Home > The Weepies: An Exclusive Interview and First Listen
The Weepies: An Exclusive Interview and First Listen
Thanks to Jimmy Dunne, President of Inspire - a music and branding company partnering on music initiatives with Whole Foods Market - for providing this blog post.
It takes a special artistry to write an honest pop song. Truthful songwriters touch on our dark sides in order to achieve the light- but few manage to get us to dance. Introducing The Weepies: a band that will have you smiling- and spinning- as they transform human frailty into an excuse to celebrate true love. You can listen to their entire new album, Be My Thrill, right here.
The Weepies - Be My Thrill by Nettwerk Albums
One of the most charming aspects of The Weepies is their personal story: they are a husband and wife singer-songwriter duo who fell in love over music. In our interview below, it's easy to see how their relationship translates into such touching songs. As they sing about unpaid bills, the weeds smothering once-alive love, or the restlessness that holds us all back from loving well, they are capturing the beauty of treasured relationships and simple truths.
We asked The Weepies (Deb Talan and Steve Tannen) to share a little about their unique romance...(enjoy)...
DEB TALAN: Ten years ago I was a solo songwriter in Boston; I'd been in a youthfully frenetic pop band in Portland, Oregon for a few years, and when that band fell apart (as bands do) I headed east on my own and landed in Boston. I was working in a preschool in the early mornings, and I was playing out more and more. My first solo "shows" were a few hours during the day in various coffee shops all over town whose managers I'd coerced into letting me play (these were rather lonesome, and extremely caffeinated).
STEVE TANNEN: In 2001 I was driving from New York City to Boston to play my first solo show outside of NYC. At the time I was playing a lot of open mics around New York, and just starting to be able to have my own shows - mostly late night bar gigs with a bunch of friends and a fair amount of whiskey…By late afternoon I was driving through Somerville and into Cambridge, and I remember thinking that the singer Deb Talan lived there. I was a big fan of Deb's, and I still am - I'd listened to "Something Burning" obsessively that winter. I had it in the car with me and I put it on as I drove to the club. We'd emailed a little bit as mutual admirers, and somewhere in the back of my mind I hoped she'd found out about the show and would come see it, but I really didn't think she would.
DEB TALAN: Starting out in a new town and going to open mics, you get to hear a lot of other songwriters. Many of them have something about them you like, but it's rare to feel that you've heard someone truly unique, whose music moves you. A friend told me I should check out this new guy from NYC named Steve Tannen. I ended up listening to his debut album ("Big Señorita") about a thousand times, and like a true fan I felt he knew my heart before I met him (thrilling and totally unsettling), and then I heard he was coming to play Club Passim - I still have the music journalist's business card on the back of which I had written "Steve Tannen - Feb. 12!" in sharpie. I had a cold and it was the middle of winter, but I put on a purple turtleneck sweater anyway and went to the show, armed with lipstick and a small posse.
STEVE TANNEN: We met in person for the first time that night just before the show. I think we'd both describe the meeting as electric. We were nervous, and we only talked for about 5 minutes before I went on stage.
DEB TALAN: I remember watching Steve before he went on. He was sitting in one of the folding chairs in the back, bent over his setlist, brown crazy hair falling over his forehead. He was wearing a white t-shirt so he sort of glowed in the dark.
STEVE TANNEN: Most of the rest of that show is a blur, I have no idea what I played, I just remember glimpsing Deb in the audience surrounded by her friends, thinking, "That's Deb Talan in the audience. Don't screw up!" From there my mind does a sort of movie-like cut-to: Deb and I passing a guitar back and forth in a tiny apartment, playing songs for each other until dawn.
DEB TALAN: So that was the beginning of all of this! We started writing together, started playing shows together, and started making records together.
STEVE TANNEN: Now of course we're married with two amazing kids, a band, and a new 14 song record coming out. "Be My Thrill" is actually our 4th studio album. We are really proud of it. This was definitely the most fun we've had making a record; we wrote for months, worked with some of our favorite musicians in the world, and we took as much time as we needed at every step. Taking that time pressure off made the whole thing a little lighter.
DEB TALAN: We're also heading out on a two-month, 36 city tour of the US in October! It's going to be quite a change - the last time we were on the road was in 2006, and it was just the two of us driving to coffee house shows in our old Toyota packed like a sausage. This time we'll have a full band, a tour bus, and of course the whole family in tow.
We can't wait to see what the next 10 years will bring.
We're excited to see what's next for The Weepies. Thanks to Nettwerk and The Weepies for sharing the music. Their album can be found at your local Whole Foods Market, beginning September 7th.
Jimmy Dunne is President of Inspire and a Grammy-nominated songwriter, TV and film composer, and television writer and producer; with songs that have been recorded on 27,000,000 records worldwide and garnered a number of CMA, ACMA, Juno, and BMI and ASCAP songwriter awards and multi-platinum Billboard recognitions.