Charlie Brand , 2009


Written by: Jason Perlman


I would guess living in the sun everyday would cause some hallucinations that make for good songwriting. Do you think you would have the same approach growing up somewhere else?
I wrote half the album in Arizona and the other half in Los Angeles. I'm not sure if growing up in Arizona had any influence on my music. I think music is more influenced by life experience.


How difficult was it to find like-minded musicians to play with when such a clear vision has already been established?
I was very lucky to find Rick. We had found each other through Myspace and had loved each other’s music. It's a pretty easy going thing. Check his music out, Alvin Band ( His stuff is great. We have been through a lot of guitar and bass players, each bringing their own unique vibe to the band. I think we're still trying to find our vision.

Miniature Tigers is going on tour with Ben Folds which may be one of the most underrated songwriters today. Do think the emphasis on songwriting has diminished as commercialism increases?
Unfortunately, a lot of people write music geared towards getting a spot in grey's anatomy or a tide commercial. I don't think there is anything wrong with music licensing because that’s how bands make money these days. However, there are a lot of people writing music they know will be more marketable. That makes me cry tears of blood.


The nice thing in this tough economy is people are looking at new outlets to get their music as larger labels continue to not sign as many bands and not spend the time and money to allow new talent to grow. Has the Miniature Tigers benefited from this?
We're on an independent label that is funded by a major. So it's the major label resources with the unlimited artistic freedom of  the independent. We just happen to be in a very lucky situation.


 I can totally relate to the song The Wolf because everywhere I go people want to go home with me(ok, not really). But how much do you write for you and how much do you want others to relate?
I usually write for myself and rarely think of others. I'm always surprised when someone relates to a song I've written. I think people find their own meanings in music.


You have Weezer in your top friends on Myspace and they have this free spirit with their music that comes through with Miniature Tigers as well. How seriously do you take yourself and the band as a whole?
We take music very seriously. I love writing music and enjoy the artistic process of making an album. We just don't take ourselves too seriously.

How influenced were you by Arizona over music you found elsewhere?
Very little, I don't like desert jams. I'm more into ABBA, The Beatles, Kinks, Department of Eagles and Animal Collective.


Tell It To The Volcano comes out Feb. 17. How excited are you about the release?
Very Excited! We worked really hard on the album and feel proud about it. I can't wait for other people to hear it.


It seemed as though when you moved from Arizona to Los Angeles you had a clear vision of Miniature Tigers. Has that vision changed at all with the realization of what it takes to record, have other musicians and get heard?
I didn't know any musicians in Arizona. I knew rick was in LA so I moved out there to start up the live band. I love Arizona but I was burnt out on the desert.  I lived in LA for a year then moved back to Arizona. I love LA and it was fun but people are phony out there and it has its own problems. We recorded the album in Arizona but I'm not sure it has that sound.

Barack Obama was just inaugurated a few days ago. Whether from an historic, personal or political standpoint, what does that mean to you?
It means a lot to me. I voted for him and felt so excited when he won. The country needs change and I believe he's the man to do it. Historically, it's amazing that we've gone from segregation to electing an African-American president to office. On a side note:  We need to allow homosexuals equal rights.


You moved to LA because you knew music was what you wanted to do in life. Now that it is happening, how surprising is it and is it all you thought it would be?
I'm in tour right now with my best friends getting to play music every night. I am living the dream!


Lastly, it was in 2006 that Rolling Stone noticed the band on Myspace and named it in the Top 25. It is now a few years later. Is this where you thought the band would be?
I thought we'd be doing 10 sold out nights back to back at Wembley Stadium, but this is nice too.