Lovers' rock

By CAITLIN E. CURRAN  |  December 12, 2008

Sean and Tina met in 1994, when they lived in the same apartment building in Allston. They started dating first; then Tina bought a bass. "The pretext was that Sean [who had been in bands previously] was going to teach me," she says. Eventually, they formed Helms with Sean's brother Dan, who plays drums.

When they first started collaborating, Sean says, "I'd play something, and I'd be pleasantly surprised at the bass lines Tina put in." ("Because my parts were so rudimentary, I think is what he's getting at," Tina says facetiously.) "There was a musical chemistry. Now Tina's bass lines are a more integral part of our songs. They really open up our songs."

Now, over a decade later, "it's kind of built into the foundation of what we do together," Tina says. But Helms, both Tina and Sean stress, is not necessarily just a Sean and Tina thing, rather it's a Sean and Tina and Dan thing. "In a weird way, we're a family band and also a couple band," Tina says.

Caitlin E. Curran can be reached at

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