Getting back to the regular schedule with this week’s interview/feature with Nick White of Tilly and the Wall (read it here). When Tilly first appeared on the scene three or four years ago, I thought they were a unique and very cute addition to the scene. When Conor Oberst took them under his wing by making Wild Like Children the Team Love debut release, I thought it was smart, not only for Tilly but for Oberst. By that time, the band already had a national buzz going. But to be honest, I never thought the band would survive past the debut. Where could they go next? Well, years later and here they are with their follow-up and it looks like the only place they’re headed is up. While they’ve plowed the soil of their fanbase through touring, they haven’t really had the big national exposure — i.e., television, MTV — that will turn them into superstars. And believe me, they’re going to get it. Considering who they’re targeting with their music — a distinctively younger audience — Tilly is perfect fodder for the Conans and Lettermans and Lenos of the world, not to mention TRL. Should that happen, the sky’s the limit.
In the story, Nick and I cover the nature of the novelty, the tap dancing, the new record, their audience and their songs’ central message. Here’s some of the interview that didn’t make it into the piece due to space limitations:
Tell me about being on Team Love. Did Conor have to sign off on the record before it was released?We really wanted him more involved in the whole recording and production part of it. He didn’t get a chance to hear it until it was mostly finished. We sent him 12 songs that we recorded and started thinking about track order. That was a collaboration between Nate and Conor, and then we sat down as a band and discussed it. That was most of what he did. It would have liked him to have had a bigger role.So how has it been being on Team love?We couldn’t be happier. We have so much freedom to do what we want. We’ve been so lucky with him just starting a label. The press release will say that this is the second Tilly album on Conor Oberst’s label. It’s nice to be aligned with him. A lot of his bands really trust in his vision.What was it like working with AJ Mogis in the studio?He’s great. He’s good at micing stuff to make it sound really interesting and clean. He finds the exact sound you want. And he has a thing where he won’t tell you which take is best, but will do more takes if you’re willing. It was on our heads to decide if we needed another. It’s obviously has better sound quality than the debut because we did this one in a studio.I heard you moved to LA, true?I moved out in January but haven’t been there very much. I’ve been back a week before we left to tour Europe and play South by Southwest.Why the move?I have a couple friends there. I love the weather. LA’s got a bad rep. I wanted something … maybe just bigger and a little dirtier than Omaha. I love Omaha for sure. I’ve been here four and a half years. I’m from Atlanta. It’s funny to say this, but there’s so much stuff to walk to from my house — there’s a grocery store right across the street. I only drive on the freeway when people out of town come in and visit.How do you get pumped up before shows?It’s always so much fun just to perform. We feed off the audience energy. The five of us in a row on stage, it’s like a team vibe. It’s important to us that people have a good time at our shows.
And so on. Funny thing about the interview — I was given Nick’s cell number figuring I’d be reach him on the road. Turns out he was doing the interview from Caffeine Dreams!
Tonight at Sokol Underground, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness along with The Rogers Sisters and local phenoms Race for Titles. All for a mere $8 — an incredible bargain. Actually, a bargain you likely won’t find anywhere else but in Omaha, but I’ll talk more about that in this week’s column, which goes online tomorrow.
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