On the 24th of August, 2011, 19-year-old Remy Owen published the first installment of the Remylogues (styled “REMYLOGUES”), a series of “Boralogue-like journals from [their] experiences at recent Tally Hall concerts.” Armed with a Kodak ZI8 video camera, they would record and publish a total of six episodes over the course of a year, all of them packed with intimate behind-the-scenes footage, clips of various Tally Hall concerts, and witty remarks between Remy, their friends, and the members of Tally Hall.
Along with the Remylogues, Remy recorded Tally Hall’s last show at Mr. Smalls Theatre, posting it to YouTube on the 31st of October, 2012. They were an active member in the Tally Hall community both in-person and online, attended close to 20 Tally Hall concerts (not including the ones seen in the Remylogues!), and, most notably, was the one to name hiddeninthesand.com!
After the band’s hiatus, Remy continued posting their original music to YouTube and Bandcamp – their most recent album, recreation, released in March of 2021 – and remains an avid fan of Tally Hall to this day. Almost 12 years later, on the 2nd of August, 2022, I sat down with Remy to discuss their experiences recording the Remylogues, what being a Tally Hall fan looked like pre-hiatus, and what they’ve been up to since!
NYMN: How and when exactly did you find Tally Hall?
REMY: It was probably around the spring of 2005 I first found them – I remember someone I knew at school shared that dancing banana GIF, you know, this one:
And I loved it so much I tried to find out more information about it. After some web searches for things like “dancing banana man,” I ended up finding the Banana Man music video, thought it was funny, and listened to a few of Tally Hall’s other songs, probably on MySpace. I thought it was cool but didn’t get deep into them right away.
That summer, I noticed I had a song stuck in my head and I didn’t know what it was, but then I realized it was the “we think we’re playing in a band” part of Welcome to Tally Hall. At that point, I decided to give their music another listen, and then I couldn’t stop! That October is when the Tally Hall forums opened up and I joined probably that first week or two of them being online.
I kept my eyes out for remotely close concerts and saw them for the first time on December 15, 2005, when they played with Casey Shea in Bound Brook, NJ
NYMN: Out of all the members, you seemed to have the closest friendship with Casey in the Remylogues. How did that come about?
REMY: Haha, that’s an interesting observation! Some of that might just be Casey being the most forthcoming person of that group in general, but he and I did have a nice history. Before that first show of his I saw (when he opened for Tally Hall in 2005), he and I had already connected and communicated on MySpace. I was already a big Casey Shea fan at that point, so a show with him opening for Tally Hall was as much a draw for him as it was for the band to me. In part, that is how I managed to convince my dad to drive me down all the way from New Hampshire to the concert in New Jersey. Two of my favorite artists were playing a show together, what were the odds? At the show, I sang along to his songs, and I even made a joke using one of his song lyrics at one point when his camera battery was low. There weren’t a lot of other people there (if memory serves, the weather was kind of rough that night?).
And then, Casey had actually taken the train out to Bound Brook, and after the show my dad offered to drive him back into NYC since it was on our way back home, and he accepted that offer! It was a nice drive back to the city and I think all that history made it easy for us to have a good rapport.
NYMN: Aw, that’s really sweet! In the Remylogues, I remember you hung around during a Tally Hall soundcheck. How was that arranged? Was it common for them to let you and/or other fans watch the soundchecks?
REMY: That was somewhat common, though it didn’t happen all the time. That would end up happening if you just showed up super early and saw the band well before their sets, if they were in the right mood, and if the venue [allowed] it. Typically if you showed up at the right time and waited outside the venue (’cause where else would you be once you’re ready to wait for the show, anyway?), you’d see them unloading or coming and going and they might have invited you in.
We had dinner or desserts together with the band a couple of times too, including the night of that first Westport CT show that’s in Remylogue I.
NYMN: That sounds lovely!
REMY: It really was! I never knew if they genuinely liked hanging out with me, or if they were just giving charity by spending some time with me, or both. Especially given our age differences at the time, it was a little unclear. I always felt insecure about whether or not they actually wanted me to be around. I felt like a weirdo travelling so far to see them sometimes, and I probably crossed some boundaries with Internet communication with them sometimes (but then, that’s just what teens do, I think).
NYMN: Some things never change when you’re a teenager! When was your first time meeting all five guys? (and/or Bora?)
REMY: That was the Bound Brook show in 2005. I don’t think Bora was there though. I believe I met him for the first time at the second TH concert I went to, which was at The Blind Pig in April 2006.
Remy and Joe on the 15th of December, 2005 at the Hamilton St. Café in Bound Brook, NJ
NYMN: Oh my God, the famous hat!
REMY: Oh yeah, the hat was mine! And it still is; I still have that hat. Haha, the hat made me memorable on MySpace. My [profile] photo was of me in the hat and it helped people remember me.
NYMN: What were your first impressions of them?
REMY: It was so funny to meet them in person the first time, just because I already had a vague sense of what they were like from watching all their short videos and whatnot. Mostly I was flabbergasted that they were real and alive. They were really much nicer than I expected! To me, at that point, they were the most famous people in the world, but in reality, they were just nice, humble college students just playing in a little band.
NYMN: How old were you at the time?
REMY: I was only 14!
NYMN: Wow! That’s just about as old as I was when I found Tally Hall!
NYMN: I was 14 in 2018 though. Very different.
Here’s a picture of me meeting Bora for the first time, actually!
Remy and Bora on the 8th of April, 2006 at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI.
NYMN: When did you first get into the online side of things, in terms of communicating with other fans?
REMY: That probably happened when I joined the Tally Hall forums, which I recall I joined in October 2005. I wasn’t involved in the LiveJournal community before that, though I know quite a few other folks were.
NYMN: What was it like?
REMY: It was amazing to find an online community of friends! I have always struggled to make and maintain friendships throughout my life, to communicate with people and find people I felt “got” me and had similar interests to me. Joining the Tally Hall forums was the first time that really changed. I discovered it was so much easier for me to communicate with people in text form instead of in person, and all the Tally Hall fans felt like they were so much more my people than anyone I knew from school or other activities.
We were all so excited about the band and just happy to follow their updates, support them, and talk about them. I was probably one of the louder, sillier participants of the online community. Some people were about very serious analysis and keeping their composure. I was more of a goofball.
It was also just an opportunity to share my life with other people. People on the Tally Hall forums were excited about the music I made, and the little movies I made, and I was excited about the music and creative projects that other folks on the forums made, too. I’m still in touch with a lot of people I knew from back then.
NYMN: I can definitely relate despite the time gap! Especially being the sillier one…
NYMN: I know about the forums over on hiddeninthesand, but there were also “official” forums on the tally hall website. Which were you on the most often?
REMY: The officially Tally Hall ones. The HITS forums I think were set up only after the TH site forums were taken down. HITS didn’t even exist when the TH forums were created! Coz fostered the idea for HITS in conversations [on the forums].
NYMN: Oh wow! Why were the official forums taken down?
REMY: I honestly don’t know. I would assume they just kind of fizzled out or something, I’m not sure. By that time Facebook became more popular — some helpful historical context, Facebook didn’t really get a lot of widespread use until probably 2007 or so. I remember joining in 2005 just because my sibling was in college and they could invite me, a high school student, (it was invite-only for a while, and also high school kids couldn’t join for a while either). I also paid less attention to what was going on in the TH community when I was in college because I was going through a lot of stuff.
NYMN: How did TallyCon 2011 come to be? Were you involved in the planning of it at all?
REMY: TallyCon came to be under the understanding that it would probably be the last Tally Hall show, and so a lot of us forum members made an effort to make it to the last show. There wasn’t a lot of planning, just everyone individually trying to make it if they could. On the day of, we tried to figure out how to get a bunch of pizza, though I can’t remember who paid for it. I really can’t remember if we planned anything ahead of time, but I think we all knew to show up early to hang out.
NYMN: Coz credited you with naming HITS. Do you remember the process/reaction to its creation and the part you played?
REMY: It was either on the forums, or in the chat room that we used somewhere, I can’t remember, but probably the forums. Coz was talking about wanting to create a Tally Hall fan site, and we were thinking about what it should be called. I just remember I suggested hidden in the sand, because it’s a cute little name about something kind of off to the side, something a little hidden, like an unofficial fansite, and I also liked that it could be abbreviated as HITS. There were a handful of other names suggested, but HITS seemed to stick the best.
NYMN: It definitely did considering it’s been around for this long! Speaking of the forums, how would you personally describe the forum/online experience for Tally Hall fans in the 2000s-2010s?
REMY: It was fun! It was a nice little community, where you could be silly, where you could be serious about Tally Hall, and where you could meet new people with different lives outside of your own circle. All this was really still before Facebook, before Instagram. These special interest forums were the easiest way to meet people with shared interests in that time, in my experience.
We would speculate about band news, band happenings, talk about favorite songs, rarities and demos, etc. We were also just talking about things unrelated to the Tally Hall, like things going on in our lives, and just silliness. One time the spam bot came and posted something super dramatic, with a bunch of gibberish characters, and a really silly epic stage performance battle photo. I remember someone made a sort of musical trailer based on that spambot post, I still have it.
NYMN: History likes to repeat itself, considering that is exactly how the HITS Discord server is now. Coz even talked about how all the jokes and speculations are the same, even with new fans!
REMY: That makes sense! I don’t know if Coz talked about the profanity filter on the forums, but that became a thing, an inside joke. If you said some bad words it would replace it with “mammals” and other bad words would become “beautiful flowers.” So the joke was you’d get “mammal’d.”
A Tally Hall placemat that came with the Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum Vinyl “Special Issue” Packet (sent by Remy).
NYMN: What have you been up to since Tally Hall went on hiatus?
REMY: I graduated from college, started work as a software engineer, and moved across the country several times! Lots of life changes!
NYMN: Your original music has a style all your own, but did you take any inspiration from Tally Hall throughout your music career?
REMY: My main musical influences were Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley; Tally Hall wasn’t a major influence on the songs I released, though they did influence my early music that didn’t really get shared widely.
NYMN: If someone were to listen to any one of your songs, which would it be?
REMY: “still alive” on was never • will never be.
NYMN: End the great debate…Marvin’s Marvellous Mechanical Museum, or Good & Evil?
REMY: Good & Evil all the way!
As I sat down to transcribe this interview, I found myself re-watching “TallyCon 2011.” Near the end of the video, after the concert has ended, Coz records a fan named Joy, who says:
“Once upon a time, there was a show. And in the show was a band. And in the band was a soul. And in the soul was us, at Eat’n Park, eating and drinking at one o’clock in the morning.”
The Remylogues are far more than a compilation of silly interactions between Remy and the members of Tally Hall. Each episode shows how strong the connection between fans and an artist’s music can be, and how that connection extends to the other people. The Remylogues are Tally Hall history, that much is certain, but they are also a visual representation of the band’s soul. In fact, I’d argue that the Remylogues are Tally Hall, as they represent everything the band does: local community, friendship, and unapologetic weirdness.
Over 12 years separate me and the last Remylogue, so my experience as a fan should therefore be drastically different. However, I look at the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, and the person I’ve become, and realize that nothing has really changed. Sure, Tally Hall is no longer touring, and the community is much, much different than it was in 2011, but the soul of Tally Hall is alive and well, untouched and unchanged; it lives on in the Remylogues and hiddeninthesand.com; it lives on through us as fans; it lives in you.
Coz said in our interview that history likes to repeat itself when it comes to the Tally Hall fandom, and I’ll admit that I didn’t believe him whatsoever. I think it’s safe to say he’s convinced me.
So, whether you’re making art for Tallytober, drafting complex storylines and original characters for Hawaii: Part II, re-enacting “Death Request” word-for-word on Twitter, or simply listening to Marvin’s on your way to work or school, remember that you are the soul of Tally Hall.
Thanks again, Remy! 🙂
Art by Franch