Built to Spill’s lead singer claimed in an interview for FHM Magazine that he didn’t “really understand music or musical taste.” But for a band with such a reputation, Built to Spill has certainly made something of itself.
No group has incorporated as much abstraction, passion and absurdity into its music as Built to Spill has. The band rose out of the indie ranks and gave birth to a new breed of music.
Built to Spill, a band that treasures its Boise, Idaho, roots entered the music scene in 1993 with the release of Ultimate Alternative Wavers on C/Z Records. In ’94, the group released There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, an album that would later be listed by Spin Magazine as one of the best albums of the ’90s. The band’s most recent album, Ancient Melodies of the Future, was released in 2001.
Built to Spill blazed a trail for countless independent rock bands, but one major thing sets them apart in the indie music world. In ’97, the band released an album with Warner Brothers Records, a mainstream recording company that also works with big-name artists such as Linkin Park and Madonna, and has produced the band’s past four records.
The band is Doug Martsch, guitar and vocals, Scott Plouf, drummer, and Brett Nelson on bass.
Martsch is the founding member and started Built to Spill after the disbanding of his first group, The Treepeople. Martsch and Nelson are also members of the hardcore rock band Caustic Resin, and all band members keep themselves busy with various other side projects.
The group’s style combines loud guitar solos, twangy melodies and soft, alternative ballads. Songs that would seem out of place by conventional standards are numerous, with lyrics about brontosauruses and strange-normal days. Martsch shapes up to be an odd character, and his bizarre persona is presented in the band’s music.
Though the music is much different than that of typical alternative rock bands, Built to Spill is one of the best-kept secrets in the mainstream music world.
The music is entertaining, and at times a listener might wonder why a band like Built to Spill isn’t more widely known. The band’s music has received excellent reviews in major music magazines including Spin and Rolling Stone.
Martsch states on Built to Spill’s official website that a main premise of the band is to switch the set list for each show. The band’s live shows are said to produce “an otherworldly sound,” according to Ink Blot Magazine.
Bands as remarkable as Built to Spill don’t come to Tampa often, which is precisely why fans should get tickets before they sell out.