Wave-runners: Tilian Pearson, vocals and guitar; Adam Sene, guitar; Spencer Gill, guitar; Alan Jaye, bass; and Josh Gould, drums. They compose collaboratively, but Sene writes the lyrics.
Their sound: Dynamic rock with impassioned vocals and strong, jazz- and funk-influenced percussion — like Mars Volta, with more emphasis on the energy. "I like that Josh is not a typical punk rock drummer," brags Gill.
Forthcoming album: The Empire Theory. "We have two songs left before the album's finished," Sene explains. "It's a 12-song concept album. We're going to go back and do some pre-production work, edit the songs and make them more powerful. … Each song is an effort to communicate particular emotions and feelings. Even though it's a militaristic setting, it's not about political activism. It's really about forgiveness. … It's about two friends."
Gill: "I think it's a story everyone can relate to because it holds basic moral values that are universal, like turning the other cheek."
Promoting the CD: "At first, we want to be regional," Gould says, "play Florida shows, go out of town, and build a fan base. After that we hope we can open for a national act and do an East Coast tour."
On their sudden popularity: "A lot of bands think promotion is beneath them," Gill says. "We get out there and hand out fliers. We're more grassroots."
Hard work pays: They practice four to six nights a week in a spacious rear office of an empty store in downtown Clearwater.
Coming together: The guys, all in their 20s, have known each other since they were kids — except Gill, who grew up in North Carolina and moved to Clearwater in his teens.
Past tensions: For some reason, Sene and Jaye did not like each other until they became bandmates. They had friends in common but never spoke to each other.
Sene: "It made no sense. … There would be, like, glares and this unspoken hatred between us."
Jaye: "I just said whatever beef we had, let's just end it now and focus on the band. Ever since then Adam and I have become really close friends."
Classic thrill ride: "I am personally very influenced by classical music," Sene says. "I write with ebbs and flows and polyphonic sounds together, and that goes for everybody."
Gill: "The basic idea that we have as a band ... is to take the listener on an emotional roller coaster — not just write about girlfriend problems, but to have this seamless album from start to finish and really have it communicate to them. I have that with bands like Sigur Ros. I think that is a deeper musical appreciation than 'F--- yeah, I think this band is cool.'"
Sene: "We make ourselves cry at practice."
Hear them: Aug. 4. with the Rise of Science, Ocean Is Theory and Silas at the Orpheum in Ybor City. myspace.com/tidesofman.