Jun 03, 2021

“Please Yourself First!” – Tiny Fighter On Success for Musicians


INES#talent Tiny Fighter is a six-piece indie rock band from Stockholm, mixing indie sweetness with berserker chamber pop. To date, the band now has over 1,020k views on YouTube, 18.8k global Facebook fans, and over 2.5k monthly listeners on Spotify. 2019 saw the band being their ongoing collaboration with multi-Grammy award-winning producer Thomas “Plec” Johansson, resulting in both the latest EP ‘Tell Me’ and the Reworks remix album. This was supported with tours through Ireland, Latvia, Serbia, Sweden, and upcoming festival shows in Spain.

We got Tiny Fighter’s Tim Spelman to give us his hottest music tips and an advice on how musicians should handle success.

gigmit: Hi Tim, Therese and you ran into each other by chance in 2017. She as a truck driver, you as a doctor. Tiny Fighter is a group also of lawyers, engineers, and teachers. You live in Stockholm but come from all over the world – Australia, Israel, Poland, UK, and Sweden. How do you reconcile so much diversity? How did you get into music?

Tim Spelman: We’re a rather mixed bunch. I can’t remember ever not being interested in music. It’s like oxygen – it’s always been there (and is absolutely necessary!).

What have you been up to in Lockdown?

Endlessly noodling around with guitar pedals. We’ve got a new release scheduled for the northern summer – started life out as an EP and then morphed into a mini-album which now appears to be evolving into a full-blown album.

How do you write music?

It’s pretty simple, most of the time at least! I first write all the instrumental tracks, record as much of this upfront as possible, and then send the complete or near-complete mix to Therese for vocals. It seems to work for us.

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What artists did you listen to while working on your own music?

I’ve been having an Americana revival recently, thanks mainly to a deep dive into the Gustavo Santaolalla soundtrack for The Last of Us Part 2 (a game I’ve been obsessed with all year). So listening to lots of Gustavo and also Waxahatchee’s brilliant Saint Cloud record. I’m also a sucker for big guitars so Cherry Glazerr’s Stuffed & Ready album has also been on high rotation.

What album changed everything?

Doolittle by Pixies. It’s pop and accessible and ugly and absurd and violent and beautiful all at the same time. An absolute game-changer.

And what are the most promising new artists?

That’s a tough question – there are so many! The Beths from New Zealand is probably the band I’m most excited about. Their Jump Rope Gazers album is a masterpiece. Impossible not to enjoy. Also Porridge Radio and closer to my original Australian home – Julia Jacklin.

What’s your view of the music industry today?

That’s a really good question. I don’t think anyone knows what the industry will look like or how it will function once we come out of covid. It feels like an interruption, or perhaps more a reset for a different way of doing things. A post-covid era of discovery perhaps. I think, or at least I hope, we’ll rediscover the joy of finding new music and new bands. That idea of heading down to a local favourite venue without even knowing who is playing. I think this enforced break from live music has seeded a desire for discovery. So I think there may be a real boom in live music once we return to some form of normality. Could be a real renaissance.

What do you miss about in-person performances?

The instant feedback you get from an audience. Do they dig it or not? That’s the first thing we noticed about live streams – that lack of feedback or engagement. Can’t help but feel a little detached from the performance process.

How big is the role of success for musicians?

Depends upon what day it is! Being able to support oneself through art is definitely a measure of practical success. But to be honest the real reason I spend so much time writing, recording, and playing is it simply makes me happy. And that is the true measure of success. Financial success rates in this business are insanely thin so it’s absolutely critical to enjoying your own creations. Don’t go chasing trends! Please yourself first!

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