"It’s so rewarding when you’ve been putting all that time and effort into each record." - Dylan Mattheisen.
Today's the day - Tiny Moving Parts' new album 'breathe' is out in the world!
‘Breathe’ has quickly followed on from your last album ‘Swell’. In the 18 months between releases what has inspired you as a band to write so quickly?
"Anytime that we have off time, be it from tour or from the studio, the creative juices are still always flowing. The thing is that we are only getting older now, and being in a band you do sacrifice your time with others a lot, be it your family or your friends. You spend a lot of time on the road and you’re missing birthdays and things like that. I feel like being able to do these things become a lot more special because of that - that’s where lyrics start pouring out of you. Thankfully we still absolutely love being in this band, and do what we do and in a lot of ways that’s what inspires us the most. We feel with each record that we make it becomes an even more important way for us to spend our time on this planet. The beauty of everything is that you have to go with the flow in this life - that ties in a lot with the lyrics that appear on ‘Breathe’. Sometimes there’s a fork in the road stopping you and you just have to go with it."
That’s a sentiment that exists throughout everything in life really isn’t it? You grow and you change but as long as you still feel that passion for what you are spending your time on then you can’t go wrong...
"Absolutely. I think back 10 years when we started the band when we were still at college, we would get a week off at Spring Break and we would quickly do a Midwest tour or something playing basements - partying and having fun and playing rock 'n' roll. Fast forward 10 years and I’m 28 and I still live with my parents, but the purpose of doing everything is still there. We truly love what we do - we can definitely see how some people grow out of it or choose different paths but Matt, Billy and I know this is what we want to do and we will always love it."
How did you go about developing the overriding themes that exist on ‘breathe’ while you were writing?
"I guess in a lot of ways it’s the same message that Tiny Moving Parts have had since the very beginning. I feel like when I go to the writing board and lyrics start coming out, they just feel right. Tying back to the idea that we are all getting older after all, it’s about now taking friendships or relationships for granted and making sure that you’re doing the right thing in life. It may sound like a cliché saying that this is an outlet for me to write about these things that happen in life but it’s the truth - it helps me out personally, and we want others to know that we are all in this together. Whenever you are feeling down you should know that there are others out there who are feeling down too. Personally for me knowing that I wasn’t the only person feeling crazy bummed out was nice - in life you hit bumps, but you try and ride it out the best that you can."
It’s a connection that exists quite uniquely and magically within the art form of music really. There’s no other medium where that shared euphoria can be shared between people who live on completely different sides of the planet...
"I agree. Like last year was the first time that we have ever gone to South East Asia, and we also went to Australia for the first time. We went to Jakarta in Indonesia and there were 100 or so people at the show we played! There was just this high energy and it was such a wild show. We never would have expected anything like this for our band - back in the day we would play basement shows to like 10 people and now we are playing across the world to hundreds. It’s really special."
What does ‘Breathe’ represent as a concept? What was it about that world that resonated so perfectly with this collection of songs?
"So, I’ve mentioned that idea of us all getting older. You start overthinking and you’re worried about the coming and going of people in your life and making sure that you are truly happy. It all boils down to the simple things - taking a deep breath can change your entire outlook on the day. It’s weird how such a simple thing can do such a change for you. It serves as a good reminder to just take that moment and make sure that you can get back on track and be the happiest version of you that you can be. It’s important to take care of the people around you but it’s even more important to take care of yourself."
How does it feel for you having this album in particular being released on a label such as Hopeless Records, and how does it feel for you looking back on where you were as a band and individuals five years ago and realizing just how much you have achieved?
"In a lot of ways we are having more and more fun as the years go on. The thing is that the central message has still always been the same - making sure that everybody is having fun, and making sure we are writing songs that can help other people out because that helps us out too. As time goes on and we visit other cities and meet new people who tell us that our music has changed their life or helped them through a hard time, that will never get old for us. It’s such an incredible feeling - it feels like you’re the thing that they needed in life. I remember the bands that were there when we were growing up that helped us through hard times. On the subject of Hopeless, it’s really cool. Back in high school we loved Taking Back Sunday and Circa Survive and fast-forward to now and we are label mates with them - that’s just unreal. The thing is that our goal as a band, way back when we bought our first van, was just to do a full US tour and come home breaking even. We booked a 54 day tour, played it and came home with a broken down van and about $50 in our pocket. That was the extent of it. So what we then learned through being in this band was to just keep on making new goals - enjoy the moment but always reach for more."
It feels as though you put yourself through a lot to reach the levels of emotion that exist within the songs that you have written not just on ‘Breathe’ but also in your entire discography. How is for you when you take that step back after putting your all in and seeing exactly what you have produced?
"Honestly, it’s so rewarding when you’ve been putting all that time and effort into each record. Like seriously, we put a lot of effort into our records. There are so many songs that don’t even make the cut - writing has always been such a personal thing for me. A lot of the time I like to let the listener paint the picture, and I give them the tools to relate to it - but there are also moments that I like to make very specific. Like writing about being a 20 year old and having my first ever panic attack in a coffee shop in Baltimore. It feels like I need to express that sort of stuff though to really get it off my chest. Like that happened a long time ago but it’s still something that I needed to get out there and out of me."
Looking forward, have you ever been a band who thinks about what the next step is?
"We kind of just vibe things out and see what makes sense. I’ll be playing my guitar in my room and something will just click and I will go off and record it. That’s when I bring it to Matt and Bill, and then that’s how we start writing songs. Right now I haven’t been looking at what the next step is - I’ve just been going with the flow and seeing how this record does. We put so much time and effort into what we do and we can’t wait to show the world just what we’ve been up to."
Finally, is there a moment on ‘Breathe’ that perfectly sums up what this record is all about?
"The first one that pops into my head is on ‘Light Bulb’, which is track two. The line that sticks out to me is ‘I’m nothing special but I’m trying to be’. I may fail and I may fall but I’m still trying my best to do good things and be happy within myself - it’s a simple line but it’s one that means a lot."
Tiny Moving Parts' new album 'breathe' is out now, through Hopeless Records. Check it out below: