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."
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