One of the records that’s most impressed me this year so far has been the ‘Live Secretly’ E.P. from Glasgow band Thula Borah. Having missed the chance to catch them a few weeks ago in Dundee I was pleased when Lloyd from the band agreed to do an email interview with the blog. Here’s what he had to say for himself …
MPT – Who are Thula Borah?
LF – Thula Borah are myself, Lloyd Fay, on vocals and guitar, Kevin Heimann on guitar, Matt Williams on bass and vocals and Brian Eggo on drums.
MPT – Sell the band to someone who’s not heard you before- in 20 words or less.
LF – A mixture of alternative rock and the so called post-rock of the likes of Mogwai, Sigur Ros and Isis.
MPT – Have any of you been in previous bands? If so which ones?
LF – Brian, being our oldest member, is a veteran of many bands, whose names conveniently escape me, but he still plays with two other bands: Pettybone and Teapot Jacuzzi. Kevin was in a band called Highwatters which I think I’m right in saying formed at college. Aside from naive high school bands that never took off this is Matt and I’s first band.
MPT – What’s a brief history of the band so far?
LF – The band formed when Matt decided to learn the bass to play some songs I had been demoing. At first we jammed with a drum machine then Brian started helping us out despite the demands of two other bands and when we landed our first gig in 2009 we knew we needed to add another dimension to our sound and asked Kev as he’d jammed with us anyway, so it was the natural decision.
MPT – Looking back what do you think of the debut LP now?
LF – I don’t really listen to it. Although I still like playing most of the songs on it live. It was definitely a huge learning curve and I have fond memories looking back but sometimes I fear if I listen to it I might think it is shit. At least from a technical viewpoint I believe our new EP sounds better and is closer to the sound we all desire for the band.
MPT – How did you come to work with Andy Miller?
LF – Back when the band was actually still just myself, Matt and the drum machine we were fortunate to land two days demoing at Chem 19 studios where luckily we worked with Andy. Not long after that and as we were starting to worry about how we’d ever be able to afford to get into Chem 19 to do more work Andy emailed us to tell us he’d just opened his own studios, Gargleblast, which is much cheaper and had introductory rates so we just jumped at the chance to get in there and record what would become our first album.
MPT – What are the differences between the LP and the new EP ‘Live Secretly’?
LF – It is hard for me to say, perhaps I’m too close to it. I suppose one thing is Live Secretly is much more of a collaborative effort from the band as a whole and also with less songs we really took our time and honed the sound of each element in each track to our satisfaction. But I still see Live Secretly as a continuation of the sound of Mind River Matter in that we are mixing instrumentals with more direct rock songs and songs which include both those elements; short bursts of vocals amid long instrumental sections.
MPT – What’s been your favourite and biggest gigs played to date?
LF – We love playing Stereo in Glasgow, each time has been quite memorable and the sound there is amazing. I think our favourite gig was at Nice N Sleazy almost a year ago when we previewed some new tracks and it just went so well and we felt we played a blinder. Also, our latest gig at Dexter’s in Dundee was great, the sound, the crowd, the venue…just everything was great and we really got into it and enjoyed it. Our biggest gig was supporting the awesome Falloch at Sleazy’s in March but that will be superseded when we support *Shels at the Classic Grand in June.
MPT – Are there bands you’d consider your peers around at the moment?
LF – Yes, loads really. There are loads of bands in Glasgow, Scotland in fact, who fall into the instrumental/post-rock category or whatever similar genre we fall into. If people search for the Whole-Heart Collective on Facebook they’ll be able to find many great bands such as Ohm who are totally instrumental to Little Bay who incorporate vocals and are much more direct. Also, when we were in Dundee we played with a band called Vereor who it struck me are coming from a similar place as us.
MPT – Any celebrity fans?
LF – Sometimes I wonder if we ever have any fans at all. He might not be a celebrity exactly but the music reviewer Rick Fulton at the Daily Record has said some really nice things about us.
MPT – What are you listening to at the moment?
LF – I’ve been obsessively revisiting ‘Mew and the Glass Handed Kites’ which I think is a masterpiece but other than that not much. I think I’m mentally clearing the decks for Sigur Ros and Sun Kil Moon’s new albums.
MPT – What’s the one question that you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? And what’s the answer?
LF – Ehhh…nothing really comes to mind except ‘why are you guys so awesome?’ I haven’t been asked what band inspired me to pick up the guitar yet so I haven’t had the change to eulogise Nirvana and the massive impact they had on my life, which I know is hardly unique but is just so true. Michael Azerrad’s book ‘Come As You Are’ also totally sold me on the romanticism of playing in a band.
Listen to the E.P. here: