Interview With Thread Mill
Interview With Thread Mill – The Montreal Duo has half their lineup in attendance for this special ChuckW.Com interview. Today’s chat is in anticipation of Thread Mill’s new Single, ‘Haze’. Haze will be out March 26, 2021.
Thread Mill is the brainchild of Montreal, Quebec resident Ariane Sisavath.
An Indie-Folk musician for as many years as countable, Ari made the switch to Electronic music once she understood the concept of a D.A.W. One would be hard-pressed to find any sort of audible gap between time spent splitting genres, or a relatively ‘short’ time spent producing on her own in her current style.
While leading Thread Mill at the present, she’s insistent that the group would not have existed if not for musician P-L hopping in. P-l being the other half of Thread Mill.
The forthcoming single, “Haze,” is a trippy, breathy track, which will be available on all streaming platforms on March 26th, 2021. Please be double, then triple sure to pre-save the tune right here.
It’s my pleasure to have the TM Machine, or Thread Mill semi-live and not quite direct with us today to discuss their new single, music, inspiration, gear and random shtuff!
Thanks for sitting down with me today, Thread Mill. I very much enjoyed listening to ‘Haze’. I need to commend you on a track wickedly produced. *hi five!
Hey! Thanks a lot for having me! “Sitting” with you today, what a pleasure! And well, thank you very much for your kind words about ‘Haze.’ It’s a track I am particularly proud of in the end. The final outcome is very satisfying for me. AND! *hi five back at you! P-L is the other half of Thread Mill, it’s worth repeating. Unfortunately, since COVID-19 restrictions are preventing him from being here I’ll be filling in on the chit chat. He’d love to be here! But, never was much the talker. More the laid-back, low-profile type of guy.
I feel like you really flexed your production abilities on this track, no matter how much you may argue with me on this fact 😛 – However, the change at 0:57 proves me correct. What would you attribute most to this arp-y, dream-y change?
I would say I went for something that would feel… Hypnotic. I wanted the arps to be parts of the track that fade in, then out. Similar to race, where you keep finding yourself back at the start.
The transition that follows back to verse is seamless. Almost confusing!
With its subtlety it almost glides. Can you speak to how you created this sonic quality?
Since I started producing music as Thread Mill, what I have been really fond of is simplicity. As P-L and I are truly simple folks, we want our music to reflect who we are. See, this track has the exact same chord progression for the verses and the chorus.’ Only they are exploited in different ways.
This repetitive but different approach to the songs structure can definitely attribute to that ‘confusing’ element mentioned.
I like to see how one single line can become many different versions of itself (if that makes any sense at all haha!). All that to say, I think this never-ending, breath-y loop brings the dreamy elements. All with a little ‘hazy’ feel to the track.
Annnnnd of course, the arps! With a little cutoff and reverb love we achieve the perfect sound and texture to seal all the parts of this track together.
Ok, gear rundown!!! I pull this one on everyone – Present gear rundown – Only what’s in use now, and go!
We’ve been producing on such a low budget! It’s become somewhat of a challenge by now. Creating a vast catalog with such limitations. For Gear, though!
Usually, and depending on the songs, the gear involved is an old Yamaha PSR-S700 (My father lent it to me several years ago and I never gave it back to him, whoops!), a tiny Yamaha reface CS, some out of shape Ibanez RG-series guitars and the built-in sound library from either Garageband, Ableton Live or some synths plug-ins and sample packs (for the drums and percussion). Oh yeah, and my voice, of course!
What’s this song about after I’ve managed to make my assumptions apparent with no foundation oh so quickly? It makes sense that sonically it creates a dream-like quality with the chorus stating how your, “Dreams are black and white.”
Among other topics, mental health issues and how they meander. They have been an inspiration to me forever, musically and lyrically I mean. This song is about anxiety, which might be a feeling or issue experienced by many people. Especially now, during these weird and uncertain times we are all facing.
So, the protagonist of the song talks about how anxiety has been shadowing his/her life. They have a feeling of wanting to reach out, to be understood by someone, yet wanting to disappear completely.
I’m always impressed when someone has the ability to generate the actual imagery of which they are singing about. Not being a singer, or lyricist, how do you manage this connection of word to timbre?
It’s a boring answer. I know, but I don’t really make it completely on purpose. I just go with the feeling, you know. I’m a roll with the punches type of musician and lyricist. I’m one of those people who simply lets the cosmos tell them what to write and sing. Haha, this sounds so esoteric, but it’s the only way I can think of to put things. I’ve always said, “I am not the one writing the songs, it’s the cosmos!”
Still, I am working hard on trying to make sure all the elements of a track are intricate. This is because I want Thread Mill to speak, not only through the lyrics, but through the instruments also.
Why Thread Mill as the name for your act? Any special meaning, or total randomness you’d like to share with any readers?
It actually has a special meaning to P-L and me. I won’t go into details here. It might be too boring, or of no use, haha. it’ll be a mystery until next time I guess!
So, for the short answer, let’s say it’s a direct translation of the french words (moulin à fil), meaning a thread spool. But ‘thread spool’ sounds kind of weird to me. Instead, I said “mill” which means “moulin” in French.
I Was Also Giving A Listen To
‘Bullet Sky’ from your First EP. Wanted to perform a little compare and contrast between song. What immediately becomes apparent is not a lack of a vocal effect, but a completely different approach to how you’re using it as an instrument. Then, there’s a bounce to the melody/tone as a whole. Interesting dichotomy between what we will hear on the 26th with ‘Haze’. Was the shift conscious?
Short answer, yes we are consciously going into a direction of something different.
Many, many music genres influence our creative process. We can vary from a standpoint of influences between death metal, to synthwave, to folk and on. Bullet Sky, as well as most of our first EP, is probably an attempt at sharing our very own interpretation of the Retrowave soundscapes. That is what we aimed for creating this first EP.
Now, while Thread Mill remains mainly under the generic genre of Indie Electronic I don’t want it to stay encapsulated in one specific sub-genre/style. I’ve been using this whole musical project to go deeper into exploiting my vocal range and enhancing my producing skills.
We found Thread Mill’s sound throughout our first EP and it somehow has nothing to do with the genre of the music (at least to me). It has more to do with the hushed vocals and the melancholic/dreamy feel. This is understood by anyone who picks up on any song we make. This would be regardless of sub-genre.
Going into the second EP (which ‘Haze’ is a part of) we wanted to push further into sonic exploration. We achieved this by using darker electro pop tunes for influence. Also, it’s important for me that during the production stages we take into consideration how I will be able to repeat these vocal performances in a live setting.
There Was A Delay In Releasing ‘Haze’
As you mentioned when sending me the music, due to Coronavirus. Can the darker melodies heard there be attributed to person sentiment, or am I hearing something coincidental?
Yeah, this pandemic is a huge challenge for Thread Mill in terms of creative process. This is because P-L doesn’t use DAW’s and we are not allowed to even see each other! The single ‘Memento’ – released 2.12.2021 – and ‘Haze’ – out 3.26.2021 – will both be part of our second EP, due out next summer.
These tracks are mostly on my own composition. With, of course, the valuable feedback and insights from P-L. Almost all of the tracks that will land on the second EP have been written during last Fall. Last Fall was a tough time for us, due mostly to this pandemic situation. So I guess, yeah, you’re right. This whole situation surely contributed to a way darker feel than what we’ve done before.
Would there be anything you wish to add regarding the track that you feel deserves mentioning before we ship on out?!?!
While creating ‘Haze’, I found myself working on creating some sort of ‘live set’. This will be performed solo due to the Pandemic.
I’d like to invite you guys to please stay tuned! ‘Haze’ will be performed live, among older and newer tracks soon! And when I say live, I mean live!!!! On the Internet… Through a screen… You know, live? …. Boooohh… I can’t wait to play live for real! That’s only a matter of time anyway. Thread Mill’s comin’ to a stage near you, so watch it!
Ladies and Gents, that has been half of Thread Mill and I implore you to go pre-save their newest track, ‘Haze’ , via this link. It’s a really badass song and I wish Thread Mill as much success as possible. If you’re not reaching for that pre-save link right now, I must insist you are not thinking clearly. Instead of looking at this screen, why are you not already saving it?!?!?!?!