Thin Dark Line interview *Julie Magyar* The Icon * Buffalo, NY * November 30, 2005
BurningStars.net:Name and position in the band. Bryan: My name is Bryan and I perform vocals. Mike: My name is Mike and I play guitar.
BS: How did the name Thin Dark Line come about and why did you choose it? Bryan: Mike read on the internet that the Great Wall of China from outer space looks like a thin dark line and to us, that's the reminder that the greatest human achievement, its kind of a comparison. We just thought that was pretty deep and meaningful, when we read that little obscure fact from that. Mike: That is correct.
BS: When did you decide that you wanted to play music? Mike: When I was in tenth grade, Bryan's friends band, they were a punk rock band, and we were really into them because that was the first band we knew and that's when I decided I wanted to have a band of my own. Bryan: I agree. I was in... I don't remember what class I was in, but I agree.
BS: Have you ever taken any music classes? Bryan: Yes, I took tons of them in high school. Also, I listened to a lot of Saves The Day. Mike: I took a bass guitar class because I used to play bass guitar. That's all I took. Bryan: I was in all-state chorus of Maryland. I was one of the top singers in Maryland.
BS: Who are your influences musically and/or personally? Bryan: I would say... a lot of us in the band share these common influences, musically, spiritually, and emotionally, and whatever else you listen to music for. Saves the Day, Thursday, Thrice, The Beatles, Elvis, Fairweather, Hot Rod Circuit Mike: Motley Crue Bryan: Motley Crue, The Eagles Mike: Did you say Elvis? Bryan: I did say Elvis. Mike: Elvis Presley? Bryan: It was Elvis Presley, not Costello. Ben Folds, Smashing Pumpkins.
BS: What is something that you have been listening to lately that you would recommend to others? Mike: I made a sweet ass summer mix that's been in my radio since the summer, full of Johnny Cash and Lynyrd Skynyrd and Pat Benatar and I would recommend that mix for everyone. Bryan: We've been listening to alot of Say Anything, The Receiving End Of Sirens, Northstar Pollyanna, and the new Thrice record, Vheissu, which is phenomenal, so good.
BS: Describe the history of the band. Bryan: Me and Mike are brothers, and we've been brothers for a long time and we always knew that we were going to do something together one day, and I saw Mike was trying out for some bands and I got really jealous and I was like "why don't we have a band together?" So we started having a band together. It was crappy. We kind of stopped doing that for a while. Then we kept going. We started a new band, named it Thin Dark Line. We got out good buddy Brent to join. He's an amazing guitarist. That was like 3 years ago when Brent joined, that's when Thin Dark Line began. Then we got rid of some crappy members, got some nice, new members in, then wrote out record. We signed to 111 about 2 years ago in the summer, recorded with Matt Squire and Paul Leavitt and then finally our CD is out after like 3 years of writing songs for it. We wrote tons of songs that we ended up not putting on the record.
BS: Describe the song writing process. Mike: Somebody will come up with a riff, a guitar riff, then they will go to practice with it and show everyone and then we'll all fight about it for 5 consecutive hours until we're ready to kill each other and then we'll come in the next practice and then we'll have a song written. That's how it works. Bryan: I try to avoid that first session and I write some lyrics and come down and hum some melodies and then by the second session when they have some sort of a song together I just start singing "blah blah blah blah" in different melodious notes and then eventually it comes out into words. Mike: Then we will take that song and we will trash it. Then we will write a completely new one with one of the same riffs and that's how it becomes a song. Bryan: And all of our songs are better because of it. It takes us forever to write.
BS: What is your favorite song from the cd? Mike: I would say "All The Facts, None of the Flavou"'. That's my favorite. Bryan: I would say the song "Luna" because I get to make everyone dance around like fun people and I like to see people get to know each other because I try to get people to dance with each other. I like to see the crowd interact with each other because I want to bring people together with our band and our music.
BS: What is the best thing about touring? Bryan: Sleeping on floors every night, barely having enough money to get by, not eating properly Mike: Living out of a van. Bryan: Crying - no that's all the bad stuff. The good stuff is meeting people like you, thinking that somehow you're making a difference in the world, seeing new places that I wouldn't be able to see otherwise, like Niagara Falls or whatever, we went here a couple years ago and first saw that, and I only saw that through the band. Hanging out with fans that we meet every night. We always try and meet and hang out with the local bands, just give them a push in the right direction. Spend time with the other bands we're on tour with, make some good friends.
BS: How long did you guys work on The Resolution? Bryan: The writing of it was about 2 years and the recording was about 6 months, because we were in the studio and out of the studio and pre-pro and whatever. That's about how long it took. Mike: That is correct.
BS: What is a question that you've never been asked that you'd like to be asked? Bryan: What kind of food should our friends bring to shows for us. And my answer would be vegan food, for me. I'm the only vegan. Mike: I don't like being asked questions. I can't think of anything. I like when people ask me what kind of guitar I have because I am very proud of my guitar, so I like to tell them. BS: What kind of guitar do you have? Mike: I have ra Gibson Les Paul Studio that I just purchased and it's very fantastic. Bryan: The best question I could ever get that I don't get asked enough is 'Do you want to dance?" and the answer is always yes.
BS: If you could be one person for the day, who would you be and why? Bryan: If I was selfish, it would be like the life of Paul McCartney or somebody who can do music for their whole life and not have to do too much of the bullshit work just to be able to do music. I would love to just do that. But I wouldn't be selfish and I would be someone important, who helped shape the world into a better place, like, uh..., I don't know. I'd probably be Plato. The man Plato, the philosopher. He's my favorite philosopher, I was a philosophy major in college. Mike: I would have to say that I would be, in no particular order, Indiana Jones or Han Solo. You can print that, I don't care. Bryan: What about James Bond? Mike: Nah, he's kind of a pussy. I think Indiana Jones or Han Solo, that's my final answer.
BS: If you could set up a tour with any band, who would it be? Bryan: Saves the Day... I'd probably tour with the Beatles or the Eagles or one of the real cool bands. Maybe Saves the Day just because Saves the Day is awesome. The Smashing Pumpkins. Mike: I would tour with Motley Crue because they seem like they have a lot of fun on tour. Bryan: Thrice, The Receiving End Of Sirens, or Circa Survive, just for the sole fact that I would want to watch them every night and not for any other reason. Mike: Oh and Spinal Tap
Ryan's (Rookie of the Year) story on how Thin Dark Line got together: One night they were at a bar drinking, Bryan doesn't drink so he was just there. He came over, hung out, his bro was there. He met everybody. Rookie loves Thin Dark Line and I'm out of here.
Mike: And this is Jayk. He did our CD cover. Say what you were thinking of when you designed our CD cover art. Jayk: I was thinking... these guys are so hot that I just wanted something that said how hot they were. So if you look deep enough, the name is actually in there, metaphorically, but you have to look. It's kind of like the Emperor's New Clothes. Mike: Put in there that they have to buy the record. Bryan: Here's an interesting fact about Thin Dark Line. We don't sell alot of records. And it you haven't purchased the record out there, maybe purchase it. Mike: Also, another fact about Thin Dark Line is we're not good at what we do. BS: What did you say? Mike: I said.. that we are very good at what we do.
Cheyne: my favorite band is Green Day
Bryan: Do you want to ask us about movies? Mike: Yeah, ask us about movies. BS: What do you want me to ask? Mike: Ask us how movies are made. BS: How are movies made? Mike: Movies are made: first off the writer comes up with the idea to make a theatrical presentation of an idea that's in his head. Then he writes that down on paper, it becomes a script and then a movie company decided they want to make that into a major motion picture, so they take that and they take the idea that's on paper and they put it on film and then the editor edits it and can do all sorts of crazy things with space and time through the art of editing and then the next thing you know, it's a movie.
BS: What is your favorite movie? Mike: Right this second, Spinal Tap, but tomorrow it could change, because I like movies so much. I also like Mallrats though, I like... well, everyone likes Kevin Smith movies. All the Living Dead movies - Dawn Of The Dead, Night Of The Living Dead... Bryan: I have a list of some of my favorite movies. I'm going to start out with Tommy Boy, Dallas Steve, Swingers, Wet Hot American Summer, Mallrats and the other Kevin Smith movies, Star Wars. And I have a lot of this available on my MySpace so that I don't have to remember it because sometimes I forget what my favorite movies are. But I really love watching movies. I wish I could watch more movies.
Mike: Ask him what he does in the band. Mikey: I play bass, my names Mikey. Here's the secret to us. If you have a smile on your face, you can make alot of noise, people really think you know what you're doing.
Mike: Ask Cheyne about carrying air conditioners. Cheyne: I like to carry air conditioners in Buffalo.
BS: What's the worst review for the cd? Bryan: The first two words of it were really bad. Mike: The second one said "if they would have spent more time finding a better lead singer then practicing guitar, I think they'd be a good band." Go to AbsolutePunk if you want a real review of our record.
BS: Last words and What is your message to the fans? Bryan: I'm saying our goals first. 1) is to play the best music that we can play and develop as musicians. 2) to spread the words that we have to say to as many people as we can, so that's like playing bigger shows or whatever we can do. 3) to show that without any experience, you can do whatever you want to do in this world. 4) To inspire people to be as good as they can to each other. And four is really what our message is. We always try to be as nice as we can to the people that we come in contact with. And to encourage the people we come in contact with to be nice to each other. We just want a community of people being nice to each other to grow and hopefully one day everyone can be happy and nice to each other. And that's our message. Please be good to each other. Mike: I think that we love you, if there are any fans out there that are going to read this that we have, we're very, very, very, very appreciative of people that are our fans and you are not just our fans, you are our best friends in the world. So please say hi to us, and stalk us and find us at our house. --- And Brent's single and he's looking for a date. --I just want to tell you that everyone of you who comes to our show or buys our cd, we love you and appreciate you.