When I gave a list of questions to The Myriad’s management to email to them, I wasn’t expecting four out of the five band members to answer them for me. What a great surprise! So here is my interview with The Myriad, split up according to who is answering each question.
JONATHAN YOUNG (GUITAR)
How long have you guys been around? Can you give us the history or your band?
The Myriad began with two very bored college students passing notes to each other in philosophy class trying to figure out a band name that would encompass what they most loved most about music. From there, Jeremy and John Roger planned the move north to establish Seattle as home base for what was to become The Myriad. There they met up with a local Seattlite (me: Jonathan), newly transplanted Steven from Arizona and Randy from California to round out the band that will soon take over the Milky Way Galaxy…
It looks like the next thing on your schedule is a bunch of summer festivals. Which do you prefer, festivals or tours, and why? What is your favorite and least favorite part about each?
That is a great question… so I will try and figure that out by making a pros and cons list to decide which I prefer.
pros: usually touring as a package, so you get to forge great new friendships over a long period of time; you get an opportunity to see a lot more of the country; you get to sample a bit of regional foods that you normally can’t get at home such as sweet tea, Phily cheese sandwiches, Chicago deep dish pizza…; one word – BUS (that is if the tour calls for it); playing in some of the most famous venues in the U.S.; toilets that flush
cons: long daily drives in between shows; driving through the night or through inclement weather; the unhealthy feeling you get from sampling too much of regional foods that you normally can’t get at home such as sweet tea, Phily cheese sandwiches, Chicago deep dish pizza…; one word – VAN (that is if the tour calls for it); playing in some of the darkest and dirtiest venues in the U.S.; public bathrooms
pros: artist hospitality… especially the massages!; seeing friends in other bands that you aren’t able to tour with in one big festival package; the really large stages to get your rock on
cons: festivals are usually during the HOT season… and heat and me don’t mix well; only quick short periods to catch up with friends in other bands that you aren’t able to tour with; public bathrooms and toilets that you can’t flush
After that extensive experiment, the empirical data tells me that I prefer TOURING over FESTIVALS by a margin of plus or minus .7%.
How did you come about recording a cover of “Perfect” for the Smashing Pumpkins? What was that like for you?
The Smashing Pumpkins are a huge influence on a lot of us in the band. So, it was an amazing opportunity to pay homage to them and in a way thank them for their amazing years of music. As the Smashing Pumpkin’s new album Zeitgeist was nearing its release, they wanted to do something special to go along with it. What they decided was to contact bands who were greatly influenced by SP to record covers of songs from previous albums to coincide with Zeitgeist‘s release. We decided on “Perfect” from Adore and tried to stay true to the song while adding our own Myriad flavor to it. In the end, after a very short and quick three days of recording, mixing and mastering we were really proud with what came out and hope everyone else agrees. The cover is finally available with our new release With Arrows, With Poise on iTunes if you are interested!
JEREMY EDWARDSON (LEAD VOCALS, GUITAR)
The new record, With Arrows, with Poise, was just released on May 13. Tell us a little about it. For those unfamiliar with your band, what should they expect from it?
We really sought out to capture a moment with this album. Our favorite records feel most complete within themselves as opposed to a compilation of ‘hits’ or exploring several different life themes and ideas. We wanted to capture a feeling from beginning to end. The title for the record and even the album artwork was created before the first song was written. It was important for us to be clear on direction before we began. Our ‘studio language’ was less musical and more visual. We would say “let’s make this sound like old war blimps are burning in the sky while a 1000 men storm a city” as opposed to “we need to make the drums really intense and have some huge guitars”. We were highly inspired by cinema throughout the writing process. How can we best support this story through music and what movements and sounds can we introduce to really paint the picture. At the end of it all we ended up with 12 little movies, vignettes, if you will.
And for older fans, how have you progressed from previous material?
The two albums are not really comparable. The first album was thrown together as we got signed to our first record deal. It was scatterbrained but nice…the roots and getting our feet wet. With Arrows, with Poise was written after putting 200,000 miles on our van and playing 300 live shows. We really figured out what kind of music we wanted/needed to write. The writing became rich and purposeful. There was a responsibility within every chord and lyric. We weren’t just writing for ourselves anymore.
In support of this record, you’re currently touring with Eisley. How’s that been going? Any crazy stories so far?
Eisley is fabulous. They are such a talented family and it has been a real honor to join them on the road. No real crazy tour stories thus far. They are traveling in a huge silver tour bus and we recently started thinking of the bus as a big grey slug that we are always hunting. They arrive at the venue a few hours earlier than us and as we are driving through the city looking for the venue we began to think of ourselves as gigantor slug hunters. We aren’t really looking for the venue but rather hunting the mighty slug! Weird – I know…but that’s tour for you.
How have crowds been responding to the new music?
The crowds have been awesome. It’s been fun to craft the live set after putting together this album. We are playing 8 songs on this tour and we are very meticulous with the set order and arrangement. Really trying to capture the moment within the time frame we are given.
JOHN ROGER SCHOFIELD (BASS)
Your website lists a phone number for fans to call with a promise to keep in touch. How has that been working out for you so far? Are you getting a lot of calls? Is it hard to keep up with?
We’ve been getting about four calls a day, so it’s not really that hard to keep up with whilst on the road. Actually, it’s quite easy since there’s a ton of highway time in the van. It’s refreshing to hear what our fans have to say about our live show and also the new record. It’s like ginger snaps for the soul. Tasty.
I remember seeing you play live at Purple Door a couple years ago, just another small band with an early slot on the mainstage to get the crowd ready for the popular bands. And now all of a sudden I go to your website to see “MTV Artist of the Week.” That’s quite a climb. What do you think deserves the most credit for bringing you guys this far?
Blood. Sweat. Toil. And. Tears. Plus God. A lot of God. A mighty, heaping spoonful of God being all ninja and providential. We’ve been a band for seven years now… with four EPs and two LPs, 240,000 miles, and around 500 shows under our belts, so it feels beyond wonderful to be getting some delicious buzz from various media giants right as our new record drops… a record we worked really, really, really hard on for the past two years. Forsooth!
How do you feel personally about all the exposure?
Like a giant Christmas tree all lit up on December 25th, with jolly children dancing about, their hearts full of wonder and joy! Food everywhere. Presents everywhere. Family and friends everywhere. The Carpenters Christmas album filling the air everywhere. Snow blanketing the countryside outside with peace and quiet… and spiced eggnog to boot!
I am quite happy about all of the exposure! It is LOVELY. 🙂
RANDY MILLER (DRUMS)
Now, back in October you released an EP titled Prelude to Arrows with similar artwork to the new record (which, by the way, is some fantastic artwork). What was the idea behind this sort of venture?
Knowing that our full length album would not be ready for our fall tour, we brainstormed the idea of ‘prelude to arrows”; a pleasant taste of what the big album would be. We put a few of our favorite finished tracks together and then asked Dave Gorum to do the artwork. He came up with the night before the battle scene which we all thought was amazing. Yeah Dave!
The video for “A Clean Shot” is pretty original. Not to try to get too in-depth about something that could just be plain fun, but is there something more going on in this story besides the sheer greatness of being able to act alongside puppets and someone in a costume?
Josh Forbes, the director of The Myriad’s video “A Clean Shot”, shot his first elk on a hunting trip when he was 13 years old. When he neared the fallen animal he began to wonder what kind of life the animal had. Did he have children? Did he go to an elk school in the forest with all the other elk youth? Was he married? This experience spawned the idea for the video. We wanted to make something that was fun and interesting to watch for three minutes. We received a few ideas from producers and decided to go with Josh Forbes because we felt he understood our adventurous spirit. It was so much fun, puppets and creatures everywhere!
Thanks to the band for filling out these questions and for getting such a variety of answers! Check out With Arrows, with Poise now, and catch them this summer at one of those many festivals.