Houston Music

Artist of the Week: Tim Qualls, Not the Local Cable Host, But He Does Know "Thong Song"

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

It is completely possible to understand that someone is a good artist even when you don't like their music. There's just something you can hear in it - or in the way that they do it, rather - that resonates. This is why someone like Jonny Lang, who is theoretically extremely sound, sucks, and someone like Stevie Ray Vaughan, who couldn't even read music, is one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time.

Side Note: The core argument here extends to just about every imaginable art form. Kobe Bryant, by all evidence, is a total dick. But that doesn't mean he isn't currently the most skilled basketball player on the planet. Stacy Dash is a horrible actress, sure. But we will never not click a link that promises nude photos and sex tapes featuring her. So on and so forth.

However, this is all moot at the moment, because Tim Qualls, who we'll hamfistedly refer to as a "soulful pop singer" even though he does a bit more than that, is both talented and enjoyable to listen to. Qualls is a relatively new face among Houston musicians. And his first EP, This Is Our Land, just became available for purchase this week. So naturally we hit him up with a few questions about gay porn, how to better pick up girls at The Galleria and patriotism.

Rocks Off: Were you aware that there is man named Tim Qualls who has his own local cable television show? You should probably hook up with him. If there was someone who had my same name, I'd definitely get together with him on a joint product. Unless he was a gay porn producer. Then probably not. I don't know if The Tim Qualls Show dabbles in porn. You might want to check that out beforehand.

Tim Qualls, "High Treason"

Tim Qualls, "High Treason"

Tim Qualls: Actually, I was aware about the Tim Qualls Show. I know this because he's the No. 1 guy on YouTube with my name. You can find my videos around page two or three, maybe. In fact, I tried to contact his email and show but never got a response. I'm sure if we did get together it would be epic. And our video would be the most viewed Tim Qualls video of all time.

RO: [laughs] Tell us a bit about the new EP. From what we've heard, it should place highly on the "Albums To Listen To When You're Trying To Get A Girl To Make Out With You" scale.

TQ: Well, I recorded my EP out at Red Tree Recording Studio in Magnolia with Jeffery Armstreet. I wanted my EP to be a mix of all my music. I write some folk, some pop, some soul, and I think it has a good balance on it. I didn't want to get stuck on one genre or one "sound." Hopefully you can sing, dance, think, and yes, make out to my CD.

RO: We put the feelers out on you and found out that you have performed an acoustic version of Sisqo's "Thong Song." We trust that will be on the new EP, sir?

TQ: I do play that on occasion. I think its important when playing live to play something familiar to the ear yet very different from what you have heard. The "Thong Song" just so happened to sit in my comfort Love Song zone and was something to surprise everyone with. Truthfully, I stole the cover from another friend who does it better. Luckily, he plays in Austin. It's fun to do.

RO: "Imagination" seems very heartfelt. Is there a Mrs. Qualls that that was written about? To that point, do you think that having a wife or a girlfriend hurts someone's chances of becoming a heartthrob? We would say no, mostly because we went to this Robin Thicke listening party once and a bunch of the women there were trying very hard to get his attention. We guess what we mean to say is, how can we score my girl's number when we go the Galleria?

Tim Qualls, "Imagination"

Tim Qualls, "Imagination"

T: Yes there is a Mrs. Qualls, if you will; although we aren't married. So don't give up, ladies! It's actually the oldest song on the EP and the one that somehow stuck when I played at bars. People always go "Woah, is he really singing about that?" Somehow that language, that old school love makin' music, comes naturally from me, and "Imagination" just so happens to be the first one.

As for getting the chick's number, I got nothing. I lost my game along time ago. I'd have to say that "Imagination" is my game. You could try just quoting the lyrics, in particular the second the big bridge.

RO: Can you explain what your "This Is Our Land" song is about? We thought we had figured it out - women or patriotism or something - but the more we listen to it, the less certain we are. Help us out a bit here.

Tim Qualls, "This Is Our Land"

Tim Qualls, "This Is Our Land"

T: Without getting too political, it's about the last election. I was just plain tired of he said, she said, and he's bad because of this or that. I really wish it was about who is better than the other. Watching the election made me feel like I was trying to pick the least bad choice instead of the best choice. I was tired of "Vote or Die," and all that other bandwagon stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I think both guys who ran in the big election are great Americans, but most of the time it just didn't seem that way on TV. I essentially got tired of watching, hearing, and getting worried about it all. Music and that song was my way out of that.

Purchase This Is Our Land today via www.myspace.com/timothyqualls.

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Shea Serrano