We recently had the chance to sit down with Kier Byrnes from Boston-based alt-country Americana band Three Day Threshold. Huge thanks to Kier for taking time out to sit down and answer some questions for us!
Indie Minded: For those who may not be familiar with Three Day Threshold, tell us a little about yourself and your sound.
Kier Byrnes: We used to call our music electrified bluegrass. There are a lot of purists in the bluegrass movement around here, and we are not purists. So as we branched out styles more, we called ourselves “Good Country Gone Terribly, Terribly Bad”.
IM: Three Day Threshold has been around for a while (not 1905, really? LOL), how has the music scene changed since your humble beginnings?
KB: Not too much has changed, except that people don’t buy music anymore (which I guess is a huge change for a lot of reasons). But as long as people still like to come out and have a few beers and get a bit rowdy, we will have an audience.
IM: What should people expect when they come to a live show?
KB: For us, 1 of every 3 shows is a complete train wreck for whatever reason. So it just depends on the night. As a side note: the train wreck shows tend to be my favorite.
IM: You’re from Boston, the indie scene is alive and kickin’ in Boston, but do you still find it difficult to get people to come out to live shows?
KB: Not really. As long as we are playing somewhere that serves beer, I know a bunch of people who will show up.
IM: Who are some of your musical influences?
KB: I like how Mark Sandman made rock without guitars. I like how world renown mandolin virtuoso, Jimmy Ryan can write songs that are simple in chord structure but layers on melodies so rich, they take on a differential life. I like how Jonathan Richmond can make the most mundane words into a song with an interesting story.
IM: You guys recently played for the troops in the Middle East and Africa – #1, how did you land that gig and B: how do you top that?
KB: I have no idea. We are on some list with the pentagon (and that makes me nervous) but how to top it? I have no idea. That was a pretty great experience. We have done some crazy shit over the years, playing in a prison in the Netherlands, a skydive festival in Maine and at a private party at the estate of Fred Noe, great grandson and master distiller of Jim Beam whiskeys. That was a fun one.
IM: What got you started in music?
KB: I seriously can’t remember that far back. My grandfather was a professional singer in the big band era. My parents were anti me playing music. Best way to get a teenager to do something is to forbid him to do it I suppose.
IM: Do you have an opinion on what’s going on right now with streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music?
KB: My opinion doesn’t really matter. People will always go along the path of least resistance. We have to face it that our art has changed. Its being devalued but we need to be creative with what we do next to keep our music alive.
IM: What has been your biggest challenge when it comes to the music business?
KB: Keeping a healthy work-life balance. That goes for pretty much all aspects of my life, really.
IM: If you could play with any musician or band (dead or alive), who would it be?
KB: Honestly, I love just playing with my own band. I like to have guests sit in though. Jimmy Ryan is sitting in with us in October. Ken Casey of the Dropkick fame is supposed to sit in with us this weekend.
IM: What is your writing process like? Does the music come first or the vocals?
KB: Both. I’m always coming up with melodies and words. The thing is I intentionally never write them down. If they aren’t strong enough to get stuck in my head on repeat over and over, its not a song worth writing. That being said, I sometimes will be commissioned to write a song for a certain subject matter, and thats a different process, as it has to be more focused, and is often deadline driven.
IM: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2015 into 2016?
KB: We have at least 3 albums coming out on Bandcamp, that we will be remastering and adding to; a playlist of Christmas songs in December, a playlist of Celtic songs in March, and a playlist of summer/4th of July themed songs in June. My hope is that we add an EP of original, non-holiday themed music in there too.
IM: Guilty pleasure (music-wise) – everyone’s got one, who’s yours?
KB: Mine is the Barenaked Ladies. I love their music, even though I know I am probably a couple decades late to admitting it publicly. I was able to open for them last year at a show and they were the nicest guys you’d meet. They hung out and watched our set. National artists never do that. It was very cool. I have a lot of respect for them.
IM: How important do you find social media and engaging with your fans to be? Are you active on social media?
KB: I think you have to be active; and in that sense, I’d like to think we are trying to keep a good presence. There are so many avenues, its hard to keep up with every platform. There is so much competing information out there, its easy to be forgotten about.
IM: What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical journey?
KB: It could be this article. Fingers crossed. You have been awesome to help us get the word out about our music Kelly! Thank you for taking the time to support both us and the local scene!
IM: Aw, shucks! Thank you for saying that, I love the indie scene… and obviously… I love BOSTON!
IM: Before we let you go, who’ve YOU been listening to lately?
KB: I got to give a shout out to our old guitarist’s new band, American Authors. Those guys know how to write some really strong hooks. Otherwise, this is my personal listening schedule with regards to genres: Christmas music October – January, Irish music from January – March, Country Music from April – July and lastly Football August to December.