Tally Hall sounds off on fame, Muppets

Emerging pop band Tally Hall headlined last week’s First Fridays. I met with Andrew Horowitz, singer/keyboardist, and Joe Hawley singer/guitarist, in Boys’ Locker Room #1, in the basement of Lasell Gymnasium.

You have come a long way since I first found out about you three or four years ago. Now you are pretty famous. How does it feel?

Andrew: I don’t know if we’re famous. We’re not famous.

Well you’re on the road to fame, I mean, you played Lollapalooza-

A: To some people. We’ve grown over the past four years. As you invest more time and energy in a band, over time it grows and accomplishments grow. Everything builds on itself. Yeah, we played Lollapalooza. That was really cool. It was the first time we were able to play a major music festival. I guess the goal is to keep on growing.

Did you get good turnout at Lollapalooza?

A: Yeah I thought it was great. There were a couple thousand people. It’s hard to tell. You just look out and there’s a sea of people – yeah, we felt good about the set, met a lot of people. We stayed for the whole festival and just took advantage of it.

Has your focus generally been the music or the comedy you do on the side?

Joe: We have always been singing songs. We were always a band. We were a band first. The comedy and skits were a supplement.

A: We were a band first – the video and skits thing, well, Joe has always been into film, so it was just a natural progression at some point. We never really planned our path – that we would have the Internet show and be a band sometimes and have a film career sometimes. But it just worked out like that because that’s where our interests took us.

Tell me about the Internet show.

J: We got signed to Atlantic and we wanted to keep making videos but they kinda own some of what we are doing now so we just decided to make it into something more formal, I guess, whereas before it was not as much an aspect of what we did – it was more of a casual thing. Although it’s still casual.

A: Yeah. We decided to give it a little structure so we could release it as a project- When we were just making videos for ourselves it was just really casual and they weren’t meant to go anywhere but when we got signed and we had this opportunity to promote this stuff we had been working on we decided at some point we were gonna make these episodes and organize our skits – make it more of a variety show.

J: Atlantic wanted to re-release the album which was kind of tedious for us, so we wanted to put something new out there in the meantime while they were preparing for re-release.

I’ve heard you guys described as a cross between The Muppet Show and Monty Python. How would you describe yourselves? Or, I mean, you could choose one of those. Or both.

J: (to Andrew): I’ll say Muppet Show, you say Monty Python? Ready, Go:

A: MONTY PYTHON
J: MUPPET SHOW

A: Those terms were more for the Internet Show because it is kind of a cross between the two. It’s really silly at times but also – I think Monty Python, they were trying to get at something really deep sometimes and I think we are trying to find the line between total goofy humor and substance. It’s a tricky line. I think Monty Python did that. Muppets are somewhere in between too. Have you actually watched The Muppet Show?

Have I watched The Muppet Show?

A: Yeah.

Not really-I think I saw Muppet Treasure Island when I was a kid.

A: Not quite the same.

J: We weren’t trying to model our show after either of those really. It was just sorta something fun to do. We have a lot of ideas in general. We watch a lot of T.V., Saturday Night Live.

A: We watch A LOT of T.V.

So where do you guys want to be in 5 years? I have heard rumors you want to make a theme park?

A: What do you know about our theme park?

Er, whatever the press packet said. “They wanna make a theme park where they fly to the moon” or something.

A: Yeah. It’s all real. We have been debating how to make it possible. (To Joe) Can I just dish an idea?

J: Sure.

A: My idea is to make it into, like, an architectural book of rides that would be really awesome and hire top architectural firms to draw the drawings and make it so it’s actually feasible if we had the money, and then sell this book of our ultimate theme park, and hopefully some rich person will see it and be like ‘that’s actually really cool.’ But its, like, an art book, a coffee table book.

J (in response to Andrew): But then you would be giving away all the ideas for the amusement park.

A: But you would need, like, SEVERAL million dollars.

J: But why not try to save it over time? We have to talk about this. We’re not really sure we know how to go about it.

A: I dunno. We didn’t know where we’d be a year ago so it’s hard to say where we’ll be in like five years. But we are gonna record our second album in early ’09.

I hear. Have you got plans for the album already?

J: We’re just doing a lot of songwriting. It’s the early stages.

How’s it gonna be different from this one?

A: It’s going to be very different. (To Joe) How’s it gonna be different?

J: I dunno if we’re in a position to judge it. It’s hard to know how it will be different. Even if we had made it already – I mean, like, how you are different from when you were a freshman in high school.

A: Its weird to think about.

J: You’d hope progress had been made. It prolly has. I mean, some bands progress, but then they lose interest. People lose interest. Why is that? It’s complicated.

A: If you were in middle school and you wrote a diary and you were still reciting your diary sophomore year of college – it’s a little strange right? That’s kinda where we’re at right now. I mean, we are different people right now. I think our music will be a little more mature.