AK: So I have a question about Tinted Windows- how did that project come together?
TH: The way it started was Adam Schlesinger and I had met years ago- right after he’d written the song “That Thing You Do”- he wrote that song and he’d also written a bunch of other songs for other bands- he got put with us to try and write for our first record, and he was about twenty-five/twenty-six, and I was about fourteen I guess. So we all got together then and we tried to write, and you know nothing ended up happening on that first record- it didn’t produce a song. We just over the years had stayed in touch, and had a lot of mutual friends in bands, and really just one day Adam called me and we started talking about the idea of actually doing a band, instead of just writing something or you know jamming around. I was pretty reluctant at first, just because it takes so much time, and being very much in-house with everything Hanson does it’s hard to leave that- you know physically leave that, and creatively leave it. But the timing worked out really well. Over the period of about three years whenever I got a little window I would go fly to New York or Adam came to our songwriting retreat that we do, and we wrote a song for Tinted Windows during that thing, in fact that was really the first song we wrote together for it, I guess in 2006. Eventually, after a couple years of little sessions here and there we finally had a record. In fact, originally our first drummer was Jason Schwartzman.
AK: Oh wow!
TH: He was the original drummer. I knew Jason from Phantom Planet, and I guess the other guys were various friend-of-friendships. We finished a lot of the record, you know- demoed it- with Jason, and when he wasn’t able to continue doing it we all said well, you know the drummer we were always talking about, or sort of thinking of in style and attitude was Bun E. Carlos [drummer for Cheap Trick], the power-pop drumming of him. So Adam just gave him a call, we called [his] management and said “Hey- this is a long-shot, but is there any way that Bun E. would want to join a side-project that we’re doing?” It was kind of an inside joke, you know, we didn’t expect that Bun E. was going to want to do the band, but he heard the stuff that we’d already written, and he loved it. So he said “I’m in!” So that was the formation of the whole thing, and of course I didn’t mention James [Iha]. James is a friend of Adam’s, they’ve been partners for a while so he was always into it, and he’s an amazing guitarist and great musician, and there you go, that’s the band!
AK: Are you all still playing/have plans to record/play more live shows?
TH: The jury’s out a little bit on it, but the response around it was really, really positive, and I would imagine there will be another project at some point. I have a stack of songs that are sort of like, you put them over on the side…to think about at the next project. But it doesn’t have the same pressure as a full-time deal, I think. Everybody really enjoyed doing it, and so I would imagine something else will happen, but we’ll just have to wait and see.