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The Willowz

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Inspired by '70s and early-'80s punk as well as '60s garage rock, blues-rock, and soul, the Anaheim, CA, garage punk trio the Willowz draw from influences roughly twice as old as they are. The group formed in 2002, when singer/guitarist Richie James Follin, bassist/vocalist Jessica Reynoza, and drummer Alex Willow were all in their late teens. Follin taught Reynoza, who is also a painter, how to play bass; while in New York City that summer, he also recorded some songs with producer Paul Kostabi. Follin and Reynoza met Willow at a party soon after. The trio recorded a 7" for the German imprint Wanker, another 7" for Posh Boy, and a self-titled album, which was released in 2004 by Dionysus. The Willowz also gigged prolifically, playing with bands such as the Epoxies, Dance Disaster Movement, the Mutes, the Dirtbombs, and the Weirdos. The rest of 2004 saw the band maintaining their busy schedule by contributing a track to the soundtrack of Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Gondry also directed the video for "Meet Your Demise." The Willowz also did a split 7" with the Distraction and toured the U.K. that summer. In 2005, the band made its Sympathy for the Record Industry debut with Are Coming, which featured re-recorded versions of many of the tracks on The Willowz, and released the much more ambitious Talk in Circles later that year. The DVD Seeinsquares arrived in 2006. Early in 2007, the Willowz returned with Chautauqua, which was issued by Dim Mak. ~ Heather Phares

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2002 in Anaheim, CA

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