What have you been up to since releasing Haunts last year?
We did some touring to promote the album. Lately we’ve been taking a break from shows to work on new stuff. I’m also working on some solo material that goes in a different direction. The solo project is more acoustic and more laid-back. I’ve been playing a lot of acoustic guitar lately.
Are you happy with the feedback the album received after launch?
Well, it could always be better. But we got a lot of feedback from people who said they really connected with the record, and that’s really gratifying to hear. I heard from a few people who said the album helped them through difficult personal stuff, which is kind of humbling and awesome for us to think about, because we both have music that’s done that for us. We got more radio play than we expected, which was exciting.
I know in the past you (Greg) worked as a foreign correspondent, and you (Cason) worked as a social worker. Both of those jobs can take a serious toll on you, both physically and mentally. How much of that made it into your writing?
Yea, a lot of it did, indirectly at least. I think writing music personally tends to be a process of figuring out what’s been happening in my inner emotional life, and then kind of sketching that. The lyrics are often a flight of fancy based on the feeling that I’m going for, if that makes sense, rather than a history if literal events. So yes, experience is the material you start with.
Does the reward of working with music help to stave off any potential burnout vs having a standard job?
Making music is awesome. If I never had to worry about money, I’d just make music for the rest of my life. Most musicians that I know cobble together some kind of make-shift, duct-taped lifestyle that lets them survive the unpredictability. Often the hardest part is creating the time and space that you need to actually get the music done.
I feel that one of the things that set you apart from other electronic bands is that the vocals in your songs have remained more or less untouched. How did you come upon that aesthetic?
We experimented with a lot of different approaches, and this is where we ended up..at least for now. Also, it kind of seemed like a lot of other bands are washing their vocals out with tons of delay and reverb. It’s cool, I dig that, but we just decided to go the other way.
After the release of your first album, Those of Us Still Alive, you toured with bands like Ra Ra Riot, White Denim, and Maps & Atlases. Did any of your experiences during those tours influence the writing for Haunts?
Yeah. First of all, the dudes in Maps & Atlases and White Denim are probably the nicest guys in rock n’ roll. When you play with other bands, it kind of helps you frame your thinking about the music you want to make.
Do you have any specific memories of your time spent touring? What stands out to you about the experience?
Lots of couches. One of the best parts about touring for me is getting to meet so many rad people that we wouldn’t have met otherwise. We made a lot of friends we wouldn’t have gotten to know any other way. Also, when you drive around in a tour van a lot, listening to music, you start to realize how many songs are basically about life on the road.
New York holds some of the best venues. Do you have a favorite?
I like the old Glasslands. It was closed a little while back, but we played there a lot and I have good memories of the place.
So what’s coming up in the future of Tiny Victories?
New material, though it’s hard to say when. We’re giving ourselves time. At some point, we’ll need to put pressure on ourselves again to actually finish a new album. I find that, no matter how much work I think it will take to finish a record, it turns out to be more work than I thought.