Tacks, The Boy Disaster is an Austin-based band I first found out about while waiting to see another band play during SXSW a couple of years ago. I was immediately blown away by the band’s live performance, enough to buy the band’s album—which, as you know, can be a tough-sell with all of the great bands playing during the week. I later found out the band had played with Midlake, and I have kept tabs on the band from afar since. It’s been relatively quiet the past couple of years; however, the band plans to come out of hibernation in 2010 with a new album and another showcase at this year’s South By Southwest.
I recently asked Tacks, The Boy Disaster’s Evan Jacobs some questions:
Houston Calling: I first caught you guys live a couple/few years ago at SXSW and was an instant fan. Were you guys pleased with the response to Oh, Beatrice?
Evan Jacobs: Well, thanks! Absolutely. We couldn’t have hoped for a better response for a home-recorded CD with zero budget whatsoever.
HC: What has the band been up to since–working on a new album?
EJ: We have been working and I’m a little bit embarrassed at how long it has taken to make a new record. But between having some personnel changes and having some babies, it has been more difficult to complete what we have started. We are now well underway into the record and hopefully it will be worth the wait for everyone.
HC: When I saw you live, I thought your sound drew comparisons to Midlake. How would you describe your band’s sound to someone who had never heard it before?
EJ: I’m horrible about describing music, but I suppose I would say it’s some sort of colorful pop with a twist of lime? See? Told you I was bad…
HC: What do you consider to be your primary musical influences and how do they play a part in the music you create?
EJ: Hmmm. As silly as it sounds, most of my musical influences these days are not music. I get lots of inspiration from just being a daddy, listening to bizarre podcasts and looking at the madness of the world around us. I believe we’re in unprecedented times (I speak only for myself, not the rest of the band) and I suppose that’s raised the bar for me as far as the quality of our music goes. There’s no point in making just another record in this day and age, as there are thousands released every week; so why should anyone care about ours and shell out their hard-earned money on ours unless it’s actually worth paying for?
HC: What’s your favorite thing about playing SXSW? Least favorite thing about it?
EJ: Favorite: I enjoy getting to see all my talented friends from all over the globe whom I would otherwise not get to see too often. Least favorite: Due to how busy the week is, it’s hard to spend any worthwhile time with anyone.
HC: What are you as a band hoping to get out of this year’s SXSW?
EJ: In some ways, we feel like a brand new band, with two new members, so any chance to get out there and play again will be a great experience. It’s always nice to be reminded that people do seem to like our music, too. Sometimes all the work we put into this music makes it easy to forget this reality.
HC: If you could play music with one musician from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, who would it be and why?
EJ: Great question! I suppose I’d have to say Stevie Wonder, especially in the early 70s with all those Moogs. To me, he’s one of the most complete musicians that ever lived and his music touches people in ways that I can only dream of aspiring to. Plus, I’m sort of a synth-junky so being able to experience all that technology for the first time would be quite an adventure.
HC: What does the band have planned for 2010?
EJ: We’re going to finish this record, first and foremost. It sure would be fun to do some touring if the opportunity arises. Sigur Ros, you listening?
Here’s a video of Tacks, The Boy Disaster’s “Frozen Feet”:
Tacks, The Boy Disaster plays its official SXSW showcase on Thursday, 3.18.10, at St David’s Historic Sanctuary (301 E 8th) at 10:40pm. The band also plays the Music For Listeners day show at Red House Pizzeria (1917 Manor Rd.) on Wednesday, 3.17.10, at 1pm.