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A chat with Tiny Tree

Can Michigan Post-Metallers Tiny Tree avoid the difficult second album? Paul and Addison discuss the new album “XI” with Metal Digest.

First question; many, many people were blown away by your debut “Embolism”, how much pressure did you feel to follow up such a confident and powerful first album?

Addison: It was definitely in the back of my head that this record could be a turd in after such a banger. Embolism was a record that we both just needed to get out. For me, writing those songs was therapeutic. Having them out of me gave me the freedom to write about new things.

Paul: I think I felt some pressure at times when we were laying out ‘XI’ after writing and recording during the session. We cut some tracks out of the album and did a little rewriting to keep a steady flow like I think we accomplished with ‘Embolism.’ We both always want the whole record to be a continuous flowing journey and not just rely on a single here or there.

Thematically, how far have you moved between albums? There is a much sparser feel, yet a more claustrophobic atmosphere in the heavier elements of the songs, is this down to more experience/comfort with the songwriting, or an artistic shift?

Addison: This record, for me, I wanted to do more vocally, so leaving room was always scrolling in my head while we were writing and my confidence as a singer grew after Embolism. Additionally, we both found ourselves attracted to air and space between sounds which was a huge piece in how this record came together.

The drumming; the most startling difference between XI and Embolism (and most other rock music of the last 40-odd years) is the almost complete removal of drum fills/drums forward voicing. A brave and jarring move that is genuinely surprising. Was this a conscious choice or just a consequence of the writing process?

Paul: For both ‘Embolism’ and ‘XI’ as we wrote and recorded I wanted to just stay back “in the pocket” as much as possible because it felt right and allowed Addison to do his thing. He’s the doctor, I’m just the nurse. I often think “less is more” when it comes to playing, and if it fits it fits. We also both like expanding on what we had written on an album and when playing live having laid in the pocket on the recording allows more room to dance around on the original parts in a live show setting, sorta go off the rails jam style and not just mimic the recording which is fun for us.

JD Pinkus plays bass for you on the new track “December”, a true rock alumnus; how did you get him involved?

Paul: Pinkus has become a good friend of mine and we have been working together for a little while now through our label Onama Media Group releasing his Daddy Longhead album ‘Twinkle’ and have some more stuff in the works for the future. I remember asking him to be on ‘Embolism’ but then this and that happened and it didn’t work out. So we talked again about him playing bass on the December jam and he was kind enough to do it with us.

Which other musician(s) would you most like to work with?

Addison: If we could have Peter Gabriel on a record, that would rule. Paul and I both love his catalogue of work.

Paul: Yea, Peter Garbriel would be fun, I feel we could come up with some nasty weird stuff, the man is a musical wizard.

Who are your current icons?

Addison: Peter Gabriel? I grew up listening to him and as I’ve gotten older have really been drawn to how he writes. Besides that, when I first heard Tool’s Lateralus, that was a major WHOA moment for me as well as when I first heard Enter by Russian Circles. Those two artists, for me, solidified my style of playing.

Your music draws comparisons (in our virtual office at least!) to Tool, Cult of Luna, Russian Circles, and others, so who are you currently listening to?

Addison: HA! My influences shine through! During the writing of this record, I was listening to a lot of Deftones, specifically Koi No Yokan. I feel like I’m listening to more podcasts than music at the moment, but on my drive into work today I listened to Shadow of Intent’s Melancholy.

Paul: This changes constantly and nothing is ever off limits. Today I’m enjoying some old Melvins represses ‘Senile Animal’, and ‘Nude with Boots’, plus taking the new Quicksand single ‘Inversion’ for a spin on Spotify a few times. Tomorrow maybe some Bjork and Bowie records, yea that sounds about right.

Your dream big-time breakthrough – who takes you around the world as support?

Addison: I would love to play with Russian Circles or Tool.

Paul: I would say whoever wants to put up with our nonsense, bad jokes and believes it’s a good fit for the show.

What can we expect from you next?

Addison: If I had to guess, probably a little more grime on the next one. We both chatted about how after writing XI, we have the itch to press the gas a little harder. So, maybe some heavier riffs.

Paul: Yea, I think Covid really got us sorta depressed, not being able to play live, watching the world implode, all the madness, and now we have some pent-up aggression to get out. So I can see the next album being more aggressive. We have started writing again for album 3 and that vibe is coming through so far. Also, it’s nice to be lining up shows again as Covid starts to settle so we will be hitting the road some more in the states supporting these two albums and keep going from there. Thank you so much for talking to Metal Digest, we wish you all success!

The upcoming release from the band Tiny Tree titled “XI”. The album was written and recorded in December of 2020 at Analog Time Machine Studios in West Michigan. Album is set for pre-order on the Bandcamp page with the first single Idle Eyes Available

The album features a guest appearance from bassist and friend JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers, Melvins, Honky, Daddy Longhead) on the song December.

The album XI is the second full-length release from Tiny Tree

Official Album Release Date: 8/27/21

Label: Onama Media Group

“Heavy on atmosphere, heavy on heaviness, a beautiful powerful storm of sound.” 

Robb Donker (American Pancake)

“Tiny Tree may be a duo, but the power behind this group in undeniable” 

Dutcher Snedeker (WYCE)

“… melody meets with darkness, presenting something uniquely uplifting, or calming; depending on what you need from it.” 

Rebecca Cullen (Stereo Stickman)

Tiny Tree Official: www.tinytreeband.com

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/53qNZgW95hXHLtySh9ApHs

Bandcamp: https://tiny-tree.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tinytreeband/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinytreeband/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW7Vm_Ke1ET5yUNhHogKEEA

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Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

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