Full Name(s): Billy Creekmore 33 (guitar,piano,vocals)
Marc Jenkins 29 (bass)
Fred Schick 38 (guitar)
Stiglich 30 (drums)
Currently Residing: Richmond, Virginia
Currently Listening to: Grandaddy " Sunday". Marc just
turned me on to these guys- a very interesting listen and great songwriting.
Current Album: Planet of Me
Billy Creekmore was one of those guys I thought of as a "cool kid". He always hung out with my teenage crushes and the people I wanted to get to know. He also had a vivid use of language and I always thought he didn't care for me. During those four years of high school I had no idea who exactly Billy was nor did I feel it was in my best interest to do so. It's been almost 16 years and as time has passed I have gotten to know a Billy I never knew. I was aware Billy was doing studio work, but did not know he was actually writing music. When I stumbled across his band, The Thirds, I seriously thought it was a joke, that I had to check out and validate what Billy was doing. Now before you think me harsh just know that I didn't think Billy wasn't capable, I just didn't even know he was creating this beautiful sound.
When I first heard "Planet of Me" I was dumbfounded. I literally was walking down the streets of New York saying over and over, "Wow, this is Billy. This is beautiful." "Planet of Me" is a collection of songs that really trigger a feeling of a lazy summer out in the middle of a field with the sun shining or it could be you sitting by the window on a rainy day reflecting upon days gone by. It creates a nostalgia back to the likes of REM's "Murmur" or the quiet sadness of a man trying to figure out what's going on inside himself. It's filled with subtle sounds of keyboard and delayed guitars. Drums that are subdued and lyrics full of self evaluation. Just a really great album to listen to when things are not feeling quite right, when life feels of doubt and hope all at once. Mr. Creekmore definitely has put his heart and soul into a really gorgeously orchestrated album. It's good to know people like him are creating soundscapes for our mundane lives. "I guess I'm finished here and I've got nothing to say."
How did The Thirds begin and why this name?
Well, I've never been very good at picking names for songs let alone band names for that matter. The name for the band was actually stolen from a song name on the record that I had just finished. The band was put together after I finished the record to see how the songs would fair in a live setting.
There's a a beautiful sadness within "Planet of Me", what influenced this writing?
I suppose that song is about living in your own world and trying your best to ignore the one around you when you need to. I don't mean to sound negative, but I'm usually bored with the world around me, I guess I write these songs for an escape.
Your music is very atmospheric...when you listen to it where do you picture yourself?
The word "atmospheric" seems to come up a lot when people describe the music. I intentionally went for this type of sound on the record and wanted to take it as far as I could go. I guess I picture myself anywhere but here when I listen to my music, because that's where I usually am.
There's many sounds on "Planet of Me"...was this intentional?
I just wanted to make something that was hopefully enjoyable for the listener. The studio I've built up over the last few years also allows me to take the time to experiment with new sounds and try new things. Every sound is there for a reason to help compliment different parts in the song and bring it together as one piece of work.
Although you did all the music except for bass on The Thirds, you play with a live band, how did you go about picking the players to play live?
First of all, I'm very lucky to have a good group of friends that take the time to play these songs I write. I met Bryan (drums) about five years ago when I was doing a demo recording for the band he was in at the time (JRawls). I let him listen to some stuff I was working on and he offered his services if I ever needed a drummer (Bryan is usually in 2-3 bands all the time, he seems to be very addicted to the drums). I first met Marc (bass) when we were both interning at a local studio and then a few years later through our day jobs. Marc has studio engineering experience which makes it very nice to have another set of hands and ears around during the recording process (he also is strictly business on the bass guitar!). A friend of mine introduced me to Fred (guitar) a few years back and he has just recently joined the group. Public defender by day, guitar player by night, Fred takes care of business.
Influences? The Richmond music scene has always been diverse, do you feel a part of it?
Hm... the Richmond music scene is an interesting one, I think we are still figuring out where we fit. I'm sure this town is no different than others, but it almost seems you have to associate with the certain "cool" crowd in town to get shows at certain places. I'm just not very good at self promotion and talking a big game like some people I suppose. We've only played a handful of shows, but I have to be honest and say that we have had good response from people. When I go to shows I like to hear people trying new things and get away from the standard "rock" element that seems to be around all the time. It's hard to get away from that because that is what people expect (and it's always fun to rock it out!), but we are trying to find ways to combine the standard instrumentation with new and old technology to give the listener more.
You are working on new material...what do we expect the next album to be like?
Well I really want to make two records, one similar to the last, a little more rockin' but take it to the next level, and another with more of a slow country vibe. That sums up the combination of songs I've been writing and I think they will need to be separated into two different records. I'm trying to get away from writing songs on the guitar and have actually been playing lots of piano these days instead. Also, on the last record I played most of the instruments, but this time around I'm getting the guys in the band to contribute to the recordings. It's been great, and I think it will show on the next record.
One word to describe your music?
Do you plan on touring? Who would you most want to play with?
The plan now is to finish up the recording process hopefully by late fall, but still do a few shows in between. I think we are at the point now as a band that we would actually consider touring and getting the music outside of the Richmond city limits. As for who I would most want to play with... Eels. In my humble opinion, E has to be one of the best songwriters out there today.
What's the song writing process like for you? What do you most want to accomplish with your music?
I usually have an idea of what I'm going for when I start something, but the music and structure of the song always comes first and then the lyrics find their way in. Lately I've been writing lyrics in kind of "stream of consciousness" way by letting the music control the words, if that makes any sense?! I'm not really sure what I want to accomplish with my music, but I've come to the point now to realize that writing music is just something I have to do and can't control it. If I'm not working on something, I feel like I'm wasting my time here on this planet. People tend to not think about how short of a time we have on this world, and I feel like we all should be doing something to leave a mark.
Does the word "Abubica" mean anything to you?
"Abubica" - Sounds like a great band name, damn wish I would have thought of that!
*side note* the name Abubica was one stated between Billy Creekmore and Jason Hoar in our Sophomore Biology class...they were always coming up with strange language. I later named my first mouse, Abubica.
I believe that The Thirds are destined for greatness and I think Billy Creekmore is a new contender in the singer/songwriter division. Check them out and be enlightened....better yet feel something more than the complacent sugar coated crap we've been inundated with lately in the music scene. For more on what The Thirds are up to, check them out on MySpace at www.myspace.com/thethirds and their soon to be live website www.thethirds.com.
Back to Sounds