Interview with The Feather: Under the Bridge

The Feather. Photo Belinda Belice. The Feather. Photo Belinda Belice.

The Feather was visiting Quebec for an exceptional tour. Thomas Medard is the center of this new project and it was a long road. The Belgian artist accompanied by musicians went on tour to present Invisible. The album was released last year. Medard who is known for his work in the Dan San band wanted to write songs outside of a group and be the sole master of the destiny of his songs. The week of July 13 announced the end of a great tour that lasted more than two years. I had the chance to follow the band on their last day in Montreal as they were filming a live session for Beware under the Jacques-Cartier bridge. It was a sunny day. I did not have time to be nervous. I was choking under the oppressive heat. It was still a great experience. Between two takes, I spoke to a very calm and relaxed Medard.

Bélinda Bélice (BB): Ready?

Thomas Medard (TM): Yes.


BB: OK great. You came to Canada last year, right?

TM: Yes, absolutely.


BB: Are you happy to be back?

TM: Yeah. Super happy. We did not expect to return so quickly. So that’s cool.


BB: Yesterday, you were in the Quebec Summer Festival and this is an exceptional tour you are doing here in Quebec. How did it go?

TM: It was fine. We did not expect to play in front of so many people. Every night, we had a public. We played six times in all. The summer festival in Quebec City on the plain, we played in front of 7,000 people. It was very impressive. We played The Circle in Quebec. We played on the roof of a building, we did a session under a bridge, we played in a church and we played in a brand new club that just opened two weeks ago in Ottawa. We played a lot of very different places. It is a tour where there were no dead time. Not a moment where we said that we would have done something else or we waste our time. We are always on the road playing shows. Time passed quickly. We didn’t have time to be bored.


BB: The fan response was good?

TM: We didn’t have any fans here. It’s discovery. Many people saw us. Some have discovered us. We had a great response. We came with CDs. We sold them all. Super critics. We finished a concert and then people wanted us to come back on stage. So that’s great. That’s great.


BB: Invisible was a long writing and recording process. What was so difficult?

TM: It was not difficult, it was long. Yes, I took my time. Next to The Feather, I have another project called Dan San. That project is a group project, there are several musicians. There are ideas and we put them together. For The Feather, I wanted to work alone and not having to change songs based on the opinion of others. It was my songs so I did not want to impose them to a group. This is not a group like Dan San where everyone has a say. So, I put songs aside and I said to myself when I have the feeling of having a beginning, a middle and an end for this album, I’ll release it. I had no time constraints, I had no label waiting for me or put me pressure. After a few years, I put some songs aside and then I got a full album. I recorded at home by taking the time. I did everything alone. I lived in a country house. I turned it into a recording studio. I did a lot of flea market, I bought children’s toys, old instruments and all that is found on this album. A large playing field. It took time because I wanted to take the time.


BB: How did this project start? What you wanted to do with this album?

TM: I just wanted to make songs. I didn’t especially want to do concerts or tour. When the record came out, my label said that I must go on tour to defend the songs. I called on some friends to join me. We formed a band around the album. We started to do concerts, but basically, it was not the goal. I just wanted the songs to exist. It happens that the album has been created and we have done a lot of concerts. Over a hundred. There was a nice response. That’s cool, I did not expect anything and something happened. It is still an independent album that has made its way. All that we had, it’s a bonus.


BB: You did not want to tour with this album, is it also because you were afraid of the reception?

TM: Yeah, it’s just that it takes time to form a group. Working alone at home, it’s different. It depends on me and find time of rehearsals takes time. Everyone is not always available. That discouraged me a little. In the end, we did it and it’s great. I don’t regret it, but basically, it takes time. I didn’t particularly want a second group where I would be at the center of the project.


BB: Invisible is a bit different from what you do with Dan San. By cons, there is always melancholy, dreamlike. It is a universe that you hold dear?

TM: Yes. When I write songs, it is always the music that I like. Sure it looks a lot like Dan San ultimately because these are songs with verses, choruses and texts are in English. It’s pop music. I make music that I like. It’s just the approach is different. Dan San is a band and The Feather is truly personal.


BB: The Feather will continue to exist in the future?

TM: Yeah, yeah. Dan San’s next album is composed and recorded. We will release it in January. It’s been two years since I toured with The Feather with the same album. Here in Montreal, it’s the end of the tour. There will be a new tour with Dan San. Meanwhile, I was already writing a new album for The Feather. There are already a lot of songs written. I have already recorded several songs for The Feather. When I’m ready, I’ll release an album.


BB: What can we expect for the second album? In the same genre as Invisible?

TM: Maybe less dark. Brighter I think. It will surely be more positive songs. There are a lot of songs where it’s very sad. The Feather, it is melancholy. The next album will be more joyful.


BB: Right. Well that’s all. Thank you very much for answering my questions.

TM: It’s cool.