Words: Miljan Milekić
It’s far to say Tiny Moving Parts played a massive role in putting Midwest emo back on the map. Releasing album after album, they gained a cult following, which is now getting bigger. And it’s enough just to play one of their albums, or attend one of their shows to understand why. It’s almost like they single-handedly brought a new style, a new breath of fresh air, and fans were there to accept it. We got the chance to catch up with singer Dylan Mattheisen, and we’re bringing you this interview. Tune in, and enjoy!
You are just back from your European tour with Microwave and Lizzy Farrall. How did it go? Are you happy with the reaction from the fans, especially on the new songs?
Dylan: The EU and UK tour was a freaking blast!!! We’ve been friends with Microwave for many years, and it was our first time with Lizzy Farrell. Turns out that Lizzy and her squad are awesome, fun people, and we all had a great time. The new songs went over very well!
It was kinda brave move to include so many new songs in the setlist just days after the album release. Did you ever have second thoughts about doing it, or you just believe in your new music so much that you were confident it would go well?
Dylan: It is still super fresh at first for people, but that’s what makes it fun to perform! Love playing the new songs live, and it’s always a thrill.
We got to catch you guys in Brussels, at what happened to be a very sweaty and energetic show. If I’m not mistaken, you played in Antwerp a few times, but this was the first time in Brussels?
Dylan: It was our first time in Brussels! Feel like every time we come to Antwerp it’s always a sweaty energetic gig. One of our favorite places to play in the world.
It’s been over a month now since ‘breathe’ is out, and it’s been a lot of talk about in on social networks, and people mostly love it. How important is it to you to see positive feedback on your music at this point, especially from the long-standing fans?
Dylan: It’s always rewarding seeing people enjoy the music we create. We put so much time and effort into every song, and to see positive results means so much! It motivates us to keep being a band and putting out new records.
What amazes me with your band is the level of your productivity. You have been a band for eleven years, and you already have like gazillion albums out. What’s the main force that drives you forward to keep dropping so much great music?
Dylan: We love everything about being a band! We love doing music videos, recording albums, making songs, and our favorite thing to do ever is to tour. We wanna tour 365 days a year. (laughs)
This is your first record on Hopeless, who are one of the biggest players in this scene. I know it’s early, but how has it been so far? Do you see the differences in the number of people and places where your music has been able to reach?
Dylan: Hopeless has been so dang awesome! We felt totally comfortable signing with them after many phone calls and meetings together. They seem like the perfect fit for us as a band. Their roster has some of our favorite bands from when we were younger, it’s pretty wild!
On this record, you worked with John Fields, who has a variety of names in his CV, spread across all these different genres. How was it to work with someone who had so much different experience in the studio?
Dylan: It was a great experience working with John! Seeing how fast and accurate he is with everything, was insane. He helped push me to become a better singer in just the three songs we did together, and I can’t thank him enough for that!
One thing that became like a brand of yours, is the aesthetic and approach you have in your videos. On the one hand, they tend to be funny, but on the other, they can make viewers slightly uncomfortable, much like your music can do. How much thinking goes into every one of them, and how do you choose people to work with when it comes to videos?
Dylan: We have lots of phone calls to make sure any music video we’re working on turns out to be great! We love doing music videos and have been thankfully working with such great directors. We get recommendations from all over the place, our label, friends, manager, etc.
I’ve noticed that most of your albums have ten songs. Is it something you do on purpose? In my opinion, that is the perfect number, but it also adds a bit of pressure, as it doesn’t allow any mistakes, and it makes the artist go all-in. Would you agree?
Dylan: We want the record to play as one gigantic song. If you can listen to our record from start to finish without skipping, then we feel we did a great job. Each album is different, but for us, we want every song to be a banger and not necessarily a “filler” track.
In your lyrics, you often go and talk about some personal things, emotions, and thoughts, putting yourself out there for your fans. How hard can it be at times, and did you ever feel like you went too far, and scrapped the song?
Dylan: Writing lyrics helps me deal with my mental health. It feels great to get it out of my system and put it into our songs. When we play shows and hear people singing the words back, it’s a special connection that I’ll never take for granted!
One to finish this off – What would happen if someone would try to shave Bill’s mustache in his sleep?
Dylan: Billy would probably cry! Actually, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him cry before. I guess there’s one way to find out! (laughs)