Highlights From The Polyphonic Spree's World Tour (So Far).
In case you haven't been paying attention this site much over the past couple of weeks — or seen the new billboard that's been erected on Greenville Avenue — The Polyphonic Spree's fourth studio album, and first non-Christmas album in five years, Yes, It's True earned its release today. Before what's sure to be quite the extravaganza at the band's album release show this Friday at Granada Theater, The Polyphonic Spree have been overseas, playing festivals in South Korea, Australia, France, and England. All the while, 15 of the Spree's touring members having been sending us daily dispatches detailing their travels. In honor of Yes, It's True's release — and in order to catch you up on what the band has been up to these past two weeks — we've put together a compilation of our favorite highlights of the band's tour up to this point. —Cory Graves
Tim DeLaughter, bandleader. At DFW International Airport.
As I sit here looking at Matt [Bricker]'s Bloody Mary. I start to think about it being Nick [Earl]'s first time to fly. We're about to board a flight to Korea, which starts our tour and will literally take us around the world.
Oh shit! Do I have my robe?
Yes. OK, good.
I'm a good packer. All of my needs fit in my little suitcase that fits in the overhead. Too bad our instruments don't. I just had to shell out $800 for oversize luggage. Damn it! This band is huge!
You think I would be used to this by now. Thirteen years of paying oversize fees and it still makes my asshole clinch. Is it worth it? Yeah.
Oh yeah: Get ready, Nick.
Cory Helms, guitarist. At the Conrad Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.
I don't think I want to leave this place — not even the hotel room. There is magic glass in the bathroom, a mirror that becomes a TV. It's touchscreen-operated everything. And there's even a driving range on the 8th floor! â€ª#â€Žworldwindâ€¬ â€ª#â€Žcoryinkoreaâ€¬ â€ª#â€Žnotleavingâ€¬
Jennie Kelley, choir. At the Conrad Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.
So far, so good! There have been no major hiccups and there was an amazing hotel for all of us to chill at when we arrived. The plane ride was smooth sailing. We all just watched movies and tried to sleep. Nick [Earl] did great for his first plane ride ever! You really would not have known it was his first time, except for when he said, “Hey JK, do I just sit wherever I want or is it assigned?” I happily showed him how to read his boarding pass and he was all set.
In the morning, as I was getting ready, my roommate (I'm rooming with Buffi) came in and said, “JK have you eaten breakfast yet?” She insisted that I stop whatever I was doing and go check it out. It was the most extensive breakfast buffet I have ever seen. From Eggs Benedict and smoked salmon to English breakfast staples like beans and sausage. They also had all the Korean staples like kimchi and a variety of different noodles and soups. I ran into our other guitarist, Cory, on his way out and he told me he'd been there for two hours and he'd had at least four plates of food! I didn't have that kind of time but I did a random sampling of everything and was glad that Buffi had insisted that I go.
OK! Off to play this badass festival and to meet Robert Smith. No big deal. #worldwind #yesitstrue
Sean Redman, violinist. At the Conrad Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.
Seoul — and especially how nice our hotel is — is unreal . Everything is so shiny and new with great attention paid to design aesthetic and architecture. At first, I thought, “These people live in the future!” But I realized with a bit of consternation that the U.S. is just falling behind into the past. I know it's easier for more recent cities to build a shiny modern computerized city, but we really need to get our tech and infrastructure in gear. There was a computer or device in everything: The bathroom mirror had a TV built into the glass, the blinds were motorized, the lights were motion sensing, and the bidet — we'll let's just say that we're pooping like cavemen in the U.S.
Oh, and there are broken English phrases on everything. The funniest thing I've seen so far was one for some type of entertainment area that said, “Never-ending climax!”
Elizabeth Evans, choir. At Ansan Valley Rock Festival in Ansan, South Korea.
A little side-by-side dining with Vampire Weekend. Their dressing room is right next to ours. VW, are u our new besties?
Jennie Kelley, choir. At Ansan Valley Rock Festival in Ansan, South Korea.
Jason showing some skin before he robes up in Seoul, and way prior him throwing up five times during “Lithium.” Kurt would be proud.
Buffi Jacobs, cellist. At The Byron at Byron Resort in Byron Bay, Australia.
While waiting on the hotel shuttle at the bus depot, I must have been asked five times if I wanted a ride to “Splenda.” I had no idea what the heck the meant until my shuttle showed up. They were asking if I wanted a ride to “Splendour” — y'know, the festival we were playing and not the sugar substitute. Yep. Idiot alert. I'm in Australia and they have accents, duh! Things like that will happen when you are cracked out from jet lag, travel, etc.
Stephanie Dolph, choir. At The Byron at Byron Resort in Byron Bay, Australia.
Australian Adventure Time! First, I have to say, Splendour in the Grass was so good. The organization of music festivals consistently blows my mind!
But let's start from the beginning: First, we land in Sydney with four hours to catch our next short puddle jumper to the Gold Coast. Plenty of time, you say? Well, here is the run down: We got through immigration, baggage claim, customs, terminal transfer, check in to new airline and breeze through security just in time to be the last passengers to board the plane. Well, almost last: Elizabeth and Natalie win that prize. Phew! A short hour later and we are on the ground and being shuttled to the festival grounds. No rest for the weary and better have those face wipes to scrape the travel film off!
We settle into our dressing rooms and get ready for pre-show press. I am feeling pretty good at this point and looking forward to our first event — a photo shoot for Marie Claire's Australian edition. And then? BAM! I'm down. Anyone who knows me would not have been surprised to see me trip and fall, but I could tell right away that this was not going to be a shake-it-off situation, even as I hear myself telling everyone around me that I'm OK. NBD. 😉 Once the shoot was done — literally 10 minutes later — I quietly asked for ice and crossed my fingers that some Advil and TLC would settle my angry ankle down before the Rocky Horror set. Meanwhile, I'm mentally kicking myself for all the jumping around we choreographed for us choir ladies.
I finagled some gauze and gaffe tape into a makeshift brace, threw some Frankenfurter-appropriate black cat eyes on Tim [DeLaughter] backstage, and went out onstage. Once that first note hit, there was no more angry ankle — just a killer group of musicians melting the faces of the oh so gracious and receptive audience at Splendour! Together. we all did the “Time Warp” and then sent Frankenfurter home just in time to surprise them all with some delicious bites of original Spree to end our set.
Fast forward to this morning and I have a big fat ankle and a full heart! I love it here in OZ, but where is my Koala cuddle? I heard you get one for free if you twist your ankle down under.
Jennie Kelley, choir. At The Byron at Byron Resort in Byron Bay, Australia.
It seems like forever since I sat down to write one of these entries, but that's just because time is on fast forward right now and none of us have any real idea as to what day or time it is.
All I can confirm is that we are in Australia and, last night, we played Splendour in the Grass and, the day before, we played Ansan Valley Rock Festival in Korea.
There was no break between these two shows that were in two different continents. As soon as we left the stage in Korea, we bused it to a plane for a 10-hour flight, then bused it to another plane for a one-hour flight, then bused it to the festival in time to unpack the gear, do press, and then play.
So when we say or hashtag “worldwind,” you know we aren't being ironic.
Nick Earl, guitarist. At The Byron at Byron Resort in Byron Bay, Australia.
So I turned 30 today with my Poly family, in paradise, on the other side of the world and equator.
I don't think I could ask for anything more.
Buffi Jacobs, cellist. At Gold Coast Airport in Byron Bay, Australia.
Went on a late night walk to the beach with Mike [St. Clair]and Sean [Redman] yesterday. Within the first five minutes, we encountered Australian marsupials that resemble possums. We wanted a better look, so we shined our flashlights in their faces. They took offense and pelted each of us with a turd.
And now we are about to travel back in time on a 22-hour flight. We all know how I love to fly (sarcasm). Maybe it won't be so bad since we're time traveling. Wish us luck!
See you soon, London.
Tim DeLaughter, bandleader. At Sydney Airport in Sydney Australia.
As I sit in this massage chair that is attempting to relieve my body of its aches and pains, I'm looking at Mike [St. Clair], who is just a chair over. He has the most deadpan look on his face.
That's right, Mike: It's not gonna get any better. What do you expect for $2 (AUS)?
We're waiting to board our longest flight of the trip — Sydney Australia to France, some 22-hours of shear flying bliss. Ha!
I did a full day of press yesterday, which started with me flying from Byron Bay to Sydney at 7 a.m. First interview was with Rolling Stone Australia. It was a good one for me; not a lot of the same old questions. [The interviewer] really likes the record and it seems they're doing a pretty big spread on the band, which is great!
Overall, Australia is very enthusiastic about the record. Triple J radio added “You Don't Know Me” to their rotation, which means they'll be playing our song daily.
“Kick Ass!” I say! We don't get those perks very often in this band. So, when it happens, it's great!
Mark Pirro, bassist. At the Meininger Hotel in Brussels, Belgium.
Screaming babies and swollen feet aside, we all survived the 22-hour flight got to our hostel around noon, but rooms wouldn't be ready until 3 p.m. The whole band killed some time and got “Mussels Brussels” at some acclaimed restaurant. The food was good but the place seemed more like a French version of the Olive Garden. We got back to the room around 3 p.m. and immediately crashed out for some much-needed sleep. Seven hours worth. Now it's 11 p.m. and I'm wide awake! My body clock is way off!
Chris Penn, band manager. At Polyphonic Spree HQ in Dallas, Texas.
They band is wiped the hell out. After 24-plus hours in the air, they got to Brussels. The cello was lost but later found, and the vehicle that picked them up was apparently too small for the band and the gear. But they made it work. Now they're sleeping like dead people at the Hotel Meininger in Brussels.
Jennie Kelley, choir. In Brussels, Belgium.
The days and nights are all starting to run together. We don't really have any kinda schedule anymore. We sleep when we're tired, eat when we're hungry, and play music whenever we can.
Brussels was great but I feel like half the time we just slept because no one had any energy left. I think traveling through all these different time zones has started to take a toll on us physically. We play in France tomorrow at a festival in the middle of nowhere. In order to do so we are staying at a house, also in the middle of nowhere. Sebastian [Poncelet], our tour guide/host, and I walked into the city center this morning to get groceries and food for the next 24 hours. Where we are staying has no store or restaurant. It's a good thing then that the band has a professional cookâ€¦ me. Bach [Norwood], Matt and Chris have all said they will be my sous chefs. We shall see.
Natalie Young, choir. In Brussels, Belgium.
Also I forgot to mention quote of the day yesterday from Nick Earl. Some folks went to an old music museum with some rad antique instruments. Nick's thoughts on the place?
“Man! That was lame. There were all these pompous old ornate pianos and things and I was like 'Where are the guitars?' They didn't even have any. Just some old gourds.”
Some karmic thing is exacting revenge upon me through travel accessory sabotage. The day we left, the zipper on my Michael Kors boots I wear for the Rocky Horror set broke. A couple days into tour, the zipper on my favorite cat-eared clutch broke. The next day at the airport, the zipper on my sweet, handmade backpack broke. This morning, I busted the zipper off the duffel that holds all of my clothes. The lesson here? Zipper deaths do notcome in threes. Also? It might be time to invest in some luggage with buttons.
Bach Norwood, keyboardist. In Brussels, Belgium.
Who speaks French?
[According to tourguide/translator Sebastien Poncelet, the headline reads: “Do Not Miss, The Psychedelic Pop From The Polyphonic Spree On The Main Stage.”]
Jennie Kelley, choir. In Brussels, Belgium.
We've spent 24 hours in the middle of nowhere. It's been pretty great. We don't have any towels, though, so cleaning our bodies and/or all the dishes we've dirtied up has been quite difficult. I cooked a huge pasta feast last night and breakfast this morning. Everyone is appreciative that I'm cooking. That's how I show my love, so I'm happy to do it.
Afterwards, people played cards, enjoyed steady Wi-Fi for the first time in days, and played music. I tried taking a walk but got harassed by some locals so I had to cut that adventure short. I should've had a walking buddy, but I thought no one would mess with me in the middle of nowhere. #rookiemove
It is starting to feel like the calm before the storm. We will be headed to the festival in France soon. We play there tonight and then head straight to the airport where we will catch a quick flight to the UK. We play two shows there tomorrow. I'm pretty sure we are sleeping on the airplane floor tonight. #worldwind
Sean Redman, violinist. At Heathrow Airport in London, England.
We are all half-delirious after not sleeping after our France performance and flying to London. Currently in the longest customs line I've seen. Amazing crowds at these last two festivals, and check out that freaking castle! 🙂
Just had the most grueling couple of days I think I've ever had in my short time with the band. We played a festival in France yesterday, drove to the airport at 2 a.m., stayed in the airport overnight, waited until 6 a.m. to fly to London, drove a couple hours out into the countryside for the Dorset Bestival, and just played the first of two shows we're playing here today.
Read more about the band members contributing to these daily dispatches right here.