James Reimer does not exactly stick out like a sore thumb alongside his 23 other band mates in The Polyphonic Spree. The Dallas-based group has attracted a following across the United States with its unique sound and live show. Street talked with Reimer about band dynamics and personal interests.
Street: What's it like being in such a large group?
James Reimer: It's an adventure every day... Best way to put it. It's awesome.
How difficult is it to get everyone on the same page when performing?
Surprisingly, not very, because I think everyone has the same sort of outlook and intention. We have our own individual things, and I think they all sort of line up, and we've played together long enough to know when and when not to do stuff, so surprisingly it goes pretty seamless in all respects, live and studio.
Do any kinds of cliques form?
Yeah. In our group, there are people who were friends before they were in the band, people who go back further than others. I think in that respect, there are people who are closer than others and they tend to hang out with someone more than they hang out with someone else. I wouldn't say it's overall cliquish, like high school or anything like that.
We've heard rumors of a television show based on the band.
A television show? I don't know anything about that. That would be pretty funny, especially if it was one of those Hannah Barbara cartoon shows.
Theoretically, if you did have a television show, what character would you be?
I'd be the villain. Not really a villain, though. We don't really have villains. I'm sort of the dark and mysterious one. All the boy bands have the "Oh, he's the dangerous one!" I am kind of like the quiet, reserved, mysterious kind of person. That would be my character, I guess.
Your record collection is on fire. What do you save, and why?
That's one of the best questions I've ever been asked. I'd save, [The Beatles'] Revolver, I'd save [The Beach Boys'] Pet Sounds, I'd save Grandaddy's Under the Western Freeway. How many am I allowed to save?
I would save Revolver.
Any reason in particular?
As far as I remember, that's just the record I grew up spinning. I grew up with the Beatles around, and that's sort of the one I gravitated to. I think it's "Eleanor Rigby" and the strings that caught me. I would just listen to that record continuously and sing along as far back as I remember.
Any jealousy or tension in such a big band?
You go into it with the mentality that it's about the group, not the individual. Naturally, the spotlight is going to be on the man who created it. And that's fine. Personally, I like the anonymity. I can walk around and be okay with it.
How long did it take you to learn everyone's name?
A couple of days, but at the time we were practicing every day. So, yeah, a little less time than it would have been otherwise.