Instruments onstage include flutes, trumpets, violas and the cello among others. Tim DeLaughter created this heavenly sound from the ashes of his past group Tripping Daisy after the guitarist died.
After recording their first album The Beginning Stages of… and performing at South by Southwest the Spree have had a growing fan base of live followers and now are performing at a theatre near you.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Tim. You are coming back to Chicago. When was the last time you performed here?
Tim DeLaughter: I can’t remember but we are excited to get back.
JN: How do you travel with a 21-member band?
TD: Every which way! It is always different.
JN: Well, is it lots of buses following each other like a caravan?
TD: (laughs) I wish!
JN: From what I have seen it seems almost like a religious experience. Choir robes have to get hot in the South!
TD: Yes, they do.
JN: You were raised religiously in Texas?
TD: My mother tried but the speaking in tongues was a little hysterical for me.
JN: With the video “What Would You Do” I saw some same sex paper cut out couples. Were you making a statement with that?
TD: Ben Rowe made the video and we loved it. Same sex couples within many abstract feelings the video gave me are all good. I love the openness of interpretation he put forth.
JN: The video for “Bulleye” seems very ‘70s is that a time period you are inspired from?
TD: I am definitely inspired by the ‘70s but also most any decade, depending…
JN: What do you think about being compared to the Muppets and Hair the musical?
TD: We’ve been compared to many, many things. It’s amusing. I can see a bit of almost every reference put upon us in some ways. It’s broad but keeps it interesting for sure.
JN: I loved your theme song for Showtime’s United States of Tara. Did you like the show?
TD: Thank you. That one came quickly as our family was in a troubling time when asked to come up with something. One of those lucky moments then I loved the show, which was a bonus.
JN: Did you see The Lorax cartoon? I heard “Light and Day” was featured in it.
TD: Yes, it was in the trailer. I enjoyed that and always loved the book.
JN: What is your take on the marketing of music these days?
TD: I am as confused as anyone.
JN: The Spree is releasing one single at a time. Will this be a complete album at one point?
TD: Yes, I am working on it now.
JN: Your music seems so positive and very interactive with the crowds. Do you have a favorite recent place you have liked playing live?
TD: Well, we have had many over recent months here in the United States. We have never ever had great shows in Houston or Texas in general whether with my past band Tripping Daisy or in the Spree. It is just some strange mojo but then last February we had the best show at Fitzgeralds within the entire tour. It was a nice breakthrough on all levels.
JN: Tell our readers about the opening band.
TD: Sweet Lee Morrow is Jesse Podunk who has been in and out of the Spree over the years and is currently playing piano and singing in the group. He’s a wonderful songwriter and has a real intuition for delivery of music. He makes it seems effortless and I find it incredibly refreshing.
JN: Then people need to get there on time to check him out. I imagine the Park West will be packed and a good place to run up and down the aisles!
TD: We hope so. We are excited to get there.
For more information about the Spree visit http://thepolyphonicspree.com.