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On The Verge: True Widow

posted December 29, 2011, 11:32 am by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews, Music News | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: I.N.O., True Widow, As High as the Highest Heavens


What a year 2011 has been for the Dallas trio True Widow, and a good year it has been. This year they have put out their second record, As High as the Highest Heavens, which was featured on NPR’s First Listen. They have also provided opening support for The Toadies and Kurt Vile. They just got back from opening for Boris and Asobi Seksu, and touring Europe. They were also featured in Prefix magazine, and just released another five-song EP, I.N.O. Earlier this year before the madness, we were able to catch up with Slim, the drummer, to talk about how they got started, what it’s like to hang and tour with Kurt Vile, and the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind.

Who plays which instrument and where are you headed next?

DH: guitars/vox, Nikki: bass/vox, Slim: drums. Just played Nashville. We’re on our way to Athens tonight and Atlanta tomorrow. We’ll be playin with Kurt and his violators up to DC. Then we part ways and will be doin headline spots to nyc & all the way back home. Able to line up a lot of friends bands for the back half of the trip. Purling Hiss, Fangs Out, Mansion, and Bad Dream. Should be a party!

We first learned bout him at SXSW. How did u get hook up with Kurt and the Toadies this year?

We have some of the same friends as Kurt in Philly, and got hooked up together last year when they came through TX. The bands all fans of what he does so we were stoked when he hit us up about this lil run out east. The Toadies thing was a way to get in front of new ears before the new album came out. They asked, and we said yes. Almost didn’t do it but we had a goodtime so it worked out.

How long have u been together?

Dan and I met Nicole in the fall of 07 and slowly started getting things together. We never had any plans to do much with it. Just hangout and have fun with each other. Next thing we knew we were recording and the ball hasn’t really slowed down since.

Any other bands you can recommend to us? Can you tell us more about the bands you named?

Purling Hiss, from Pennsylvania, we met last year. They were Kurt’s primary support and we just hit it off great. They’ve been real supportive of us and always make sure we have a good time in Philly. We play in Baltimore with them. Fangs Out are from Ohio, we met 2 years ago playing out east. They’re a 2 piece that makes some pretty sweet noise pop. We’ve stayed and partied with them since but Cleveland will be our 1st show together since we met. Mansion are from Kansas, and are our homies. We’ve never played Kansas without them and hope we never do! They don’t have much recorded but are great live! Heavy sludge + movements. They don’t have songs really. The peices just flow from one jam to the next. Real good stuff! Mutha fuckin Bad Dream, if I could have them on the road with us all the time I still couldn’t see/hear them enough. 3 piece, foxy drummer, best bass player I know, and a super tasteful guitar player. We met them our 1st show in Brooklyn. They opened for us and we’ve had them on every NYC bill since. They also toured the east with us last year. Most of these bands fly under the radar. Not a lot of stuff recorded and don’t tour much. That shit needs to change!

Are you signed and if so what can you say about the label? Do you have your record on vinyl also?

Both our albums are on vinyl, cd, digital download. The only cassette is the demo tracks Kemado put out for us. 1st album was on a small label a friend runs outta Austin, End Sounds. We signed with Kemado (NY) earlier this year and things have been great. They really dig our style and have been super supportive of everything (music, art, touring, etc.). They’ve got a cool mix of bands between them and their sister label Mexican Summer cover a lot (4 or 5) of styles. Some of the stuff on kemado I dig = Dungen, Saviours, the Sword, and our good buddies MOAB (L.A.) who have their debut out on Kemado–best “stoner rock” if you wanna call it that I’ve heard in years!

I know Mexican summer!

Great labels + good people!

Would u say it’s easier or harder to be a band now after the internet and why? What is the hardest part of being an up and coming band like yourself?

Internet has made a lot things much easier, booking, promos, being able to hear bands when looking for support in different cities, etc. On the other hand it’s kinda made things a bit cluster fucked. Gotta take the bad with the good though. There’s give and take with everything you know. We’re in a pretty good spot right now for us. We’ve all got full time businesses at home and never really had any major goals with the band. In the last 6 months we’ve gone from trying real hard to book tours (I do our booking) to being asked to play support for others. It’s ideal for getting into towns we haven’t been able to get into on our own, but the flip side is your only playing 20-30mins a night. I feel as long as you and your mates are enjoying playing with and for each other the rest will work itself out.

What’s the latest video you have seen on YouTube, or a favorite?

Most recent and a new fave! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrsKPKjGF_Y

How open would you be to having your music in a video game or tv/movie soundtrack?

I play a lot of video games so that might be cool. Believe it or not we’ve had a couple songs on the MTV show 16 and pregnant. Not super stoked or proud of that one. but that’s what happens when you put the stuff out there to be used. Will see where our next jam pops up. I’ve been interested in scoring movies and/or creating very atmospheric tunes since my musical beginnings so I really hope we get a chance to do some of that with True Widow!

Have you got to hang out with Kurt Vile and his band any? They seem chill. And what is your preferred method of getting high?

We’ve had a little bit of hangtime. All cool cats! Dosen’t seem to be a heavy smoker (like myself) in the group so no hook ups like that. It’s always nice sharing the road with another band that has the same town to town needs. We bang a lot of joints on the road (no devices in the van) so when I’m back home I really like my bong time! I’m a head man, I just like to smoke!

It’s been 20 years since Nirvana came out with Nevermind. What are your thoughts and feelings?

20 years? Fuck man I feel old! Bleach hit me like a ton of bricks so I was waiting for Nevermind to drop. Then I just set back in awe and watched the freak show go down. Pretty amazing how all that played out.

You like to party and have good time. It’s really hard to talk about music and not drugs they are always together. How do you find balance? 3 well known bands were in news lately: Wolfmother, Kings of Leon, and Coheed & Cambria for issues related to this.

Music + drugs is right man. A few of my drug experiences 1st happened at shows and I spent hours trippin out on The Butthole Surfers and Ween. I don’t think it’s a must but man it sure is fun! I guess we can thank the jazz movement for that, hahaha. The one thing I did get was that jazz = drugs. I’ve met a lot of people in the last 2 years that love True Widow but don’t smoke or indulge in any substances. Seems like our sounds are filling the void for them. Crazy but pretty awesome when you think about it. Wolfmother–heard the 1st album, is there a second? Kings Of Leon–how awesome was it having them totally melt down in dallas?! They’ve got a few songs I dig if I’m in the mood. My favorite thing that Coheed & Cambria do is comic books

.Last question for you what would you say to those that haven’t listened to you yet?

That’s a good one…If you feel like taking a sonic plunge throw our LP on!


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