TUNED IN to The Spill Canvas

January 28, 2010 9:38:53 AM PST
Our featured artist(s) this week is The Spill Canvas. They are an alternative rock band from Sioux Falls, South Dakota signed to Warner Brothers records. Viewers can now upload their own original music, pictures, and videos for consideration of being posted on Tuned In.

We caught up with them during a sold out show at The Electric Factory, on 7th and Willow. They thrilled the audience there with their energetic sounds.

Here is their biography

Picture your next-door neighbor, noticeably talented, quietly charming and extraordinarily friendly. You watch him growing up in the home beside your own, fostering a deep love of music, learning to play the guitar, encouraged by his father to pursue an exploration of these sonic landscapes and claim them for his own. Years pass and one day you look out the window and realize the little boy next-door has become a full-fledged musician-and the members of your small town aren't the only ones who know it.

That is the story of Nick Thomas, the singer, guitarist and mastermind behind The Spill Canvas. While growing up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Thomas recorded his first songs at age 15, funded by his father who strongly encouraged his son's evident musical talent. Although Thomas admits that results of those studio sessions were "atrocious," the fledgling singer-songwriter honed his largely acoustic-based style playing solo shows in and around his hometown. After performing with a few local bands, Thomas returned to his solo music with conviction, dubbing it The Spill Canvas.

After sending demo after demo to labels around the county, the music caught the attention One Eleven Records owner Brad Fischetti. The result of that record deal was the raw and emotive Sunsets and Car Crashes, which began to amass Thomas eager fans around the country. After officially transitioning from solo act to full-fledged rock band, The Spill Canvas recorded their dynamic debut full-length, One Fell Swoop, with producer Ed Rose (The Get-Up Kids), releasing it on One Eleven in May of 2005 to great acclaim, eventually selling over 50,000 copies.

While on tour in support of One Fell Swoop, The Spill Canvas caught the eye of Sire Records President Michael Goldstone at New Jersey's The Bamboozle Festival in 2006. Ready to take the next step forward, The Spill Canvas formed a partnership with Sire, which Thomas believes will provide the band with the promise of career longevity. The band came out with a new five-song EP tiled Denial Feels So Good in May and they are about to enter the next phase of their career with their new full-length, No Really, I'm Fine, which was recorded by Neal Avron (Fall Out Boy, The Wallflowers, Yellowcard) in Hollywood, California, last spring. "It was such an easy choice to pick Neal to produce our new record because he's consistently produced so many great records over the years," says Beck. "He brings out the absolute best in you as a performer," adds Thomas.

The result is an album that's finally as varied as the band's collective influences, which range from Van Morrison to Otis Redding. For example, the hypnotic rocker "One Thing" shows how much the band have grown as musicians since the release of their last full-length; "Bleed" has a psychedelic '70s rock feel that's effortlessly recontextualized into a pop context; and "Saved" is an epic anthem that's got a chorus so huge it's hard to believe it can be successfully encoded in ones and zeroes. "This time around we had so much more time in the studio and I think that really allowed us to blossom creatively," Thomas explains. "We got to make beats by like hitting stuff with hammers and banging pillows on the wall and stuff like that. There were no boundaries to what we would experiment with."

To date, the Spill Canvas have toured with bands like Motion City Soundtrack, Straylight Run, Mae and The Plain White T's, and graced the stages of Austin's annual music festival SXSW, New Jersey's The Bamboozle and the Vans Warped Tour in both 2006 and 2007. ("We love Warped Tour, says Ludeman. "What could possibly be better than an event that caters to such a wide variety of music lovers?") Admittedly, the the band, who was named one of Alternative Press' "Bands To Watch in 2007," may not exactly be living next-door anymore, but they have preserved the sensibility of their humble beginnings. Notorious for their personal relationship with their fans, The Spill Canvas may spend most of the year on the road, but their hearts have never left Sioux Falls.

"We come from is such a simple place and when we'd get to those coastal communities like New York or Seattle, it's almost like an oversaturation because everybody is in a band and everybody's the next big thing," Thomas explains when asked why the band members all still live in South Dakota when they're not on the road. "There's no strings, there's no flashiness to the concepts," he continues, mirroring Bruce Springsteen's attitude about New Jersey or Van Morrison's feelings toward Belfast, Ireland. "Our writing is just very honest," he adds, "almost too honest sometimes, which I think it's kind of cool."

"With this record you can definitely tell we've matured as musicians and how much Nick has improved as a lyricist; that's going to happen with as much as we went through when we were supporting One Fell Swoop," explains Beck, adding that despite the members are barely of legal drinking age, they're old souls. "We grew up really quickly over the past few years and for the first time we're experiencing life to the fullest." That said, even if the band ended tomorrow, the Spill Canvas would still be proud of their accomplishments. "I think we've already completed a lot of dreams and while we do have new ones that form every day, I think at the end of the day you just have to hope for the best," Thomas summarizes. "I'm from South Dakota and look at what we're doing; sometimes this all feels like a dream."

Please enjoy the performance video from their show at The Electric Factory concert outlet on 7th and Willow

You are now Tuned In to The Spill Canvas

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