HOW TO GROW A BAND follows mandolin virtuoso (and MacArthur Foundation “Genius”) Chris Thile through a turning point in his life and musical career. By age 26, he had already reached some significant career highs, winning a couple of Grammys for both his solo records and his work with the platinum-selling, pop-bluegrass trio Nickel Creek. But, in a move that stunned fans in 2006, Thile and Nickel Creek went on “indefinite hiatus” while Thile paused to re-assess and, in many ways, start over. Our movie is about what happened next.
The film follows Thile as he begins again with bold plans to bring to life a 45-minute musical elegy to a failed marriage written for traditional bluegrass instruments—an endeavor that led to the birth and formation of one of the most talented young bands in America, Punch Brothers. HTGAB charts the first steps of the band’s musical journey and looks behind the scenes at the decisions and compromises that must be made by artists looking to evolve and survive.
This is a film about starting something. And about the first steps we take in relationships that we sense just might change our lives. The relationship this movie explores is the intimate, dazzling union that is Punch Brothers. HOW TO GROW A BAND is about much more than just a moment in time for a particularly talented band. It is about the creative process itself.