Wednesday , February 28 2024
"I believe our new album covers much more ground. And has its own character and sound" - Tim DeLaughter, lead singer of the Polyphonic Spree

Interview With Tim DeLaughter Of The Polyphonic Spree

When I saw that The Polyphonic Spree had a new EP coming out I jumped on it. The band has one of the more original, innovative sounds and styles around.

Who would guess that Tim DeLaughter, former lead singer for Tripping Daisy, would go on to head this ensemble project?

The EP is fittingly titled Wait, since that is what fans are doing as they anticipate the new album, The Fragile Army, coming out. I didn't know what to make of the EP – which includes covers of "Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs and "Lithium" by Nirvana – so I put that and other questions to DeLaughter in an interview conducted by email.

First, what have you guys been up to? I loved the debut EP and CD but haven't heard much from you in the last two years. What's been going on?

Man, what a question. What hasn't been going on the last two years? We'll just say preparing an album, on a much needed break and having babies.
Rather than me try to put a label on your new direction, how would you describe how the new EP – and forthcoming album – sound different from the old stuff?

I'd say it's a little more urgent. More electric. And still in the spirit of The Spree. We are excited to have utilized the instruments in a different light.

I'm not sure what to make of the covers of Psychedelic Furs and Nirvana on your EP. Why did you decide on those particular songs?

It's one of those things that we didn't overthink. It was spontaneous and we had a chance to work with Jon Brion. He came to Dallas for an evening and we just cranked out different ideas and songs 'til we stumbled upon these two. The idea was to do a cover or two but not sure what. Yes, ballsy to have covered Nirvana. But Jon made sure it was our own while paying tribute to one of the best songs ever written. 

Is the EP representative of how the album itself will sound? I ask because sometimes bands use EPs to put out some material that is atypical of the rest of their work.
No. I don't think so. The only common thread really is the fact there is a little more "rock" factor, but I believe our new album covers much more ground. And has its own character and sound.

I read your new album is going to be anti-war. Is that correct?

Hmmmm. The new album asks questions as we humans constantly do… then has bursts of emotion exploring politics, love and relationships… and how we are affected.

What's the best part about being part of such a large band? What's the worst part?

The best is obviously the opportunity to play with so many great players… as well as the adventure instrumentally. I love the immediate gratification I get with this group.

The worst? Having approximately 30 people on the road and in the studio trying to survive in order to present a real show/recording with all instruments intact whilst hearing about three- and four-piece bands "hiring" out a sound for studio recordings, then being hailed as a "rock opera" in the commercial world while traveling in two or three buses with little, or true presentation of the title they've earned.

You can hear some of the band's music at its My Space site.

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been working in mental health for the last ten years. He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.

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