Based in Pacific Beach and fronted by singer Jesse Malley and guitar player Jeff Irwin, the original Tilt lineup included local players from the Pheromones, the Grass Heat, and Family Wagon.
The outlaw-country-blues-rockers' debut self-named demo was released in 2010. “Bassist Billy Joe Clements is no longer with the band due to scheduling conflicts,” drummer Mike Stone told the Reader in 2011. His replacement was John Urban. Stone (the Grass Heat, the Drabs) left the band the following year, as did guitarist Ryan Weiss (Family Wagon).
In November 2012, the lineup with Jesse Malley (vocals), Jeff Irwin (guitar), John Urban (bass), and Abel Vallejo (drums) filmed a live show at the Belly Up for a KPBS TV series, Live at the Belly Up. “The band is now essentially myself and singer Jesse Malley...we do the songwriting and band management,” says guitarist Jeff Irwin.
According to frontwoman Malley, “Jeff and I had played together a few times, but Tilt was spawned out of a Craigslist ad that I put up looking for ‘a blues-rock guitarist that can shred.’ The rest is history...or, rather, the future.”
A debut full-length called Howlin' was released in January 2013, with drums recorded by Ben Moore (who also played B3 organ on three tracks) and mastered at Lurssen Mastering. Former members Ryan Weiss and Mike Stone played on several songs, as did guest fiddle player Kurt Baumer.
The CD’s cover art is a painting by Malley that includes handwritten passages. “The writing on the front is one of our favorite stories,” says Irwin (who also plays dobro and mandolin). “It’s a Native American Cherokee story about the battle between the light and the dark inside us all, depicted by the battle of two wolves. Some of the songs on our album explore the meaning behind this story.”
Ryan Weiss has also played with Brothers Weiss and the Young Wild. In 2011, he co-founded the Lifted with Jeff Lane. That band relocated to L.A. in 2014. and released a three-song 7-inch, Medium Rare.