The Willowz announce Nov-Dec U.S. tour dates with the Electric Six, new videos posted from latest Dim Mak album Chautauqua directed by Paul Gondry, others.
“Big ballsy tracks plus trippier, genuinely engaging psych rock with loads of good, basic melodies and expertise.” – Rolling Stone
“Coyly ambitious and in-the-moment exciting.” – Spin
“The Willowz’ sonic revelry is a riotous romp through rock’s back pages. It’s neither ramshackle nor imitative. The Willowz are an ingenious hybrid, devising clever arrangements and deploying convulsive vocals and slowly but surely getting under your skin.” – Harp
L.A.’s garage-punk-teens-gone-full-scale-rock-opera The Willowz return to the road yet again in November with everyone’s favorite disco-punk band Electric Six. The tour kicks off November 13th in Philadelphia (please see full dates below.) The Willowz released the band’s third album Chautauqua on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label earlier this year and has toured nearly non-stop ever since.
The band beloved by revered director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) — who co-directed The Willowz 2006 DVD video collection Seeinsquares — has released four new videos for Chautauqua.
“Evil Son” – http://youtube.com/watch?v=OvU38lYtFHE
“Jubilee” – http://youtube.com/watch?v=_lHLSXHad0Y
“Take A Look Around” – http://youtube.com/watch?v=Iiva8Cnq9Os
The Willowz were conceived in a bedroom in Anaheim, CA in the early summer of 2002 by Richie James Follin singer/guitarist and bassist/singer Jessica Reynoza, who were both at the time in their late teens. The name of the group came to Jessica in a dream when a willow(z) tree told her it would bring her musical enlightenment. The first 7-inch was recorded that summer with producer Paul Kostabi in NYC, with Tony Mann on drums (GG Allin, New York Dolls) and released on the infamous Posh Boy records by way of Robbie Fields.
The Willowz then began playing shows anywhere and everywhere around Los Angeles and Orange County, with an ever changing lineup of drummers and guitarists. The band soon caught the eye of Dionysus Records, who would release the first disc, The Willowz in early 2004 which was chosen by the OC Weekly as one of the top 10 albums of the year. For that album, the band set up a studio in a Whittier garage with Paul Kostabi as their producer, recording everything in just a few days with little idea what they were really doing… and the raw sound is proof of it.
Soon after rigorous touring of the greater North America and Europe, the band’s music was featured in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind while Kirsten Dunst danced on a bed in her underpants. The soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. Gondry had a dream about The Willowz song “I Wonder” and soon flew them out to NYC and paid to make a video for them. What followed was another single release, this time on XL Recordings and more European and North American touring with such bands as The Weirdos, New York Dolls, The Dirtbombs, The Greenhornes, Wolfmother, The Ponys, Tom Vek, Ted Leo, OK Go!, The Gossip, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dwarves, Burning Brides, John Cale and many others.
In February, 2005, The Willowz re-released its self titled album on Sympathy For the Record Industry, changing the title to Are Coming and adding four new songs. The follow-up Talk In Circles was released June 2005 (also recorded in a garage by Paul Kostabi, this time as a four piece and with a little more focus on making an album) on the Long Beach, CA label Sympathy for the Record Industry by way of record mogul Long Gone John. Talk In Circles received extraordinary reviews, including “46th Best Album of The Year” by Rolling Stone and was also featured in another one of Gondry’s films, The Science of Sleep. The Willowz were nominated by LA Weekly as one of the top bands of 2005. More singles followed on such labels as Contaminated, Acid Bird and Sympathy. In 2006 the band released the DVD Seeinsquares on Sympathy. Seeinsquares contained 27 unique videos, all by different directors, and additional live concert footage at a Catholic school summer camp in Oklahoma, several of these videos have gone on to win national and international awards.
For the third album Chautauqua, released on Steve Aoki’s Los Angeles label Dim Mak, The Willowz headed to the eastern countryside and set up a studio, this time in a basement, with Paul Kostabi again producing. They recruited Aric Bohn on guitar and Loren Shane Humphrey on the drums. Chautauqua provides the energy and rawness of the first albums with a thicker rock sound more focused on songwriting. Chautauqua has already been voted by the OC Weekly as the best album in the past 12 months. Rolling Stone gave it 3 1/2 stars, naming “Siren Song” as best song of the week and “Waiting To Fall” song of the day at Rollingstone.com.
“Chautauqua is an engaging and desperately needed resuscitation to raw fundamentals of rock in this digitally perfected age. Flawlessly executed, attention grapping, and joy inducing, Chautauqua is a renaissance rock masterpiece.” – Jive Magazine
“I like The Willowz. They defy categorization, drawing on a wide palette of influences, from metal to country/ folk and from post-punk to grunge. An early contender for record of the year.” – Razorcake
“With Chautauqua, The Willowz prove their mettle (and metal) as a big expansive rock machine cleverly disguised as an economical indie garage band.” – Amplifier
“You could do a lot worse than to have famed director Michel Gondry as your number one fan. The deserving subjects of his adoration are The Willowz, a five-year-old-rock quartet from California. It is the group’s guitar-heavy melodies he loves or the way the fivesome reinvents classic rock licks on Chautauqua? Either way, if we had a hidden camera on Gondry right now, we’d surely observe him headbanging to Willowz tunes like “Evil Son” or zoning out to the folky, Zeppelinish ‘Jublilee.’” – Bust
“In true Willowz fashion, the musicianship manages to simultaneously sound both rough and impeccable – if a contemporary version of the Nuggets box set were put together, a few songs on Chautauqua would be a natural fit.” – Performer Magazine
“Lo-fi darlings of critics and Michel Gondry, young California band The Willowz may finally be ready to make their mark on everyone else.” – Filter Magazine
“Willowz has always been one of ear-splitting ferocity. Lead singer Richie Follin’s charm has always been a yelping recklessness combined with a natural ear for melody.” – URB
The WIllowz Live:
All w/ Electric 6
11/13 Philadelphia, PA The Khyber
11/14 Cambridge, MA Middle East
11/15 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/16 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
11/17 Washington, DC Black Cat
11/18 Baltimore, MD Sonar
11/20 Savannah, GA Savannah Smiles
11/21 Atlanta, GA The Earl
11/23 Orlando, FL The Social
11/24 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits
11/26 New Orleans, LA The Parish
11/27 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
11/28 Houston, TX Engine Room
11/29 Austin, TX Emo’s
11/30 Dallas, TX House of Blues
12/01 Kansas City, KS The Record Bar
12/03 St. Louis, MO Creepy Crawl
12/04 Little Rock, AR The Rev Room
12/05 Nashville, TN Mercury Lounge
12/06 Indianapolis, IN Birdy’s
12/07 Covington, KY The Mad Hatter
12/08 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
02. Take A Look Around
05. Evil Son
06. Siren Song
08. All Need
09. Waiting To Fall
10. Choose A Side
11. Once and A While
12. Big Knob
13. Yesterday’s Lost
14. Lonesome Gods