1. Tell us a little bit about Tiny Giant. When and why did you start playing together?
C: Tiny Giant is a UK-based two piece made up of Chloë Alper and Mat Collis. We make music we describe (rightly or wrongly) as ‘Dream Pop meets Future Rock’. We formed kind of without knowing we were forming after writing a few songs together and then realizing that we really enjoyed the process and that our different influences meant that the songs were really unusual and really, well, really GOOD.
M: I’ve been playing and writing music for as long as I can remember. I’ve got a box full of musical junk from around the world, I will never throw any of it away though because I know that, one day, I will need that Polynesian nose flute for a hook.
After a pretty long time of knowing Chloë and begging her to let me mix her band’s albums, she finally stopped ignoring me, got in touch and wanted to write with me. The music we first wrote together was VERY different to what you hear now.
2. Were you influenced by old records?
M: Massively, I used to sit there trying to mimic stuff from albums I was listening too. I had a black and white laptop borrowed from a mate that came with some of the most basic sounds you have ever heard. I still have some of that stuff on CASSETTE somewhere.. Probably in that box underneath the nose flute
C: Oh yes. The bulk of my influences are probably considered vintage now. I mainly listen to pop, dream pop and post-rock from the 80s and early 90s.
M: Oh god, so so many.
I guess most influential for me were.
Mr. Bungle – California – Amazing and interesting production, great songwriting and endless weird noises. Basically, everything that makes one of my all time favorite albums.
Transformers the Movie – 1986 – Massive influence for me this one, I listen to it more than 4 times a week till now. Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire – The production on this record is so damn perfect, just 4 guys in a room thrashing it out. There’s so much energy in this record
…The list goes on and on.
C: The Colour of Spring by Talk Talk, Heaven or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins, Tango in the Night by Fleetwood Mac, Runaway Horses by Belinda Carlisle, From Langley Park to Memphis by Prefab Sprout, The Sensual World and Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, oh and Avalon by Roxy Music… I could go on but I fear I would make this interview essay-length.
3. Who are your favorite musicians or albums?
C: [points upward] see above.
M: Again, so so many, but stand out ones are: Beck, Vince DiCola, Tom morello, Tim Alexander, Mark Heron, Brandon Boyd,
4. What is your live performance like?
How does it feel to perform live?
C: Our live performances are energetic and loud. I love the process of translating what we’ve committed to recording into a different space and hearing it blast out of a PA. There’s nothing quite like seeing people connect with songs that previously only existed in our heads. For me, watching your art resonate with a stranger is what it’s all about.
5. You both seem very busy outside of Tiny Giant. How do you balance your music with other obligations – spouse, children, job?
M: It is pretty tough as we both have fairly full-time commitments. I’m on tour a fair bit with other artists but we wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t worth it.
C: It’s true we do both have a lot going, on but Tiny Giant is my utmost priority, which gets me into trouble sometimes.
6. What is your feeling on the current state of music today?
C: Music itself isn’t suffering, if anything more people have the tools to create more interesting things, it’s the support for The Arts that’s not there right now and that’s scary. The role of art is to challenge the way society is run and yet the support systems are being choked. Ironically music revenues were higher last year than they have been in the decade since the early 00s but, unless they’re big names, musicians themselves don’t seem to benefit from the revenue growth. In short, that means you have to do a lot of things yourself these days and it’s tough so a lot of people drop out in favor of stability which is tragic.
7. What would you tell current artist looking to break into the industry?
C: I would say that the act of ‘breaking in’ itself is redefining itself. For every pop millionaire there are thousands of musicians scratching out a living, so you can’t just expect it to happen, there is so much you will have to do yourself. The most important thing to do first is to find your You. By that, I mean your sound, your vision and what you have to say. Define that and then, well, just let it take over! Do as much as you can yourself and appreciate that it’s often a calling, not a career. Because while some people can be hyper-successful, for a lot of people music means sacrificing security for a lifestyle that is as frightening as it is exciting. It will be really hard at times, but when you’re playing to a rammed venue full of people singing along to a song you wrote in your bedroom, you’ll realize that there really is nothing better.