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Q&A: Drummer Tyler Williams of The Head and the Heart

Tyler Williams, center

Tyler Williams, center Photo Credit: Tyler Williams, center, and band members of The Head and the Heart. (Shawn Brackbill)

The Head and the Heart are one of the biggest overnight success stories of the last few years. Within a year of getting to know each other at open-mic nights in Seattle, the old-timey folk-rock group was opening for Dave Matthews and was the subject of a record-label bidding war.

Indie label Sub Pop won that war and released a remastered version of the band's self-titled debut album last year.

Since then, the band's fan base has continued to grow, to the point where they're now headlining theaters on their own.

amNew-York spoke with drummer Tyler Williams.

How long after you met did it take to come together as a band? It took a good five months to figure out who we needed in the band and the direction we wanted to go. But there was never a discussion of how it would sound. Our sound just came from what each member brought.

Who influenced you? The first thing my parents introduced me to was the Beatles. Then I got into grunge rock when I was younger. Nowadays, the Beatles and Radiohead are the most influential music for us.

What do you think is drawing people to the band? I think it's the connection. It's a familial thing and it's unpretentious. They see that we're just like them. Plus they connect to the songs. The lyrics are pretty relatable from a mid-20s standpoint.

What specifically do you think they're relating to? When we made the album, everybody had moved from different places to Seattle. It happens in everyone's lives - you graduate college or high school and everyone goes their own way. You don't know when you'll see these people again. You don't know when you'll see your family again. ... You're struggling money-wise. It's the universal struggle everyone goes through.

Are you working on your second album yet? We're starting to write it right now. It's different. ... This one is not folk. It sounds way more confident and more rock 'n' roll..


If you go: The Head and the Heart are performing at Terminal 5 on Sunday at 8 p.m. 610 W. 56th St., 212-582-6600, $30. 

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