Tiny Stills: Out Of The Void and Into The Hi Hat
Tiny Stills in the creation of Kailynn West, a massively talented singer/songwriter whose emotional voice and perceptive lyrics are wondrous to behold. Laughing Into The Void is the name of the latest creation from Tiny Stills, jammed packed with absolutely stunning tunes. Imagine mixing the striking lyrical perceptions of Joni Mitchell with the infectious melodies of Paramore or Tonight Alive, and you are only just beginning to envision the auditory experience Tiny Stills has to offer the world at large. On a short yet very sweet tour with their friends in Sundressed, the first show took place at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles. Highwire Daze Online caught up with Kailynn of Tiny Stills right before their headlining performance to discuss the making of Laughing Into The Void, touring with Sundressed, collaborating with Anthony Raneri of Bayside, impressions of the music industry today, and a whole lot more! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Tiny Stills, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Kailynn, my band is Tiny Stills. I’m the guitar player, the singer and the main songwriter. We’ve been together for about two years now as the current lineup.
Where are you guys from, and what is the music scene like there? I think you’re from here, actually.
Yeah we’re from Los Angeles. The music scene is a little bit of everything here. It’s really great to feel like I’ve found a bit of a community here. That’s really important, but there’s a little bit of everything in LA.
How has this short tour with Sundressed been going and what have been some of the highlights?
It’s night one, so so far load in was great. [laughs] I’m looking forward to this tour, this is the first night of it but I love Sundressed. Ive been a fan of theirs for a while so it’s great to be able to be friends. We did a co-write, actually, for their upcoming record. So we’re pretty close. I enjoy being able to play with them.
For the upcoming split?
No not for the split. they’re working on some new stuff, I don’t want to give anything away but we’ve been writing some songs together.
Let’s talk about Laughing into the Void is there any overall story or concept behind the title?
The title comes from the idea that – I was working on this album at a time where the social happenings in the US was feeling very serious and I didn’t feel like anything I could make artistically could make any difference. It was really just something I made to make myself feel a little bit better. It felt futile to make art at that time. I called it Laughing into the Void because it was my way of trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Colorblind, any story behind that song?
Sure, it’s about the idea that sometimes when you start a relationship, that you can’t really see what’s wrong with it at first because you’re so into the other person. It feels like maybe you have no perspective. I co-wrote that song with Anthony from Bayside and Steve from Punchline.
What was it like working with those guys on that song?
It was amazing. They have so many great ideas, both of them. I feel like we really collaborated well with that because Anthony wrote a lot of the guitar parts on that song, and then Steve really brought the chorus and I was a lot of the verse. It was a really collaborative effort.
Select any other song from Laughing into the Void, what inspired the lyrics?
One of my other favorites is Let’s Fall In Love: its kind of one of the grungier songs on the album. What inspired that, again similar to Colorblind, is sometimes falling in love makes you feel really vulnerable – it’s not always happy and fun. Sometimes it really sucks. Getting close with someone else is a really vulnerable place to be and that’s uncomfortable.
What can one expect from a live Tiny Stills show?
Tonight’s the first night! It’s gonna be a lot of fun. We’re really excited. It’s been a long time coming, were going to have a lot of fun tonight.
If Tiny Stills could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Oh my Gosh. That Dog! Yeah, I love That Dog. I think that’s all I can say. I love their music. I think their writing really inspired a lot of my thoughts on this record, and I got really into them this past year. I would love if that happened, it’d be a dream. It’d be so fun.
Sundressed never played with Anthony of Bayside, that show got canceled.
Yeah I was on that tour and Anthony was sick. That was going to be my first time meeting Sundressed and Trevor and everybody in that band. We connected after that, I forget why, but we kept in touch even though we didn’t play that show.
What was it like touring with Anthony of Bayside?
Anthony is a really great person. He’s very opinionated and so am I, so we had a lot of really deep and in-depth discussions about life and everything going on in our lives at that time. It was a really cathartic experience for both of us. They were working on Vacancy at the time, and a lot of what we talked about ended up on that record after it came out. Which was a really fascinating thing. We talked a lot, he became a really good friend of mine after that. You can’t spend time in close quarters in a van with someone for that long and either hate them or love them. I love Anthony, I think he’s great.
If the music of Tiny Stills was a donut what kind would it be and why?
It would be a jelly filled sprinkled donut because it’s exciting to look at and kind of fun. You can’t be sad looking at a sprinkled donut, but inside its kind of all jelly and mushy. Just a bit of surprise, there’s some sadness in there [laughs].
What’s up next for you guys?
It’s about a week long, and after this we’re taking some time and we won’t be back on the road until August. So August will be another full band tour, August and September will be a full national tour. So hopefully we’ll hit everywhere for the first time as a band.
Sundressed told me they’re going to be playing Warped Tour in Arizona this year. Have you guys ever played?
We’ve never played Warped Tour but I would love to. Obviously this is the last year so its not going to happen – the bucket list item that hasn’t come to fruition but you never know, maybe someday in an alternate reality.
What are your impressions now that Warped Tour is coming to an end?
It’s funny – I think the music industry is in a weird place right now with a lot of labels either slowing down with new artists that they’re picking up or just doing a lot of reissues of anniversary records. I kind of see this trend, and then with Warped Tour obviously ending. I don’t know, I think we’ve hit the slowdown of the music recession and I don’t know where it’s headed. When I play with people like Sundressed and I get to work in this community that I’ve found, I’m optimistic that there are like-minded musicians still making music that they care about and love and that’s heartening.
Any final words?
I feel like this is where you say something profound but I don’t know if I have anything. I don’t have any profound endings. I hope everyone that reads this can check it out and see if they like it. I don’t know where the world is taking me but I hope to be making music…
(Interview by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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