|ISSUE 10.1||Spring 2000|
April 21, 2000
Cringe (Liz, a tape recorder and I) met Tiara at the Blue Danube (the D'ube) for a little dinner conversation and drink. This was Liz's first interview and my first one in several years. Liz ran the show. I just ate, drank, flipped the tape and hit on the waitress and bartender most of the time. - Joel
Cringe: So, please introduce yourself for the record.
Eric: I play guitar and sing sometimes.
Brian F.: I play bass and I'm unemployed.
Matt: I play guitar and sing the rest of the time.
Brian: I play drums.
Cringe: Would you like to divulge into what you do to pay the bills?
Brian F.: I'm unemployed - my mom pays mine. It's a cross between living at home and living in an asylum.
Matt: The rest of us work for the man.
Eric: I walk the streets.
Brian: I print pictures.
Eric: I scan pictures.
Matt: I touch up pictures.
Brian F.: I look at pictures - cause I can't read yet.
Cringe: What bands have you played in? How did Tiara meet and get started?
Brian F.: Me and Eric used to be in a band called Broadcaster with Matt Duckworth and Brett Ruland and that fell apart pretty quick.
Eric: But you were loved while you were around.
Brian F.: I met Eric when I was 19 so I was young and didn't really know what I wanted to do.
Eric: I molded him into what I wanted.
Brian F.: That was basically it. Then I wanted to do more of like Eric's 4 track stuff and I wanted to play guitar and that's how Tiara got started. And it's actually pretty interesting because we had actual drum tryouts and Brian didn't make the first cut. And then we called him back and Eric molded him into the fine, rockin' drummer he is today.
Brian: Eric taught me how to play drums.
Brian F.: We figured he was going to be the easiest to tell what to do.
Eric: I think we got along with him better than anybody else.
Brian F.: Brian's just really self-conscious - but I would say Brian is one of the best drummers in the indie rock genre. Brian got a lot of compliments on the road for being such an animal.
Cringe: How did you come out of your shell, Brian?
Brian: It was probably Jason from Preston Furman - watching him play and just going crazy made me realize - I don't know - people see that you're into it, then they get into it.
Cringe: So, how do you feel about being labeled as a "shy, indie band"?
Matt: I don't think that is appropriate anymore.
Cringe: You're not shy?
Brian F.: Hell no. We got this stigma attached to us 2 or 3 years ago and it has never gone away.
Matt: If you see us now, I don't think we are any more shy than any other bands.
Cringe: Did you used to be shy?
Eric: Well, when you start out, I think you are a lot more hesitant to speak out and be open, but we are more comfortable now.
Brian: And we drink a lot more now.
Brian F.: the only time we are shy is when we start and we're like, "Uh, hi, we're Tiara ..."
Eric: I don't think anyone tries to be shy.
Matt: No, I just think that none of us are naturally stage performers.
Eric: We're just playing music. But, we're trying - we're learning.
Brian F.: And if we are all into it mentally, we perform, but we're not very good at faking it. If we're into it, we totally get into it.
Cringe: Is there a certain type of venue you prefer to play?
Brian F.: I thought our show at in LA was pretty fun. It's hard for me to say. I feel like when we play right in front of people at small house type shows we play better, but I don't really know.
Matt: Yeah, I think smaller and filled with people is how we want it. We play better usually where there are no monitors - like a practice space.
Brian F.: We played both types of shows on tour. When there are people standing right in front of you, it's much easier to get into it.
Cringe: Any likes or dislikes about local music?
Matt: We can give anti-props to a few people.
Brian F.: Yeah. We're getting a bad rap for being the troubled local band.
Tiara: Props to Pretty Mighty Mighty, Moviola, Mach Blu Jay, Betaroric, everyone else - no. Oh yeah - Makeshift Conquest.
Cringe: Would you like to talk about how you would like to see the local music scene change?
Eric: Well, there needs to be more venues. Bernie's is the only place that any band can play at. And there are no all ages venues that I know of, but maybe I am too old.
Brian F.: The Columbus music scene is definitely small and there are bands that you don't hear about, but I don't think they're really dedicated. There are a lot of bands that I have really liked in the past, but they just come and go. Like Po Po Volcano. Preston Furman is a great band, but there are bands that just don't stick with it which is unfortunate. Columbus has definitely had some great bands but ...
Eric: I think the environment in Columbus is conducive to making bands stop playing. It is really easy to give up.
Brian F.: You get depressed.
Cringe: Do you think it is different in other cities?
Brian F.: Actually, after coming back, I think I like Columbus, but there is somewhat of a lack of interest I guess.
Matt: More venues aren't going to open up unless more people start going to shows.
Brian F.: It's like Elliot Smith will come here and there will be like a thousand kids there that are into it, and then bands like us or Moviola or some other bands that I said will play, and there's like sixty people. And it's not that we sound ... we are all in a certain genre, and I don't know where all these kids are, or what they're doing - If they are at home playing Nintendo or that they don't want to go to shows? Maybe there is not enough promotion or not enough interest.
Cringe: Shall we talk about the new album, Again Cast In?
Brian F.: Sure.
Eric: New to some.
Cringe: Let's start with the artwork.
Brian F.: The artwork is basically polaroids from the tour before the most recent one of a mountain in North Carolina.
Cringe: Who is the photographer?
Brian F.: Eric took all the photos except one - the inside one - which John Hunt took.
Eric: We never gave him credit and I think he was pissed about that.
Brian F.: Hey John, we're giving you credit now. We'll send you the link.
Eric: It just happened so fast, and I wanted all the credit.
Brian F.: You didn't get any credit either. We get complaints about not having any big liner notes.
Cringe: I was looking for a list of band member names, and you guys don't do that.
Matt: That's probably my fault.
Brian F.: I wanted to do a thank list and stuff but Matt thought we would forget somebody. But on our next record, we'll include a 12 page booklet.
Eric: A novel.
Matt: Or we will have a link to a web page. I guess we would rather have the focus on the music - that was my thinking.
Eric: That's true. I think that is why we agreed to it.
Brian F.: We can do our thank you list now.
Cringe: I think it's in order.
Brian F.: I'd like to thank Matt, Eric, and Brian for making this record possible.
Eric: I'd like to thank Bela.
Cringe: On the new album there's a song called Washington ... give us the scoop on the origin of the song.
Eric: I guess I wrote that song but I don't know where it came from. That's all I can say. It's just a bunch of words that came together and sounds good. I thought it would be neat if we could play it in Washington when we would go there.
Matt: I think you can't really say what the song is about because it might be about a bunch of weird things that don't relate and the song isn't really about anything but it's like each phrase means something different and it's kind of a big collage. So if you read it, it doesn't really make sense, but sometimes it does.
Eric: Yeah, what Matt said.
Brian F.: When I write lyrics, they just have to rhyme. But I don't write any lyrics so it doesn't matter.
Matt: Actually, he did. They just got edited out.
Cringe: And what about the extended jams on some of your songs?
Eric: You mean live?
Eric: Well, we get into it. We freak out.
Brian F.: Sometimes it's easier to play than to ...
Eric: ... speak.
Brian F.: Yeah.
Cringe: Is it always spontaneous?
Matt: Well, we know that we're gonna do it, but it's different every time. We're not counting the measures until the changes.
Brian F.: Because we're not even counting measures.
Matt: I think the last show, we played until we cleared the house.
Cringe: How long were you on tour?
Eric: Three weeks.
Cringe: What were your favorite stops?
Brian F.: I liked the stop in Yuma.
Matt: We saw experimental aircraft around there. An experimental aircraft had just crashed and killed nineteen marines.
Brian F.: We were all at a gas station in the desert, and the ground started shaking, and I was in the van and I heard this (makes rumbling noise) and there was this crazy aircraft I had never seen.
Eric: Where was that?
Brian F.: I don't know. You guys were all in the gas station. I heard it.
Matt: But it crashed when we got back.
Brian F.: That was a bad experiment.
Eric: I really liked L.A.
Cringe: Where did you play?
Eric: We played at Spaceland. It was a big show, but it wasn't really good for us. We were one of the early bands - there were four bands. Originally, we had the show. Us and Silver Scooter. Then Papas Fritas got on the bill. Then this band called The Push Kings that just moved to L.A. decided that they wanted to be on the bill too, and they're friends with Papas Fritas, and they're kind of a bigger band, so they got to headline it. So after we played, like 300 people came to the place.
Cringe: Did you tour with Silver Scooter the whole time?
Eric: Yeah, all except the last show in Chicago.
Cringe: Any other bands that you played with?
Eric: Dressy Bessy in Denver. That was a good show.
Brian F.: We played with a bunch of really bad bands.
Cringe: What are your plans for upcoming releases and tours?
Brian F.: The press company [Holiday Matinee] that we are working with is putting out a record and we just did a song because they are putting out a comp of current bands. They are pressing about 5000 or so copies, and that should be coming out in the next 4 months. And we are doing a single with this label in Chicago called Tree Records. We are trying to work some people to release our record in Japan [Tiara now has a contract to do this with the Japanese label NOOO].
Eric: I think with our next album, we'll focus on touring more.