This interview was originally published in February 2012. The Polyphic Spree will return to Atlanta at The Loft on Saturday 8/30.
By Eileen Tilson
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules.” Although Steve Jobs was using these powerful words to describe the rebelliousness of the Apple company, they could just as easily be used to describe the folks in The Polyphonic Spree, who for decades have been going against the status quo with their choral symphonic pop rock. Using virtually every instrument under the sun to comprise their unique sound. We chatted via email with the ever so eccentric band leader, Tim DeLaughter, before their show at the Revolution Music Room in Little Rock on Feb. 8th.
First gig you ever went to?
Willie Nelson with Jerry Jeff Walker, In Dallas at the Sportitorium. I found $5.00 at the snack bar on the floor… I was 8 yrs old. That was a lot of money back then. I’m a HUGE Willie fan to this day….the money had nothing to do with it. Please come to our show and I’ll throw $20.00 on the floor in front of the bar for some lucky kid to find. Then, you’ll have a story to tell like me..38yrs later.
Best gig you played/performed at?
The “best gig ever played” is way too broad of question for someone who’s been playing shows since 1989.. My god, I’ve played all over the world, with some of the greatest artists ever. From David Bowie to Def Leppard…. We performed Sgt Peppers for the induction of the Beatles in the UK Hall of Fame in London. I wore Paul McCartney’s satin blue suit, the one in the gatefold of said album.
We played the Nobel Peace Prize Award show in Norway. After we played our song, we came back out for the finale, where we sang “Imagine” by John Lennon. We held hands while we did this, I had Tom Cruz holding my right hand and Oprah Winfrey holding my left. We’ve played Glastonbury, in front of 80,000 people as well as every other huge festival in the UK and Europe. Along with Coachella in the states and any other big festival you can think of here in America. We’ve played on TV shows like Scrubs and Las Vegas, I even had a speaking role that was written in the show, just because we were there. I told James Caan (las Vegas) “Freebie and the Bean” was the first shoot’em up movie I ever saw at the theater. He said “really”?! Then walked away….
I have been on 9 major labels and dropped by everyone of them. I’ve been nominated for an Emmy, for the theme song i wrote for “The United States of Tara”, I lost to John Williams…I’ve scored 3 films and have had my songs used in countless films and commercials. One of my songs was used in a TV campaign in the UK. The song went on to win an award for the longest running campaign in UK Television history. Beating “I’d like to teach the world to sing”. The first time you ever saw a bands name on an iPod, during the commercial while the song was playing was us..I could go on and on, but I won’t …
I think I’ve answered in a round about way your questions and then some..
Please don’t take my life’s words as gloating, I just felt like sharing some insight to who your asking these questions to.
I will tell you this….The Polyphonic Spree is definitely one of the best live experiences I have ever had… And, I’m at my best when I’m performing with them, for whatever that’s worth. Let’s hope it’s worth the ticket price…..Don’t take my word for it, come see for yourself.. My money’s on the Spree!!
Catch The Polyphonic Spree at The Loft in Atlanta on Saturday, August 30, 2014