Preteen Zenith is the new band from Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree and
Tim began writing and demoing songs at home in Dallas in February 2009, with the intent of merely documenting new ideas. He continued the process in New York City that summer by subletting a small apartment to get away, as it were, and focus. He wound up recording the ideas on his laptop, and shared some on his blog (thefragilearmy.blogspot.com).
Enter Philip E Karnats, a longtime friend and former bandmate from Tripping Daisy who went on to play with the Secret Machines and Ike Reilly and release a solo album through DeLaughter's Good Records Recordings label in 2006. Phil happened to invite Tim to Chicago just to hang out and do some improvising and recording. Tim was excited by the idea. "It had been a long time coming," DeLaughter says. "We'd had several conversations over the recent years about doing something together. We had no idea of what we'd do, but I was definitely looking forward to it!" Initially, the idea was to record and improvise and see what they came up with, something totally separate from the demos Tim had been working on.
But unbeknownst to Tim, his wife and longtime collaborator/co-conspirator Julie Doyle decided to share the songs (which were arranged and written in the simple form of vocals and acoustic guitar) with Phil. She figured, just in case what they were working on didn't pan out, they would have a "plan b" to utilize the time. Before Tim embarked to Chicago, Phil had fallen in love with the demos. He reached out and said, "I dig these songs. I know exactly what to do with them!" Phil wanted to record and help produce the album. This was welcome news to Tim and Julie as they've always enjoyed Phil's creativity and musicality. And on the production front, it was a perfect fit, as Phil was able to perform on a plethora of instruments. A trip with other ideas in mind turned into phase one of the recording sessions for Preteen Zenith before it even began.
Tim arrived in Chicago with a station wagon full of gear, ready to record at Phil's home studio down in the basement. Unfortunately, the session began with a flood to the tune of 127 gallons of water, which is documented in one of the tracks. The two burned the midnight oil for 17 days. The guys complemented each other well. Tim left excited about the recordings they had finished, and devised a plan for phase two to finish the remainder of the songs.
They had an even shorter window of time for this second session, as Phil was expecting his first child soon. To make the most of the time they decided to find a middle ground between Chicago and Dallas to record. Walshtown Retreat Cabin in Memphis, Tennessee, was their "studio" for 10 days. They transformed the backwoods cabin into a functioning studio with isolations booths, tracking rooms, etc. In between a few fishing excursions, more songs were recorded, and a brand new one was written.
The songs began to take shape as something different than a solo album or a Polyphonic Spree album. While they were there Tim began discussing the prospect of starting a new band with Phil. Phil was in. After they were snuggled into "Walshtown," Tim invited Jason Garner (drums) and Dylan Silvers (guitar), both currently of The Polyphonic Spree, to play on a couple of tracks. More thoughts began to flow regarding presenting the material live. Jason and Dylan were soon invited to partake if and when the band actually played out.
Which brings us to NOW: Tim received a phone call from Gorilla Vs. Bear blogger Chris Cantalini, who was curating a festival for the Granada Theater in Dallas. Chris inquired about the prospect of Tim debuting Preteen Zenith even though he didn't know the name of the rumored project or heard any music. Much like the beginning stages of The Polyphonic Spree, Tim, Phil, and company have risen to the challenge, and will make their debut as a part of the festival on July 23rd, 2011.
Right now Preteen Zenith is taking one step at a time, but definitely expect recorded music to be unveiled with the re-launch of Good Records Recordings in summer 2011 (along with new music from The Polyphonic Spree who rest assured is continuing on as well).
Preteen Zenith is the combination of Tim DeLaughter (Tripping Daisy/The Polyphonic Spree) and Philip E Karnats (Tripping Daisy/Secret Machines) along with the augmentation of Dylan Silvers (The Crash That Took Me/The Polyphonic Spree), Jason Garner (Nighty Nite/The Polyphonic Spree), Julie Doyle (The Polyphonic Spree), and Evan Hisey (The Polyphonic Spree) that will surely evolve with time as bands do.