The Catalyst Publicity Group
They say location is everything but the Spill Canvas, a successful indie rock act out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has proved that theory wrong. The band formed nearly 15 years and after a short hiatus has come back to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of its 2005 album One Fell Swoop
, an album that, with its upper-register vocals and snarling guitars, fits the emo blueprint. The band’s tour comes to the Grog Shop tomorrow night.
“It’s a reaffirming thing that you did something special because of how many people are coming out and how many people want to see this again,” says singer-guitarist Nick Thomas when asked about what it’s been like revisiting the album. “I’m not the best lead singer. I have the reverse ego. It baffles me every time that people say the album has changed their lives or been part of their lives for so long. I felt fortunate enough to find the songs in my head and make something that could help people. It’s cool. It’s definitely a trip.”
In the wake of One Fell Swoop
’s success, the band landed on Sire Records. Label head Seymour Stein, a notable industry executive with decades of experience, even took an interest in the group.
“After [One Fell Swoop
], we got to work with incredible producers and dreams that I didn’t think could come true,” says Thomas. “They had taught me to write songs and gave me tips and tricks to get that whole timeless feel. I call it the Tom Petty principle. Those songs can always be sung. Everyone knows them. The generation gap doesn’t matter. I don’t think my songs are that but that’s what I strive for. Writing songs was my first and foremost thing and it’s cool to see how that translates ten years later.”
Thomas says it’s been especially satisfying to revisit “Dutch Courage,” a song whose acoustic intro and heart-on-sleeve vocals make it stand out as one of the album’s best tracks.
“It’s one of my favorites,” he says. “We do a slightly different version of it now. I remember writing that one and it stemmed from my first tough time with people I considered my friends listening to my music and then posting responses on the Internet. We had to be plugged in. The song came to fruition about being bummed about because buddy of mine did the classic Internet trash talking. I was too young to be able to deflect it properly. It hit home. I was already experimenting with content versus vibe and tone, which I love to skew to get a juxtaposition. If it’s a song about intimate songs or sexual things, I would skew it to be a crazy hardcore rock song as opposed to something slow. I actively remember skewing 'Dutch Courage' that way.”
Thomas says the current tour has made him rethink the decision to the put the band on hold back in 2012.
“The tour has prompted the possibility of continuing with the band,” he says. “We might want to reboot the machine. We never said we broke up. We wanted to leave it open ended. Two of the members got married and moved on to family life. They didn’t want to come on the tour. They were done. I can totally respect it. We have a couple of younger members and the drummer from my solo project has that fire. I might be jaded over the years. He breathes new life into whatever we’re doing and that is just fricking incredible. We benefited from the line-up change and would like to move forward. As of now, we’ll take six months off to write, whether it’s for a Nick Thomas album or a Spill Canvas album or a new thing.”