Tiny Moving Parts have been slowly and steadily on the rise since their stellar sophomore release, This Couch Is Long And Full Of Friendship, a record that is equal parts sorrow and inspiration. On top of being Property Of Zack’s artist of the week, TMP seem to have their hands seriously full as of late, and are currently touring with their good mates, The Front Bottoms. Killyourstereo.com caught up with drummer, Bill Chevalier to chat about cliff diving and being on the road.
Thanks for doing the interview with us today Bill. First off, tell us about the inception of your band?
We’ve been playing together since we were like 13-15 years old. At some point around the time we were about graduating high school, we decided to change our name from "The D-Cups" to "Tiny Moving Parts." We got the name from the song Kill the Switch by Circle Takes the Square.
So you guys are about to go on tour with The Front Bottoms. It seems to be a bit of an odd match up, since your band is pretty different from theirs. How did the tour come about?
One time when we were cliff diving in Spain, we saw a couple guys that were stuck on the side of a cliff. We were like, "oh man, you guys need help?!" The guys were like, "yeah! We have a US tour to go on and can’t fall off this cliff before it." Naturally, we pulled them up to safety and low and behold: it was The Front Bottoms. They were so grateful that they asked us to play some of their shows with them. Definitely the nicest guys we’ve ever saved cliff diving.
How long have you guys been touring for, and have you got any horror stories or funny memories you can share with us?
Our first big tour was three summers ago. We went on a 25 day West Coast adventure with another Fargo band, Sunrise/Sunset. It was nine of us in an eight passenger van. The van was a hunk of junk, and we had to drive through the nights so it wouldn’t over heat. I could tell horror stories and funny memories all day, but I’ll try just list some of them quickly instead.
We got broken into literally last night and had our cameras and beer stolen.
We played a Bruce Springsteen cover set one Halloween and still get talked into playing Born to Run sometimes.
We saved The Front Bottoms in Spain cliff diving.
We have at least 1,000 party stories.
We’ve broke down a lot but always figured it out. Our new van is a champ though so no more of that.
Your band seem to be just breaking through that barrier of anonymity, and pretty soon you’ll likely be playing to larger crowds and for bigger venues. Is this something you guys welcome, or will you miss the ‘personal’ nature of smaller shows?
Playing anywhere is always a good time. It will be very different playing bigger venues, but I think it’s going to rule super hard. You can’t beat a packed basement though.
Tiny Moving Parts released This Couch Is Long And Full of Friendship in the beginning of this year and it has thus far received a really great response. When writing and recording an album, how much do you consider what other people will think and what your listeners want?
We just write songs that are fun to play. We like to keep things interesting, but of course, we still want the audience to like it too.
There have been a lot of genre labels pinned to your band, from math rock to emo to post hardcore. Without using any genre lingo, how would you define or describe the kind of music on This Couch Is Long and Full of Friendship?
Maybe like honest. There’s some happy parts and some sad parts.
Where do you guys draw your musical influences from and are there any bands in particular that you would credit your style or learning to?
We listen to all kinds of music, and I think it all influences our sound in different ways. There’s technical stuff like Tera Melos and poppier stuff like Tegan and Sara [too].
On the road, or just at home, who or what are you guys listening to at the moment?
Right now it’s mostly Glocca Morra and Paramore
With what kind of an attitude does TMP approach playing shows and gigs?
We give it 110% every time! We used to give it 125% but that’s just too hard to do now (laughs).
Can you describe to me how a typical TMP show might go?
We like to get people riled up and stoked by doing dumb things, chugging beers, and being loud! It only gets better from there.
Do you find it difficult juggling the band with regular, everyday life such as keeping a job, getting an education and maintaining relationships? Is there anything you’ve had to give up?
We’ve always just worked a whole lot when we are home to save up for tours, but before this tour we are on now, we had to quit our jobs. I had to quit college too. I was more than happy to do that though. After this tour we are moving home to our parents houses and just going to tour as often as possible. That’s really a dream come true for us.
Thanks for chatting to us Bill, finally, can you tell us if/when you’ll be in Australia – we’d love to see you down here some time soon!
Hopefully next year. We would love to go down under, mate.