Thread Weaves Together Styles For Intense Sound

Who are the members of Thread? Scott Stoltz, guitar, vocals Rocky Polan, bass, vocals Brian Jackson, drums Thread started in this kooky way. You see, there were two guys who had been friends for quite a while, having met years ago at the Berklee Music Institute.

When one returned to his home in Seattle, he encouraged the other to follow. The two played with other bands but never jammed with each other. Eventually, after a number of failed projects with other people, they figured "why not play music together?"

They put an ad in a local music newspaper for a drummer, and when they found him, Thread was born.

OK, so the fibers from which Thread was spun aren't very unusual. This is the story of a million other bands. But keep in mind, it's also the story of a bunch of other bands who are still together. Artistic liaisons formed from mutual respect and admiration tend to have a lot of staying power.

"We're really quickly finding out who we are as a band now," says Stoltz, about Thread's creative process. "There's more influence from all three of us on material. We're mellowing out, but going to a deeper level."

Stoltz expresses how diverse and opinionated each Thread member is, but the bond of friendship and shared interests makes it easy to create songs together.

However, when talking about their current CD (released in August 1994), Stoltz issues a disclaimer or two.

"That's not a completely true representation of how we sound now," he explains. "We've changed a lot since then. We were going through a phase, Rocky was going through a phase when it was recorded. Maybe only a few tracks on it sound like we do now. The CD is almost mainstream, and we want to forge new ground."

That Thread sound is hard to pin down. The tunes are anchored by some wicked percussion, intense and rhythmic and tribal sounding; but the guitar layered over is silty and indefinable, like a shimmering heat mirage of psychedelic colors, a huge sound created by Stoltz's lone guitar.

Stoltz says this sound seems to be drawing in the requisite number of beer-drinking bodies, which Thread expose as being the true key to getting those elusive bookings.

"Yeah, we're self-managed, and it sucks!" he exclaims. "We divided up the chores so it's easier - Rocky takes care of the bookings, and fortunately he seems to have the stomach for that. I manage the mailing list and advertising. And of course Brian is the treasurer and roadie, because he has the trailer."

"It is hard at first to get gigs," Jackson elaborates. "You have to work your way up."

"And you have to prove you can bring people in to the shows," Stoltz says. "It comes down to how many beer-drinking people you can attract. We seem to have a pretty good relationship with a lot of places now, no more Monday night shows in Kent."

And though they appear to be getting those prime shows, this alone does not necessarily signify the sign of success for Thread.

"We vary a little on what makes a good show," says Stoltz. "Rocky likes it when we have a great response from the crowd. I mean, that's such a feeling when you have a bunch of people cheering and shouting your name! I find it the best when we just have a good night playing together. Rocky likes the moshing."

"Of course, a nightmare show is like that one New Year's Eve in Kirkland," adds Jackson. "Everyone in the crowd was drunk and obnoxious, they couldn't care less if we were live or on CD, three or four fights broke out and they shut down early.'

Where to catch Thread: Tomorrow night at the Colourbox, 113 1st S.; 340-4101.

Are you in a local band? If you'd like to be considered for Sound Check, send a cover letter telling us about your band and your upcoming gigs, the name and daytime phone number of your manager or contact person, a tape and a photo to Sound Check, c/o Jan Even, Seattle Times, PO Box 70, Seattle WA 98111.