J. Tillman

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Joshua Tillman
J. Tillman 2014.jpg
Tillman performing at Utopia Fest in 2014
Background information
Birth name Joshua Michael Tillman
Also known as J. Tillman
Father John Misty
Born (1981-05-03) May 3, 1981 (age 34)
Origin Rockville, Maryland
United States
Genres Indie rock, folk rock
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums, percussion
Years active 2004-present
Labels Sub Pop
Yer Bird
Western Vinyl
Bella Union
Keep Recordings
Fargo Records
Crossroads of America Records
Flannelgraph Records
Broken Factory
Associated acts Jeffertitti's Nile
Poor Moon
Har Mar Superstar
Fleet Foxes
Saxon Shore

Joshua Michael Tillman[1] (born May 3, 1981), also known as J. Tillman or Father John Misty, is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer.[2] Maintaining a steady output of solo recordings since 2004,[3] Tillman is a former member of indie rock bands Saxon Shore, Fleet Foxes, Jeffertitti's Nile,[4] Pearly Gate Music,[5] Siberian,[6] Har Mar Superstar,[7] Poor Moon,[8] Low Hums, Jonathan Wilson,[9] Bill Patton, The Lashes, Stately English, and has toured extensively with Pacific Northwest artists Damien Jurado, Jesse Sykes, and David Bazan.[10][11]

Early life[edit]

Tillman grew up in an Evangelical Christian household in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.[12][13] The oldest of four children, he has a brother and two sisters.[14] His father was an engineer at Hewlett-Packard.[12] Before Tillman settled on a career as a musician, he briefly had ambitions of becoming a pastor because of the performance aspect[15] when he was approximately six years old.[16] He comments that his parents focused on the spiritual aspects of his upbringing, which he describes as "culturally oppressive". They were estranged for many years, but have since resumed contact.[12][15] After learning drums at a young age, Tillman learned guitar when he was 12.[15]

Tillman was raised in a Baptist church and attended an Episcopal elementary school, but by fifth grade he found himself enrolled in a Pentecostal Messianic Jewish day school.[17] Tillman said he was naive when he was growing up because there was almost no cultural influence and no secular music allowed. Around the age of 17, there were new stipulations from his parents - he was allowed to listen to secular music that had a "spiritual theme". So his early purchases included albums like Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming as he was able to establish that Dylan was classified as a "Christian artist".[12]


Solo albums[edit]

After briefly attending Nyack College in New York,[18] Tillman moved to Seattle when he was 21.[12] He found a job there working at a bakery, which allowed him to record at night before his 4:30 am shift began. A demo he made eventually found its way to Seattle singer and songwriter Damien Jurado. A year later Tillman started opening for Jurado.[19] At shows Tillman would distribute CD-R copies of songs that would later become his album I Will Return. During the tour, he also struck up a friendship with Eric Fisher, who produced another CD-R album, Long May You Run. Both albums were later released on Keep Recordings.[20] Tillman and Jurado both later signed on for a U.S. tour with Richard Buckner.[18]

In 2006, the independent label Fargo Records released Tillman's first properly distributed solo album, Minor Works, and reissued I Will Return and Long May You Run as a two-disc set the same year. In 2007, Yer Bird Records released his more elaborately arranged fourth album, Cancer and Delirium.[18]

After signing to independent record label Western Vinyl, Tillman released two albums in 2009, Vacilando Territory Blues and Year In The Kingdom.[19] Tillman said he wrote the title track of Vacilando Territory Blues to describe imagery he associates with his move to Seattle. His brother subsequently moved there as well.[15] The following year Tillman released Singing Ax.[19]

Fleet Foxes[edit]

In 2008, Tillman joined Seattle folk rock band Fleet Foxes as their drummer.[17]

After extensive touring with Fleet Foxes, promoting their album Helplessness Blues, Tillman played his final show with the band in Tokyo on January 20, 2012.[21]

Father John Misty[edit]

On May 1, 2012, Tillman released the album Fear Fun under his new moniker Father John Misty.[22] A couple of months prior to the release of the album a video was released for the song "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" starring Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza. The album was a dramatic departure from any of Tillman's former releases.[23]

As Father John Misty, Tillman was featured on Kid Cudi's 2013 album Indicud.[24]

Tillman wrote an essay about Damien Jurado's recording, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son (Secretly Canadian, 2014).[25] He also wrote the soundtrack for a short film called The History of Caves, directed by his wife, the filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman.[26][27]

The "Limited Run Promotional Poster" was available at the artist’s website, and promoted a purported release called New Winter, described as a "Christmas Neu-Jazz Double Album", and quoted several paradoxes and made-up[citation needed] reviews (for example, from the Wall Street Journal, calling it the "new standard by which all seasonal music must now be measured", or from Spin, giving the release 10 out of 10 points and calling it an "[e]ssential year-round [sic] listening"). The poster text further states that the release will be sold as "compact disc" as well as "[l]imited edition prismatic hologram 6xLP on merlot and emerald semi-translucent 180 gram vinyl with original alternate-side etchings by Josh Tillman available till supplies last". The poster names five songs that are part of the track list: "Gesture I: Inoculation (Mother And Child)", "Gesture II: Feast Of Spirits", "Anacrusis Future Seed", "Naked Fire/The Fifth Season" and "Gemini".[28]

In February 2015, the album I Love You, Honeybear was released.[29]



as J. Tillman[edit]

as Father John Misty[edit]


Singles, contributions and covers[edit]




Personal life[edit]

Tillman is married to photographer Emma Elizabeth Tillman. They met in Los Angeles at the Laurel Canyon Country Store and were married in Big Sur. They lived in New Orleans, Louisiana,[31] but have since returned to Los Angeles.[32] Tillman had previously lived in Seattle for several years.[17]

Notable performances[edit]


  1. ^ "Father John Misty: Misty Mountain Hop". Magnet Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  2. ^ "J. Tillman (as Father John Misty) announces new solo album". Albino Rhino. 2012-01-10. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  3. ^ "Josh Tillman Biography". Artist Direct. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  4. ^ http://www.qthemusic.com/1894/jeffertittis-nile-one/
  5. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/may/04/new-band-pearly-gate-music
  6. ^ http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/rocka-rolla/Content?oid=128628
  7. ^ http://www.grimygoods.com/2013/04/26/har-mar-superstar-with-j-tillman-at-satellite-on-april-25-2013-photos-review/
  8. ^ http://www.whatsup-magazine.com/2012/12/poor-moon-good-dancers-on-lonely-streets/
  9. ^ "Jonathan Wilson’s ‘Fanfare’ is the most important album of 2013". DangerousMinds. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2016-01-02. 
  10. ^ "J. Tillman". thesixtyone. 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  11. ^ Alt-Gramma. "Interview with Josh Tillman". Speed of Dark. Archived from the original (blog) on April 30, 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Maron, Marc (December 30, 2013). "Episode 457 - Father John Misty" (podcast). WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. Retrieved 31 December 2013. (subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ a b "Father John Misty’s ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ Out February 10th". Sub Pop. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Stiles, Blair (June 15, 2013). "Concert review: Crowd meets the palm of Father John Misty's hand (with Pure Bathing Culture) at a sold-out Firebird, Friday, June 14". KDHX. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d Down, Lauren (March 9, 2009). "TLOBF Interview :: J. Tillman". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Rockpalast Father John Misty Interview Haldern Pop Festival WDR" (video). West Deutscher Rundfunk. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c Ducker, George (January 22, 2009). "Introspection pays: Sad folk ballads of J. Tillman". Los Angeles Times (Pop & Hiss - The L.A. Times Music Blog). Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "About J. Tillman - J. Tillman Career". CMT. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  19. ^ a b c "J. Tillman". Western Vinyl. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  20. ^ "J. Tillman - Discount Priced CDs". J Tillman Music. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  21. ^ Hogan, Marc (2012-01-20). "Fleet Foxes Lose One Beard: J. Tillman Exits Band". SPIN. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  22. ^ "Father John Misty Website - Very Important Info!". FatherJohnMisty.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  23. ^ Zabrey, Paula. "Fear Fun By Father John Misty". Subpop. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  24. ^ Rayner, Caroline. "J. Tillman reborn as Father John Misty, releases brooding new album Fear Fun on Sub Pop - Music News - Releases". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  25. ^ McGovern, Kyle (October 16, 2013). "Read Father John Misty's Incredible Essay About Damien Jurado's New Album". SPIN. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  26. ^ Brown, Harley (October 29, 2013). "Josh Tillman Talks Film Score, New Father John Misty Album". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  27. ^ Battan, Carrie (November 25, 2013). "Stream Father John Misty's Soundtrack for The History of Caves" (Soundcloud). Pitchfork. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "'New Winter' Christmas Neu-Jazz Double Album Promotional POSTER". Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  29. ^ Samadder, Rhik (January 31, 2015). "Father John Misty: ‘I just wanted to write about love without bullshitting’". The Guardian. 
  30. ^ Goble, Corban. "Father John Misty Shares Record Store Day Exclusive "I Loved You, Honeybee"". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  31. ^ "Update". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  32. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSTAVn0IAFg&feature=youtu.be&t=15m46s.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Watch Father John Misty Play Letterman". Stereogum. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  34. ^ "KCRW Presents: Father John Misty" (video). Morning Becomes Eclectic. NPR Music. May 30, 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  35. ^ Roskilde Festival, Official website

External links[edit]