Shiny Toy Guns, the L.A. band whose debut album 'We Are Pilots' was nominated for a Grammy in 2006, is not only back with a new album, 'III,' after four years. They've also reunited with singer Carah Faye, who left the band after that auspicious debut.
We caught up with bassist/keyboardist Jeremy Dawson to talk about why the latest record took so long to record, how Taylor Swift is affecting the album's release date (October 22) and what Shiny Toy Guns were doing with 1,000 club kids from Burning Man.
Why the hiatus?
The hiatus that we took was not really by choice. In a weird way, it was sort of a natural life pattern evolution for the band. When we reunited with Carah and put everything back together, we knew that the only thing that we could do would be to make the best album that we could possibly make.
It took about three years to make the record. We don’t write 50 songs and then carve them down to 20. We don’t write like that. If it’s not good, we just delete it and throw it away and start over. It had to be right or it just wouldn’t make any sense. If we put the band back together and then put out a mediocre record that would be it.
Is 'III' the best representation of the Shiny Toy Guns sound?
For today, yes. The first album was the best album of who we were in 2006. 'Season of Poison' was the best representation of the band in 2008 and 'III' is the best representation of who we are right now. They are moments. They are not rankable albums. All an album is is a reflection of your art at that time. Whether it’s commercially viable or not, that’s up to people and media and whether or not we wrote good songs, basically.
How are you going to celebrate 'III' being releases?
We’re going to be on the road. October 22 is the actual release date now thanks to Taylor Swift though, which is crazy. It was supposed to be on October 23, on Tuesday, when all [album] releases come out. Her album is going to be the biggest release in the past 10 years in the music industry. She said, “My record is coming out on Monday. F-ck you.” So everybody went, “So is our record.”
We got an email from Sony saying, “We’re putting your record out on Monday because Taylor’s record is coming out Monday.” The labels didn’t want her to get all the love and have her own day so they moved all the releases for that week to Monday. It’s super weird.
What do you hope to accomplish with this new record?
On a sonic level, all the feelings and trauma and emotion that happen in our personal life – we want to sum that up to the best of our abilities in a way of vagueness so that other people that listen to it – which is the other half of the marriage of music. We want people to be able to apply it to their lives and hopefully take something from it that moves them to a better place from where they were before.
You’ve also been creating webisodes for 'III.'
We’ve been shooting all weekend. We’re doing one for every song. They are like three-minute movies. Each webisode correlates to each song and everybody that worked on the song and wrote the song is interviewed. It cuts back and forth. It’s really cool but I had no idea how much work that would be. We also just shot the video for 'Fading Listening' for 15 hours.
What’s the most creative webisode so far?
'Wait for Me' is my favorite. We took a bunch of guys with a bunch of [Canon] 7Ds into Bar Sinister but this time with all the club kids back from Burning Man so there’s like 1,000 people.
They shot the whole club and it fades in and out of that with all these close ups and all this crazy shit. And then it fades down when Chad screams in the song and it cuts to the ocean in a very trauma based slow-mo. The camera slowly pans over and out of no where, fully clothed, you see Carah jump out of the water like a dolphin and she falls back into the water and just fades to black and that’s it – really dramatic. All of them are very dramatic. 'Japanese' is Carah and I jumping off cliffs in ATVs.
- Tornado chasing with Shiny Toy Guns
- Shiny Toy Guns ready to face The Roots at Red Bull Soundclash Atlanta
- Listen to Foreign Beggars new album 'The Uprising'