It’s nice to change the scenery on a regular basis,” he says during a recent phone interview.

Harris is gearing up to head out on the road with his new band, Thor & Friends.

The instrumental band rotates band members depending on the stop on tour. Joining Harris in the core are Peggy Ghorbani and Sarah Gautier.

The trio is heavily influenced by minimalist composers, and the songs are built around the marimba and xylophone.

This year, the band released its self-titled album, which was also recorded in Albuquerque.

Harris worked with A Hawk and a Hacksaw’s Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost.

“I love Albuquerque,” he says. “Our band has a really strong connection to Albuquerque. Jeremy and Heather live there, and that’s where we all got together to record the album.”

Harris says the basics were recorded in about three days and then Barnes and Trost did the overdubbing.

“We sent mixes back and forth,” he says. “The three of us live in Austin, and it’s a collaborative effort. I don’t micromanage what Jeremy and Heather felt with producing the album. I don’t want to exert too much control over what people contribute to it.”

Being in Thor & Friends is refreshing for Harris. For years, Harris was the drummer for the band Swans, and everything was very structured.

After taking a break from Swans, Harris thought about doing something less structured and Thor & Friends was born.

The trio travels across the country performing and is known to hire a local musician to perform with them during each stop.

“This way, it’s always a different show,” he says. “There’s always the element of surprise that the new member will bring. It’s thrilling to get on stage and see what comes out of the partnership.”