Interview: Paper Thick Walls Plays Pueblo

Some people might say that Pueblo isn’t the ideal place to catch a show but if you know where to look you might be surprised by the talent that comes through to play at local venues. Paper Thick Walls, a band from the Chicago area, recently played at the Downtown Bar. They’ve only released one record but they are quickly gaining momentum in the indie folk world. I got the chance to sit down and talk with a few members from the band that has been compared to Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens.

So how did Paper Thick Walls form?

Kate Schell: Well, Eric and I met in college. We had the same producer. I was working on a solo project and he was in a band and then it just sort of grew from there.

Eric Michaels: Its weird, it turns out Andrew and I grew up three blocks from each other and we didn’t know each other until he joined the band.

What bands or artists have influenced you?

Kate Schell: Oh gosh, it’s all over the place. Everybody has a different background. I’m more into folk so like Lykke Li and Emily Haines but Eric is into more rock like Radiohead then we have a big bluegrass influence from the other members and some classic rock.

Right on, you’ve been compared to bands like Arcade Fire, how do you take that when you’re trying to make your own sound?

Eric Michaels: We try to ignore comparisons… but they are flattering!

Kate Schell: Yeah, we all write together so it’s not like we’re trying to be like other bands. It’s really just our different backgrounds coming together to make our sound what it is.

This was your first album, what was it like putting it together?

Kate Schell: Super easy, writing then producing. A lot of it was actually done in Eric’s apartment.

And you’ve had really good reviews so far, has there been any that weren’t?

Eric Michaels: We haven’t really had any bad reviews but there was this one guy and he was really into rock and he said he only liked track 5 and the rest was too slow.

Kate Schell: Our publicist and management has been really good, we all work really hard to get these reviews.

You just got done playing SXSW, how has this tour been for you guys?

Kate Schell: It’s fun, we’ve been couch surfing. Last night we spent the night with two chickens and a duck. We meet a lot of cool people.

Eric Michaels: Nothing has been hard about it but the financial aspect.

So what’s next for PTW?

Eric Michaels: This summer we’re working on a movie. It’ll be called We Grew up Here. A lot of people from Sundance are working on it. We’ll be doing the soundtrack and acting in it, but it’s fictional. So that’s our next big project!

Wow, that’s a big deal!

Kate Schell: Yeah, they’ve been working on the script for over a year. We’re also going to put out another EP and touring in the fall, so it’s going to be busy, but we like that!


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