Simplicity is key for The Spill Canvas

Brittany Moseley

The band discusses their past, motivation, upcoming record

The Spill Canvas, who can be seen this summer on the Vans Warped Tour, will release its newest record in mid-August. PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. RECORDS

Credit: DKS Editors

There aren’t any bells and whistles to The Spill Canvas.

The band is exactly what it appears to be. Want a song about depression? Listen to “Self Conclusion.” Just end a bad relationship? Give “Bound to Happen” a play.

It’s this formula – simple music paired with raw and painfully honest lyrics – that’s made The Spill Canvas a favorite among teenage Internet users. Now the band is hoping to gain new fans and connect with the old ones with an upcoming album that lead singer Nick Thomas calls “brutally honest.”

“I really try to write from the most honest point possible,” Thomas said. “It’s all about the feeling you put out and saying things that people haven’t said before.”

Although naysayers may be quick to brush The Spill Canvas off as just another emo band, these four guys, which include guitarist Dan Ludeman, bassist Scott McGuire and drummer Joe Beck, are writing the most emotionally infused lyrics to come onto the scene in a long time. With lines such as “Heaven’s not a place that you go when you die/ it’s that moment in life when you actually feel alive,” The Spill Canvas is poised to be the next Dashboard Confessional.

The band started with Thomas playing acoustic guitar and writing by himself. His story is rather simple – he chose music because there really wasn’t much else appealing to do in his hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D.

“What else are you going to do in South Dakota?” he said. “There’s farming, hunting and music. I chose music and I became obsessed with it.”

Thomas released the acoustic album Sunsets and Car Crashes by himself in 2003, and two years later The Spill Canvas started touring as a full band. The second album, One Fell Swoop, was the first record for the band as a whole.

Although the next record won’t be released until mid-August, fans got a taste of some new music with the release of Denial Feels So Good, a five-song EP that was released in May. The EP features two original songs, one remix and two cover songs: Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” and Donovan’s “Catch The Wind.”

The Spill Canvas hasn’t given away many details about the upcoming record, but Thomas did manage to run through the usual artist spiel about this record being more mature.

“All the artists say it, but yeah, we’ve matured,” he said. “We’ve come into our element as a rock band.”

For Thomas though, it wasn’t just about growing as a band. It was also about relating his self growth to the fans.

“I’m 22, and I’m going through that ‘Who am I?’ stage, and I think everyone goes through that,” he said. “The point for us is to relate to fans: connecting with kids, being human with them and all that hippie shit.”

All the hippie crap aside, The Spill Canvas is growing up. It’s clich‚ of course, but it’s also the perfect thing to say about a band that doesn’t beat around the bush. The band’s music is changing, but the idea is the same: Simplicity is the best way to relate to people.

“It’s a really beautiful thing to have a simple song,” Thomas said. “There’s something to be said about a band that can do that and still have people enjoy it.”

Contact features correspondent Brittany Moseley at [email protected].