American musician Thurston Moore is widely known as a singer and guitarist for the alternative rock band Sonic Youth. Along with the band, he has scored numerous albums and singles. In addition to his work with Sonic Youth, Moore has released albums as a solo artist, including “Psychic Hearts” (1995), “Trees Outside the Academy” (2007) and “Demolished Thoughts” (2011). He has also taken part in a number of solo and group collaborations and composed original music for such films as “Heavy” (1995), “Bully” (2001) and “Manic” (2001).
Moore is the owner of Ecstatic Peace, a record label based in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Set up in 1981, the label has signed such artists as Hush Arbors, be your own PET, Awesome Color, Black Helicopter, Free Kitten, Tam, Notekillers, Magik Markers, Poor School, Tall Firs, Pagoda, Monotract, Mouthus, and Violent Soho. In 2006, Ecstatic Peace signed a distribution deal with Universal Records.
Moore is married to fellow band member Kim Gordon and they have one child together.
Childhood and Family:
Thurston Joseph Moore was born on June 9, 1984, in Coral Gables, Florida. He grew up in Bethel, Connecticut. He attended Western Connecticut State University, but moved to New York City in early 1976 to join the music scene there. In New York City, he lived in an apartment below artist Dan Graham and they became friends.
On June 9, 1984, Thurston married Sonic Youth bassist/vocalist Kim Gordon (born April 28, 1953). The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Coco Hayley Gordon Moore, on July 1, 1994. The family currently resides in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Thurston Moore began his music career in New York City as part of the hardcore punk band Even Worse, whose members included Jack Rabid, who quickly left the band. He also joined a guitar-based quartet called the Coachmen. It was during his tenure with the later that Moore met future band member Lee Ranaldo, an art student at Binghamton University who was a fan of the Coachmen. After the Coachmen disbanded, Moore became involved with Stanton Miranda, whose band CKM featured local artist Kim Gordon. He and Gordon formed a band and performed under various names before eventually changing their band's name to Sonic Youth in 1981. Moore then invited Ranaldo to join the band.
In March 1982, Sonic Youth released a self titled mini LP on Glenn Branca's label Neutral Records. It was followed by their first studio album, “Confusion Is Sex,” in February 1983 and their second studio effort, “Bad Moon Rising,” in March 1985. Released on the New York independent record label Homestead Records, “Bad Moon Rising” received strong reviews from the underground music press.
Moore and the band resurfaced in May 1986 with “Evol,” which was released on SST Records. It marked the band's first record with new drummer Steve Shelley. Still on SST, they released the follow-up “Sister” in June 1987. The album earned generally positive reviews.
In October 1988, Sonic Youth released the album “Daydream Notion” under Enigma Records in the U.S. and Blast First in the United Kingdom. The album was a critical success and charted at No. 99 on the U.K. Albums chart. The first single, “Teen Age Riot,” peaked at No. 20 on the Modern Rock Tracks.
The band released the album “Goo” on June 26, 1990, under DGC Records, a newly created Geffen sub label. The album rose to No. 32 on the U.K. Albums Chart and became the group's first record to enter the Billboard 200, where it peaked at No. 96. The band's first major label single, “Kool Thing,” charted at No. 7 on the Modern Rock Tracks and No. 81 on the U.K. Singles chart. The band's second album with DGC, “Dirty,” was launched on July 21, 1992. It made the Top 10 on the U.K. Albums Chart (#6) and went to No. 83 on the Billboard 200. The album also gained success in Australia (#22), New Zealand (#5) and Sweden (#26). “Dirty” spawned three hit singles on the U.K. Singles chart with “100%,” “Youth Against Fascism” and “Sugar Kane,” which peaked at No. 28, No. 52 and No. 26, respectively. “100%” also went to No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. The fourth and final single, “Drunken Butterfly,” failed to chart.
On May 10, 1994, Sonic Youth released “Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” The album peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 and charted at No. 10 in the U.K. “Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” produced one of the group's biggest hits, “Bull in the Heather,” which peaked at No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and No. 24 on the U.K. Singles Chart. “Washing Machine” was released on September 26, 1995. It peaked at No. 58 on the Billboard 200 and No. 39 on the U.K. Albums Chart. It yielded one U.K. hit single, “Little Trouble Girl” (#85).
Around the same time, Moore collaborated with Mike Mills of R.E.M., Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, Don Fleming of Gumball, and Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters to create the Backbeat Band, which recorded the soundtrack album to the movie “Backbeat” (1994) and composed the original music for the James Mangold drama “Heavy” (1995). Also in 1995, he released his solo debut album “Psychic Hearts” on Geffen Records.
Moore was reunited with members of Sonic Youth for the album “A Thousand Leaves,” which was released on May 12, 1998. It peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard 200 and No. 32 on the U.K. Albums chart. The single “Sunday” charted at No. 72 in the U.K. The same year, he also played on the soundtrack of the film “Velvet Goldmine” as a member of Wylde Ratttz, along with The Stooges' Ron Asheton, his Sonic Youth band mate Steve Shelley, Minutemen's Mike Watt, Gumball's Don Fleming, Mark Arm of Mudhoney, and Jim Dunbar. On January 19, 1999, Moore released “Root,” a multimedia project based around 25 one minute guitar pieces, under the London based label Lo Recordings.
Sonic Youth resurfaced with the album “NYC Ghosts & Flowers” on May 16, 2000. It peaked at No. 113 on the U.K. Albums Chart and No. 172 on the Billboard 200. The single “Nevermind (What Was It Anyway)” was released in Germany. 2001 found Moore composing original music for the films “Bully” and “Manic.” The following year, he was reunited with Sonic Youth for the album “Murray Street,” which was released on June 25, 2002. It rose to No. 77 on U.K. Albums Chart and No. 126 on the Billboard Top 200. The album marked the group's first album to feature Jim O'Rourke as an official member. The same year, Moore was featured on “Kapotte Muziek,” a project by Frans de Waard, Peter Duimelinks and Roel Meelkop.
Sonic Youth's next album, “Sonic Nurse,” was released on June 8, 2004, on Geffen/Interscope. It peaked at No. 64 on the Billboard Top 200 and was followed by “Rather Ripped” on June 13, 2006, and “The Eternal” on June 9, 2009. Meanwhile, Moore also worked on various projects outside of Sonic Youth. In 2006, he released “Weapons Of Ass Destruction” as part of the Diskaholics Anonymous Trio, alongside [Jim O'Rourke and Mats Gustafsson. It was their second album after their self titled debut in 2001. On September 18, 2007, Moore released a solo album titled “Trees Outside the Academy” on his own label, Ecstatic Peace. It was his second solo project since 1995. The album debuted at #6 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. The same year, he also released a free improvisation album titled “The Roadhouse Session Vol.1,” as well as an album with Original Silence called “The First Original Silence.” In 2008, Moore released another album with Original Silence called “The Second Original Silence.” Moore next launched an acoustic rock album titled “Demolished Thoughts” on May 24, 2011.