After we officially teamed up with the Horsehead boys last week we realized we didn't know much about them. How they started the crating company, why the puzzling growth into graphic design, photography and interactive, where they grew up, what else they've done with their lives. So we thought we'd sit down for a formal-ish interview with the brothers, one at a time, to get some answers and piece together the back story. We started with Clovis, the older of the Tillman boys (at least of the two we've met) and after an hour chat and most of a bottle of whiskey, we're not much closer to any real understanding.
DoubleButter: So, what's the deal with Horsehead Crating Company?
Clovis Tillman: That's your idea of a good opening question? (Mocking tone) "What's the deal with Horsehead Crating Company?"
DB: Give us a break. We've never done this before.
CT: I don't see how that's my problem. You want a good answer, ask a good question.
DB: Alright, jackass, how's this: who are the fellas in the black and white photo you gave us for this story?
CT: Still a stupid question since you already know the answer.
DB: Yeah, but the people reading this won't know unless we tell them.
CT: Like anyone is ever going to read anything you morons write. (For the record, the men in the photo are his uncle and his father, though we're not sure if one guy is his father and the other his uncle or if one of the two guys is both his father and his uncle. This being the Tillmans after all.)
DB: What's with the attitude and what's with the drinking?
CT: No attitude and as far as the drinking goes, just trying to level the playing field.
DB: Nice. Classy. Anyway, moving on. Where was that photo of you taken? (We're asking about the photo above at left.)
CT: I was standing in front of my car.
DB: Hilarious. You're a real laugh-riot.
CT: Is there a question in that?
DB: Alright, how about this: we first met you and Darnell because someone told us you were the guys for crate building. No one ever mentioned you also did graphic design and web design, or that you took nice photos. Why did you guys decide to diversify in such unexpected ways?
CT: Unexpected for you maybe since you have a tiny imagination. But not so for us. We look at crates as ways to package and deliver products, in this case your sweet furniture. We look at the photography and the website as virtual crates. Still packaging your shit, still delivering it. And think of the graphic design, as you say, as a way to do the same thing with your identity. Crate it up and get it to the people who need it.
DB: Well said, brother. And what about the product testing video? What the hell is that?
CT: Look, man. The furniture world is stiff. Self-important bullshit. All these Euro-douches with their carefully distressed hair-dos and designer eyewear and conceptual crap that looks like hell up close and won't last the first year you got it. Stupid. Your shit is the bomb. Hey, don't get too full of yourselves. But if it's the bomb and it's fun and it's actually made by two jerks in a run-down yard, why not blow it up? Party on it. Chuck it. Hack it. The shit can take it. You wanted the site all clean and pretty so you could appeal to the stuffy yuppies who might buy it. We gave you that. The video just swings it back toward the truth.
DB: You're throwing rocks tonight. Alright, last one for you for now: what's next?
CT: I'm gonna finish this bottle and you're gonna get the fuck out of here.