Friday, May 8, 2020

Interview: Boone Williams of Tiny Tiny

Sommerset, Kentucky, musician Boone Williams has been playing under the moniker Tiny Tiny since 2013. In December of 2019 he released the Stripes EP, and is set to release a new EP, The Close Up, on Friday, May 22nd. Pre-orders are available as of today.

37: How long have you been playing together?

BW: I have been putting out music under the Tiny Tiny moniker since 2013. It started out as a solo project and over the years has been quite a few different things with quite a few different lineups.

 Right now, and going forward as much as I can tell, it’s a band though. Aaron Todd is playing guitar and Phillip Claunch is on drums and some production, multi-instrument stuff. We’ve all known each other a long time, all from Somerset, and have played together in a bunch of different projects. We all got together and wrote/recorded ‘Stripes’ in the summer of 2019 and started playing shows.

 We started recording ‘The Close-Up’ about 2 weeks before the quarantine started and luckily were able to get enough of the bones of the songs to be able to finish remotely. I have a studio space and we have all used it separately to finish any tracking that we needed. Phil and Aaron both live on the same street as I, literally I can throw a rock and it land in Phil’s yard, but we kept social distance to finish the ep. It was really interesting, we were all sort of ghosts to each other.

37: What is the music scene like in Sommerset?

BW: Somerset has had a little bit of a boom over the last couple years in terms of music scene. Somerset only started selling alcohol about 5 or 6 years ago, that brought bars, venues etc…Before that it was mostly living room and basement shows. It’s a little fractured but there’s a punk presence with some of the younger kids that has been really cool to see pop up. There’s also a lot of roots and americana type stuff.. I think those would be the most visible. Master Musician Festival is here every year and I think it goes a long way to sort of set the taste for what people expect to see at least. We like to think we’re sort of weird but we’ve found that people are generally pretty open to hearing new things.

37: The new EP, The Close Up, differs in your last EP, Stripes, a little somber maybe, not less upbeat in terms of sound, but in lyrical content...

BW: On Stripes I was in this mood the whole time that was really optimistic and maybe over confident even, so I think those songs, lyrically are my honest reactions about my life at the time but they are sort of manic, I guess? I think Stripes is able to laugh about things where The Close-Up isn’t. I feel like The Close-Up is a realization, or the swing back the other way. I think with both we have been interested in ways to have really subtle darkness wrapped in a frenetic energy. Like that feeling in a movie when you start laughing about things you shouldn’t.

37: The song Not A Riddle is asking, not to make things better, but does the listener want to try and make things better. What was the motivation for this song?

BW: I have this thing where I just notice power lines a lot. They are one of the things that doesn’t fade into background for me, not sure why. But I really liked the idea of our identities and thoughts and relationships riding through wires and lines and cords, and on Not a Riddle I was really into painting that with broad strokes. I was thinking about how technology kind of allows you to know what you want about a person and not know what you don’t want know. Sometimes it feels like with dating apps and just the nature of how a lot of relationships start online that there is this unsaid agreement that everyone can take really artistic liberties with who they make themselves out to be….I approach lyrics in general as a collage, so I’m always reacting to them like a listener in a lot of ways.

37: The title track is a laundry list of all the things we will lose in this life, but gives a slight glimmer of hope in a world built on loss; asking the listener to "come back to the light", which could be seen as religious in nature, at least offering some redemption; care to expand on this?

BW: I’m really glad you asked about the title track. I’m influenced by movies probably more than anything else and I have a really clear movie in my head about that song, it’s kind of bizarre.

It’s basically a character study of the sleaziest savior/messiah figure I could think up. Like, is there a way that he could wield his powers for self gain? Like, he’s talking about all these things that you will lose in your life, but don’t worry, baby, I would never leave. And ‘come back to the light’, I am just in love with the imagery of this character being a movie director and he sort of anoints you, or baptizes you in the light of the camera. It’s probably sacrilege but I love thinking about it.

37: What is next for Tiny Tiny?

BW: As for what’s next for us, we have settled in pretty nicely to our ‘recording under quarantine’ process, so at the very least we want to keep writing and putting out new material. We played Social Distance Fest a couple of weeks ago, an online festival organized by the Master Musician Festival people, it was really great and ended up being a really memorable thing to be a part of. It was early days of quarantine and there was a real unknown feeling in the air. Made for a really heightened experience. But like everyone else, we’re really excited for when we can safely get into a room with other people and play again.