‘Best Summer Ever’ lasts all year with Har Mar Superstar


Minnesota native singer-songwriter-actor-jokester Sean Tillmann, better known by his pop and R&B persona Har Mar Superstar, is coming to Turner Hall this Friday. Opening is local act GGOOLLDD, who we at Marquette Radio interviewed last January. Jimmy and Cecilia had a chance to ask Mr. Superstar a few questions about his long and varied career.

Tillmann leapt from noise rock to hip hop in the late ’90s. It was important, he said, at the beginning of his career to make his act really “out there” to differentiate himself and shock audiences. Today he’s known for his raunchy and outlandish performances and his inventive sound that ranges from pop to soul to rock. Energy has been a crucial element to his Har Mar identity, which he transforms through the years.

From writing songs for The Cheetah Girls, touring for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Tenacious D, appearing on “Broad City” and in “Pitch Perfect,” he’s a talent who does it all. R.T. Rybak declared Sept. 20, 2013 as “Har Mar Superstar Day,” which Tillmann suggested celebrating with champagne, colorful tights and dancing in your underwear in the streets. When Jimmy joked, “Now, what if that’s my everyday?” Tillmann enthusiastically replied, “Double down on that! Do it twice as much!”

The artist’s newest release “Best Summer Ever” is imagined as his greatest hits from 1950-1985, despite being born in 1978. The 10 songs on the album draw inspiration from decades of music and each nail a unique, vintage sound. If you’re looking for an anthem, a ballad, a taste of power-rock or a synthetic disco piece, it’s here. It was produced by Julian Casablancas, described by Tillman as a bit of a wildcard, yet very purposeful with his artistic direction. The two have worked together collaboratively since the ’90s.

Milwaukee is his last stop on tour and promises to go out with a bang. Tillmann has recently moved back to his home of Minnesota after 25 years away. Yet it’s not certain whether he will stick around long — throughout the conversation, he seemed to have an itch to keep creating more.