In 2002, while still in their teens, Anaheim natives Richie James Follin and Jessica Reynoza formed the Willowz.Their music was a mix of brash rock ‘n’ roll, soul, and instinctive raw punk. They recorded a 7-inch for legendary Posh Boy records produced by Follin’s step father Paul Kostabi (White Zombie, Psychotica, Y.G.M., Detours). They then toured relentlessly across America, and in 2003 recorded their debut self titled album for Dionysus records. Songs from that album were featured in Michel Gondry’s Oscar winning film”Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Two songs were included on the Grammy nominated soundtrack as well. Gondry also directed a video for the band featured on the directors label box set and was quoted as saying, “I wish to be to the Willowz what Warhol was to the Velvet Underground.” Willowz then released a 7-inch for XL records and toured the U.K.
In 2005 the Willowz recorded and released their highly ambitious second album “Talk in Circles” on Sympathy for the Record Industry. The album was ranked as one of the “Top 50 albums of 2005″ by Rolling Stone magazine, graded “A-” by Spin magazine, and ranked on many of the year end lists throughout the country as one of the best albums of the year. The album also features a guest vocal appearance by Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks). Songs from the album were featured in Gondry’s film “The Science of Sleep” as well as on the soundtrack.The Willowz followed up “Talk in Circles” with “See in Squares”, a dvd accompany to the album with a video for every song (27 videos total and live footage of the band playing a catholic schol summer camp in Oklahoma). They were nominated for Rock band of the year by the LA Weekly.
In 2007 the Willowz signed to Dim Mak records and released “Chautauqua”. This album featured a heavier sound rooted deeply in rock and psychedelic music. The album was named “#1 Rock Album of the Year” by the O.C. Weekly. The Willowz toured world wide for this release playing over 300 shows in 2008. They also released numerous 7-inches on labels such as April 77, Contaminated, Acid Bird, and SFTRI.
In February of 2009 the Willowz went to Dallas to record their 4th full length album entitled “Everyone”. The album was produced by Stuart Sikes and is the best Willowz album to date. Their latest album contains the raw energy they are known for, mixed with strongly crafted pop hooks. “Everyone” is set to be released Summer 2009 on Dim Mak / Downtown records.