Miniature Tigers Announce New Tour Dates, Release New Songs

Ah, summer is actually almost over and we’re already thinking about the fall a bit. What better way to start off the season with a few concert dates with one of our favorite new bands, The Miniature Tigers. The boys will be hitting the road again starting on September 8th with indie band Fun. Jump on these tickets fast as the shows are selling out quickly!

In other news, Charlie Brand has been posting some B-Sides from ‘Tell It To The Volcano’ on his twitter. Wow, can these guys possibly get any better?

Give these new tracks a listen ‘Roaring Twenties’ and ‘River of Blood’

Sep 8 2009 8:00P
 Kilby Court w/Fun Salt Lake City, Utah

Sep 9 2009 8:00P
 Club 156 @ U of Colorado Boulder w/Fun Boulder, Colorado

Sep 11 2009 8:00P
 The Shelter w/Fun Detroit, Michigan

Sep 12 2009 8:00P
 The Intersection w/Fun Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sep 13 2009 8:00P
 Club @ Water St. Music Hall w/Fun Rochester, New York

Sep 15 2009 8:00P
 North Star Bar w/Fun Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sep 16 2009 8:00P
 Great Scott w/Fun Boston, Massachusetts

Sep 17 2009 8:00P
 Mercury Lounge w/Fun New York, New York

Sep 18 2009 8:00P
 Jammin’ Java w/Fun Vienna, Virginia

Sep 20 2009 8:00P
 The Drunken Unicorn w/Fun Atlanta, Georgia

Sep 22 2009 8:00P
 Rocketown w/Fun Nashville, Tennessee

Sep 23 2009 8:00P
 The Firebird w/Fun St. Louis, Missouri

Sep 24 2009 8:00P
 Schubas Tavern w/Fun Chicago, Illinois

Sep 25 2009 8:00P
 Triple Rock Social Club w/Fun Minneapolis, Minnesota

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The Miniature Tigers *Music Hall of Williamsburg* June 7 2009* Brooklyn, New York*

Its always a fun time with The Miniature Tigers come to town. The band has currently been on tour with Kevin Devine and Brian Bonz, and their stop at the Music Hall of Williamsburg this past Sunday was the last night of the tour. You can see that these bands have become like old friends in such a short period of time. The Miniature Tigers took the stage and Brooklyn gave them a very warm welcome as the venue was packed. The word about the band is really getting out there and they deserve it.

They opened with ‘Last Night’s Fake Blood’which is a personal favorite of mine. The band had everyone dancing before they were even done with the first verse. This time around, the band has a few lineup changes, recently losing bass player, Lou Kummerer and temporary guitarist Darren Robinson (also of Phantom Planet). The new members of the band Alex Gerber and Algernon Quashe seem to work perfectly into the lineup, and didn’t miss a note.  Even though they didn’t have a lot of time to practice with each other before the tour started, you would never know it.  The Miniature Tigers played incredible as always.

Like prior performances we have seen from the band, Charlie Brand and Rick Schaier are dead on.  They play together like a band that is beyond their years. They are flawless and it is obvious they have a passion for what they are doing. Rick has also seemed to be doing more harmonies which blend perfectly with Charlie’s voice. Its a nice little addition to the songs.

Other songs of the night included not only tracks off their highly acclaimed ‘Tell It To The Volcano’ , but also new songs like ‘Egyptian Robe’ and ‘There’s a Japanese Woman in My Closet.’ Both incredible new songs that already have fans craving for the new record. On the album the band is perfect but onstage they bring a whole new life to the songs, filling them with astonishing little surprises and a giant burst of energy. Its amazing what they can do and I’ve seen very little bands be able to put so much heart and soul into their live set. For the last song, The Miniature Tigers  brought Brian Bonz, Kevin Devine and their band members onto the stage. They first started with a short and surprising version of Reel 2 Reel’s ‘I Like to Move It’ which oddly enough sounding really good! The band then launched into the most unbelievable version of ‘Cannibal Queen’ the world has ever laid it’s ears upon. It was like one giant party and everyone was singing along.

The Miniature Tigers have a few more dates minus Kevin Devine before they head home so if you haven’t caught them live yet, I suggest that you do so. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t.

More Photos from the Brooklyn Show AFTER THE JUMP

WATCH OUR VIDEOS OF ‘TELL IT TO THE VOLCANO’ AND ‘CANNIBAL QUEEN’ with Kevin Devine and Brian Bonz HERE

The Miniature Tigers * Mercury Lounge, NYC * 2-15-2009

This past Sunday, February 15, The Miniature Tigers dropped into the Mercury Lounge in New York City and were welcomed to a packed venue. The word about the Mini T’s is certainly spreading, and the Modern Mystery crew couldn’t be happier and more excited about this fact. The band who is currently on the road with Mr. Ben Folds, have been doing a few one off shows as headliners when they have free time on the tour.

The Miniature Tigers play like old pros. They are flawless onstage and certainly astonishing to hear. Charlie Brand’s voice is remarkable, and hits every single note, soft or loud. Darren Robinson (guitarist from the hiatus Phantom Planet) is a nice addition to the band almost like he has been playing with them from the start. Lou Kummerer was stellar on bass and tamborine duties, and drummer Rich Schaier is a total badass when it comes to drumming. He is also incredible on the keys and harmonies as well.

The band had everyone in the room dancing and I think we can all agree that The Miniature Tigers are one of the most fun bands out there. The band played some of my personal favorites such as ‘Cannibal Queen’, ‘Tell it to the Volcano’ and ‘Last Night’s Fake Blood’ which I was very excited to hear. Not only did they play a good amount of songs from ‘Tell it to the Volcano’, which came out on CD officially yesterday, but they also played a few new songs. New songs already? Yes! I can’t wait until The Miniature Tigers comes back to New York City again! Its a show you surely do not want to miss. Check them out when they come to your town. The band will be on the tour non stop until the end of March.

 You can check out their tourdates on their Myspace.

More pictures from The Miniature Tigers at the Mercury Lounge after the Jump.

A Modern Mystery Holiday Party with The Miniature Tigers

Yes, its another edition of the Modern Mystery Holiday party with today’s guests, The Miniature Tigers! This band became one of our favorites this year. Not only are they the nicest and funniest guys you’ll ever meet, but their music is astonishing.  We haven’t heard indie pop as good as this in quite some time. The Miniature Tigers released their debut full length this year titled ‘Tell it to the Volcano’ which hasn’t left our record players yet. Charlie Brand and Daggrr shared their Top Albums with us amongst other things. There may be more Top Albums coming from other Mini Ts members, so stay tuned!

Charlie Brand’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
Beach House – Devotion
Alvin Band – Mantis Praying
Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Sings Newman
Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
Elvis Costello – Armed Forces
The Kinks – Entire Catalogue
Portisthead – Third
Van Dyke Parks – Song Cycle

The Best Thing that Happened to Me This Year

The best thing that happened to me this year was recording our album. That was a great deal of fun. That, and being able to come to new york was fantastic. San Francisco was amazing. Great year.

The strangest thing was probably that waitress.  (Check out our Miniature Tigers CMJ Interview)

My Favorite Holiday Memory

One year my brother and I got a go kart for christmas. We took one lap around the block and by the time we got back to the top of the street, our neighbor was there telling our parents how dangerous they were. They returned it to the store later that day. I’m not sure why that’s my favorite memory. Maybe it’s not?
Daggrr’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

1. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours

2. Beach House – Devotion

3. The Ruby Suns – Sea Lion

4. Atlas Sound – Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel

5. The Kooks – Konk

6. The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed

7. Late of the Pier – Fantasy Black Channel

8. David Byrne – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

9. Princess Ladyfriend – History Time Travel Gig

10. Santogold – Santogold

The Best Thing that Happened to Me  This Year

So many great things happened this year. I am very fortunate to have the life that I do. The most pivotal would have to be discovering Dzogchen, which is a form of Zen Buddhism. It has helped me so much with my day to day life and my constant pursuit to live without fear and see the world in the present moment.

The Strangest Thing that Happened to Me This Year

Being hired to play for Miniature Tigers. Those guys are weird.

My Favorite Holiday Memory

Miniature Tigers had a foosball match at The Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco right before a gig. Rick and I totally spanked Charlie and Lou in what can only be described as 8 rows of foos men, which are plastic, metal, wooden, or sometimes carbon-fibre figures mounted on horizontal metal bars. Each team of 1, 2, or 3 human players controls 4 rows of foos men. There is talk of a rematch but no dates have been confirmed.

Fun and Games with The Miniature Tigers *CMJ Interview*

The Miniature Tigers have quickly become one of my favorite new bands this year and I was very excited to hear they were coming to New York City for CMJ. We (As in Me and my CMJ Photographer extraordinare, Maribeth) were lucky enough to meet up and talk with the band at their first time at CMJ and New York for that matter.  Not only do The Miniature Tigers make flawless indie pop songs that will be stuck in your head for days, they are also the nicest guys you could ever have the chance of meeting. After their stellar set at Fat Babys in the Lower East Side, we headed over to the resturant across the street with Charlie, Rick and Lou (Daggrr was missing) to begin the most fun interview I’ve personally ever experienced.

MM: How did the band form?
Charlie: I started writings songs in like 2005, and I had known Rick a little bit then. I had been from Arizona but was living in LA and Rick was in LA. Me and Rick had started collaborating out there
Waitress Interupts: Are you ready to order?
Charlie: We need another minute

Rick: Yea, wait, can I get a coke?

Charlie: And then we kind of got the band going like that and then it was kind of Me and Rick and friends filling in. Then I moved back to Arizona and thats where we got Lou here and another friend of ours Daggrr who also plays what us now.

Maribeth: Thats a bad ass name

MM: It sounds German

Maribeth: Daggrr does not sound German, it sounds bad ass (laughs)

Lou: Daggrr is definatly not German (laughs)

 

 

Charlie: And we then kind of started doing that, jamming

I hear that one of you lives in California, and that one has moved back to Arizona. Does that make playing shows and writing more difficult?

Charlie: Definatley. Like we all live in Arizona and Rick still lives in California. So its a little difficult to practice, like he’ll come out for like a week before we have a show.

Rick: Honestly, sometimes we just hang out. We’re probably the most unorganized band in the world.

Where did the name Miniature Tigers come from?

Charlie: Um, I don’t know, it kind of like doesn’t mean anything

Rick: Its not that interesting

At this point the waitress brings Rick a can of soda with a wine glass.

MM: Thats a fancy glass

Rick: Yes it is! This is not normal. Its over the top

MM: The straw is a nice touch

Rick: Its not necessary though

So how is your first National tour?

Charlie: Um, well actually we supposed to go on tour, and then the other band we were touring with kind of like flaked out on us. The tour fell through. So we haven’t been on tour yet.

Rick: Its our first time playing outside of California and Arizonia. Its pretty exciting.

MM: So its your first time at CMJ?

Rick: Yea, its defaintly our first time at CMJ.

MM: Is it your first time in New York?

Charlie: Yea.

Rick: Its pretty wild.

MM:  Try not to get shot.

Lou: My mother was right.

Rick: Don’t walk alone! Carry your money in your shoe.

Charlie: Unless your shoe gets stolen and you’re screwed.

MM: Then you’re out of a shoe and money!

Do you have any good tour stories so far?

Lou: Um, there was that drive a couple of weeks ago in LA when we got stuck on the highway.

Charlie: Yea, we were driving back from a place, and it closed, and we driving like an all night drive. And at around like 4 o’clock in the morning, traffic just stopped and people were just getting out of their cars and sitting there for 2 hours.

Lou: It made for a pretty fun time

Rick: Didn’t some guy get decapitated?

Charlie: Yea.

Lou: I think so!

Charlie: Yea it was a big deal.

Rick: Wow thats deep…

Maribeth: Did you just say ‘neat?!’

Rick: No, ‘deep’ not ‘neat’!

Charlie: Thats horrible, have a heart! (laughs)

Lou: Its not a good way to go.

MM: Who are your influences? New and Old?

Charlie: Um, I’m really influenced by The Beatles, and I guess right now, my big influence now is a band called Department of Eagles, and I recently got into Grizzly Bear, jumping on the bandwagon a little late, but yea, the album is really good.

Rick: Harry Nilsson

Charlie: Yea, Harry Nilsson. He did an album called ‘Nilsson Sings Newman’, Its Nilson singing Newman songs and its really fantastic.

Rick: The Kinks are a big one.

Charlie: Yea, The Kinks, ABBA.

Lou: ABBA (laughs)

Rick: ABBA, you got to respect ABBA.

MM: Are you surprised by the amount of attention you have been getting within the indie community?

Charlie: Yea absolutely, its really surprising, its just like we kind of got started doing this for fun, and we just started goofing off in the bedroom, you know. Its really crazy from going and reading about CMJ to actually being here as a band, it hasn’t even really sunk in that we’re here. Its too cool.

MM: Especially with the internet and blogs, the word about bands spreads so much faster than it would 10 years ago.

What do you enjoy more, being in the recording studio or playing live?

Rick: Tough question. I like them both! I mean, live is pretty special, but being in the studio is pretty fun too.

Charlie: Being in the studio is like really fun, but its a short lived thing. But live is really fun, lately i’ve been enjoying live alot, because its like, we finally have this band.

Rick: I like live because you get to meet a lot of people, and in the studio you’re with the same three people. But its all fun, a really good time.

MM:  Until someone dies

Rick: Yea, or gets decapitated!

Maribeth:Neat!

Lou: That was pretty neat.

MM:  How does the songwriting for the Miniature Tigers come about? Is it more of a collaboration?

Charlie: Usually it starts with me, and I work on a demo. With this album I had all these demos in  Garage Band, and then me and Rick kind of went over them, and then in the studio we kind of reapproached them, re-recorded them, and Rick would come up with parts and we’d sort of collaborate on them. It really started to take shape kind of as a collaborative thing.

Why did you release ‘The White Magic EP’ and the ‘The Black Magic EP’ at the same time, but decided not to release them as one album?

Charlie: I don’t know! We had these songs recorded, we had demo sessions before our most recent, and then they were just sitting around, but we really didn’t want to put it out as an album I guess. I think someone else brought up the idea of it and we thought it was really cool to seperate the two. I don’t know. We don’t remember actually.

Rick: You have a beautiful brain there Charlie.

Who came up with the idea for the ‘Cannibal Queen’ video?

Charlie: This guy named J.D. who does this series called Yacht Rock, sent us an treatment over the internet, and it was his idea, and we just kind of ran with it.

Rick: Fun, fun time. Fun day!

What was the first song you personally ever wrote or recorded? And how bad was it…or good?

Charlie: It was like ‘Burn babyyyyy’ (sings)

Lou: Burning? Yearning?

Charlie: It was something really bad. It could have even been a metal song or something.

Rick: I think we both started writing music kind of Weezer inspired, so I know when we first started sending music to each other along time ago, it was veryBuddy Holly-esque and stuff, you know? Weezer rip off….not to throw you under the bus (looks at Charlie) laughs.

What was the first record you brought?

Rick: Ohhhh

Lou: I’m really dating myself, I think it was the Stray Cats ‘Greatest Hit.’

Charlie: Greatest Hit?’

Lou: Greatest Hit. They only had one!

Rick: I think mine was Bush ‘Sixteen Stone’

Charlie: I had a few CDs at the same time. I think it was Nirvana ‘Unplugged’, ‘The Crow’ Soundtrack (laughs)

Rick: I had that too!

Lou: I forgot that existed!

(laughs)

Charlie: I don’t know, when you’re younger, you don’t even know. Like you don’t know the difference between The Beatles and the Crow Soundtrack.

 

What was the first instrument that you learned to play?

Lou: Bass, its the only instrument I know how to play really. (laughs)

Charlie: How about you Rick?

Rick: The piano, yep. My Mom made me take piano when I was young.

Charlie: I took violin lessons when I was 2.

Rick: 2?!

Charlie: I learned how to play ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, like barely maybe. Then I played the drums.

Lou: I’m just picturing a tiny baby sized violin.

Rick: We both played the Saxophone too in Elementry.

Charlie: For a week.

Rick: And then realized it was the worse instrument there is.

Maribeth: In our school you could be in the orchestra first, but then in 5th grade, you could be in the band. I played the flute…

Rick: You got to enter the band, yep. I wanted to play the clarinet.

Charlie: I was always bitter of anyone who wasn’t drums, because they made drums sit out.

Who was your first musical obession?

Lou: I was pretty into Guns n’ Roses when I was a kid.

Rick: Yea?

Lou: Yea, but I didn’t know how messed up ‘Appetite for Destruction’ was when I was a kid. (laughs)

Charlie: Yea, Guns n’ Roses were so cool back then, I watched them with my Grandma on Headbangers Ball like trashing a hotel room.

The waitress reappears asking if we want anything to eat.

Charlie: No, no, still no. You know what, a diet coke. (pause) Actually I want to cancel the diet coke.

The waitress seemed even more unpleasant after that, and gave Charlie the look of death.

Charlie: ‘Pinkerton,’ was a really a big influence. It was probably the first album I was really obsessed with.

Rick: Andrew Lloyd Weber was a big one for me. I got pretty hooked on him.

MM: Phantom of the Opera?

Rick: Yea, my favorite

MM: Did he do Cats?

Rick: Can I say something? I thought Cats was horrible. Well I went to see it and I was like ‘Really?’ I listened to the Sound of Music soundtrack before I saw the movie. But when I saw the movie and knew all the music, it was way cooler.

Charlie: I’ve never seen Phantom of the Opera, but I love the music.

Rick: *A loud Gasp comes from Rick* Unbelievable! I get emotional everytime I see it.

Lou: Its very sad.

Rick: Yea, very sad. 

MM:  What was the first concert that you attended?

Charlie: Aerosmith.

Lou: Technically it was Santana or something like that but I was only like 2 so that doesn’t even count. I think the first concert I willingly attended was like, Bush I think. They played with like The Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt.

Charlie: Its like a powerhouse!

Rick: Ohh baby!

Lou: Yea it was a powerhouse showing.

Charlie: What about you Rick?

Rick: My parents were big into country so I saw like, George Strait, and Chubby Checker actually. But my first willing concert was actually I think Weezer, and then after that I saw Britney Spears

Lou: Really?

Rick: Yea maybe that was before Weezer actually, because I was big into the Weez. 

Where do you see the band in 5 years?

Rick: Hanging out with God.

Charlie: Reaching the hand of God….(laughs) Maybe on a cruise, or playing on a cruise.

Rick: I hope in twenty years we’re playing like Disneyland and stuff, we’re balding and…maybe one of those PBS specials where we’re balding and old and still playing guitar.

Charlie: We’ll be playing ‘Cannibal Queen’.

MM: Like one of those fundraiser things where you have to pay 150 dollars…

Charlie: The one thing though, is like, you see The Zombies and they’re all old….and i’m like ‘oh you’re so good, don’t do this!’

Rick: You got to cut it off at some point. You got to have your dignity.

A year ago, do you think you’d be where you are now?

Charlie: No, not at all.

Rick: Yea, Charlie and I talked about that, how kind of fast the band progressed. Just from him coming over to my house one night and we had talked on like AIM and stuff for years before we actually met. Then he just came over and we jammed out and then like a year later, we’re playing cool shows. It happened pretty fast. Its really awesome.

Charlie: Yea its surprising just reading about it and stuff, and kind of thinking that it doesn’t even seem like a reality. Its really great. Its such a surprise.

Rick: *Slams table and yells YEAH!’

MM: You scared the crap out of me!

Rick: Sorry about that!

Charlie: You’re a loudmouth Rick! (laughs)

If you weren’t in the Miniature Tigers, what would you be doing?

Rick: I don’t know, probably have some dead end job or something.

Lou: I worked at a Bakery for a while. That was pretty miserable.

Charlie: Was it hot?

Lou: It was.

Charlie: Maybe film school or I’d be working at McDonalds.

Lou: I’d be working at McDonalds with Charlie. I’d be his manager. I can aspire to that.

MM: Something to fall back on.

Charlie: Yea, its always there.

Rick: The Golden Arches are going strong.

What board game can you kick anyone’s ass at? Its a real serious question.

Charlie: Scattergories, is that a board game?

Rick: Whats Scattergories?

Charlie: When you roll a letter and you have to name things with the same letter. We played it on my Birthday! I’m not good at it but I like to play it.

Rick: Board games aren’t my strong point, but Charlie and I dabble in video games once in a while. Super Smash Bros., I mean I’m not going to hype ourselves up but we’re pretty kick ass. The whole time we were recording the album, I think every night for a good hour we played Super Smash Bros. Its nothing to be proud of.

MM: Thats like us with Excite Bike.

Maribeth: Excite Bike is a great game.

Charlie: Oh yea Excite Bike is great.

Maribeth: She still has the original Nintendo and all the games and everything still works.

Rick: Nice!

Lou: Thats a rare thing to have happen. Usually they crapped out after a while. You had to blow in the game.

Charlie: Yea the cartridge and the system, you had to blow in it.

Rick: Who was the person who said ‘Lets stop blowing into things and get different technology?’ You don’t blow in anything now. You’ll like break yoursystem if you do that.

MM: Or get electricuted.

Rick: I used to tape music videos I liked.

Lou: So did I.

Maribeth: Remember when you had to tape songs off of the radio and you had like the disc jockey talking over the beginning?

MM: Yea you had to wait all day for your song to come on.

Charlie: I guess we do have the technology now, but I miss tapes. There was something magical about that.

Rick: This digital age is too easy. Thats why I don’t have an Ipod. Charlie let me borrow his and it is convienent and nice, but man, when you have so much music, you get ADD.

At this point a man comes into the resturant trying to sell us lighted glowing things on a string and approaches the table. Rick sees them and says ‘No thanks, we’re good.’ Lou responds ‘I should have told him I have epilepsy’.

Maritbeth: (to Rick) Are you enjoying your soda?

Rick: Its pretty amazing.

MM: How come you got such a fancy soda and Charlie didn’t?

Rick: I know, sorry Charlie.

Charlie: Yea that waitress hates me.

Daggrr enters.

Daggrr: Hey guys, how you doing in here? Its cold out there!

Charlie: This is the guy with the bad ass name, Daggrr.

Maribeth: Daggrr, thats a bad ass name.

MM: Is it German? I think its German.

Daggrr: No its not German. My real name is Lawrence.

MM: That was a hard left turn.

Daggrr: Its off the record. Its Daggrr, D-a-g-g-r-r if you want to look me up on the internet. I didn’t know you were actually running audio, thats GREAT! (Laughs)

Check out The Miniature Tigers on their Myspace.