Tilly and the Wall Explore Urgency and Idealism on ‘Heavy Mood’

Photo: Jason Meintjes

It’s been four years since we last heard from Tilly and the Wall, and if you were wondering if the band was ever going to return, well, so were they. Fortunately, after a break that included moving to different parts of the country (they’re now split between Omaha, Kansas City, and Los Angeles), having children, and starting second careers (often as yoga instructors), they’ve found the time to get back together. And the new album, Heavy Mood, is the sound of a group who’ve figured out what’s important to them, and what they have to say. Hive caught up with singer/bassist Kianna Alarid to find out what the time off did for the band’s perspective. Stream Heavy Mood in its entirety below.

Since the last Tilly and the Wall album, you guys have grown up. A lot of you are parents, and there’s now a militant aspect to the band — even just calling the songs things like “Love Riot,” “All Kinds of Guns,” and “Defenders.” Are those things connected?

Nothing I do is pre-conceived, and it’s only after the fact when you look at it that you start to see things like that. But when I was writing songs like those, I realized that I have something to say, and I need to say it right now. And I need to say it right now because the urgency is a little more obvious since having a child. Some people, when they have a kid, they relax into that lifestyle, and they focus on the child, and their own hopes and ambitions aren’t at the front anymore. For me, it was the opposite. It was like, “I have to do my job right now. I have to say my thing right now. Because it’s for her.” Some drastic shift needs to occur in this world, and I think that it’s what the message is kind of about – empowering the youth, and it’s time that you guys uncovered that you have the power, and it’s a different power than they’re telling you is important.

Talking about young people having a different perspective on power was a big part of the Occupy movement, too. Is that something you got into?

Yeah! It totally did. I have to admit that I am not a political person. It doesn’t resonate with me at all. I don’t even really believe in it. But that movement, I believe in. That movement is what I’m talking about. It’s the youth saying, “You know what, culture? We don’t think this makes sense, and we don’t buy it anymore.” That’s the shift, and I think that was just a really outward movement of that same feeling. It’s just pervading our earth right now.

“I believe in the idea that if it’s going to change, it’s going to be through this loving, new way. I just want to say, ‘You know, dude, let me give you a hug.’”

But it sounds like you’ve become political.

I say that I don’t like politics because I don’t like politicians, because I don’t like banter, because I don’t believe it. I think it’s a big lie. But I believe in the idea that if it’s going to change, it’s going to be through this loving, new way. I just want to say, “You know, dude, let me give you a hug.” I know that’s not going to work – I know that’s idealistic. But what I’m saying is that everybody just wants love, and if everybody had it, things would be a lot different. If it was okay to say that without people being like, “Oh, she’s just a sensitive person…”

And on the album, you’ve got these idealistic ideas, but presented in a way that’s really militant. It’s a love riot.

It’s this urgency, really. “It’s time, everybody! Let’s get real.” People who aren’t really after the healing, they will hear that stuff as naïve. But that’s not really my problem. My problem is saying my part, and everybody takes it how they want. Hopefully the way that it came through me is in order to help whoever needs to hear it the right way to – hopefully, to help. That’s the whole point of art, I think. The point of art is to save the soul of mankind.

Heavy Mood is out October 2 on Team Love. Stream it below: 

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