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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Director gives band big break

    Anaheim, Calif.s The Willowz gained exposure thanks to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michael Gondry. See if the band finds popularity in Tucson when it performs at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., next Monday at 9 p.m.
    Anaheim, Calif.’s The Willowz gained exposure thanks to ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ director Michael Gondry. See if the band finds popularity in Tucson when it performs at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., next Monday at 9 p.m.

    Success came knocking on The Willowz’ door and bombarded the group’s music into the limelight. When lead singer and guitarist Richie James Follin started the band with bassist and vocalist Jessica Reynoza, little did they know what their future held in store.

    The band, including guitarist Aric Christopher Bohn and drummer Loren “”Ted”” Humphrey, has been featured in Michel Gondry’s innovative films “”Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”” and “”The Science of Sleep.””

    “”[Gondry] directed a music video for us also,”” Follin said. “”It was just insane because we were on a small label; it all happened pretty fast.””

    The Willowz create its own sound, relying on influences reminiscent of ’60s and ’70s blues, soul and guitar rock.

    “”Jessica and I met five or six years ago and were into the same kind of stuff,”” Follin said. “”We were bored with the groups playing at shows so we started playing music we liked playing.””

    The band has released three albums, including its second, Talk In Circles, released on the indie record label Sympathy for the Record Industry. The album was named one of Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums in 2005.

    “”That was cool because we were the only band on an actual indie label on that list,”” Follin said. “”It was too surreal.””

    Their newest album, Chautauqua, released in March on Dim Mak Records, allowed for the busy songwriters to relax and take their time with recording.

    “”The two previous albums were rushed, but very raw. We recorded the new album in upstate New York and had the chance to work on it everyday,”” Follin said. “”The songwriting was a lot different.””

    The band enjoys touring and headlined its own tour this spring. Follin said playing in big cities, and especially Oklahoma City, where some of the live performances for their 2005 DVD “”See in Squares”” were shot, are the most exciting.

    “”Everywhere is fun, except maybe Des Moines, Iowa,”” Follin joked.

    For now, the band is touring to support Chautauqua, and finally can focus solely on its music, rather than keeping other jobs.

    “”Everything that happens is always a big surprise for us; things just come out of left field,”” Follin said. “”We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing.””

    Catch The Willowz at Plush, 340 E. Sixth Street, Monday, August 3 at 9 p.m. Tickets for this 21 and up show are $10 and can be purchased at or at the door.

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