PLAIN WHITE T’S
Concept & Direction Jan-Willem Dikkers
Images by Michael Mundy
The Plain White T’s
are known for their number-one hit Hey There Delilah, which earned two Grammy nods and endless radio play, but the they are no overnight success story. Lead singer Tom Higgenson formed the group immediately after graduating high school in 1997, quickly gaining popularity in their native Chicago. However, it took the sensitive indie crooners almost ten years to hit the big time with their breakthrough single Delilah, on their fourth album. Now, PWT is back with a new California- flavored acoustic sound and their sixth album, Wonders of the Younger. Herewith, drummer De’Mar Hamilton answers our denim questionnaire.
Amazon: Jeans can be all things to people, from a status symbol to a memory trigger. What do they represent to you?
De’Mar: To me, jeans are a symbol and representation of one’s own personal style. There are many different ways to wear them and they can make or break your whole look.
A: Do you recall your first pair of jeans?
D: I’m sure I was a toddler. I can be sure that they were more than likely a pair of Levi’s.
A: Do you have a favorite pair of jeans or jeans style? What do yours say about you?
D: My favorite style of jeans is a slim, straight cut. For a while, skinny was the way to go, and I don’t hate on that now. I just think there’s a fine line between too skinny and a perfect fit. My jeans say that I am a simple man that wears a pair of jeans that can go with just about anything.
A: What denim style do you wish would go away?
D: I cannot stand seeing people wearing super-baggy jeans, that not only hang way down below their butt, but they also have to hold them up by the crotch. Also, any jeans that have any embroidery on them can go away. Jeans should fit you and be simple.
A: In your opinion, which public figure looks best in jeans?
D: I think Kanye West looks pretty good in a pair of jeans. He doesn’t wear them too tight or too loose and they seem to complement whatever else he has on.
A: Who would you never want to see in a pair?
D: I can’t really think of anyone. For the most part everyone looks good in a pair of jeans.
A: What is your definition of success?
D: To me, success is being able to do something creative that you love to do, and at the same time, impact people’s lives. People often tell us that they’ve used our songs at their weddings or sometimes, even a funeral. The fact that our music has touched people’s lives that way is a very rewarding feeling.
A: If it’s true that success is both a blessing and a curse, what is the down side to the accomplishments you have achieved?
D: There really isn’t much of a downside. I feel that sometimes people expect too much out of you, but at the end of the day, it’s okay. We’re blessed to have accomplished the things we have.
A: Who inspires you to do what you do? What do you most like about your line of work?
D: I am inspired, mainly, by other musicians or bands. Mainly the legends like Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles. What I like most about my line of ‘work’ is being able to live out my dream. Being a professional musician is something I’ve always wanted to be since I was a little kid. From performing live to recording to writing, I love it all.
A: What decade currently piques your interest and how does it inform your work?
D: The ’60s and ’70s were always decades of music that interest not only myself, but also the entire band. Back then people weren’t recording on a computer and what was laid to tape was exactly what was coming out of these musicians. I think people were just way more talented back then. That’s definitely something we try to bring to the table especially with our vocal harmonies.