1) For the fine folks who may not be as familiar with your work, how would you sum up your sound in a short phrase?
BT: I have explored many musical directions over the years and so it has been all over the road, but currently it is all coming together to form what we call Modern Mountain Music ….. or Mountain Prog….
2) You have an interesting scenario in straddling both the “behind the stage” and being front and center on the stage at Tweed. Tell us a bit about your experience in planning the festival…building a community around it…all that good stuff that happens behind the scenes that folks attending the festival don’t get to see.
BT: You may have to wait for the book for me to answer that question. Or you could go check out the documentary film made about us in 2011. In a nutshell it is an overwhelming amount of work and planning that takes all year long. We are actually in crunch time now and things get pretty intense, the more stuff you get accomplished is dwarfed by an ever expanding to do list. But with that said feel very lucky that I am involved with people who are passionate and hard working, everyone has their specific obligations to fulfill and we back each other up and help out where we can. Also the knowledge we have all acquired is invaluable. There have been many ups and downs and I would not trade any of it…. it’s been a hell of a ride.
3) Festivals are often celebrated for their collaborations, community and bringing folks together for a weekend where they may not see each other otherwise. Is there anyone in particular that you would like to see appear on stage together at Tweed? How about collaborating with you? What are you most excited for about Tweed this year?
BT: I like to keep an open mind and an eye out for any collaborations, there has been so much planning and pushing things through to get us to the festival weekend that it is good for me to just sit back and see what happens. I look forward to, and plan on being surprised.
4) What is 1 record that shaped you when you first started playing and 1 ‘lesser known’ record or artist that you are now/are listening to now that you think folks really need to hear about?
BT: I have been asked this question a bunch and I wish I could just rifle off a record or two but really I could not even narrow this down to a specific musical style and it still is that way. I rarely even seek out music, I tend to just absorb what I hear around me. For example maybe the classical music score from a movie I watched last night or the EDM music my kid is listening to in the other room, or my wife has an old Beck album I never really heard on in the kitchen, I have stacks of CD’s people have given to me that I try and get to. Sometimes I hear a new or old band and think it sucks then in another situation I hear it again and find something I really dig. I could tell you a bunch of bands I think deserve to be noticed or listened to but then that list would change by tomorrow afternoon. There is just so much out there we are bombarded by music and life experience in general. Perhaps I make my own music as a means of sorting out or making sense of the sensory overload of modern day living.
5) So, why is creating music important to you? Why do you hit the stage night after night, pull out the old song notebook every day, or whatever else you do to let loose your creativity?
BT: In addition to making sense of the world, the importance lies in the act of going forward with positive intention…. for me it is music. Just like for some folks it is sports or health or painting or education or politics or anything ….What I am doing makes me happy and I hope I can translate that to others. Being a songwriter is awesome because there are no rules, and it allows me to look at anything arbitrary and find meaning or just make something up out of the blue. Sure there are frustrations and hitting the stage night after night is not always easy but I can truly say I am never bored.
6) Aside from music, do you have any other pastimes? What would you want people to know about you aside from your musical endeavors?
BT: I have a ton of other stuff I am into. I went to school for visual arts so painting and sculpture are important to me and that translates into all this homesteading stuff that takes up a lot of time like building my home and studio, gardening, laying stone and building odd instruments, skiing is a life-long passion I do a bunch of daydreaming and also try and be a good parent to my kids, basically I am on a mission to live artistically and it all comes down to making music.
7) Anything else you want to plug or we should know?
BT: Ya, these interviews tend to focus a lot on me, but really it ain’t all about Thayer. I could not do all this stuff alone. Jeremy Curtis and my wife Lori are tireless workers and Tweed would not exist without their talents. Also my longtime friend and collaborator/manager Scott Florence has a huge role in my songs making it from my notebook to coming out of your speakers. Then, of course is my band. Jeff Berlin, Alex Abraham and Jd Tolstoi. They do a lot for not so much.
And while I am at it all the folks who have made the commitment to be part of Tweed . You know who you are but you probably don’t realize how very important you are.