The Hot New Singles
play the Basement tonight, and we thought it might be a good idea to run a few questions by veteran local player Seth Timbs. Timbs is a Murfreesboro native who is best known for his band of the never-ending Ben Folds comparisons, Fl. Oz., though they were playing their particular brand of literate piano-rock before the "Brick" thudded into the mainstream. (See the fantastic album Big Notebook for Easy Piano
.) Over the years, he not only survived Spongebath Records, but also once wrote a song called "11:11." It went something like: "It is now / 11:11." He ditched the Boro for L.A. for a few years, then came back, and now he's ditching the Ounces for the Singles. Read Timbs' take on his new project after the jump.
: So how did the Hot New Singles come together?Timbs
: I had been wanting to do a guitar band for a while—either instead of, or in addition to, Fl.Oz.. And I wanted it to be somewhat like Moonie and the Johndogs, which was the band Trev Wooten and I had some years ago in the Boro, which covered many of the songs that the Beatles covered in their early days. But in this case, with more originals written vaguely in that style. It kind of went from that to what it is now, which I think is a bit more related to early Costello- and Nick Lowe-type of tunes.Scene
: You've been playing piano in the Fl. Oz. for a long time. What was it like taking that out of the equation for a new project? Are you writing the new songs for Hot New Singles on piano or guitar?Timbs
: I always played guitar a little with the Ounces as well, so the transition was not much of a shock. I like not being at the piano in many ways. It's a lot easier to really perform when you're standing up and strumming a guitar. All the Hot New Singles songs were written on guitar.Scene
: Is this the end of the Fl. Oz.? (If so, why?)Timbs
: Fl. Oz. is definitely on its way out. We just need to get around to releasing our "final" record, which has been done for some time now. As for the reasons why—well, it's been going on for 11 years or so, and I think we are still well-respected in this town but, let's face it, no one really comes out to see us like they used to, or really expects us to go anywhere anymore career-wise. The ship pretty much sailed on that a long time ago. On top of all that, frankly, I'm tired of the Ben Folds comparisons.Scene
: As someone who grew up in the Boro and has played this town for years, what kind of insight have you gleaned about keeping a consistent presence on this town?Timbs
: I'm not sure I have kept a consistent presense. I was gone for three years, for one thing. Honestly, I'm hoping the new band will force me to re-learn how to be proactive enough to get the proverbial "buzz" going on about a band. If I was ever good at that, I have forgotten how.Scene
: Finally, what can we expect from the new sound? Timbs
: Rock...I hope. The songs are simpler than the Ounces, and certainly a lot more traditional in structure and melody. Also a lot more centered in old R&B. I'd like for us to be able to rock without being ear-bleedingly loud, nor do I want it to be anywhere near "power-pop" (not that I have a problem with that—I just think the market is saturated).