Tim Kinsella of Joan Of Arc

Tim Kinsella: songwriter, musician, director, author, bartender, teacher – keep filling in the blanks. He’s done it all. Tim is said to be royalty within the Chicago indie music scene. His longest running project, Joan Of Arc, is his most definitive, true form of art.

As the anchor and lead man of Joan of Arc, Tim Kinsella has worked hard to keep the music prevalent throughout the years, despite interspersed band members. A very intriguing man, with monstrous talent, Tim evolves as time goes on to keep the music innovative while staying true to Joan of Arc’s dry, psychedelic sound.

With Joan Of Arc’s 2013’ release, Testimonium, the album showcases songs that were created to coincide with performances by a Chicago-based theater troupe, Every House Has A Door. Tim reveals that the project really took him out of his comfort zone. Bryan Saner, the main actor of the piece, is the man on the album cover. Jason Lazarus, a Chicago-based artist, took the photo during the performance and used a technique that he’d been excited about. “If you stare at the magenta dot in the middle of the reversed image and then close your eyes, you will see the image normally, not reversed. We thought that was a good analogy for the soundtrack to match the strange live event,” says Tim.

As he returned from a very long tour, I had the privilege of conversing with Tim about the travels and other goings-on of being apart of Joan Of Arc. He stated “All of the different legs of the tour were very gratifying, but if money wasn’t a factor, we certainly would’ve put some breaks in there and we might’ve had a little more energy to more fully invest in the experiences as they flashed by.” The band toured the US for 5 weeks, then did 3 weeks of the Testimonium performances with the big, 9-person posse. And if that wasn’t enough, the band continued for another 3 weeks of Testimonium performances in the UK and ended with a 3 week tour in Europe with just the band again.

Everyone wonders what it’s like to be a rock star. To ordinary people with big dreams, fantasizing about the glamour, Tim can tell you the true reality behind the dream. For a guy who’s been there, done that, he has been through it all. Heroin overdoses, deaths of friends and family, divorce, drawn-out illnesses with no insurance, perpetual money problems, harrowing loneliness when you’re away from your home months at a time. And that just skims the surface. “If you have some idea that being in a band as an adult is somehow “fun”, I think you might have a pretty big misunderstanding of what being a musician entails,” says Tim.

Another accomplishment under Tims’ belt was his first novel published in 2011, The Karaoke Singer’s Guide to Self-Defense. A book about multiple family members rejoining together for a funeral. Also coming this April will be his second novel, Let Go and Go On and On. According to a review I read on Amazon, it is “promising, and on a number of occasions, a shit-your-pants brilliant novel.”