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He Keeps fun. Running
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He Keeps fun. Running

Music Articles

He Keeps fun. Running
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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.


SIMON: This summer we're checking in with the band "fun."


NATE REUSS: (Singing) Give me a second. I need to get my story straight. My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State. My lover...

SIMON: The rock band on tour is a kind of traveling road show with publicists, tour managers, and of course, technicians. So today we speak with Shane Timm. He is the technician for fun. and handles all their 40-some pieces from electric guitars to cables. Shane Timm joins us now from Dessau, Germany, where the band's just about to wrap up their tour in Europe. Thanks for being with us, Mr. Timm.

SHANE TIMM: Hey. Thank you very much. Glad to be here.

SIMON: What are you seeing? Where you been?

TIMM: Oh, wow.


TIMM: We've been all over the place. Gosh. We started off in London and then did a festival, T in the Park, in Scotland which was really neat. The craziest thing I've ever seen as far as festival goes with - apparently, what people get used to out here is these festivals that are nothing but mud and rain and puddles, but everyone is completely, like, dressed and ready for it.

But we did not know that was how it was going to be, so we're walking around, like, in tennis shoes and stuff, getting completely covered in mud. But regardless, it went well. The crowd was amazing. It was a great show. You know, we had to throw our shoes in the tub and let them soak for a while afterwards, but I think it was worth it.

SIMON: I'm told you were a car mechanic when you first came to the band.

TIMM: Yeah. As it turns out, it was not for me. I learned a lot and I can fix a lot of stuff, but luckily, the current monitor engineer for the band, Danny Hodges, he got hired on with the band and he threw my name out there at which point they said all right, bring him out. So I came out.

And the very first day that I even met them I was really, like, freaked out. I was like, OK, these are professional musicians. This is going to be intimidating. I can do it. I can do it. And then Jack's - one of the guitar pedals was screwing up so I took it apart, the very first day I met them, like, right there in the rehearsal studio and I fixed it.

So I was like, all right, there we go. It's starting off good. It started off good.

SIMON: How much equipment do you have to haul from place to place when you're on the road?

TIMM: I would say probably as much as what a circus does, minus the animals.


TIMM: We haul about 13,000 pounds I think is the last load we have. And the last time I counted all my backline pieces, I had 45 backline pieces that I've got to keep track of. Which, basically it's anything that the band will use on stage that doesn't involve, like, lights.

SIMON: Is there one piece of equipment that's given you any particular grief?


TIMM: Yeah. I would say that that piece would be Jack's first love guitar - a 1968 Gibson ES330. There's a lot of old wiring inside it and it's like it's a person, almost, and it wants to just mess with me. And it could be as simple as just, like, he sets it down on the ground a little bit, like, awkwardly, and then for some reason as it, like, wobbles around on the floor a wire decides to go. Because it's like, I'm real old, I'm rusted, I give up.

SIMON: Is there a song in particular that the band does that makes you think, boy, I'm glad I took care of that Gibson?


TIMM: Uh, yeah. "Barlight." "Barlight." Jack, he rocks out in "Barlight" big-time and without his guitar working on that song it would lose a lot of its power.


REUSS: (Singing) Never in all my life have I seen eyes as empty as these streets in my city on a Saturday night. And the green of your eyes say go, leave it all behind. But I don't need to reminded that change is going to come. I feel it on the tip of your tongue. And I feel alive, feel alive.

SIMON: When you're on tour do you get much chance to see anything other than your own show?

TIMM: Occasionally. You know, sometimes we have days off and I get to kind of venture around whatever area we're currently staying in. But my favorite thing to do most of the time is I just find the nearest coffee shop and I just go and I sit there and listen to music.

I hear music all day and most people would probably think that I don't want to hear any music, but it's nice to be able to just relax somewhere and go through your own playlist.

SIMON: So you got a favorite song from your band?

TIMM: To be completely honest, even though I hear it so much, "We Are Young" still gives me the chills every single time. I swear. I don't know what it is.


REUSS: (Singing) Tonight we are young. So let's set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.

TIMM: Because when they are playing that song live it is just powerful it's crazy. And the fans go nuts and it's just like such a blast every single time.

SIMON: Thanks so much, Mr. Timm.

TIMM: Absolutely. Thank you.


REUSS: (Singing) ...burn brighter than the sun. Now, I know that I'm not...

SIMON: Shane Timm, technician with the band fun. We reached him in Germany and we'll check in with them later this summer.

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