About The Myriad
Combining passionate intensity with an undeniable melodic maturity, Seattle's The Myriad present a fascinating sound reminiscent of the grandiose fearlessness of Muse to the energetic dance rock of Franz Ferdinand. With an eye on reaching epic magnitudes while still maintaining a deeply personal substructure, Jeremy Edwardson, John Roger Schofield, Steven Tracy, Jonathan Young and Scott Davis crafted a stunning album in their 2005 Floodgate release You Can't Trust a Ladder.
"For us, ladders represent short cuts," says Steven Tracy (guitar, keys). "The amazing parts of life are lived going through them, not around them. It takes a special courage to walk into a mess, courage that I wish I always had, but ultimately that is were hope and beauty exist. We can find them if we're open to a little battle."
Like a stealthy archer ready to take a clean shot with an arrow at the right moment, so was The Myriad with the creation of their followup album "With Arrows, With Poise". After winning the MTV2 “Dew Circuit Breakout” in December, the band’s May 2008 release was food for a public ravenous for more of The Myriad.
“It felt like we needed to take a moment and decide what it was that we needed to do. We identified with the archery metaphor—where everything must be very precise and accurate. You have one moment to take that shot and you’re doing it with poise in-between your own heartbeats and breaths. It was that idea; this is the moment that we really have to capitalize on, this is what we have to do. That set the tone for the whole album,” passionately shares Steven Tracy.
“A Clean Shot”, the first single and music video from the album, was also the song The Myriad sang live in the TRL studios in the heart of New York City ’s Times Square upon winning MTV2’s contest. “The weird part is that there was this giant screen in Times Square right behind us, so as I’m playing, sometimes I’d turn around and see myself on this huge screen outside the studio and everyone’s watching it. That’s when it became real,” shares Steven.
Archery wasn’t the only things on the minds of the The Myriad as they recorded; they were also deeply enthralled with the mystery of God and the supernatural. The piano-driven melody “Forget What You Came For” is a song urging to abandon their personal agendas as they come before God. “It’s sort of a call to clear your mind and wait and see what comes of it, letting God reveal Himself to you in a new way,” says Steven, then adding, “If we really allow ourselves to ponder the complexity of God and the mystery of God, it brings us into a different level of fear and awe.”
“We just try to speak to the world. We’re not speaking to any particular group of people, whether it be lyrically or just hanging out. When Jesus Christ came down, He was hanging with everyone. It didn’t matter what your economic status, your background, whether you were part of the government or not, whether you were a Pharisee or a Sadducee, He just wanted to hang with people because He loved them,” says Jonathan.
In fact, the band itself marvels how God can be so powerfully praised through a secular song, “The first time I listened to ‘OK, Computer’ (Radiohead) I felt like I was sitting in the throne room of heaven. God revealed Himself to me in a way that I have never experienced before,” shares Steven. “Of course, the band probably didn’t have that agenda for the listener, but God is bigger than what we set out to do, something for which I am immensely grateful.”
Generally frustrated with the market distinction between Christian and secular music, Jonathan says, “I love go to into museums, whether the MFA ( Museum of Fine Arts ) in Boston or the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC). When you look at a piece of art, like a painting or a sculpture, you’re mesmerized that this kind of beauty can exist in this life. Most people don’t say, ‘I wonder if he’s a Christian’ or ‘I wonder what his belief system is.’ They’re just enjoying that piece of work right there as it is. It makes me wonder why in music there’s a different set of guidelines.” He sighs and goes on to say that it’s human nature to nomenclature everything and urges people to utilize their critical thinking skills.
Whether sharing the stage with Third Day or Mutemath, The Myriad lets their lives and lyrics do the speaking, as well as their personal interactions with fans. “People ask us, ‘How does your faith play into your music?’ For us, it’s like, how does it not? We’re believers and we’re just making the best art that we know how to make, and of course, our beliefs are going to come out in different ways. It may not be the conventional ways,” elaborates Steven. “We just want to make good music. Our responsibility is to make the best art that God has gifted us to make. His glory will shine through that sort of thing.”
"There are moments in art, whether it's music, sculpture, painting, film or whatever, where you get the sense of something greater being part of the motivation to create," says Steven. "When you watch a film and the hairs on your neck stand up, or you look at a painting and want to climb inside of it... all of sudden it becomes as much your's as the artist's. If people leave our shows feeling a sense of connection, of ownership; there is no greater feeling than that for us."