ACL Fest Interviews
The Polyphonic Spree3:30pm, Sunday, HEB stage
"We've actually turned down a couple of offers for reality shows," says the Polyphonic Spree founder Tim DeLaughter. "Day-to-day life with us is all that and more."
The "more" part of the equation is ultimately the blessing, curse, and biggest calling card for DeLaughter's self-described "choral symphonic pop band." At 24 members, the Polyphonic Spree is the Large Band Lyle Lovett can only dream of. While you'd think a band this bulky wedged together on a single sleeper bus might have a chip on its collective shoulder, the Polyphonic Spree's sing-along shows hinge on the notion of spreading a joyful gospel.
"It was never my idea for this band to be a poster child for Up With People, but lyrically, and sonically, it's definitely a hopeful band," says DeLaughter. "That a 24-piece band can operate, and even thrive, in this economy and climate of cynicism is hopeful in itself. I know there's not another band like this."
Even though the band's Hollywood Records debut isn't due until April, their "Reach for the Sun" is a song-of-the-summer, thanks to the Beetle/iPod commercials, and there's even talk of a Broadway musical. All of which prompts the question of whether America won't be just a little gun-shy at the prospect of 25 white-robed folks from Dallas.
"Originally, I never thought about how that could look to people," chuckles DeLaughter. "I never thought about the cynical press. Then I thought, 'Oh shit! That does look weird.' What can I tell you? It works."