Interview: Tad

This record has drawn on a lot of music that I’ve created in the past yet at the same time, I strive not to repeat myself, musically. I approach my own music as wanting to blaze new musical trails.

Tad or Thomas Andrew Doyle to give him his full name has been a constant and comforting presence over the past thirty five years when it comes to alternative music and still is to this day. With his bands TAD, Hog Molly and Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, he has produced so much vital music and this is also relevant to his solo albums. The latest of which, Forgotten Sciences, is out soon and Gavin Brown caught up with Tad to hear all about it and its creation as well as his record label and music studio, how cinema inspires his music and his music career as a whole.

E&D: Your new solo album Forgotten Sciences is out soon. How did the creation of the album go?          

Tad: It started with just a rough idea and then it completely blossomed into a 55-minute song that I had to edit down so it would work and fit on a 12-inch vinyl LP.  It originally started as a synthesiser bass line. Then I started adding layers, and eventually did drums and sang vocals. The whole creation of the song which is meant to be heard as one piece of music from start to finish was two years in the making.

E&D: Have you been wanting to make a new solo album for a while?  

Tad: I have. I’ve had a lot of songs and ideas that I’ve been working on in piecemeal in between working with bands and projects that record at my studio. I finally had to quit taking on new recording projects from bands so I could spend the time needed to finish my own recordings.

E&D: What were the biggest influences on the songs of Forgotten Sciences

Tad: That is a tough question. I never know how to answer that one. One of the influences is that I had to do it over such a long period of time. I have been so busy working on other people’s music for them that I had to do mine when there were spare moments here and there. On one hand, that method enabled me to examine and critically refiner what I had. On the other hand, it was a difficult way to work, because I had to reacquaint myself with the song(s) after working on other people’s music all of the time. I just had to make time to complete my own music.

E&D: Do you feel that this album is amongst the most eclectic that you have ever done?

Tad: This record has drawn on a lot of music that I’ve created in the past yet at the same time, I strive not to repeat myself, musically. I approach my own music as wanting to blaze new musical trails. I tend to get really bored with conventional song structures. I feel that as a musician/artist that it’s my job to challenge the way people think. I tend to push myself away from playing things safe both sonically and lyrically.

E&D: Forgotten Sciences has a huge cinematic feel to it. Were film scores an influence on this album at all?

Tad: I think that the cinematic feel came from me moving in that direction and wanting to create scores for film and TV. That is something that I wanted to do since I released Incineration Ceremony back in 2018.

E&D: What are your favourite movie scores of all time? 

Tad: Well, there are too many to list. To this day, the soundtrack for the original Planet of the Apes by Jerry Goldsmith stands out as being one of the most innovative I could imagine. To be completely honest, I become so immersed in a movie sometimes that the visual art, story, and music score become a singular entity in and of itself. When the elements are all working together, that makes for a special experience. 

E&D: Will you be playing live shows in support of the new record when it comes out? 

Tad: For this record, it’s not likely that I will play live shows to support it. For the last eight records, I have written everything in solitude. I can’t imagine bringing other musicians into the mix at this point, especially for this record. For me at least, I derive much more satisfaction from creating by myself and releasing music however I can. Playing live shows isn’t that rewarding to me anymore.


E&D: Over the many shows that you have played over the years. Which ones stand out to you today? 

Tad: Playing at the Roadburn festival was definitely a highlight. Mostly from the standpoint of all of the great bands that we were able to hang out with and see. It was really fun to have my wife playing in Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, and for her to be on tour with me. We had such a wonderful experience connecting with our tribe that all came together there. It was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

E&D: Will there be any more new music from Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth?

Tad: At this point, I’m not ruling out the possibility. However, my music career is moving more towards film scores and that’s really where my heart and passion lies in music.

E&D: What have been some of the highlights from the band over the years? 

Tad: Again, playing Roadburn festival was phenomenal. Going on tour with our friends Neurosis in the United States was amazing. Being on tour with Soundgarden and Alice In Chains was pretty special too. 

E&D: Do you look back on your on the legacy of TAD with pride and what are some of your favourite memories from the band? 

Tad: Absolutely! I am very proud of what we accomplished. A lot of my favourite memories are from the early days when we were touring in the van in the early stage of our career. I feel very lucky that I got to play with the band TAD as well as Hog Molly and eventually Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and share all of our experiences together. We are all still really good friends and keep in touch with each other. 

E&D: What were the early days of the band like and being part of the rise of grunge? 

Tad: It was a really exciting time for us and for a lot of our friends. I feel like I have already answered this question in previous interviews, ad infinitum. Suffice to say that there are things that you like to retain on a personal level and a lot of my most favourite memories are like that. I am a very private person and don’t feel like elaborating much on this topic.

E&D: TAD worked with Jack Endino, Steve Albini, and Butch Vig. How was the experience of working with them? 

Tad: All of these guys were right for the time that we worked with them. They all brought something different to the table with their skills. 

E&D: What are your memories of touring with Soundgarden?

Tad: The camaraderie that we all shared together. To me, that was the most important thing. We were friends first and foremost. We had watched each other grow musically over the years, and to share the same stages was a gift that I will never forget. There was a lot of fun and laughter involved. 

E&D: What albums have influenced you the most as a musician? 

Tad: All of the records that I have in my collection. It’s impossible to narrow it down to specific influences. I grew up listening to classical music and AM radio. I was a kid in the late 60s and 70s. My formative years were laced with bebop jazz, classical music, rock and hard rock, metal as well as prog-rock then in the 70s punk rock came around. All of these types of music were definitely an influence to me.  

E&D: What have been some of the highlights from your Witch Ape studio? 

Tad: Getting to work with a lot of different musicians, and helping them to realise their musical vision. Having a band or project send me the finished product is pretty rewarding. We worked hard on the music together. Getting the right sound and tones is a process and it is a lot of hard work on many levels. The main highlight is when we are all having fun creating together. That is what makes it for me. When everyone is at the top of their musical game and things are falling into place and taking shape. When the synergy between the musicians and myself is fitting together and we are intuitively on the same page in communication and ideas. When everything is recorded and mixed and the end result becomes greater than the sum of all of the parts. That is the magic.

E&D: Who would you love to work with in any capacity in the future? 

Tad: Film directors, and TV directors in the sci-fi and horror genres. 

E&D: What has your Incineration Ceremony record label got planned for the rest of the year?

Tad: Two more releases from me. 

E&D: How have your recent Eternal Nameless and ABERRANT releases been received so far? 

Tad: Really good. They are both still very new records that just came out this year. I feel like those releases have yet to be discovered by a lot of people that would really like what I am doing now. 

E&D: What have been some of the proudest moments in your long musical career? 

Tad: I am very proud of the fact that I continue to evolve and make music, no matter what. I stayed the course and kept moving forward without losing focus on what I wanted to accomplish musically. At every stage in my career, every band and musical project holds its own place on my trophy shelf. I am very proud of the people that I’ve worked with musically over the years. Most of all, I feel that I am proud of the fact that I had and still have a vision. That I followed through with my ideas while trusting my instincts to piece together an uncompromising, inspired, and compelling legacy.

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