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Videography by Danielle Thwaites
Thank you to the following performers and their contributions:
Coaches, Ioana Udroiu, Tamara Usatova, RAINE, Apiwe Bubu and the Afropolitans, Melissa Ferrick, and Sports.
June 16, 2014
I headed to NYC on June 16th and with the great opportunity to interview the indie/dream pop band, Miniature Tigers. Strolling past the Brooklyn Promenade, I found them in the most suitable environment: outside of a coffee shop in DUMBO. I sat down with them and chatted about their new album, Cruel Runnings.
BIRN: Congratulations on your new album Cruel Runnings! I remember listening to “Cannibal Queen” back in 2008. You guys have been a band since 2006, that’s quite a long time! I was wondering how your music and your dynamics as a band have changed since then?
MT: I mean, it’s kind of on an album-to-album basis where each album we’re trying to do something radically different than the one we did before. This album to me is more grounded than what we’ve done and sort of found our voice by experimenting with all these different genres and sounds by using more organic stuff and more synth based stuff. So this is sort of a mish-mash of it all.
BIRN: I’ve noticed there’s a theme of nostalgia throughout the album. It’s especially apparent in the compilation video for “Used To Be The Shit” because it had a ton of throwbacks! Where are you hoping to take your listeners back to when they hear this new album?
MT: Well, that’s more of the literal side of it, all the stuff from our childhood. Where it ties in musically, is writing this album we really wanted to make something that felt like an album we were into we were kids like Weezer’s “Blue” album- an album that has a classic-ness to it. So we tried to edit the songs that felt most like something we would listen to when we were kids.
BIRN: I have to ask, does the name “Cruel Runnings” have anything to do with the Disney Channel Original Movie “Cool Runnings”? Because I know the album was produced in Jamaica.
MT: Well, there’s no real deep meaning to it, but it’s definitely a pun.
BIRN: You guys worked with Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, The Walkmen) on this album. How did that working relationship start?
MT: We met him through our manager, Ben, and he put us in contact with him. We recorded a part of “Used To Be The Shit” with him to sort of test it out.
BIRN: How was Jamaica!
MT: Jamaica was lovely as you could imagine! We would go swimming in the ocean before recording everyday. Yeah, it was a nice experience. We picked Jamaica and Chris Zane was open to it.
BIRN: Why Jamaica?
MT: Why not Jamaica? We wanted to do something different than the typical LA/NY experience.
BIRN: You guys are signed to Yebo, which is a label and a management company. How is that?
MT: Our manager Ben was our manager since day one and he works with Yebo now, so he brought us into that. It’s a record label that also manages artists.
BIRN: What’s the advantage of signing to a company such as Yebo over a traditional label?
MT: We have a really good working relationship with them and we really like the artist deals they’re doing. It’s super artist friendly- more so than any other label. So that’s what attracted us to that.
BIRN: How was your tour with FUN.?
MT: It was really fun. A lot of fun. They were really generous to us, they took us around the whole U.S. and took us Europe as well. The smallest venue we played in Europe was 2,000 people. It was great exposure.
BIRN: I can see that your fans are receiving this album really well. What did you do differently with this release?
MT: We weren’t very conscious when we released our first album- we were just writing songs. I think once you release something, you’re aware of how people react to it. This one, we wanted to make something that would have a positive effect on people.
BIRN: What was your favorite part about making the album?
MT: This is the most collaborative we’ve ever been as a band. Even with the label. Everything about it was great, but it’s always fun hearing songs start as a demo and hearing the progression from being a rough idea to an actual album. We did a good job of keeping the initial excitement and magic from the demos to the recorded version. Chris (Zane) knew exactly what we were going for and did a good job translating our ideas sonically.
BIRN: The album feels easy, relaxed and natural.
MT: We didn’t do a lot of takes on this album. So you can hear that throughout the album.
BIRN: Congratulations on your release! Thank you so much for sitting down with us.
"Cruel Runnings" is available for purchase and streaming now!
Tune in live to BIRN1 on Sunday, August 3rd at 6PM for a special interview from Grammy nominated singer, Josh Groban.
Josh has sold over 25 million CD’s, toured worldwide, and appeared in several movies and tv shows. You’re invited to listen to this exlusive interview Sunday night at 6PM EST on BIRN 1.
American, piano-based singer/songwriter from Derry, New Hampshire, Brendan James. James spent his early music career playing at New York City open mics before he signed to Capitol Records in 2005. The show starts at 8PM EST
American cello rock band, Break of Reality. Consisting of three cellists and a percussionist, the group is associated with the terms “cinematic rock”, “cello rock”, and "indie classical". Post-rock band I/O will be opening the show. The show starts at 8PM EST