Shiny Toy Guns' Jeremy Dawson says band has matured
Keyboardist Jeremy Dawson talks about the band's new album III and upcoming show at The Blue Note.
When: Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30
Where: The Blue Note
L.A. synth-pop/rock band Shiny Toy Guns has been on the musical radar since their Grammy-nominated album We Are Pilots in 2006. They’re best known for dance hit “Le Disko” and their cover of '80s hit “Major Tom.” After nearly a four-year break, the band has released their long-awaited album III , featuring original lead singer Carah Faye Charnow.
[MOVE]: How would you say Shiny Toy Guns' sound has evolved throughout the years?
[Jeremy Dawson]: Oh wow, I mean, it’s just zig-zagged, I would say. You know, they say it takes your whole, whole lifetime to make your first album. And then you do. The band went through a lot of hell — the dynamics of individuals were activating into a nuclear bomb. At one point, we went through a really dark period during our second album Season of Poison, which is a lot more aggressive and guitar-driven. For III you can say that we’ve calmed down and added maturity and life. The coolest thing about the third album is how individually personal it is and how the sound really captures who we are and what the band really sounds like. Though the first record sort of does that too, it’s all a stepping stone. Everything in life is a stepping stone, and the third album is the current stone that we’re stepping on.
[M]: Does III more closely resemble We Are Pilots or Season of Poison?
[JD]: Definitely We are Pilots. Carah is back as our lead singer, and that’s a part of it, but you have to look at the fact that Chad (Petree) and I wrote the first album, the second and the vast majority of the third. It’s not like we drastically changed the sound of the band. The difference was where we were in our heads. The family sort of broke apart, causing a darker, more aggressive tone in the second record. It’s all about how we were in our heads. It has nothing to do with whether or not there were more synthesizers or guitars.
[M]: What is your favorite song from III?
[JD]: Right now, "Mercy." Depends on what mood I’m in.
[M]: How was it decided that Carah would be joining the band again?
[JD]: Gosh that’s a long story. It wasn’t decided — it just happened naturally. There wasn’t a reason or a meaning or a force. Just one day, my drummer Mikey (Martin) and I flew to see her in Sweden, in the middle of nowhere in a forest with 7 feet of snow on the ground. We just hung out with her and talked things out.
[M]: How has your experience been touring with The Dirty Heads?
[JD]: Have you ever seen one of those cute animal pictures where there’s like, a cat hanging out with a mouse? It just doesn’t make sense to our fans, or on paper, but when you go to the show, you hear two bands that love to make music. It’s not so awkward where your eyes puss or you shit your pants. We’re on the same label, and the tour was arranged by various entities. It feels a little bit like a prearranged marriage with someone you don’t hate at all, with someone you think is a cool person, but not necessarily who you would have chosen. We didn’t really have a choice, and no one was upset about it. We just thought, 'OK, let’s do this.' We’re really easy to get along with, and are really approachable. I remember their lead singer just came on our bus and asked to hang out. I got Chad, who was wearing his onesie like he does every night. We completely broke down any weird stuff, and now we hang out every night just telling jokes. They’re amazing guys.
[M]: What’s next for Shiny Toy Guns?
[JD]: We’ve got plenty of more dates coming up. We’re gonna keep fighting, pushing, waving our flag and spread our new record around super awesome.
[M]: Anything else you’d like to add?
[JD]: If anybody in Columbia wants to go to (shinytoyguns.com/join-us)[http://shinytoyguns.com/join-us/] to be a part of our street team, we’re kind of short on that Mizzou mighty power and could use some more Missouri kids.