Unlike many other genres and music communities, the indie/alt culture appreciates new and rising artists that create diversity and new insights within the genre.
We constantly feature notable indie and alternative artists on the verge of success. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview, the Brooklyn based 4-piece known as TIIIDAL:
We recently talked in-depth with half of TIIIDAL, Jordan Taylor and Andrew Smith, to find out more about the group's influences, creative process, and of course their take on all things alternative culture. Read on to find out more about this amazing artist, but first check out their new music video for hit single Meridian after the break.
The single and it's video are an amazing showcase of this group's talent and vision. If you're as amazed as we are, read on to get inside these guys' minds in our exclusive interview.
Jordan Taylor: Around when I was turning 12, I think I listened to Sgt. Pepper on cassette while going to sleep every night for the whole year. Other late-Beatles albums soon followed. One time during lunch in 6th grade, a friend an I sang every word to the White Album, in order, start to finish (except for 'Revolution #9', but I forgive me). Some other formidable albums of that time were Dark Side of the Moon and Déjà vu, all thanks to my parents; I was steeped in classic rock. If we're talking about my three most influential albums of all time, that's a different question. I've branched out since then.
Andrew Smith: Fugazi - Repeater: I can remember clearly this being the first album where I said to myself, "I want to be in a band." Their music is serious but they sound like they're having so much fun doing it. Unique song structures and excellent riffage by all members. And two lead singers!
Nirvana - In Utero: In Utero really opened me up to the idea of extreme variety being not only acceptable but preferable on one record. Songs as pretty as "Dumb" and as harsh as "Scentless Apprentice" shouldn't work together but they do, and they're the two best tracks on the album.
Elliott Smith - Either/Or: My introduction to bedroom-produced songwriting, which made me realize I can write and come up with complex melodies without the benefit of time, space, elaborate equipment, or people.
What are your fondest musical memories?
JT: Since I've already brought up Pink Floyd, I remember listening to Wish You Were Here one night during my early weed years and feeling like I could pick apart every instrument and focus on it independently concurrently. I probably could. When that first Gilmour solo hits during 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)'? Watch out!
As a band my answer is more general, but I really like it when we tiiidalize a new song. We are very collaborative in the rehearsal space, but in the inception phase typically either Andrew or I will come in with a new song we've been working on. Thankfully none of us are particularly hung up on "this is the way it should go," so it's really nice to hear our babies get filled out by everyone else and hopefully take unexpected turns.
AS: I'll piggyback off of Jordan's answer here, my favorite memory is probably a Dark Side of the Moon laser light show on mushrooms with a bunch of friends. Yea man!
As a band I had a blast recording songs over the winter. We not only got some unexpected results but we improved our live shows by focusing on the details and the tones.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
JT: I can't stop listening to new music, there's just so much being written these days. Some of my favorite albums from this year are Villagers - Darling Arithmetic, The Black Ryder - The Door Behind the Door, and Viet Cong - Viet Cong. Other than new music, it depends on where the evening leads. Tonight it lead to Bill Evans. But, you know, everybody digs Bill Evans.
AS: Always digging through the 70's for new stuff, the emergence of heavier rock, punk rock, glam, and new wave is a ton of fun to listen to. I've always been a contemporary indie rock fan at heart though, I still consume tons of new stuff.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
JT: I love Bill Callahan. I'd love to stick some harmonies and some sweet, sweet guitar notes into his empty spaces.
AS: Someone who could challenge me to think/process differently; maybe someone like Ariel Pink or James Murphy.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process?
JT: When it comes to improvising guitar melodies, I can pick something out at any time in most styles; but when it comes to songwriting, I'm a loner. Typically it's me, an acoustic guitar, a notebook, and some emotional lubricants.
AS: I tend to have entire ideas that come to me which I try and flesh out myself, being as we have limited time as a group. I'll bring them in and we tend to let them morph into whatever they become. It can be challenging to let go of some control you want over specifics, but it allows the songs to become a group's vision as opposed to an individual's. Put it this way: if you're a huge music consumer like me you can listen to a song and go, "I see what they're doing there with the Talking Heads/Pavement mix. But when three other people get their creative hands on it, it has the chance to take on entirely new soundscapes.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
JT: Clearly there are positives and negatives. As a musician, music sharing is helpful for getting your music to the widest audience possible, which is really what it's all about. We are a fledgling band, and just released our first single, 'Meridian'. Not that our numbers a through the roof, but we never would have reached as many ears as we did without the world wide web. On the other hand, if you're trying to get paid (which the man will have you believe is "what it's all about"), it seems more difficult now that music is free. Spotify really drives this home.
As a consumer, I love having Nikhil Banerjee at my fingertips. But, as an artist, streaming services pay less than a pittance. Clearly the new model has arrived (I rarely delve into my 1TB iTunes library these days), but there is going to have to be some reconfiguring soon so that the "creative types" can afford to be creative. Damon Krukowski (of Galaxy 500) wrote a nice opinion piece a few years ago where he poked a lot of holes in the Spotify model (from an artist's standpoint), but then spoiled it at the end by saying that, as a consumer, he loves it. Sad but true.
AS: I think the variety of music being made these days is vast, and that's what the digital age has accomplished for us. But I'm not sure it's as personable or it has as much longevity. I remember records' shelf lives being months and months and even years, but nowadays you're lucky for a month or so.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
JT: We're consistently working on new stuff, which is always exciting. We're trying to finish our debut album right now. We need to get a few more tracks down on virtual tape, but we've got 'em! Our next single to follow Meridian is called Better, and it's slated for a release [later this summer].
AS: Practicing, trying to get better as a live band, harnessing all of the intricate tones we come up with on record in hopes of replicating them live. More recording, more writing.
Thanks once again to the guys from TIIIDAL for talking with us. You can stay up to date with them via the social links below. We'll keep you updated with all their upcoming releases, so stay tuned for their next single Better.
Great news for those in New York area! Celebrating their new video release, TIIIDAL will be playing a show at Cameo Gallery tomorrow on Friday, July 31st. It's 21+. Get your tickets early, you most certainly won't want to miss an intimate show with what is likely to be the next it group to emerge from Brooklyn.