Currently on a huge tour of the UK, Glasswerk caught up with US hot shots Shiny Toy Guns. In the back of the their tour bus, Glasswerk talks to Jeremy from the band.
G: Hey Jeremy, how’s the tour going?
J: It’s good.
G: Do you have a favourite place from those you’ve toured?
J: Um, I’m referring to the best show; last night was the best show so far of the whole
tour. But this [Cardiff] is the most fun city. I actually didn’t work all day long, we
were being amused all day, and we did the castle and the whole tour thing. Our
opening band we’re touring with are from Swansea, Viva Machine. So there’s been raving Welsh parties every single night. It’s mostly big University towns we play, so all the Welsh students are all like, oooh yeah, with drinks flying everywhere and food fights in the dressing room. It’s crazy, so much fun though.
G: This is a pretty big tour isn’t it?
J: 38 in a row, yeah, I think we’re on 22 tonight, 21 or 22.
G: Wow, how do you find being so far away from home?
J: You have to remember, that this is our home. Our last tour was 16 months long and it’s totally easier for me because I literally don’t have a home; I’m a homeless
guy. I mean, it’s just retarded to spend money on a flat every month while your
roommate’s just like hanging out with the place to myself. Some of us, like Chad, Mike and Carah live with their parents so they miss their families and stuff. Chad has a house and everything in Oklahoma and a daughter, a little baby girl. So you know, it’s tough, but we fly people to us and we have these (Jeremy points to his Blackberry,) and laptops and we’re just used to it.
G: You said last night was your best gig, have you had a really good reaction from your audiences?
J: Generally yes, I mean like 90% is totally amazing and really cool. The only ones that weren’t as cool were those NME 18+ shows on Mondays and Tuesdays. For
instance, Newcastle, we only played to like 50 people, but it’s huge. We played
Huddersfield the night before, no- Sunderland to like 450 people just screaming their
heads off. The NME shows, half the NME shows are amazing, but um sometimes the 18+ ones are eliminating your 14, 15, 16, 17 year olds and the Monday is a little pricier and the bands don’t go on till like 12.30; if you have classes the next morning or a 9am test, you’re not going to stay out til 3am, cos you’re gonna drink and see your friends, then wake up with a huge hangover. They also don’t promote that
well. Promoters think that, oh it’s an NME night, NME will give us the advertising. You don’t see them breaking their backs for the show as they figure the crowd’s gonna come.
G: You’ve probably been asked this question countless times, but how did Shiny Toy Guns
all come about?
J: Well it’s like a combination of music and talent. Chad and I, the lead
singer and I, have been writing music for about 16 years, since we were little kids. We
grew up together and this is just kind of the pinnacle of all that. We’ve done like every style of music, unsuccessfully, we started being little punk-rock boys and did the grunge thing, the rave thing, the psych-rock thing, the indie thing; we did everything and now it’s like we took it all and mashed it into one band. Then we looked for the perfect drummer and perfect female interpretation of our stuff and found Mikey and Carah, who are close friends of ours, so we just made a band about 3 years ago.
G: So when you were the punk-rock boys, what first influenced you?
J: There wasn’t like a band or a record that directly effected the band or this
record. But, we listened to everything from Pink Floyd to The Charlatans, James, Blur, Pulp and Oasis, so we’re 90s kids. That’s all the stuff we had, that we were getting from our local record store. But we were from Oklahoma, which is kinda in the middle of nowhere. Oklahoma is not a port city where you get all this culture
coming in from, like LA or New York or anything. Whatever we got our hands on we just listened to it furiously, that was probably an impact on our music.
G: If you could tour or collaborate with anyone..?
J: Muse, we have the new live DVD in here, which is depressing for us all to watch, we’re all like (Jeremy pulls a disgruntled, hopeless face,) so you watch it and just wanna go home.
G: For anyone unfamiliar, how would you sum up Shiny Toy Guns?
J: We’re basically a future-forward rock band. We’re a very optimistic band, we’re
not hippies or promote smiley faces or anything. But we promote lyrically, I mean, there is fear and anger and pain in the world, which is a pretty normal and well-used target for a song; we visit these emotions too, but we always bring them to a point where there’s an end, like a light at the end of a tunnel that you can get through.
We’ve been through everything that others have been through and we’re still going through it. The key word is hope instead of dismay and we lyrically try to challenge people to be amazing things they want to be, instead of shrouding themselves in depression.
G: That’s a refreshing sentiment, (Jeremy laughs and grins.) Your album ‘We Are Pilots’ is out on March 19th and is a revised version, what is the difference from the original?
J: The way it is, it’s the same record that came out in America, but is has an extra song and different artwork. The 3 version story is really has been blown way out of
proportion to what actually happened. In America, like any indie band in any country, we made a demo, put all our money together and made copies- like a thousand, we got in a crap van and toured. While we toured, we wrote new songs, we started to get tired of some songs, we realised some songs aren’t the right songs and we had ideas for some new songs. Then we got home and had a bunch of new photos from our photographer and we like tweaked the demo. We moved some songs, took some off and added a couple more, changed the artwork and made another thousand. Then we did a huge tour, had a little bit of money saved up and borrowed a ridiculous amount of money on a friend’s Visa-, which we still owe. We went to New York and just gutted the whole record and re-recorded the whole thing- from ground zero. Again, adding a few more, taking away a few more. Again, completely different artwork and photography. But, who has one of those 2,000? Well maybe 2,000 people if you can find it- we had a girl come up to us in Nottingham with version 2 and
someone came up to us in Scotland with version 1. It was still shrink-wrapped. We were like, Hey!, cos even we don’t have it. Literally no, we have it on our I-Tunes, but we don’t have the actual cd, you know they’re very hard to find so anything you get is always going to be version 3. The V3 is the only distributed record- everything else is just out of the trunk of our car.
G: So what does the future of Shiny Toy Guns look like?
J: Um, more countries. We’re of a global mind span, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland,
Alaska, Siberia, all of Canada, Mexico- the south. We’re doing some Nordic, Scandinavian stuff before we come back over and [support] Fall Out Boy in England. Just more shows and more exotic type shows, reaching out to more areas.
G: Thank you for talking to Glasswerk, good luck with the rest of the tour!