Austin’s The Soldier Thread has been gaining steam over the past year, and, if you are lucky enough to see them at SXSW this year, you are in for quite a show.
The Soldier Thread may have already been on your radar, but with a nod from Austin’s 101X DJ, Toby Ryan last year, their single, “Anybody” ft. Zeale, made the short list of 101X Staff Picks. It was also listed as one of Ryan’s top five songs of the year. Radio play and additional press aside, The Soldier Thread also worked hard to spread the word in person. The band also launched their first national tour last spring and made their first trip out of Texas to open for Houston rockers, Blue October.
The extended radio play and tour has definitely changed the playing field for this quintet, made up of Patricia Lynn (lead vocals, viola, keyboard), Todd Abels (guitar, keyboard, backup vocals), Justin McHugh (keyboard, guitar, backup vocals), Drew Vandiver (drums) and Chance Gilmore (bass guitar). New-found fans have flourished and the exposure has led to more opportunities to play in Austin’s competitive music scene.
AFM: This is probably a popular question, but where did the band name The Soldier Thread come from?
Justin & Todd: We were originally The Tourist, that was our first band’s name, but it wasn’t unique enough. So, we started throwing around some other ideas. Patricia had previously written a song called The Soldier Thread and one day while we were driving I, (Justin) just put it out there and said this is a pretty cool name, we should name the band The Soldier Thread. According to Patricia, The Soldier Thread is the thing you use to move on with your life after loss or a hardship. It’s the strength that you use to mend.
AFM: So, do you all have day jobs? Do you hang out socially?
Justin: Well, we all have our own lives and our own jobs, but we’re pretty much together every weekend. We hang out a lot. Todd & I were friends back in high school and Patricia and I met at Texas State. On any given night even when we’re not playing we may very well end up at the same party. It’s good though, we’re all friends.
AFM: So, obviously things are going well and you’re getting more recognition then before. Where do you want to be?
Justin: Funny you mention the prior question about day job. That’s where I’d like to be, where I don’t have a day job. We don’t need a boatload of money, but it would be nice to able to wake up and say let’s grab some coffee and get started working on some projects or planning a tour or event. Devote 100% of our time. Success would be when we could focus on just this.
AFM: When you’re at SXSW who do you want to see?
Justin: Oh, plenty of bands. We’re still trying to plan our schedules in between our own shows. We usually just like to grab a backpack and walk around and until we find something. The free stuff is good. Of course, the ultimate goal of SXSW is to never buy one beer or one meal. If you can do that, it’s successful.
AFM: With your recent success, how has it opened doors for you?
Patricia: We have so many more requests for shows and showcases and can be a lot pickier about where and when we play. It definitely has its perks. We’re hoping to go back on tour later this year and head back to visit some of the spots we visited in the Midwest and East Coast when we toured with Blue October.
AFM: What are your plans for the near future? What should we expect from The Soldier Thread?
The Soldier Thread: Well, we just released an EP in January and we’re expecting to release another soon, possibly by summer. We’re also planning another big event in Austin in May with venue and details still to be determined. It’s a little secret at the moment, but it’ll be big. We’ll be sure to keep Austin Fusion Magazine in the loop.