The Billionaires are from Martha's Vineyard, children of the working class folks who make a living catering to the "summer people." The group is a collective effort and while they started on the island and recorded Really Real Forever, their charming debut there, they now reside in the smog-drenched environs of LA. Many groups claim to be pop bands, but they're usually short on songwriting craft and so obviously trying to emulate the sounds of past that there's a hollow echo to their music. The Billionaires on the other hand have seamlessly assimilated their influences to produce a bright, sunny vibe that's pure pop, and marked by a rare intelligence.
Like all the band members, ringleader Tim Laursen was born on The Rock, as the locals call Martha's Vineyard. Laursen started recording his own albums about eight years ago. He drifted out to LA a while back and found out that using his younger sister Emily as a harmony vocalist made his songs sound better. He acquired an old 1/2" tape machine and after laying down some drum tracks he went back to The Island and invited his friends to help him flesh out some tunes. The gang included future Billionaires Sebastian Keefe, Joe Keefe and Farely Glavin, as well as singer/songwriter Willie Mason who provided backing vocals. The result was Song Bring Me Back credited to Crickets. Laursen jokes that that album went "wooden;" he still has 400 of them stacked up in his LA basement.
In 2006 Laursen went back to Martha's Vineyard, set up his recording gear and started working on another collection of tunes with Glavin on bass, Joe Keefe on lead guitar and keyboards, Sebastian Keefe on drums, Laura Jordan on lead vocals and keyboards and Laursen himself on rhythm guitar, vocals and percussion. Laursen brought in the bare bones of the songs and the band contributed their musical ideas with Keefe sharing music writing chores with Laursen. They demoed up eight tunes and passed them around to friends. When Todd Phillips of Too Soon Records showed interest in the tunes, The Billionaires were born. They reworked the demos laying down the basic tracks live, then adding vocal harmonies and other doodads to produce Really Real Forever, released in March of 2008. The band moved out to LA in 2008 to pursue their dreams of becoming, if not actual billionaires, at least a working band. ~ j. poet