We catch up with Minnesota native Sean Tillmann, who has a new album, an HBO project and is doing some acting.|
by Ross Raihala, published on November 1, 2009 07:07:16 PM CST
It's not so much that Owatonna native Sean Tillmann wears numerous hats. It's more like he wears numerous pairs of underpants.
The 31-year-old, who is now based in Los Angeles, returns home this weekend to promote "Dark Touches," his fourth album recorded under the Har Mar Superstar moniker. Tillmann started his musical career as a punk-rock kid in St. Paul before adopting the Sean Na Na persona to record more pop-oriented material. In 2000, he debuted Har Mar Superstar, a smooth RB singer who tends to strip down to his skivvies in concert.
When he's not charming the ladies, Tillmann finds time to act, most recently having appeared in Drew Barrymore's roller derby flick, "Whip It." We spoke to Tillmann last week about his current slate of projects:
On the track "Girls Only," which he originally wrote with Minnesota producer John Fields for Disney's Cheetah Girls: "I think it totally could've been a top 10 hit. I don't know exactly what the decision-making process was (at Disney). I think they probably Googled me and saw thousands of pictures of me rolling around all sweaty in my underwear. So I just kept it for myself and changed 'Cheetah' to 'chica.' It's excellently creepy when I sing it."
On his other experiences writing songs on spec: "I've probably done 20 sessions, but they always end up (getting rejected) and I put them on my albums. I had some stuff going for INXS when they were doing that 'Rock Star' show. But they picked a guy who had a horrible range and couldn't sing any of it. I wrote some stuff with JC Chasez, but his album never happened. I'm not trying to be a Hollywood songwriter. It's too formulaic and mathematical for my tastes. But people ask me to do it, so I do."
On his second career as an actor: "It's something I want to do more of. I've been acting since I was 5 and (I was going to pursue) that or music. I got signed, so I put acting aside for a while. Now that I live in L.A., (it's getting easier). I'm developing a new HBO show with Ellen Page, and that'll be awesome if it all goes down. Acting/producing/writing is a full-on job, it's not really a side project. It takes a lot of time, trying to juggle everything."
On whether or not he'd like to meet another diminutive Minnesotan who used to wear his underwear in public (i.e., Prince): "No, I don't really want to. I like his music, but I feel like it could be a disaster. I don't really feel like it would be a situation where we'd get to chill together. I'd rather not even test those waters."
On whether or not his audiences still get shocked by his stage show: "I think that the people who come out to see me by now know what the deal is. Anyone who doesn't, they probably get it by the end. If they don't, they stay home, and that's fine with me."
On whether or not he plans to start wearing more clothes as Har Mar Superstar: "No, I like it. There's less laundry to do."