An Interview with the Unique 22 Member Band, Polyphonic Spree’s Colorful and Enthusiastic Lead Singer, Tim DeLaughter!
Posted On 08 Aug 2014
Tag: Bootleg HiFi, Dallas, David Bowie, Friends And Family, Good Records Recordings, Holidaydream, Imagine, Kirtland Records, Nobel Peace Price Awards, Oprah Winfrey, Polyphonic Spree, Pschophonic, Sarah Jaffe, Texas, The Beginning Stages of, The Fragile Army, Tim DeLaughter, Together We're Heavy, Tom Cruise, Tyson Meade, Yes It's True
The Polyphonic Spree has ranged in size from 13 to 27 members. It has never been about the size but about the sound. The band currently has 22 active members. They have released five full length studio albums up to this point: The Beginning Stages of…, Together We’re Heavy, The Fragile Army, Holidaydream and Yes, It’s True.
They will be releasing Psychphonic on August 12th which is a remix album of the band’s current album, Yes, It’s True via Good Records Recordings/Kirtland Records. It features remixes of every track from the collective’s most diverse and personally charged work to date. Psychphonic will come out just as the band kicks off the second leg of their coast-to-coast Psychphonic 2014 summer tour.
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, this group was formed in 2000 by Tim DeLaughter. Their sound relies on a variety of vocal and instrumental color by featuring a choir, flute, trumpet, french horn, trombone, violin, viola, cello, percussion, piano, guitars, bass, drums and more.
I recently had the awesome opportunity to interview DeLaughter and learn more about this incredibly unique and interesting group.
How has your summer tour been going? Had any favorite venues and/or crowds yet?
Thanks for asking, it’s been going great! There’s still another leg to go, but Id say LA, Portland and San Fran were pretty great. Really liked the venue in LA, The Bootleg HiFi.
There are typically many members in the band. Does it ever get too busy and too much on stage? How do you all maintain your sanity with that many people to organize and play with?
It can get crowded on stage but we’ve been making it work for 14yrs now. We always adjust to the stage, move this here, move this there, etc. We never have “too much”, we have what we need to perform our sound and that’s it. We are all adults who are understanding of what we have to do to make things work. We pull together and carry our weight and the fact that there’s so many of us is why it works. We love what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with, so there’s no issue.
I will say it’s expensive, and that can and is a burden. Do the math, you get paid like a 4 piece, but you have 4 bands in your group. That’s where the sanity issue comes into play. Yikes!!
What’s it like touring with that many people and all their instruments too? Must get a little crowded from time to time, huh?
We make it work, we are fortunate enough to tour on a special bus that is made for hockey teams. So we have room, plus we pull a trailer that holds all our equipment/instruments etc. It’s actually pretty comfortable believe it or not.
You guys use a ton of instruments! Are there any that you would still like to use or experiment with?
Not really. We have had pretty much every instrument we have ever wanted. Thankfully.
What music are you guys listening to now? Any new artists out there that you are loving?
Well, you would have to ask everyone bout that. But, for me, I’m all over the place. I listen to everything from easy listening to psych rock. We had Sarah Jaffe out with us (awesome by the way) on the first leg and she has some great great songs. Also been listening to Tyson Meade’s new record.
Where do you get the inspiration for your music?
All over this wonderful planet we live on. The human beings in my life and my imagination that sometimes works out for me.
What are some concerts that you’ve been to that blew you away? Have you gotten your inspiration for your shows from other artists?
It takes a lot to blow me away. I don’t go out enough to give you an accurate account. I do love a lot of shows out there, like Sarah and a band called Friends And Family. I think there’s a quite a bit of great bands touring these days. There has never been a band like The Polyphonic Spree, so, I would have to say no, there’s not a band out there that inspired this group’s show.
The clothing you guys wear is pretty awesome and certainly puts audiences in a time machine for the night. Where do the concepts come for these outfits?
Thank you, we design our own clothes. I came up with the concept of the robes in the beginning, then decided to shorten the guys top to tunics, a shorter looking robe. We are now working with a designer who is collaborating with us on fabrics and the girls design.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
There have been so many favorite memories in 14yrs. Id say singing a duet with David Bowie, when we toured with him. Also playing the Nobel Peace Prize Awards in Norway, as well as singing “Imagine” with Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise while holding their hands. That was pretty quirky I guess!
Any pre-performance rituals?
A few drinks and a meditation with cpl high fives and some “you’s”!!! And we’re ready to glide.
When you guys aren’t performing or writing new material, what do you like to do for fun? How do you wind down?
We are all very busy people who are productive in their personal lives. Many are working musicians, actresses to chefs and teachers to business owners. We run the gamut for sure. For me, it’s my family. I wind up and down with my family of 5.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
Nothing in particular, I just want them to enjoy it and hope that there’s something in the words that works for them. It helps me, maybe it could help them at times.
What’s next for Polyphonic Spree? What do you hope the band will be doing in 5, 10, 20+ years?
We are in the midst of creating a long awaited TV show that gives you insight to one of the most intriguing bands to date. Be prepared to laugh your ass off!
Thanks for the support!!