Alter The Press!


Interview: The Spill Canvas

The Spill Canvas started off as a the name for a 15-year-old singer-songwriter called Nick Thomas. However by 2005 the solo project was a full band with a debut album ('One Fell Swoop') under its belt. 2006 saw the band move to Sire Records and was followed by the release of 'No Really, I’m Fine' a year later. Now in 2010 and on Reprise Records, the now four-piece have released 'Formalities' and supporting the Goo Goo Dolls on their current US tour.

ATP! spoke to frontman Nick Thomas about the change from being a solo act to a band, writing and recording new album and more.

Alter The Press: The Spill Canvas started as a solo act, how did the band come together?
The Spill Canvas: Well I had always intended to acquire a full rock band, but had to go it alone basically out of necessity. Let's just say South Dakota isn't a breeding ground for young musicians willing to bypass college and hit the road hard. But when the band finally took shape, it was comprised of middle/high school friends that I'd grown up with and it just felt natural.

ATP: Was the transition from a solo act to a full band difficult?
TSP: It's definitely a whole new monster to try developing a cohesive musical unit with 4 players, as opposed to just penning some tunes with an acoustic in your bedroom. But the challenge is half the fun of it. Not difficult by any means, just another avenue towards rounding out your craft.

ATP: You release new material frequently, is that because you don't want to keep fans waiting or is it because you're writing so often?
TSP: It's kind of a mixture of both. We don't like to keep the fans waiting for too long if we can help it. While writing is always a constant, it's easier to do while home and not touring.

ATP: After making buzz and gaining success on an indie label was there any hesitation to sign to Sire back in 2006?
TSP: Any step regarding such big business moves can result in skepticism and second guesses. But we knew it was the right step. You come to learn that your gut feeling will always be the best in the long run.

ATP: How was it touring the UK with You Me At Six last year?
TSP: Oh wow, that was such a blast. Those guys are a great band and even greater people. Not to mention how surreal and ridiculous it is to travel the globe playing music with your friends and call it your "job". To top it off, our UK fans are so amazing and their unparalleled support makes it all the better.

ATP: What can fans expect from this new release, sonically, is it different from your previous releases?
TSP: Well on a production level it differs simply due to a different producer. This time round we had the pleasure of working with Mike Green in California. He's a genius when it comes to the technical aspects of making a record, as well as his innate ability to apply music theory in the coolest ways to make a song it's best version. I think fans have come to expect change from us with every release as evolving has just become part of our arsenal.

ATP: Did you guys take any new approaches to writing or recording the new record?
TSP: I experienced my first co-writes during the preparation of this album. It was an awesome way to expand my songwriting perspective and bring entirely new directions to our camp. Pushing ourselves outside of comfort zones and creating new musical paths is quite a liberating act.

ATP: The song 'As Long As It Takes' (from 'Formalities') seems to be about someone battling anaddiction. What's the story behind that track?
TSP: Correct. I've always had a soft spot for addiction based content as I, myself, recently battled a dark period of drug addiction. Every day is a new lesson and I'd come to learn the fight is always going to be a part ofme. That's where this song lives. No matter the length of time, I have to focus on the day and moment at hand while leaning on my amazing family and friends who'll always be there.

ATP: You're supporting Goo Goo Dolls right now and playing lots of amphitheater shows. How is it playing for a crowd that huge every night?
TSP: It is unreal. By far some of the biggest, receptive crowds we've ever had the fortune of playing for. The Goo's are such kind, rad people too and we're eternally grateful for the chance to share the stage.

ATP: What's next for you guys? Are you already making plans to tour the new record?
TSP: No news I can unveil for the fall quite yet. So for now, it'll remain mysterious. But keep checking back on our websites for hot-off-the-presses info and dates.

'Formalities' by The Spill Canvas is available now on Reprise Records.

The Spill Canvas on Facebook
The Spill Canvas' Official Website

Janay Kinney

Alter The Press!