DFW Music News

Tiny Moving Parts on Blink-182, House Shows and Twinkle Bands

Hailing from Minnesota, Tiny Moving Parts can't seem to stay away from Texas for too long. The trio has already been to the DFW area a handful of times in the past year and a half, but they're finally hitting Dallas proper on Thursday night. Paired up with the fantastic up-and-comers Frameworks and Gates (along with Denton's very own powder keg, Two Knights), the band will be part of an extremely healthy bill at Three Links on Thursday night.

Tiny Moving Parts vocalist and guitarist Dylan Mattheisen spoke with DC9 at Night right as they were kicking off their current tour. He talked about what to expect with their forthcoming record on Triple Crown, touring Texas, and how they feel about being called a "twinkle band."

DC9 at Night: You've come to the DFW area three times in the past year, but this is your first Dallas show. Is there something in particular that keeps you coming back?

Mattheisen:Texas has been a blast every single time we've been through. It's one of the states we're most excited for when we're on tour. We've never played Dallas so we're really curious to see how that's going to be. We have no idea what to expect, but we're really excited about it.

Not to piss on 1919 Hemphill or Macaroni Island, but I think it's exciting to see you play in a bar. At the same, it will be interesting to see you not be at eye level with the audience. Does that pose any challenges for you?

It's not the end of the world being on a stage. Playing clubs, the sound system is always really nice and they make you sound pretty good. We have just as much fun as we do playing clubs as we do with basement shows. We just make the most of every show. It is weird coming into a place and seeing we're playing on a stage, but it's something we've got to get used to.

Do you still like playing house shows?

We still like playing house shows and DIY spots, too. We've been coming across situations where people want to see us play in the city, but they don't go out to the shows because we're playing our friends' houses. There are people who are sketched out by that, which is unfortunate because it's a very welcoming place, but we gotta understand this being an issue, too. When we play a legit club, it's more welcoming for everybody.

I can understand that concern, because often, when it says "house show," cops are going to show up.

[laughs] Yeah! That too.

Or what's worse, a band I know played a house show in Denton -- not Macaroni Island -- and before they played, the only available toilet had backed up and things were coming out in the lawn.

Oh my gosh. That's pretty hilarious. [laughs]

Tiny Moving Parts cited Blink-182 as a gateway band for introducing you to deeper into music. How were they a gateway band?

Billy [Chevalier], Matt [Chevalier], and I have been playing music together for about 10 years. We've been hanging out since day one. When we were young -- like, 12, 13, 14 -- we got really into Blink-182, but then again, who didn't? It influenced me and Matt with playing guitar and Billy was already playing drums, and we got into punk rock, like Green Day. That eventually led us to more technical music and listening to more bands, but Blink-182 definitely helped us start out. For sure.

Was it with Enema of the State, Dude Ranch, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, self-titled?

Enema of the State, for sure. And then, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. And Dude Ranch is amazing, too. We started going back in time, like Cheshire Cat and Buddha. Basically, all the older stuff.

Jim Ward from At the Drive-In once said that bands like that are, essentially, baby food for people who eventually move on to steak and potatoes. A band like Blink-182 could also lead to Circle Takes the Square or Policy of 3.

Yeah, I definitely agree with that. It is what it is. Our new album that we've just recorded -- which should be out hopefully later this year -- we're still doing our whole mathy thing, but it's a lot catchier. We wanted it to be more catchier for people to sing along, because we love sing-alongs. We're really excited to see how people react. We can tell people will think it's different, but really it's not. We still have our sound, but we're doing little tweaks with it, because we don't want to write the same exact album every time. You want to have a little bit of change. Change is good!

How do you feel about being called a twinkle band?

Oh jeez, I mean. [laughs] It's such a silly term. Whatever people like to call us, it's fine. Everybody has their opinions. People are going to categorize anyway.

I had never heard the term until two years ago, and I've often wondered what makes for the twinkle sound. Does it mean the guitar hammer-ons, the certain vocal styles?

The guitars have higher notes. I don't really know how to explain it, but if I listen to it, I can understand how people are calling it twinkle with all the noodling.

What was it like to record the new album with J. Robbins?

J. Robbins was so awesome. He's a brilliant man with great ideas. He really understood what we wanted to do with the album. And he enhanced it with his ideas. We were really thrilled with how it turned out. We can't wait for people to hear it.

Tiny Moving Parts play Three Links with Frameworks, Gates and Two Knights on Thursday, May 8.

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs

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