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THVS | Interview

There’s a new band on the block. THVS have emerged and have some pretty convincing hard rock to bring you. Christopher Owens found out more from vocalist Michael Smyth as their debut release hits the decks.


How did THVS begin?

THVS was really born out of desire and boredom. Matt and I went up to the practice room one Friday set up facing each other and just went for it.

Three of the four songs on the EP were written that session, we jammed through the songs once and that’s how they came out, didn’t change a thing. We had a few practices as a two piece which was what we thought the band was going to be but we needed bottom end.

Dave plays in Tusks with me so he just made sense. He brought his considerable sound and talent to the band and THVS was born.

We started off playing those songs and built on those. The approach is to really make the songs simple and direct, really focus on song writing and trying to do a lot with a little. Instead of just adding riff on riff on riff and drowning it all in effects pedals.

Everyone brings something different to the band, everyone contributes and is a part of the writing process.

We’ve been together a year now and have started slow, played a handful of shows then disappeared to record and write. The EP is going to be out soon and we’ve already new songs in the set that could form part of the next release so we’re always moving forward.

The lyrics are very much in the same vein as the last Comply or Die album ‘Northless’ (abstract, yet somehow confessional). Were these songs originally intended for that album?

No, absolutely not. THVS is a totally separate new beast, like I said these songs were written in one two hour practice and that’s it.

THVS was very much born after the other band fizzled out. These songs were really the catalyst for the new band, we didn’t intend to start something else but these came flooding out that night so they really gave way to THVS.

Lyrically it covers very different ground, ‘Northless’ was very much based on a concept and told a story, it followed a protagonist and moved through it with him. There wasn’t really any kind of confessional aspect to lyrics although some could be considered less than direct.

Where as the lyrics on Everyday Hexes are much more spontaneous a lot of the lyrics are what I sang the first time we played those songs.

We record every practice, I go back, listen and pick the best ones. Then I take out the nonsense, and add to it to make the song work. Each song covers a different topic though and while that might not be very apparent it’s in there.

I really like language and trying to create interesting images with the lyrics, something like ‘A smile to glimpse your skull’ in my mind that creates a picture.

Vocally, you’ve come on leaps and bounds since the first C.O.D album. What has inspired this new style of vocal?

Thanks! Well vocals is something that was thrust upon me rather than a choice. Since then I’ve just been trying to get better and find a voice. I just keep trying to improve, so I figured I can’t really sing, I can shout, let’s try screaming.

I think it helps convey the frustration, anger and confusion that the lyrics cover. I think a lot of where the vocals came from was the visceral sound of the songs and how they came out, just in the moment and giving yourself over to the song.

Really that first practice is where the throaty/screaming vocals came from, I hadn’t really done that before in that way.

I’m still trying to improve, there are people do it far better than I do so I’m always striving to be better and not just have this monotone scream. I’m always trying to add hooks or some amount of melody or an interesting way to phrase things. I enjoy that aspect of it a lot.

What do you intend to do differently with THVS from C.O.D?

That’s not something I’ve really thought about to be honest. Comply was successful in a manner of speaking in that we played a lot and we put out records.

In that sense I don’t intend to do anything different, maybe not play Laverys 8 times a week though.

The idea behind the songs and the approach differs drastically and from the first 8 songs or so we’ve written it’s turning out really well. We’re always writing so just see where that takes us. Again, THVS is a very different thing and Comply was really my first band that I hadn’t played drums in.

You live and you learn and you grow and learn lessons so things like not getting burnt out on playing by doing shows every week or playing to no one. Hopefully we don’t accidentally quote Alanis Morrisette again either…

Christopher Owens ::: 12/06/15

  1. God that is as bland and unimaginative as it gets.

  2. Caomhaoin Says:

    Safety stroke interview.

  3. ui-mod-19 Says:

    as boring as the artwork

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