Interview: Shiny Toy Guns

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On Monday October 22, indie synth rockers Shiny Toy Guns will make their return to the music scene with the release of their album III. Pop-Break’s Joe Zorzi caught up with the band’s synth and bass player. Jeremy Dawson to talk about the new record.

If you’re in the New York area on Tuesday October 30, Shiny Toy Guns will be performing at Santo’s Party House (the club co-owned by Andrew W.K.)

Pop-Break: You guys have III coming out October 22nd. What can fans expect from this album as compared to your last ones?

Jeremy Dawson: III is our new record, we spent the most time on this record. It’s way more personal and different than just… our first album was the record that we were creating to figure out who we were as a band and what our sound was and we started there. The second record we drifted off in a totally different direction. And then the third album is us sort of realigning and redefining who we are now in 2012. And we spent three years making all that happen personally and musically. So it’s like the definite soundtrack of who we are as people.

PB: I saw on your website you have “three years of our love and lives compressed into one.” So is it kind of a double meaning for your third album and how long it took?

JD: Yeah. You’re picking it up.

PB: So you guys got Carah [Charnow; vocals, synth] back for this one. What’s it like recording with her again? I know you guys had a different singer for the last one.

JD: It feels like what this band is and who we are. It’s exactly what… the whole band was started like the four of us and now we’re full circle back to the four of us and it feels like breathing oxygen again.

PB: Who are you influenced by artist wise? Is there anything in particular you think about when you’re recording these songs?

JD: I mean, I think each of us have our own influential thing. So there’s not like a set core artist or group of artist that’s the main stimuli for this album. We just like stuff that’s melody driven, really good, exciting or something that really hits a nerve heartwise, whether it be lyrically or melodically. And we just kind of pounce on that and excess on it and after a while we hear something else from a blog or a tweet or someone tells us about it and we’ll pounce on that for a week. We tend to move around a lot.

PB: So when you guys are actually writing the songs is it one person mainly writing it or are all you guys writing?

JD: We work on it together. We collaborate. Chad [Petree; guitar, vocals], Carah and I do.

PB: Is it music first and then vocals or does it really just change depending on the song?

Photo Credit: Benjy Russell

JD: Every song’s completely different. Some songs start with the lyrics, some songs are the music. It all depends on which song it is.

PB: Cool. And what’s your personal favorite on the album.

JD: My personal favorite right now… it changes a lot… it’s “Wait for Me”. It’s still new to us, like super new. And we finished recording it and then we kind of put it down and we’re just now starting to listen to it again. So it’s like a brand new thing.

PB: I’m sure it changes all the time, I can imagine. So you guys are touring for the next few months in the US. What’s your favorite part of touring.

JD: The shows. The shows and the people at the shows, that’s what matters to us.

PB: What’s the biggest challenges of being on the road?

JD: Lack of sleep.

PB: If you guys had a dream tour what would that be?

JD: Oh man… We would love to go out with… wow, that’s a good one. I don’t know. I wouldn’t know how to answer that. It varies everyday.

PB: You started this band ten years ago. Where did you expect to be now compared to where you are?

JD: It feels a little different but not really. It still kind of feels like we started the band three years ago.

PB: What are your plans for the next ten years? Do you still want to be doing this with Shiny Toy Guns?

JD: We’re gonna do Shiny Toy Guns records till we’re all half dead. We’re also doing all types of other musical things. You know, with the technology and the ability to … if you have good stuff, good content, music or video or text. You can get it out instantly. So we have the opportunity to do all types of cool shit and put it out whenever we want. We’ll be doing our own thing and then we’ll be coming back and doing more Shiny Toy Guns records. All kinds of fun stuff.

PB: With technology these days, would you say it’s harder or easier for bands like you guys to get out there? Now it’s like a level playing field for everybody almost.

JD: It’s a lot more work and a lot more time consuming with a lot less results. Because back in the day, if you toured and you’re on the radio you’re done, you’re out the door. Now you have to monitor and utilize thirty, forty, fifty different networks and websites to get the same message across that you used to be able to do with one video on TV.

PB: Overall, do you think it’s less effective though or do you think it’s better for bands?

JD: I mean, it is what it is. You have no choice. If you want to be an artist and you want to get out there, you have to put in the labor. You really do.

PB: If you guys had anything you could change, would you change anything that you’ve done?

JD: I don’t know. There’s probably a lot of things that I wish I could do over. But, you can’t look at life like that, you gotta think about what you’re gonna do tomorrow.