Hilary Weissman>Sophomore>Journalism>University of Maryland
Just after playing to a sold out stadium in Cedar Falls, drummer Joe Beck of The Spill Canvas told all to CM before their show in Denver on April 23.
“It was amazing,” he said of their first show, “a great way to start off the tour.”
The band, lead singer and guitarist Nick Thomas, guitarist Dan Ludeman, and bassist Landon Neil, with Beck, will be playing songs from their new EP, Realities, which features five new songs: three songs off the digital collection, Abnormalities, along with old crowd favorites. After releasing their first record One Fell Swoop in 2005, and their label debut No Really, I’m Fine, The Spill Canvas has consistently evolved and developed their sound.
“On each new record we try to push ourselves, but not to necessarily change who we are. We listen to new kinds of music and push boundaries,” said Beck. “We never had a preconceived path for our direction.”
Listing his main influences as Fleetwood Mac, Death Storm, Dave Grohl and Stevie Nicks, Beck felt the list could go on forever. They are always listening to new music to draw inspiration from. “We listen to new bands and there are always artists that you go back to from the ’60s and ’70s who knew what they were doing,” he said.
They got the name of their band from an early song lyric in a journal, and through the years it has taken on a new meaning. “Life is a canvas [to fill]” he said. “Each one of us has a unique meaning behind the name.”
Their new MTV video release, “Our Song,” employs the theme of real relationships not living up to the epic romances featured on the big screen, a sentiment that most can relate to. “We are just a bunch of regular guys from South Dakota, we have never had any love turn out like it does, you know, in She’s All That and all those cheesy movies.” Beck said. “It’s a fun song and people get into it.”
Playing all of the big cities, like Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Chicago, on each tour has shown the band just who their supporters have been from the beginning. “They come out from all over, and it really means a lot.”
Some of the more extremely devoted fans have made permanent tributes to the band on their own physical canvas. “It is the craziest thing every time we see tattoos of our work or lyrics,” he said.
“At first it is kind of hard to take in. I don’t have any tattoos because of how permanent they are, so to see the fans have something so permanent about us is a very humbling experience.”
He also enjoyed their European tour, which was an “eye-opening experience” musically and historically. “Some of the coolest cities were Brussels, Belgium and Paris,” he said.
Beck had been playing with band members Ludeman and Neil since “the day of high school graduation; we’ve played together nearly a third of our lives.” A drummer for nearly 13 years, Beck says he would like to delve further into his piano and guitar playing. “If you stop learning I think you are setting yourself up for failure.”
After graduation, Beck, a self-proclaimed nerd, planned on studying engineering at the University of Missouri Rolla. It was a last-minute decision to defer the enrollment and pursue his music career. “I was basically a housing application away from going there,” and he said he doesn’t regret not going.
The Spill Canvas has been on tour with special guest and fellow CM interviewee Tyler Hilton, whom they met while recording their new album. “He is super nice, outgoing and down-to-earth,” Beck said.
So CMers, where did YOU see them? Comment back where you went and how it was!