interview: Michael Nau & The Might Thread
On August 3, Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread will release their self-titled album. Ahead of that, the band previewed "Less Than Positive" a warm, and freeing single that somehow transports you straight into the heart of the apartment where it was recorded. Before the band releases their new album, Nau was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the release, recording and snacks.
The Grey Estates: As someone who struggles to finish like one writing in a day, how did you manage to release so much new material? How long have you been working on these songs? And what you learned or wanted to change, if anything, between each release?
Michael Nau: Some of the songs go back a while. We just sorta started spreading out the big pile a few years ago, and going through them - whether that meant re-recording them, or finishing them in other ways. That's why it has seemed quick.. but really, a lot of the songs were there for awhile, so it was just a matter of picking through them. That's what's changed, I guess... it's not as much about writing specifically for a record anymore - so there's a lot to pick from.
You had talked a little in press releases about the apartment that where this album was recorded. Where did you find that place and what inspired you to record there? How does recording in an apartment differ from doing something more formal in a studio?
I haven't spent much time in a formal studio. I've always recorded music in my garage or living room. The apartment we recorded this one in is the guitar player, Benny's home studio. so it was comfortable. We just lived there for a few days... we've found a routine that's been productive.
* What’s your writing process like for these songs? What are you inspired by or where do you get your ideas from? In particular, what music, or moments, or even snacks inspired this album?
I try to write as much as possible. I like the exercise. the idea of playing the songs with a group of people is what I most look forward to. I try to keep them bendable, so they can continue to form as we go. there's the recorded version and the live version. that keeps it interesting, I think.
This was the first time you worked with the same band on the same group of songs in the same studio. What made you decide to change and incorporate that and how do you think this band enhanced or helped your sound? Where did you find the members for your Mighty Thread and how did having that band change how you wrote/recorded the album as opposed to previous endeavors?
We've all worked together in various ways before. everybody has a great first instinct. I wanted to take a try at doing it all at once, and quickly, this time. It's easy to overthink when doing everything by yourself. It was freeing to treat it as a live performance. & I trust those guys wholeheartedly. It was nice.
Do you have a favorite track or a track that came from a special moment that you really connected with?
I like "Can't Take one" & "Smudge" the best.
Since you’re going out on tour, please share what the favorite Michael Nau touring snack is.
Rob Morse, who played bass on this last tour, brought some maple popcorn from his family's farm. Crucial.
- 05.18.18 – Frederick, MD @ Sky Stage **
- 05.26.18 – Nashville, TN @ Musician’s Corner / Centennial Park
- 05.28.18 – Lexington, KY @ The Burl
- 05.29.18 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi
- 05.30.18 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR
- 05.31-1.18 – Nelsonville, OH @ Nelsonville Music Festival
- 08.3-5.18 – Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
- 09.24.18 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana 09.25.18 - Manchester, UK @ Gullivers 09.26.18 - London, UK @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen