Billboard Hot 100 Fest

B&E: The Spill Canvas

Breaking & Entering: A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts. This week: The Spill Canvas.

With 19-year-old vocalist Nick Thomas as its driving force, the Spill Canvas has been building a loyal fan base by relentlessly touring. The underground buzz the band has generated helped its album, "One Fell Swoop," released by One Eleven Records, enter the Top Heatseekers chart last week at No. 29.

With little to do in his hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D., Thomas began performing songs about the highs and lows of life when he was just 15. "Music was really all there was to do, so that was my natural gravitational pull," Thomas says. "It just seemed so comfortable, I had to do it."

After signing with One Eleven in 2004, Thomas released an acoustic album, "Sunsets and Car Crashes," under the name the Spill Canvas. While on tour promoting the set, though, he decided to turn the project into a full-blown band by recruiting guitarist Dan Ludeman, bassist Scott McGuire and drummer Joe Beck.

And with that, Thomas went from singer/songwriter to frontman of an emo band. This transition opened the door to a lot of experimentation in the studio when "One Fell Swoop" was recorded with producer Ed Rose (Get Up Kids). "The goal was to reach out to new fans," Thomas says. "Honestly, there was really a lot of 'cross your fingers, go for it.'

"On the album, we tried to include a variety [of sounds], so I definitely think it can reach a lot of different audiences," he says. "We definitely get thrown into the emo/indie/pop/whatever-you-want-to-call-it genre. But it's such a big melting pot nowadays, it's up to the listener to decide what we are."

When discussing the future of the band, Thomas toys with the idea of throwing even more musical elements into the mix.

"Just for fun, we always think about what would happen if we tried to get Dr. Dre to produce our next record," he says. "Like how much money would we have to come up with to get these random people who would then be like, 'Who are you? I have no idea who you are.' We entertain that thought a lot."

All joking aside, Thomas hopes that the band will continue to embrace its name and soon begin to really flourish. "The Spill Canvas is a big metaphor about life being a canvas," he says. "It can spill over and you can make it what you want and make it really nice."

The band is currently on tour with Rufio and Terminal, and on Aug. 30 begins the One Eleven tour with labelmates This Day & Age and Mashlin.

Link:
Artist site: www. thespillcanvas.com