The Truth About Timco

Bay Area's Timco happy about new album.

One of former American Music Club leader

Mark Eitzel's favorite bands is San Francisco's Timco. So much so that Eitzel

put up some of the money to finance the group's new album, Gentleman

Jim. But Eitzel, who likes things dark and sad, isn't your typical music

fan. "People's reaction to our music is pretty funny," says Timco singer Kevin

Thomson. "When we play live, I'll see some people in the audience fully zoning,

like they'll be staring at my feet or at the floor. It's not like we're the

type of band where people dance around, so it's pretty sedate."

Sedate in

the most stimulating way is probably the best description of the sound of the

San Francisco-based band, Timco. The trio--guitarist/singer Thomson, bassist

John Wischmann and drummer and femme-fatale Ethel M. Deathel--dish out loads of

contradictory, mind-twisting, ebb-and-flow melodies on their new album, which

will be released Tuesday (Feb. 27).

Timco's sound has been compared to the

American Music Club, Sonic Youth and Joy Division. The songs are sweepingly

epic in content, telling numerous colorful stories but with somber vocals,

toned-down guitars and bluesy bass lines. "The music is expressionist music.

It's very soundtrack-like," says Thomson. "You hear a story in the music and

the lyrics and try to conjure up almost a motion-picture kind of feeling.

That's what I see it as."

The band started out over five years ago, with

each of the current members coming from various musical backgrounds. Thomson

led the Austin, Texas band Nice Strong Arm, for which Deathel was the drummer,

and Wischmann played bass for the Philadelphia noise-pop act Sink Manhattan! At

one of their earlier shows, American Music Club's Mark Eitzel approached the

band and proclaimed himself to be a huge fan, which led to AMC producing

Timco's first album, Friction Tape.

"It made us feel great that to

have these people behind us, because they weren't a label or industry types,"

says Deathel. "They wanted it to happen for us and could help us do that. It

was like friends saying 'I believe you can do this. Let's make it


Friction Tape sold only 1,200 copies, but selling records

seems to be the least of Timco's worries. Each of the members have 9-5 jobs,

and according to Thomson, have "major lives" outside of the band. Deathel works

in dispatch at a message service, Thomson has his own vintage car shop and

Wischmann is an artist/mechanic.

"I'm pretty free-flowing. My attitude is

don't let anyone tell you you're doing the wrong thing, just do what you want

and make yourself happy," says Thomson, breaking down the notion that his

musical style reflects an unhappy, Prozac-popping personality. "If this is the

way you like it, then that's the way it goes, and if people don't like it, then

fuck 'em because you're having a good time and you're having fun."


all about having as much fun as possible," adds Deathel. "That's all that

matters to