The Paper Crowns
By Waleed Rashidi
MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Nicole Pond (vocals, guitar); Spiro Nicolopoulos (vocals, guitar, banjo); Jeremy Sheilds (drums); Mitch Medina (bass).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Devore, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland.
The Paper Crowns Acoustic EP (2010).
Feist, Tom Waits, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix.
While some bands seem to dig for an obscure tangent or philosophic bend, indie-folk-blues act The Paper Crowns have this aura of honesty in their music that’s genuine, easy to grasp, yet also not a complete giveaway. OK, so it’s a bit hard to manifest into words, but there are subtle hints about the band that seem point in such a direction.
Take their back story for instance. It’s simple and straightforward.
“[Vocalist/guitarist] Spiro [Nicolopoulos] and I work together at a local music store, Hi-Line Music, and eventually we became a couple,” says vocalist/guitarist Nicole Pond. “We both had separate musical projects at the time, but then the thought dawned on us that maybe we should combine our talents and that’s how The Paper Crowns got started.”
As for the name, again, it’s easy to understand. “Nicole was telling me about a dream of hers where in it we were making paper crowns,” Nicolopoulos says. “That phrase stood out so I suggested The Paper Crowns as a band name.” (Pond adds the name means “whatever you want it to mean.”)
Perhaps one can formulate new meaning after spinning songs from the band’s acoustic EP. The songwriting process, Nicolopoulos says, can be a simple or challenging situation for the pair.
“Sometimes it’s easy,” he says. “Other times it’s like ‘We got a word done today.’ And we just keep at it until it turns into something we can feel good about performing.”
“Basically that’s how it is,” Pond adds, “it can be like pulling teeth sometimes. On the other hand it can be no problem. Spiro and I try to come together to work on songs. I think the listener can really differentiate the songs that Spiro and I write together from the songs that we write on our own. I think the stuff we write as a duo is the true Paper Crowns sound that we’re going for.”
That true Crowns sound might be found at The Wine Tailor next Friday. This’ll be their third appearance at the intimate venue, playing as an acoustic pair.
“I’m expecting to get myself a bottle of wine before the show for sure,” Pond says. “It’ll be fun and cozy.” (Waleed Rashidi)
The Paper Crowns at The Wine Tailor, 8916 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 481-5050; www.thewinetailor.com. Fri., June 17, 6PM.