As you might have noticed I really like By A Thread a lot. The first interview I did with them was short before the release of their album ĎThe last of the daydreams.í Since then, a lot of things have happened, just as the release of their 7" on Two Friends Recordings. Therefore I decided to do another interview with them. The first one dealt with some older stuff like their previous band, Strain, but this one is plainly about By A Thread.
The first interview was done with Sean, the guitarist, but who is answering my questions this time?
Hi, this is John Iím the other guitar player/singer. Thanks for taking a chance on our music, we totally appreciate it.
What has changed since the release of ĎThe last of the daydreamsí? I heard that there was a line-up change (supposedly your bassplayer left)? What can you tell me about that?
We have been through 3 bass players since then. Our friend Theo that plays in a punk band from Canada called Gob helped us out for a few months. He came on tour with us but he already had prior commitments to his other band. Then we got Happy, he was with us for 6 months or so, and he decided to start his own band and pursue that. Now we have Steven Fairweather. We are so comfortable with him, it actually feels like when we first started and everything was fresh new and easy to take in. I have a feeling he will be with us till the end.
How did people (the press, fans) react concerning the "Last of..." album?
I think we got a lot of positive reviews, there hasnít been a lot of negativity which is awesome. I listen to that record and I know that we have come a long way since then, I think our next record will be a major improvement from our last. We have learned so much since then.
So do you still like the sound and the songs on that record as you wrote it quite a while ago? Would you do it the same way again or would you change anything?
I think our new songs have more of an edge, we are writing songs with more impact and dynamics so hopefully they will be more interesting then a bunch of ex-girlfriend gabble the last record was all about. I think off hand I would change the production of the record, I think it sounded way too slick, I actually like records that sound raw and real over slick and overdubbed. I guess thatís about it.
How about new songs, did you already finish or even record some? When will you record and who will produce the new record?
We have been writing nonstop for the past year, we have about 10 new songs in the works, we are just finishing them up now. We are really excited and canít wait to get back in the studio and record. Blair Calibaba will probably produce the record with us once again, he is like a father to us so itís really easy work with him again, plus he knows what we like and dislike.
How do the new songs sound like? Will there be any major changes compared to the last record?
I donít think there will be major changes, I think the songs will sound way more mature and heavier at times with more impact and subtleness. We want to sound different than the last record, there is no point in going that same direction. I donít even think we could copy the feel of that record because it was recorded in a time of our lives that we can never duplicate. We have moved on and are putting more thought and heart into our music, we are really excited about our new songs.
Will the record again be out on Landspeed for the Canadian market as well as on Revelation for the rest of the world? Are you satisfied with both labels and the job they did promoting the album?
The record will be on Revelation only, we have broken ties with Landspeed cause things just didnít work out the way we wanted. They didnít really distro our record through Canada so I think itís best to stay with Revelation for our next record. Revelation has been busting their balls for us, as we get ready to tour the US. Jason has been helping get on a tour with other bands for months. There are a few possibilities; we canít wait to get on the road. Record sales have been pretty impressive since we havenít toured extensively in the States for a prolonged time. We are happy with Rev.
You were talking about tours, with which bands have you toured for the album and which countries did you go to?
We have toured across Canada once that was about one month span. We have done a few west coast tours in the past lasting 2 weeks each and we have been out to New York City for the CMJ music festival and played a few shows around that area last September. We are currently trying to figure out a month long tour across North America, so hopefully that will work out soon.
How did that 7" on the German label Two Friends Recordings come into reality? I thought it's quite unusual for an American band to release some stuff on a German label. Are you satisfied with the job they did, the sound of the 7" and the cover/layout and are they friends of yours?
Lars and Sven are good friends of ours; we have been in touch for quite sometime now. We wanted to work with them ever since Lars brought up the idea when he was visiting Vancouver. We are totally satisfied, I mean, the recording is old, way before our record was recorded so itís kind of cool to have some older material out there. They made it look nice and the vinyl sounds awesome. They are great guys.
Will the exclusive song "Tunnel vision" on that 7" also be on the next record? Why did you take two album songs on the 7"? They were re- recorded for that 7", right? Was that the same recording session as "Tunnel vision"?
Those songs were recorded in one session. That recording was actually our demo recording for "The last of the daydreams". We didnít end up using "Tunnel vision" so we thought releasing that as an unreleased song would be cool. We decided to add two more songs from that session and those songs were on the album. We did that recording all live and in one take so itís pretty crazy how it all worked out. It sounds rough but thatís cool.
On the 7" sleeve one can read that the title of the single was inspired by your "trip through Nebraska, the never ending state." What does that mean and how did you come up with the title?
Itís a long story but to make it short: We were on tour last September heading to NYC for the CMJ music showcase. On the way we broke down in a town called Kimball in Nebraska, we thought nothing of it, just a weird little town in the middle of nowhere. We had to stay the night cause the mechanic needed more time on the van. We managed to get on the road again by the next afternoon. And booked it to NY. On the way back home our van started acting up so we pulled over to the side of the road and guess where we were? KIMBALL NEBRASKA! The photos on that 7"s were taken at this old 50s bowling alley, we were the only ones in there all night and it was a Friday night. Crazy stuff dude (indeed Ė Stefan).
What do you think about the almost exploding emo scene with all these great bands just like the Get up Kids, Gameface, Hot Water Music, Jimmy Eat World and of course By A Thread? Which bands do you like from that scene? Would you consider By A Thread as an emo band at all or part of that scene?
I donít consider BAT an emo band, I have always been into emo for over 8 years and donít consider bands like Jimmy Eat World, Get up Kids emo either. To me it sounds like an easy way to classify a band these days, and if a band doesnít have any name to be classified under then they will not be known. We are definitely an old school emo band but I donít see any connection to any of these new bands that have been the icons of this new emo movement (Right, By A Thread are definitely outstanding, and bands like Hot Water Music, Get Up Kids, Gameface, Jimmy Eat World sound all unique, but thereís definitely a bond between these bands in my eyes and that is that they all play emotional music Ė Stefan).
I heard one of you guys works at VW, right? What happens to your jobs when you are on tour? Do you tour during your vacation or do you have to quit your jobs?
I donít work at VW anymore, thatís what happens when you have a passion for something outside of work. Music and Jobs do not mix, you either have to quit your job or risk getting fired. We all need jobs to maintain the band. I think people should support touring bands more because they are putting up all they have to travel around and play music for your judging ears. It takes a lot out of you when you have to keep looking for shitty jobs in order to pay rent and keep playing music. I question myself all the time, "Do I really want to keep doing this, or do I want to get on with my life and settle down?" Thatís the big question, it seems to be getting louder and louder every year I age. But my love for music is dominating everything and without it I would be a wreck. I hope people understand that being in a band is probably one of the hardest passions you can have.
What does the name of the band By A Thread mean? Who came up with it? I heard it's taken from a song, which song is that?
Sean actually came up with the name. It was taken from an Inside Out song called "By a thread" (well, pretty stupid that I didnít know that Ė Stefan). Inside Out has been an inspiration to us ever since we were kids. We thought the name suited our style and us as individuals.
Why didn't you name one song of the last record "The last of the daydreams" as this line is included in one of them? Is that kind of the title track for you?
Sean again came up with that name; we had an assignment, to find a cool name for the record. Sean came up with that after reading the lyrics of "Skin Deep", a song on "The last of the daydreams". The lyric is: "The same position, the last of the daydreams, carry on carry on". It again suited the feel of our record so we chose that.
I guess weíre at the end of the interview, do want to add anything I forgot to ask you?
Iím sorry it took so long to reply, my e mail has been down and I just got it going today. I know, excuses, excuses, but again thank you so much. We hope to make it out to Germany in the New Year for sure. Thanks for listening.