The Polyphonic Spree began July 15, 2000 with an opening slot for Grandaddy and Bright Eyes in Dallas, TX. In actuality it began in 1974 in the mind of a 9 year old Tim DeLaughter. Tim began to dabble in music as most kids do. He bought his first 45 “Beach Baby” by The First Class. Also around that time he loved the effect of singing into a fan. It can be argued that the genesis of The Polyphonic Spree was born in Tim’s formative years. It would just be 25 or so years later until his vision of a choral symphonic rock group would become a reality.
After Tripping Daisy disbanded in 1999 due to the loss of guitarist Wes Berggren, Tim took some time to regroup emotionally and musically. With the aid of his co-conspirator Julie Doyle he set the wheels in motion to form his “dream” band. An opportunity arose to open for Grandaddy so Tim and Julie used that as their “goal date” to get the group together. They committed to performing the show without having any actual members yet. They performed under the moniker “The Beginning Stages of The Polyphonic Spree” as they knew the band would not be 100% where they envisioned it going. The evening of the first show the band had 13 members. Ultimately the group would wind up averaging 23-25 members at a time.
Shortly thereafter Julie and Tim wanted to document the band in a recording studio environment. The ten section “demo” was recorded in 3 days. “The Beginning Stages Of…” was to serve as a way to get bookings. People who came to see the band play live thought otherwise. Demand was overwhelming for recorded material. Since the band was happy with the way the recording turned out they began to self release the album in limited amounts on a show to show basis via homemade covers and cdrs.
From the outset of the band’s formation the response to their performance was overwhelmingly positive but the financial and logistical questions and pessimism would always rear their ugly head. Tim and company pretty lived by the motto “mind over matter” and things would sort themselves out.
SXSW 2002 would prove a major turning point for The Polyphonic Spree. March 14, 2002 the band kicked off the event by opening for the keynote speech by Robbie Robertson. The band performed 5 shows in 3 days at a time when that was not the norm. The band did an in-store performance at Waterloo Records selling a record amount of CDS during SXSW, second only to a then unknown Norah Jones.
The Polyphonic Spree captured the imaginations of music fans, press, and industry types alike in attendance at that year’s festival. As a result the band was invited to perform as a part of the David Bowie curated Meltdown Festival in London, pretty impressive for a band that most said they would never be able to tour let alone having their first shows outside Texas being overseas. The reception the band received in the UK was overwhelming and spread into other parts of the world. 679 Recordings/Warner re-released “The Beginning Stages of…” abroad whilst Hollywood Records re-released it in the United States.
The Polyphonic Spree recorded “Together We’re Heavy,” an ambitious second album, in Dallas, TX with Eric Drew Feldman who had previously produced Tripping Daisy’s “Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb. The band continued to traverse the globe with tours in Japan, Australia, and Europe amongst other regions no one thought the band would visit. David Bowie tapped the band to open a leg of his “Reality” tour in the United States.
Over the course of touring for “The Beginning Stages Of…” and “Together We’re Heavy” The Polyphonic Spree played pretty much every major festival including Bonnaroo Coachella, Austin City Limits Festival, Glastonbury, Reading, and Leeds to name but a few. The band also graced the small screen via the MTV Video Music Awards, Nobel Peace Prize Concet, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, Craig Kilborn, Austin City Limits, Scrubs, Las Vegas, et. al.
Tim scored Thumbsucker starring Keanu Reeves, Tilda Swinton, and Vincent D’Onofrio and Visioneers starring Zach Galifianakis with the aid of The Polyphonic Spree. He also wrote and performed the Emmy nominated theme song to the Showtime series United States of Tara starring Toni Collette. The band decided to venture from Dallas to record “The Fragile Army” in Cannon Falls, MN and Chicago, IL to focus on the basic tracks with John Congleton at the helm. The record showcased a “rawer/rockier” element to The Polyphonic Spree sound. The band switched from the trademark unifying robes to a “fragile” uniform that illustrated such. TVT who released “The Fragile Army” filed for bankruptcy not long after its release. Tim DeLaughter put the band on a hiatus while writing and demoing new songs for The Polyphonic Spree, Preteen Zenith, and solo material for release on his own Good Records Recordings.
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THE POLYPHONIC SPREE WITH GUESTS
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2013
VENUE – VANCOUVER, BC
Doors: 7:00PM Show: 7:30PM
Tickets on sale now www.livenation.com