David Thomas approaches life on his own terms.

David Thomas approaches life on his own terms.

This includes everything from making music — as frontman and creative force behind influential Cleveland bands like Rocket from the Tombs and Pere Ubu, Thomas has amassed a deep, consistently thrilling catalog — to his dealings with the media.

In a recent email interview, Thomas, 61, who is scheduled to give a “performance talk” sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies at the Ohio State University on Friday, Feb. 27, refrained from discussing his early years in Cleveland (“I don't live in the past. I am not nostalgic.”), revealed his distaste for modern technologies like cell phones and television (“I am fed up with the monkeys and strippers who cavort thru these media.”), and touched on the absolute freedom granted by his advancing years (“I am free because I have reached the age where I don't give a hoot about what anyone else thinks.”).

In response to a question about his generally apocalyptic view of the music industry, the musician/writer/actor responded, “I can't go on. I don't have the time and I am exhausted. I am in the middle of a 17 hour drive and I just can't deal with this anymore. Sorry.” The final few questions, appropriately, were left unanswered.

Fortunately, there were a handful of gems and revelations scattered among the inquiries that did catch his fancy, including word he’s planning new albums from both Rocket from the Tombs and Pere Ubu (yes!). Thomas also discussed the forces that drive him to create, which remain unaltered from the first time he stepped onstage.

“The world changes, Pere Ubu doesn't,” he wrote. “I am not motivated to create. I am motivated to solve problems, to bring order to chaos, sense to nonsense. I observe human beings and their landscape and see the stories and, as much as possible, I clinically describe what I see. I am a journalist.”

Expect Thomas to take a similarly unflinching tact when he visits campus for a lecture and solo performance (at the time of the interview he was unsure what form this might take), which will in all likelihood be devoid of any kind of audience participation.

“I don't do dialogue,” Thomas wrote. “It's strictly monologue with me: One-way traffic.”

[Photo: Music_Preview_DavidThomas_CreditRobertAllen_0226]