Tiny Boxes: All This Is That
Interview and introduction by Daniel Coston
One of the more interesting groups to emerge recently from North Carolina is Tiny Boxes. All of the musicians come from groups that are recognizable to concertgoers throughout the region. Bassist Leo Kishore ia a former member of Barefoot Manner, drummer Kyle Poehling has played with a host of groups throughout the Southeast, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Williams is a veteran of Sansa, and the Ocean. Of special note is guitarist Bon Lozaga, known to many worldwide as the guitarist with Gong, during their Expresso II period of the late 1970s. Lozaga has since continued on with Gongzilla, and now, Tiny Boxes.
The band’s new release, the Tiny EP, is a starter for the band’s cauldron of sounds and influences. Rock, funk, progressive, jam, fusion, experimental. It’s all there, and serves as a jumping-off point for the band’s live shows, and a forthcoming full length album.
Lozaga and I talked recently at Old House Studios, in Gastonia, NC, as well via email about the band.
Coston: Talk about the new EP.
Bon Lozaga: Tiny EP is four songs, making up just over 20 minutes of music. It features both the instrumental and vocal side of TB. [It was] recorded at Old House Studios in Gastonia, NC by engineer Chris Garges, whom I have worked with in the past. We worked with trying to get a natural sound and found Old House to be the right place with the right gear and right people to get it done. The four songs were written by three of the band members, and show the different musical stylings that the band is capable of. The EP is really just a platform for the full length CD, which we now have enough material for.
Coston: How did Tiny Boxes come together?
Lozaga: I was looking to get a band together with more local people and started playing in the state and started coming across musicians like Leo and Matt. They in turn knew other people and with the addition of Kyle, the band was solidified.
Coston:Tell me a little bit of the back story with each member.
Lozaga: Most of my bio can be found here:http://www.lolorecords.com/bon_lozaga.html
Matt Williams: http://mattwilliamsmusic.com/fr_home.cfm
Kyle Poehling: www.kylepoehling.com.
Leo Kishore: [I am] kind of Asian. And likes food a lot.
Coston: You all live in different parts of the state. How do you all keep the band going?
Lozaga: It's simple. You get in the car and drive! We are from both extreme ends of the state. Matt lives over five hours from me, so we all meet in the middle in Greensboro to rehearse. You have to want to do and think the band is worthwhile to make it work.
Coston: One thing you told me was that you all send different files to each other, as you all are working on songs. Talk about that.
Lozaga: Since getting together to rehearse is difficult, we all record ideas/bits/songs in our homes and then send them out to each other so when we do hook up we have the ideas together and just kind of iron things out. We have music that we have already digested and are able to fine tune at rehearsals.
Coston: How has the band's evolved since it started, and how has playing the songs on stage helped that evolution.
Lozaga: Like most bands that have a little bit of history, the thing starts to take a life of it's own and so do the tunes and musical direction. So it is a constant evolving thing. Playing new songs out and checking out the reaction and what works and doesn't work, takes tunes into certain directions also. So playing out is very important in the development of a bands' sound.
Coston: We talked about the importance of festivals, for playing, and playing to large crowds. Talk about that again.
Lozaga: Festivals are one of the biggest ways to get your music out to a large audience. It's great for exposure but it is also different from playing clubs, musically. Songs and performance have to bigger in scale, and the band has to come across in a bigger way, too. Festivals are very important way of creating a buzz/vibe about the band.
Coston: What's in the works for Tiny Boxes?
Lozaga: A full length CD, management, booking and more gigs and new music!
Coston: We talked about the band's eschewing of musical genres, labels, and such. How important is it for the band, and the listeners to keep their minds open?
Lozaga: It is nice to have an audience that is open minded, but the important thing is to connect with them. One way is to play our music with total conviction, no matter what style we are dabbling in at the moment and play music that doesn't bore them to tears!
Coston: How can people find your music?
Lozaga: www.tinyboxes.net, www.cdbaby.com, Itunes,Amazon, etc. There are also free live shows at:
http://archive.org/search.php?query=tiny%20boxes%20AND%20collection%3Aetree and Youtube.