Miniature Tigers singer talks about their 'awesome' year -- plus his favorite tunes by Kanye West, Katy Perry, and Simon and Garfunkel

miniature-tigersImage Credit: Jason Kempin/WireImage for Entertainment WeeklyMiniature Tigers are one of our favorite new indie bands here at the Music Mix, so we were thrilled to have them headline our latest EW Lounge event highlighting emerging artists. The Brooklyn foursome delighted the crowd last night at Good Units, a hip subterranean spot in Midtown NYC. Amiable singer Charlie Brand (pictured at right) wore a bright red poncho and brandished an acoustic guitar decorated with Dharma Initiative stickers as he led the band through selections from their latest LP, Fortress — twinkly indie-pop confections that burst into blazing noise when required. Tunes like the excellently titled “Rock and Roll Mountain Troll,” “Bullfighter Jacket,” and “Mansions of Misery” were choice highlights. If Miniature Tigers’ career keeps gaining momentum like it has been lately, everyone who saw them in that little room yesterday will have definite bragging rights.

A few minutes before Miniature Tigers’ set, Brand and I stepped outside for a quick chat. “It’s been a really awesome year so far,” he beamed. “We released a record before this, and it was just a lot of struggling to get anywhere. This time, it’s been a little easier. A lot of doors have opened up for us… We played three shows with the Walkmen. I was a fan of those guys long before we even had a band! And we played Lollapalooza, which was nuts.”

The band has spent most of the year touring, and they’re about to hit the road again. They’re also itching to record some new music. “Just the last few days, we have been talking about going into the studio next year, maybe April, and hoping to release something next December,” said Brand. While it’s too early to know what the next Miniature Tigers album will sound like, he has an idea: “Are you familiar with Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water? For a whole tour, that’s all I listened to. So I want to make our Bridge Over Troubled Water, but with synths, or something.”

Upon discovering that we were both S&G aficionados, Brand and I compared our favorite tunes from that classic 1970 LP. He loves “Song for the Asking” and “Baby Driver”; I chose “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright” and “The Only Living Boy in New York”; and we both agree on the timeless title track and “The Boxer.”

Brand has been also jamming out to plenty of more contemporary hits. “We listen to a lot of Hot 97 when we’re here,” he said. “Drake is awesome. I loved Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ — everybody in the band s—s on me for it, but I just think it’s such a great song.” Along with the rest of the world, Brand is eagerly anticipating Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “I’ve been following [Kanye] on Twitter. He’s my man right now. I’m really excited to hear his album. I loved his ‘banned’ album cover — I hope he just ends up saying ‘f— it’ and uses it.”

Any other Miniature Tigers fans out there? Make yourselves known in the comments!

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter:@EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (9 total) Add your comment
  • Spencer

    I still can’t believe they struggled after their first album. I had to order it from Florida because no one had it!

  • Ben

    Love “Tell it to the Volcano.” The album, and especially the title track.

  • Chris

    I saw the Tigers open for Ben Folds in Feb ’09 and couldn’t believe they weren’t huge already. I was nervous that FORTRESS wouldn’t be able to hold up to their first album but has happily proved wrong. Can’t wait to hear what their next album will sound like!

  • Heather Ann

    Miniature Tigers quickly became my favorite band of this year. Their previous work is wonderful and Fortress was a perfect step forward for them. Not to mention they are incredible live and some really genuine guys. I wish them all the best of luck and encourage everyone to check them out.

  • LA

    Charles Brand is Indie rock’s Justin Beiber.

  • sa

    was lucky enough to catch the Mini T’s twice over the past 1.5 years. love ‘em, love ‘em, love ‘em.

    think the newer record pushed the boundaries a bit more which led to a more expanisive sound, in a very healthy way.

    I rarely focus on lyrics…but Charlie’s lyrics are extremely unique. they remind me a bit of Raymond Carver — quite unlike everybody else to the point that they’re startlingly refreshing.

  • brad

    their first album is one of the catchiest albums released in the last five years to be honest. I’m legit shocked they haven’t become huge simply as a result of that and their Black/White Magic Eps.

  • Lisa

    Get both of these albums. They’re awesome!

  • Tiffany

    I love Miniature Tigers! Both Tell It To The Volcano & Fortress are albums I’ve listened to so many times & never tire of hearing them. I’ve been fortunate to have seen them live 5 times & will see them live again very soon. I’ve also been fortunate to have talked to them a few different times. They are such great guys & great to talk to & also very nice people too. I’m so glad they are getting noticed more. They have such unique & amazing songs & lyrics! I can’t wait to hear new music from them & see what’s next for them.

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