Q&A with Charlie Brand of Miniature Tigers — Playing The Drunken Unicorn with Fun, September 20

[ 0 ] September 10, 2009 |

MiniatureTigers By Sam Parvin

I recently got my hands on the
debut full-length album by Miniature Tigers, Tell It To the Volcano,
and I am so excited about it!  So when I
heard the five piece, Phoenix-based rock-pop group is coming to Atlanta this
month, I had to get an interview. Lead
vocalist and guitarist Charlie Brand tells us about the album, touring, and
their Atlanta show at The Drunken Unicorn on September 20. 

You guys
are on a touring frenzy in support of the album,
Tell It To the Volcano.  What keeps you going on your demanding tour
schedule, or what’s the most difficult thing about it?

It’s
just kind of taxing on your body; you don’t get a lot of sleep, and you eat a
lot of crappy food. But it’s just so
rewarding, playing shows every night and getting to meet so many people. It kind of all balances out. 

You’ve
finished a coast-to-coast tour with Kevin Divine and Princeton, now you’ve got
another 15 or 20 shows with Fun and THEN 15 or so with Say Anything. What are you doing differently with each of
these bands than you did with the others, if anything? 

We
never really tailor our set around who we’re playing with; we just do what
makes us happy and for the people we’re playing for. For us, we just go into a tour and practice
and learn a few more songs and use the tour as a chance to experience and try
out new songs and stuff like that.  When
we come back through a city the next time around, we try and change it so you
never see same show twice.

Where did
the name and concept for
Tell It To the Volcano come from?  What does this album or what do these songs
represent for you guys, and what did you try to achieve with this record?

The
title came from the song by the same name on album. The song is about what I was going through
when I wrote it, and a lot of other songs on the album tie into what I was
feeling at that time as well.  More than
a year ago we started recording, so I’m not as attached to those songs now as I
was when I wrote them and when we recorded them.

I checked
out your video for “Cannibal Queen” on YouTube. I notice that J.D. Ryznar of YouTube’s Yacht Rock episodes
actually produced the video. What’s your
connection with him, and whose idea was it to do a Yacht Rock-inspired
video?

Our
manager at the time is good friends with J.D. and asked him if he would be
interested in writing a video treatment. We had other people submit ideas too, and we just weren’t feeling most
of them; but J.D.’s really seemed right. We let him be in control and just went with his vision.

You’re
coming to the Drunken Unicorn on September 20 with Fun. What can we expect of that show? 

So
far we’ve been playing three new songs; well, maybe five new songs, live. We are trying out new material at our shows
to see how it works live and get used to playing the new stuff live.  The album’s been out for a little while, and
we’ve been playing from Volcano, but we are also testing out new stuff.

Rick is
displaying some of his solo project, Alvin Band, on this tour. How are you fitting that into your sets?  Do any of you have a hand in the production
of his solo stuff?

Yeah,
a lot of the new songs we are playing are from Rick’s solo project, Alvin Band;
that album just came out on Tuesday. We
see eye to eye on a lot of stuff. We
started playing together because we found each other’s music on MySpace, and so
I’ve always been a fan of his music. It’s been fun to play those songs live; and the full band is playing
Alvin Band songs.

You have
said you’re debuting some material from a forthcoming album. Can you give us a preview or synopsis of what
to expect from the next album?

I’m
not sure if we’ve found a theme to it yet, but it’s definitely more out there.
It’s maybe less predictable, more experimentation and messing with writing and
arranging. When I wrote Volcano,
I was really into The Beatles and The Kinks and it was more straight-up pop. Now I push myself to experiment more and
break from the pop structure.    

Thanks, Charlie!  We
can’t wait until the show on the 20th.
 

Miniature Tigers play The Drunken Unicorn with Fun, September 20. Tickets are available at Ticket Alternative.

Category: Gigs, Interviews

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