Image by Candace Ann Photography.

 I’ve never met a rock star before. 

This is what I’m thinking as I’m nervously waiting at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society, minutes before Paws for a Cause begins. 

The term “rock star”probably carries misconceptions, but when you meet The Spill Canvas,you should know they’re not the “groupies’-bras-in-the-face” and “where’s my Jack and Coke?” rock stars. Mismatched recliners draped with striped bed sheets covered in dog fur aren’t exactly the photo shoot you’d expect. Probably some leather-studded VIP session, surrounded by lights and cameras.

Well, the lights and cameras part you may get, anyway. Friday, March 12, The Spill Canvasposed with pooches for pictures with fans who donated an assortment of pet supplies to help celebrate 605 Magazine’s one-year anniversary.

The Spill Canvas – otherwise known as Sioux Falls’ Nick Thomas, Joe Beck, Landon Heil and Dan Ludeman—spent the benefit gushing over the rescued canines.

“I shouldn’t have worn black,”  guitar and vocalist Ludeman said as he repeatedly rolls a lint roller over his black t-shirt and jeans, having spent most of the two-hour benefit cradling a tiny, black and white puppy.

And “rock star”doesn’t exactly indicate relatable or approachable, but the four buddies eagerly thank and genuinely interact with each fan. 

Before kicking off the upcoming tour, on April 21, the guys want to focus on giving back to the regional community; one opportunity was Paws for a Cause.

 “We’re all dog lovers, so this was kind of a no brainer to participate in,” lead guitar and vocals Nick Thomas said as he prepared to shoot another photo with a pug.

Sioux Falls Spillfans are unhappy there isn’t a Sioux Falls stop on the tour, but they’re not playing in Sioux Falls because “we like to space the home tour dates out.” Thomas said. “Plus, we want to focus on giving back now, to say thanks.”  

The current EP Abnormalities and the LP Realities are the outset to the upcoming full-length album, which has not had an official release date announced.

“The album is an eclectic mix,” drummer Joe Beck said. “It’s more mature.”

The guys have grown since their first album in 2002. Their music is more developed than the melodramatic, teen-angst The Spill Canvasfans have seen in the past. 

“It’s definitely less dark,” Beck said.

“In the past, the music itself has been more complex,” Thomas said. “But now there are more ‘pop’ elements; it’s actually simpler.” 

“We wrote with other musicians,” Thomas went on to say about the writing process for the new album. “So there’s going to be different experiences. It’s like, you write three albums, and it’s just your own stuff. You need more perspective. It’s like stepping away from a big painting.” 

Thomas, eager and wide-eyed, said he’s thankful to write with other musicians.

“Actually, I’d love to work with Eminem,” he said. “That would probably surprise people. I have no idea how that would happen, but I really admire his talent; the lyrics are so poetic. It’s his fearlessness.”

Switching song styles and broadening the territory can mature musicians, but it can also create the risk of losing fans or pleasing the same crowd.

“Of course, there’s always that looming ‘What are people going to think? What if they don’t like it?’” Thomas said.

But it’s a risk musicians need to take. According to Thomas, “We’re excited to see how people respond. I think they’re going to like it. Hopefully we’ll reach a broader crowd.” 

The broader crowd around the nation has shown the band how people view their local roots. The laid-back, South Dakota attitude can be misunderstood when touring other parts of the country. Well, for the parts who actually know where “the Dakotas” are.

“They think we drive in covered wagons,” Ludeman said. 

“Most people can’t think of where South Dakota is [without a map],” Thomas said. “There’s definitely a misconception about the Midwest.” 

“They think it’s warm because it’s ‘South Dakota,’” Bassist,Heil added, laughing. 

The visits home are always welcomed, along with a tour of the infamous, Sioux Falls favorite restaurants. But they aren’t looking for a mob of girls or autographs. They’re going to be the four bros in the dark, skinny jeans and Converses, pulling slapstick pranks and laughing hysterically in the line at Bagel Boy. 

And “rock star” oozes with pride and arrogance; you wouldn’t expect a lead singer to have a shred of insecurity. 

But when we close, the guys thank everyone once more as they’re leaving. “Did you get enough info?” Thomas asked me. “Don’t worry about it—just make stuff up,” he added, laughing. “Just try to not make me sound like an idiot.” 

Thomas smiled humbly, “Well, if that’s possible.

For more info on The Spill Canvas and for updates on their album release date and tour, visit www.TheSpillCanvas.comor follow them on Twitter @TheSpillCanvas.

605 would like to thank The Spill Canvas, Candace Ann Photography, Pickle Barrel, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society and participants for making Paws for a Cause a success!

To see Web-only photos from the March 12 shoot, visit our Photos Page

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