While many musicians find it hard to find the time to be in one band, Tim Regan is thriving as a songwriter in three. He joined Snowglobe in the late 90’s after returning to Memphis from college at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. After two albums, a fair amount of regional success and a slew of day jobs to keep him occupied between gigs, he was offered the opportunity to join Austin-based Oh No! Oh My! as a touring member in 2006, and was eventually asked to join the group full time (we hear it was his dance moves that won the band over). So, he took a hiatus from Snowglobe, made Austin his home base and went on tour. When the tour ended and both bands were still figuring out their next move, Regan went into Young Avenue Sound and made an album.
“I had a lot of songs and I wanted to put them out. It was something I had been working on anyway and the opportunity presented itself. With Snowglobe I had a sh**load of songs I needed to do something with, and they could have worked with Snowglobe, but they might not have so I pressed on”, explains Regan.
Luckily, when it came time to put together the backing musicians for the project, Regan did not have to look far.
“I went around and pretty much picked the best musicians I knew and they just happened to be my friends”, he says.
Those friends include three Snowglobers; Nashon Benford on horns, Luke White on guitar, and Brandon Robertson on bass, along with Steve Selvidge and Paul Taylor on guitar and drums respectively, all fantastically revered musicians in the local Memphis music scene.
“I actually did not join the band, I was already in it before it started. Tim just expected me to play with him and I had no reason to say no”, says Robertson.
The themes of the new album, Generous Gambler, set for release on April 1st from Shangri-la Projects, are often forlorn and introspective, engulfed in dense orchestral psych rock. But Regan assures us that he is as happy-go-lucky as anyone could be.
“I really hope the songs come off downtrodden because that’s what makes me feel uplifted. Happy songs make me feel constipated”, he laughs. “I feel comfortable feeling sad. I’m not sad at all, but it makes me feel awesome. I put on the Smiths or the Cure and I feel awesome.”
“The whole theme I’m trying to write about is based on a Richard Brautigan poem called, “It’s Raining in Love”. It’s the purest thing I’ve ever read in my life, like when you like a girl a lot and you end up saying stupid shit. It’s so perfect.”
Other influences include Kirk Vonnegut, Henry Miller, Mark Danielelski, Hunter S. Thompson, and whoever writes those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books…
“I think I get more creative ideas from literature than music. Music blows my mind every day, and I’m supposed to top that. I read way more than I listen to music, and I listen to music constantly”, he says.
Now that the record is set for release next month, Regan, who is currently on tour with Oh No! Oh My! in Europe, plans to drag the band he calls “the best he has ever been in” on the road, for as much touring as possible. Of course, that will include playing in Austin during SXSW this month. He is also working on new albums with both Snowglobe and Oh No! Oh My! His intense musical work ethic should keep him on the road for much of the next year. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
“I love being on the road. I love everything about it. I love taking people’s houses over for the evening, I love meeting new people, and I love coffee houses with internet access. I love that, when I go on tour, I always have the coolest thing to do that night in town. People are super cool to you, and when you’re not doing it, it sucks, but that’s what books are for.”