The Willis

The Willis



Press Release 2/5/09:

Oshkosh, Wisconsin band The Willis has been invited to perform on a pilot episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The performance will take place in Fallon's new studio, which was Johnny Carson's original studio, in Rockefeller Center. The episode will be filmed in front of a live studio audience and may result in a return visit from The Willis on a future show.

The story behind the song The Willis will perform is perhaps the most interesting element of the tale. It's called "Jimmy Fallon: The Plan". The lyrics tell of a band with tenuous connections to a famous
person (Jimmy Fallon) who decide to write, record, mix, and finally
"burn a cd-r" to send to said famous person with the hopes of getting their big break. The unlikely notion of "being discovered" by knowing someone, who knows "someone" has become kind of a cliché success
storyline for small local rock bands that rarely ends in triumph.

Actually, most of the lyrics are factual, although The Willis never
really intended to send a CD-R through backchannels to get Jimmy
Fallon to listen to it. Somehow, though, fate or luck intervened and the song's story has come true. Jimmy Fallon heard the song and liked it enough to ask the band to fly to New York City and perform it on a pilot for his brand new late night talk show, The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Naturally, to actually be asked to go to New York to play is about as perfect a way for this song's story to end. The song "Jimmy Fallon: The Plan" was released on The Willis's debut album, "Bathtub.Lightbulb.Heartattack." available on Doubleplusgood Records
( The band is currently writing music
for a follow-up.

Jimmy Fallon, who began his television career at the Weekend Update
host on Saturday Night Live is taking over the 12:30 (Eastern Standard
Time) slot for television veteran Conan O'Brien, who moves to Jay Leno's 11:30 slot. Jay Leno will reportedly move to the 10pm prime time slot with a show format similar to the Tonight Show.

The Willis is a small Midwestern local rock band made up of longtime friends Dean Hoffman (pianos, guitars), Eric Blumreich (bass), Todd
Farber (drums), Stephen McCabe (vocals, guitar), and Eric Van Thiel (guitar, vocals). The band has been on hiatus for the last year and a half as the band's singer Stephen finishes his PhD in literature/writing a la Rivers Cuomo (from Weezer) and the other guys
continue to make great music and enjoy their families and lives. The band has done a few Midwestern tours and played with some of the
coolest regional and nationally-known indie rock bands around.

You can hear the song "Jimmy Fallon: The Plan" as well as other tracks
from the band at


Bathtub, Lightbulb, Heartattack LP (2006)