Sometimes music can be the key to success. In 2010 I made mixtape after mixtape for a girl who I was ridiculously infatuated with. She always “liked” the tapes saying things like “Yeah, its really nice, thank you!” Not the reaction you want when you make somebody a mixtape. I didn’t give up, I wanted to impress her so bad so I arranged a playlist that I thought was perfect. (It included the likes of Galaxie 500, Beach House, The Ramones) only to be met by a lukewarm reaction from her. That is until she heard track 13, this track was a song by Miniature Tigers: Cannibal Queen. Long story short, she confessed her feelings toward me the following week. As much as I want to give myself credit for this, I truly believe she just liked me because of that song. (UPDATE: She claims it wasn’t the only reason, but “it certainly helped.”)
My infatuation with this girl seems to closely mirror the Valley’s love for Miniature Tigers. Relentless, passionate and sincere. I recently had the privilege to chat with Charlie Brand from Miniature Tigers. Read the interview after this video from their new album: Cruel Runnings
You always return to McAllen, is that a conscious decision or simply a booking thing that happens?
We played a show in 2009/10? in McAllen at like an abandoned school, (The old Mcallen Incubator) and when we got there we we’re like, “WHERE ARE WE?” but that show ended up being one of the craziest shows we’ve ever played. After that we developed a very good relationship with the promoter, Patrick and so when he invited us back we were super excited to come back. Also, McAllen crowds are always fun,and special they really do what you’re supposed to do at concerts. To them it is less about capturing the “Instagram moment” and more about living in the actual moment.
I understand you toured with Europe with FUN, how do the American and European crowds differ, if at all?
It honestly depends. Every country is so different. I mean, the closest thing to McAllen (in crowd interaction) was Italy, in terms of people really letting go and living in the moment. Switzerland, people were super reserved! We played to people with almost no expression on their face, but after the show they would come up to us and tell us they had so much fun, so it really all depends.
I was watching Midnight in Paris today and decided to play your song “Gold Skull” as the movie played, I couldn’t help but to feel that your music fit beautifully in that aesthetic. Do you have a favorite filmmaker? Who?
Stanley Kubrick’s work. Simply because I feel like every movie he did was a different genre and I feel like he really experimented with different stories and I always try to apply that to our records.
What state of mind were you in when Fortress was happening and how does that contrast with where you were with Mia Pharaoh and Cruel Runnings?
Going back to the Stanley Kubrick thing, I always like to challenge our audience. I love to try different sounds. I love the feeling of putting on a record and not knowing what is going to come out of the speakers. Our sound is totally an evolving monster.
Any bands performing at Galax Z Fair that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Twin Shadow! That should be really cool. I’ve also heard so much of Perfect Pussy. I’m very curious to check them out.
Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
Typically it is the newer songs that excite me most. Right now it is probably Swimming Pool Blues! Also we started playing Dark Tower again. That’s been fun, but sometimes songs can burn you out and you just don’t even want to play them anymore.
What is your favorite thing about South Texas?
The McAllen crowd. They are all so genuine they make us feel like rockstars, even if we’re really not. Maybe it is just my ego or my imagination but I almost feel like we are a McAllen band. I don’t know, I just love McAllen and even if for some reason we blew up tomorrow we would still play McAllen as often as we could.
(For proof, here’s a video of Miniature Tigers in McAllen for FUNDAY)
As a big fan of wrestling I always like to ask this. If you were a professional wrestler what would be your entrance theme?
(Charlie gave the best possible answer ever)
Randy Savage’s “Be A Man.” It’s a Hulk Hogan dis.
Catch Miniature Tigers along with Twin Shadow, Speedy Ortiz,Tops, and much MUCH more at the Cine El Rey stage, Monday, March 10th @ Galax Z Fair III!!