Gamilaroi musician and producer Tyler Millot, known as the Terrifying Lows, has released his debut album.
Described as “brooding rock” and a “grungy pop sensation”, The Terrifying Lows is a 9-track collection which explores themes of anxiety, self-destruction, and distortion.
Speaking to the National Indigenous Times, Millot said the release felt “great”.
“I’ve been a session music playing in bands for years and years and years,” he laughed.
“To have this now – I’m just so happy I’ve finally done it.”
Based on Wurundjeri Country, Millot hails from Jervis Bay – Yuin Country.
“I’m a Gamilaroi man and my Mum was born on Country in Moree. I grew up in Jervis Bay,” he said.
Millot grew up in a household of singers, in a “very loud house”.
“My Dad is a bluesy, rock and roll singer. I grew up around AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, that Aussie pub-rock and that American Country sound. It’s given me a big love for lyrics,” he said.
At 15-years, Millot began his professional career as a musician, a year later he was performing in Wollongong and Sydney.
At 19-years, he moved to Naarm.
“I fell into my first session gig not long after I get there, it just flowed from there,” he said.
“One thing would crumble or fall away, and the next thing would sweep me up. It just kept getting better and better.”
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In 2014, Millot scored a gig working with musician Ali Barter – an opportunity that opened his eyes to the reality of touring.
“I watched her rise and rise, seeing that and becoming part of that world – touring a lot, touring a lot, it’s made it so believable that I could do it,” he said.
In 2018, Millot became The Terrifying Lows, charting his own solo journey and releasing two songs.
Millot recalls the process of finding his name.
“I didn’t want to perform under my own name, my last name has always haunted me because it’s the kind of name people spell wrong or pronounce wrong. So, it had to be a band name,” he said.
“One day I was going for a run, and it popped into my head. It was the first thing I had come up with that I liked.
“My go-to is always check Spotify, type the band name, if it’s there you can’t have it. So I typed it in and it wasn’t there – so it was up for the taking.”
Shortly after, Millot realised the name was not as original as he had thought.
“After I was set on it, I realised it was a quote from the Simpsons,” he laughed.
“There’s an episode where Homer comes across this big pile of sugar and he gives Marge this speech – ‘I want it all Marge, the dizzying highs, the terrifying lows’.
“I thought it was a stroke of genius, turns out it was a subliminal Simpson reference.”
At the end of 2019, Millot recorded two more songs – which were the beginning of the album.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty around gigs and lockdowns – Millot held back on release.
“About six months into 2020, I realised it was an opportunity to start creating something,” he said.
“I wrote and recorded all of the songs by the end of 2020. From there it was fitting recordings in between lockdowns.
“I’m just a big believer if you want something, you can’t sit around hoping it will come. You just have to work at it and do it.”
With a generous grant from Creative Victoria, The Terrifying Lows became a reality.
“That funding helped me fund finishing the album, I was able to bring in another producer …. the album became something I didn’t expect. It just levelled up,” he said.
The album became a piece of art that reflects the man Millot is.
“It’s hard [to find your sound], you could be anything, your music could sound like anything so it’s so hard to know where to begin,” he said.
“I thought I knew what I wanted to do, I put out those first two songs, played a few shows and realised that it wasn’t the sound I wanted.
“I took a big break … and I re-conceptualised my sound. I came up with something that felt more natural.
“It’s why I love this album so much, it really does reflect who I am.”
With plans to tour the east coast early next year and to start recording album number 2 in March, Millot is a star on the rise.
“It’s crazy, it feels like only the beginning,” he laughed.
“I think it’s been a real learning curve to tackle something like an album. It’s easy enough to write one song and record one song. But it’s scary when it’s 10 songs. Now I’ve done it, I feel like I can do it again!”
By Rachael Knowles