A chat with Tin Sparrow
Ahead of their BIGSOUND performance, we had a good ol’ chat to the guys from Tin Sparrow about their new album, Shoelace Ring, and how rad the Australian music scene is.
Bridie: So how are you guys spending your time in Brisbane?
Tin Sparrow: We drove up yesterday and we’re here until Friday. It’s good to enjoy the whole vibe instead of turning up for 20 minutes and then leaving the next morning – we get to be here for a for a few days to enjoy the bands and soak it all in.
Bridie: How was the road trip?
Tin Sparrow: For some reason it was really easy. We left at 10.30am and got here around 11pm.
Bridie: Tell us a bit about Shoelace Ring – how is it going?
Tin Sparrow: It’s going good.We took a lot of time to get the songs right, and we’re pretty happy with how it turned out. We’ve also been getting a lot of good feedback on our first single, Echoes In The Dark, which has been nice, there’s definitely an element of maturity.
Bridie: Shoelace Ring was recorded in only five days. What do you think made everything work so easily?
Tin Sparrow: We hired out a house in country Victoria. There was no timeframe or reception, so we were completely off the grid. We were working all day and all night, but at the same time it just felt so relaxing and stress-free. We had a really nice garden that you could go out to in the morning and soak up the sunshine and look at the flowers and butterflies and have a chill, and then get into a session. It was really rewarding.
The songs are a little bit simpler and more driving, which wasn’t really what we were aiming for, but it just ended up being that way.
Bridie: You’ve talked previously about making a progression and an expansion to your sound. Do you feel like you’ve achieved this?
Tin Sparrow: Definitely. There are certain things that we’ve stripped back and it’s become more powerful. The songs are a little bit simpler and more driving, which wasn’t really what we were aiming for, but it just ended up being that way.
Bridie: Tell us a bit about the Sydney music scene.
Tin Sparrow: I think if you talk to five different people you’ll get five different responses to this kind of question. I feel like Sydney has such a big underground scene going on; in the last couple of years there been a massive insurgence of live venues. But then again, there’s this other scene that doesn’t get any press – just cool weird little events and warehouse parties. I think it’s cooking; there so many different pockets.
Bridie: How has your collaborative work been going?
Tin Sparrow: We’ve had some really great opportunities over the years to work with artists who we would have fantasised about working with in the past. Over time we’ve just collaborated and jammed and ultimately just become really great friends with them. People like the Middle East dudes were a big deal for us.
I think to be a success you have to be genuine.
Bridie: Did it ever scare you at the start?
Tin Sparrow: It’s amazing how down-to-earth they all are. I think to be a success you have to be genuine. You put them up on a pedestal, and once you met them and work with them, you realise that they’re actually normal people. It’s awesome.
Bridie: What is your favourite song to perform on stage?
Tin Sparrow: That time we played Rocket Man was pretty fun. I’ve been having a pretty good time playing Echoes in the Dark recently, but thats probably because it’s fresh. That’s usually the case; sometimes certain songs feel better than the entire set and you look forward to playing them. I think that’s where we are at the moment.
Bridie: I’ve always wondered this, and especially for long-standing artists: do you ever get sick of playing the same songs over and over again?
Tin Sparrow: I think if you’ve got new material and you want to play it and you’re playing old suff, it can get frustrating. What we do now is pick and choose so we have a nice balance to keep things fresh. Although, that being said, no matter how many times you play the song, when you’re on stage and you’ve got people in front of you, and you can start feeding off their energy, it sort of feels like you’re playing for the first time again.
A lot of people ask how the Australian music scene is going, and it feels good to say, ‘man, it’s fucking cooking’.
Bridie: Who are you looking forward to seeing at BIGSOUND?
Tin Sparrow: Oh man, heaps of bands… probably The Church and Bad Dreems to name a couple. There’re also a bunch of our friends playing, which should be pretty cool, like Left and Abbe May. It such an extensive timetable – wherever you’re going to be you’re going to watch some good music. That’s what so good about the Australian music scene: there are so many good bands. I’ve recently been travelling around doing some road tripping in California, and a lot of people ask how the Australian music scene is going, and it feels good to say, ‘man, it’s fucking cooking’. There’s so much going on.
Bridie: Well, welcome to Brisbane. It was great to talk to you guys. I hope you have a sick BIGSOUND.
Tin Sparrow: Thanks so much, we’ll see ya around!