A deep love for the music of Jim Morrison was the seed that blossomed into Seattle alt-rock trio, Asterhouse. Earliest memories for brothers John and Russel Thornburg are of their mother playing The Doors records at home. Older brother, John, developed a reputation for belting out “adult-themed” Doors songs at children’s parties before his parents decided drum lessons would be a better way to challenge his growing love of music. Four years younger than John, Russ Thornburg got his first guitar at age 5 and the two have been making music together ever since.
Today, making music with Julia Posada, the third member of Asterhouse, is a joyful experience for the Thornburgs. For John, this joy is especially precious because it comes after a 10-year struggle with depression and OCD. During these years, John felt like he was in a coma. There were times when Russ wondered if continuing to perform was good for John, but he realized that it was the music that was carrying him through.
It is this firsthand experience with darkness that drives much of John’s songwriting. He wants people who may be experiencing their own version of this hell to understand that he has been where they are and he has survived. Some songs are desolate, revisiting the experience and others are more hopeful – an invitation to enjoy life again.
The Thornburg brothers are very close. That’s immediately evident. They are also close to the ever present but mostly silent Julia who slayed his own demons growing up. Their collective experience has delivered Asterhouse to a place where they make music on their own terms. They also don’t take themselves too seriously even though their songs invite deep exploration of painful places.
Most of all, Asterhouse offers an invitation: Come with us. Everything is going to be ok. Eventually.
Like a familiar and favorite long-sleeved shirt, the Seattle power rock group, Asterhouse, drapes its listeners in solid northwest style. The band's guitar, bass and drums both harken to the glory days of Emerald City punk music and point to a new potential for ethereal rhythmic prowess.
Each time the three members - vocalist John Thornburg, lead guitarist Russ Thornburg and bassist Julia Posada - plug in to play, they’re out to prove something to you. Whether ripping off a lighting lead lick or carrying your ear through a sweet acoustic pluck, Asterhouse aims to impress you note after note, night after night, breaking into new territory just to tell you about it.
The summer of 2018 saw the three-piece release their latest LP, The Dead Victorians, an at times relentless showcase of musicianship and at others a thoughtful display of creativity. Mixing cello with guitar and snappy snares, the record proves again that Asterhouse exists to shake up the contemporary music scene.
To complement their new record, the band has released a stalwart video for their lead single, “Mother Nature,” a track about undying energy and working toward a success that inspires the heart. --Jake Uitti