Having spent years developing his craft as a live performer and songwriter, touring with the likes of Ali Barter, Husky and Gretta Ray, Melbourne-based musician and producer, Gamilaroi man Tyler Millott found a whole new rhythm with the debut of his solo project, The Terrifying Lows, in 2018.
His music, dark and addictive, The Terrifying Lows engaged with a brand of rock music that beckons the listener to lose themselves in waves of seductive guitars, hypnotic vocals and insatiable rhythms. And now, after a string of recent releases, The Terrifying Lows arrives at a touchstone point in his career: the release of his debut album.
The self-titled studio record captures The Terrifying Lows at a new creative peak. Across nine tracks, the listener gets a new insight into his intimate and nuanced scope of song writing. Moreover, The Terrifying Lows is an album that is a striking, immersive listen. Tyler goes in to greater detail with Hi Fi Way about his album.
Congratulations on the album, how challenging has the last eighteen months or so have been to getting the album done?
I feel like making the album was a real saving grace throughout the past eighteen months and it was everything else that was hard. Still being able to be creative and work towards something really meaningful was a real blessing.
How hard was it narrowing it down to nine songs?
Not hard at all. These were the clear standouts. I didn’t second guess that once. There was one song that I left off intentionally which is probably going to make an appearance in future works.
Sonically, how would you describe your album?
Dark, moody, crunchy, groovy, atmospheric.
What was the biggest lesson learnt in the studio you wouldn’t repeat again?
To not undercook the arrangements. I’ve always worked off a less is more mentality but I think I’ve been guilty of under representing my song ideas in the past. I have to tip my hat to Alex Markwell on that one who co-produced the record. He has a great way of filling up a song to the point of spilling over, then tipping a little out to give it room to move.
Did COVID force you to work any differently?
Yeah it really broke up the process. Fitting sessions in between lockdowns etc. Which wasn’t entirely a terrible thing. It gave me time to reflect on each step before being able to move on to the next chunk. A lot of the drums were recorded remotely as well.
What did you think when you played the final mix back for the first time?
It was a bit surreal to have something I was working on so hard for so long suddenly come to conclusion. Once it sunk in that there wasn’t any more to do on the music itself I was left feeling elated. It was amazing to realise that I had really gone and done it.
Is it hard to listen to your album like a fan would without thinking what you could tweak or change?
I can definitely listen to it as a fan. I think I’m so happy with the final result that there really isn’t much I would change anyway and that puts me in the right headspace to just sit back and enjoy the journey.
Which artists/bands would you consider to be some of the biggest influences in shaping the album?
I feel like this album is going to end up being a bigger amalgamation of influences from all throughout my entire life than the next couple are going to be. But definitely the dark balladeers like Alex Turner and Lana Del Rey, and bands like Autolux and Queens of the Stoneage.
How much are looking forward to getting the green light to be able to tour and play shows?
I feel the Australian music community has just been given the green light and it’s amazing. Feeling free to plan shows without impending cancellation is a real relief. We now know that this can change at any given moment but it really is starting to feel like the end of all that bullshit.
What’s next for The Terrifying Lows?
Touring early 2022… yet to be announced so watch this space! Then I start recording the next album in March at Newmarket Studios, North Melbourne.
Interview By Rob Lyon