Tiny Stills Rock the Highland Park Bowl
Tiny Stills Rock the Highland Park Bowl
Tiny Stills formed in 2013 and through the years has shared the stage with Bayside’s Anthony Raneri, Motion City Soundtrack, Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit), Reggie and the Full Effect, the Smoking Popes and Letters to Cleo. The band remained active during the pandemic, writing and releasing new material such as Bleeding Out and Craigslist Bed. Recently Tiny Stills completed a West Coast Tour, including a stop at the Highland Park Bowl deep in the heart of Los Angeles. Highwire Daze caught up with Tiny Stills, our second interview with Kailynn West and the band in the quaint Highland Park town, to discuss their brand-new songs and rediscovering a life on tour once more. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Tiny Stills.
AJ: Hi, my name is AJ and I play guitar in Tiny Stills.
Mike: My name is Mike Diggs and I play the drums in Tiny Stills.
Chris: My name is Chris Clark and I play bass in Tiny Stills.
Kailynn: I’m Kailynn West – I play guitar and I sing in Tiny Stills.
How have these 2022 shows been going for Tiny Stills and what have been some of the highlights so far?
Kailynn: They’ve been going great. We have gotten our feet wet in performing again since the pandemic. So, it’s our first jaunt back in playing shows and it’s been really fun and familiar. And it’s nice to see familiar faces at shows again.
It seems like we keep meeting up in Highland Park. What’s the thing about Highland Park?
Kailynn: You can find parking. (Much laughter) That’s what’s so cool about Highland Park – sometimes if you get lucky.
Overall, what do you think about our local Los Angeles music scene in general?
Kailynn: It’s hard, because coming off the pandemic, it’s completely different. Like we were just talking about The Hi Hat is now called The Goldfish. Venues have shut down. Things are different now. So, it’s relearning again what it’s like to be a musician in L.A.
You have a few news songs since our last interview at The Hi Hat in Highland Park. Let’s talk about Bleeding Out – your fuck boy anthem. Or should I say anti-fuck boy anthem?
Kailynn: Yes, anti – that is a very important part of it. (Much laughter) We have a couple of new songs coming out this year – that’s the first one. And it’s about reclaiming your power after having a toxic relationship. And we put it out with a video that our friends Justin Nelson and John Lafirira made with us. And it’s been really fun collaborating with other people making creative things again since the pandemic.
During the pandemic you released a song called Craigslist Bed. Tell me a little bit about that song.
Kailynn: I got a divorce, and I couldn’t afford a bed. So that’s about having to get a new bed as an adult and not being able to afford it!
I thought maybe it was about dating on Craigslist…
Kailynn: Nah, it’s about not being able to afford furniture that’s new.
Speaking about dating. Tell me about your song Dating In The Apocalypse.
Kailynn: That’s a song that I did by myself in a bedroom without any of these guys – and it is about trying to feel something during a time when it’s challenging to feel anything, because of all of the bad things going on in the world – and how futile it can feel to be happy. I produced and mixed and did everything myself on that one.
You did a cover of Precious by the Pretenders. What made you decide to cover those songs, and how anyone from the Pretenders heard it – like Chrissie Hynde?
Kailynn: Oh, I mean that would be a delight! They are covered constantly, so it would be an honor to know that they heard it – but I don’t think they have. My friend Will Kennedy produced that – and he just wanted to go in and record a Pretenders song, and I said, “Fuck yeah!” It was simple as that. He just wanted to do it, and he is a great producer and engineer – and I was happy to humor that because I’m a fan.
If Tiny Stills could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
AJ: I want Tiny Stills to open for Jawbreaker. I think that would be cool. And why? Because I love Jawbreaker. Like a lot. And I’ve seen that they’ve been playing shows with bands adjacent to Tiny Stills and people that we know – and so I’m like it could happen…
Mike: If we could open for any band, I think we should probably open for a band like Men I Trust or Softcult or something – just some of these indie rock chill sort of ambient bands – because I think we fall into that, but we’re a bit more energetic. Honestly for me, it’s not a specific band – just somebody who’s getting big that’s newer on the scene. A lot of people would say “Oh, we should open for a big band like Green Day or something.” But for me, I would like to open for a big band that’s newer on the scene. I would love to get us more a little bit associated with who’s coming up and who’s still putting in the work. That would be fun.
Chris: Soccer Mommy I would love for us to open for – they’re sick as fuck. The dream gig in the sky is like The Pixies for me. They’re my favorite band of all time. The reason I love playing bass is because of Kim Deal, so yeah. I would literally shit a chicken if we got to open up for The Pixies – it would be sick. And you could quote me on that – “Shit a chicken.”
And I think I will. (Much laughter) And your turn Kailynn…
Kailynn: I would love to open for – and I’m putting this into the world – Bayside as a band. I would love to open for Bayside. I would love to open for Sincere Engineer. I would love to play with Illuminati Hotties – and we played with Teenage Halloween, but I would love to do it again. I’d love to play with all of those bands.
You’ve kind of played with Bayside already.
Kailynn: But not as a full band. That’s what I want. We’ve done acoustic stuff, but I would love to be a full band with Bayside to do that with them.
There were two bands that you recently opened up for – Letters To Cleo and Smoking Popes. What was it like opening for both those bands?
Kailynn: I mean, it was nerve-wracking, because I love them as writers and performers. And it’s performing in front of people that you respect so much if you look up. You try not to think about that it’s happening because it could be overwhelming. It was such an honor to open those shows for those bands. I have such respect for them as musicians. It was just surreal.
I wish I would have been at those shows.
Kailynn: Those were great shows. Again, that was Letters To Cleo at The Hi Hat which is now The Goldfish – and then Smoking Popes at The Roxy on the Sunset Strip. It was great! It was so fun!
What do you hope the rest of 2022 brings for you and Tiny Stills?
Kailynn: I would love for people to come to our shows. I would love to play more shows. I would love to tour. We’re touring down to The Fest in the fall – so we have touring plans, and I would love for them to not fall through. And I would love to see everyone again, because it’s been two years – it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do that, and I want that for us really badly.
Tiny Stills is:
Kailynn West (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar)
Chris Clark (Bass)
Mike Diggs (Drums)
AJ Peacox (Lead Guitar)
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography )