Phil Yates & the Affiliates – A Thin Thread

If you want to be as stylish as Elvis Costello, you have to be different all the time. And that’s what Phil Yates is on A Thin Thread.

When I hear Trash Carrots I think it could have been almost liberating for the band. Nonsense?

For “Trash Carrots” my goal was to write a big dumb rock song. It turned into a life of its own. Once I started doing the vocals, I wanted them distorted to make it like Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Once we started the outro, I wanted something noisy and kind of dissonant. It’s probably my favorite on the record.

You use quite a few styles. Is the song ultimately more important than the need to conform to a certain style?

I love the question about the different styles. Elvis Costello is my hero. I guess his genre-hopping rubs off on me. It would be too easy to write the same power poppy song over and over. It’s more fun to dabble. For the song order on the record, I wanted to alternate between loud and quiet tunes.

It is a complicated time for groups of people to be together. How did you as a band keep the connection?

COVID wrecked a lot of things. During the lockdown, we texted each other, and I started sending demos to the guys. That way, when we were allowed to be in a basement together, we could actually start constructing and recording the songs.

Especially the more heavy songs radiate a lot of musical confidence. You knew exactly what you wanted when you recorded them?

Yes! The heavier songs were me wanting to play loud. I think we’ve always more loud and high-energy than on recordings. This was an attempt to capture that more on record.

Are you nervous in the run-up to the release?

Ha! I feel we’ve been sitting on these songs and this record for so long that it is more a sigh of relief to get the thing out to people’s ears. I really hope folks enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Photo by Carl Schlacte

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