That's awesome that Thom is a fan. I read somewhere that Stanier really enjoyed TKOL.
I first heard of Battles in 2009 from a few friends (musicians) in college. Somehow Battles came up in some discussion, I think it was about Don Caballero-- and they asked if I had heard them. I hadn't and they told me to check them out. I saw the video for "Atlas" and really dug it, then bought Mirrored and EP C/B EP. Add to that Gloss Drop ( I eagerly anticipated it's release and it delivered) and they've become hands down my favorite band.
Finally saw them live October 2011 in Houston. Amazing show. "Africastle" was an awesome way to open the set, the opening swells sounded like a futuristic Ennio Morricone score. Stanier actually hits his kit like drummers should-- loud and precise. "Sundome" was a great closer, even better than on record. The whole time some drunk guy kept asking them to play "SZ2" and "insert Don Caballero song title" which brought out the chuckles. I talked to Dave after the show, didn't see Stanier but shook his hand before the show, and Ian had a huge crowd around him. Asked Dave about his echoplex set up and other gizmos and he showed me how his set up worked. Very cool dude. Definitley can't wait to catch them again and for the next record.