Before I saw The Rolling Stones on MTV in 1981, I was truly captivated by the music from "Star Wars" and from TV's "Sesame Street", "Chips" and later by "Lawrence of Arabia" and "E.T. The Extraterrestrial". Like a lot of kids, my record collection spanned Pop's greatest from The Beach Boys to Nirvana. As a teenager I was determined to learn how write my own music, my own hooks and my own lyrics. But, I never lost my love of a perfectly crafted piece of film score that lifted a scene or an image to such an amazing height that it became a part of our emotional collective. I hear melody and harmony in my head all day every day and I'm always trying to write that song or piece of music that will make me laugh, cry, love and hate all at the same time.
Stab the Unstoppable Hero
Sean Spillane was born in Ft. Lauderdale, FL moved to Houston, TX when he was five and ended up in Los Angeles, CA at University of Southern California. While in college there, he co-founded a band called Otto which eventually became ARLO and went on to sign with Sub Pop Records in 2000. ARLO toured extensively in the U.S. with bands such as Rilo Kiley, The Walkmen, and The Shins for the next four years, including a tour in Spain and two festival dates in Japan opening for Wilco and The Foo Fighters. After ARLO disbanded he joined Midway, a Los Angeles based band with a rabid following. In 2010 he wrote, produced, recorded and performed original songs and score for Lucky Mckee's "The Woman" which melted faces and made heads explode when it premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The following year, Spillane composed and wrote original 80's inspired songs for The Chiller Network's "Ghoul" starring Nolan Gould from "Modern Family" which premiered at Slamdance Film Festival. In 2012 he composed and wrote songs for "Jug Face", written and directed by Chad Crawford Kinkle, which also premiered at Slamdance. After 3 consecutive years in Park City, UT for the end of January, Spillane changed gears and composed the score for a documentary by David Ruck called "I Want To Be An Astronaut" which examines America's Space Program and how important it is to the country's future.
Since then, Sean Spillane has composed music for NOAA's (Nation Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) "Earth Is Blue" online video campaign, including the opening logo, which highlights our precious National Marine Sanctuaries such as Monterey Bay and the Channel Islands. These beautifully photographed pieces are part of NOAA's push to make people aware of the beauty that exists within their reach and our need to protect it from the ravages of pollution, overfishing and climate change.
Recent projects include, a short film directed by Lucky Mckee called "Ding Dong" which is part of a horror anthology called "Tales of Halloween"(2015), short film "The Mamet Women" directed by Comedy Bang Bang's Stoney Sharp which screened at several Film Festivals. In between, Spillane writes and records music for commercial and behind that scenes projects for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and The El Paso Museum of Art.
Presently, you can catch Sean Spillane performing original music around Los Angeles with his Indie Country band "Highland Hawks" which draws it inspiration from growing up in Texas and from the outlaw country movement of the 1970's and early 1980's.
Impatient and bouncy, Arlo spend entirely too much time listening to garage (music) and/or, living in one, breathing some form of asbestos. They’re nice quiet fellows, full of harmony and hormones.
Nate Greely and Sean Spillane (singers and guitar players, the both of them) come from the South (Texas mostly). Nate’s dad is a Cajun fiddle player and Sean’s dad is an oceanographer, which is superfluous information, but it’s interesting isn’t it? The boys met while attending college in L.A, where understandably they began playing college rock. After graduating, Nate and Sean were off to Pasadena where they came across and adopted into the Arlo fold Shmed (bass) and Soup (drums), both formerly from the band Holliston Stops. In January 2001, Arlo’s full-length debut, Up High in the Night was released and the band toured like crazy to spread the word. Somewhere in the midst of all that touring, former Further/Beachwood Sparks drummer Tom Sanford joined Arlo officially, replacing our old pal Soup and strengthening an already formidable force.
The debut full-length from Los Angeles pop rockers, Arlo (formerly operating under the name Otto)—pop songs as catchy as they are literate. Early contender for most frequently mis-heard album title of 2001 (i.e. A Pie in the Night).
Second full-length album from Los Angeles power pop alchemists Arlo (the most oft-cited comparisons include The Pixies, Guided by Voices and The Ramones – not bad company to keep). Between now and their January 2001 debut (Up High in the Night), new drummer Tom Sanford has joined the fold, strengthening an already formidable force. Stab the Unstoppable Hero builds upon the groundwork laid with Up High in the Night, adding new dimensions to the pop-rock landscape inhabited by singer-guitarists Nate and Sean (ref. the twang provided by erstwhile Beachwood Sparks/Futher guitarist Josh Schwartz on “Up”) and including songs written by bassist and resident dangerous Beatles freak, Shmed.
STAB THE UNSTOPPABLE HERO
TOO SICK TO TANGO
My time in ARLO taught me what it was to be an LA band and how to cultivate a solid following in city with thousands of bands all trying to get noticed above the noise. After playing shows at every venue in LA (seriously) we figured it might be a good idea to just play at one place and let people come to us. So, in late 1998 and calling ourselves "Otto" we started playing a weekly Tuesday night show at Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park, which was the site of our first show ever at a real venue and not a coffeehouse in 1995. It was our favorite place to play and it seemed like a good idea. Besides, the sound guy named "Arlo" always claimed we were his favorite band and we actually believed him. He also would joke that it was his first day on the job every time he set up our mics before a performance. So we played and played and played and we got better and then we got pretty good. Slowly, people came to see us. For 300 or people, Mr. T's was the place to be on Tuesday nights. It was the best part of being in a band. We wrote lots of new songs and tried them out with a captive audience. In 2000 we signed to Sub Pop Records, changed our name to ARLO (after our favorite sound guy), and started touring in 2001, but we always loved coming home to Mr. T's.
Touring with ARLO broadened my world view and allowed me to meet and work with some truly amazing people. Ben Vaughn (That 70's Show, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Ween "12 Golden Country Hits) produced our two albums (Up High In The Night, and Stab The Unstoppable Hero) The example he set has influenced my producing style ever since. We worked extensively with the brilliant Peter Reardon who nowadays is know for his company, Shadow Hills Industries, which makes the finest mastering compressor known to man. On the road we occasionally performed shows with our label mates, The Shins. The first time I heard "New Slang" was at our A&R guy, Tony Kiewel's house in Seattle. It was their 7" single and it was one of the most beautiful songs I had ever heard. We did a long tour with Rilo Kiley across the U.S. and got to know them pretty well. On the last night of our leg of the tour with them Jenny, suggested that we all get very drunk before the show. They played like shit and we played even worse and ended up having an all ARLO fistfight dust up that actually got reported in some music magazine. We should have fought at every show.
Our crowning achievement, in my mind, was playing Japan's Magic Rock Out Festival in 2003. Our 2nd album had done very well there and on two consecutive nights we got to play the slot directly before Wilco and then the Foo Fighters in front of 12,000 people. We got a taste of that life. As far as what it felt like... It wasn't as good a falling in love. I was more like how it feels to catch a really good wave when you're surfing and getting to ride it for 45 minutes, two nights in a row.
In all, I got to live out my rock and roll fantasy, except for the fame and fortune. Apparently, that will have wait for a future endeavor.