The Tall Firs were chosen to support the ever-elusive Jeff Mangum on his comeback tour. The band, including Aaron Mullan and Dave Miles, have been friends since they were in middle school. While people’s tastes change a lot over the course of twenty years, the band’s music has been compared to Sonic Youth and folky shoegaze. Their third album, Out of It and Into It will be released later this year.
How did you get involved with Jeff Mangum?
We sort of came out of the ATP record label, and he was involved with that label. I think I met him when I was a sound guy. I was involved in the crew and I’m also an opener for him on this tour.
Is there a story behind your name?
We were having trouble thinking of [a name]. I wanted to call it The Sextets. My mother was in a doo-wop group call The Sextets. I think they just liked the word sex. Anyway, I guess Aaron’s wife is from Portland, and there’s a famous underdog basketball team called the Tall Firs. We just liked the story.
I think it’s just because of the record label, but we get compared to Sonic Youth a lot. But I think we’re probably more interested in country music than most people think, like Townes Van Zandt. I think on the way over here we were listening to Willie Nelson. Very recently, I’ve been getting into Vic Chestnutt, the first couple records. At first, I just liked the music, and then it turned out that Jeff [Mangum] knew him, he’s from Athens, and they all kinda hang out.