Tinnarose: A Band, A Democracy

As a radical leftist… it’s always nice to hear about a project that begins as a backing band for a solo musician, but quickly morphs into a collective “band”...

As a radical leftist… it’s always nice to hear about a project that begins as a backing band for a solo musician, but quickly morphs into a collective “band” (which seems to be happening a lot lately…)  Such an occurrence recently occurred in Austin, TX, when singer/songwriter Seth Sherman hooked up with classically-trained vocalist Devon McDermott, guitarist/songwriter Morris Ramos, bassist Drew Schlegel and, later on, drummer Mark Henne and keyboardist Andy Bianculli, to form Tinnarose.  Tinnarose have been together for a few years now and their self-titled debut LP is set to drop on Nine Mile Records on August 26th.  The album rings of sassy and sunny vintage folk pop; in addition to classic, twangy Southern Rock; and some of the most popularly profound art rock of the 20th century.  I recently got a chance to chat with Devon McDermott and Seth Sherman, who tell me that not only do the band plan to be in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection in the near future, but that Tinnarose are, indeed, a “band” and that they are here for the long haul.

Izzy Cihak: This band is still relatively new so, I’m curious, what is it that brought all of you together?  And how would you characterize your process of writing and recording together?

Devon McDermott: We came together as a result of Seth’s solo record release, titled When The Moment is True. He recorded every instrument on the record himself so when he decided to play live he needed a band to back him. After a while, working together became naturally collaborative and we decided it was time to rename ourselves as a group.

Izzy: Is there anything you think is especially important for fans and potential fans to know about the band?

Devon: Tinnarose is a democracy. We are not going to stop. The rest is in the music.

Izzy: And you’re about to release your debut album.  What were the album’s most significant influences?

Seth Sherman: We were all listening to a lot of different things. Rosebud’s only album from the early seventies was a group favorite. 70’s pop, fusion, and British Folk rock are definitely big influences on us. Too many to list.

Izzy: At the moment, do you have a particular favorite track off of the album, whether something you’re especially proud of, or that’s just really fun to play?  I really love “Small Talk,” both for its Southern rocking and an almost twee brand of soulful pop.

Devon:  It’s difficult to pick one favorite because almost every song on the record has a sister song or a song that especially compliments it. For example, “Fallen Debris” and “Monster.” These two songs expressly represent a shade of jazz influence. We love playing these two songs side-by-side in our live shows.

Seth: I agree with Devon. “Monster” is unlike any song I’ve written before. It’s always a lot of fun to play. “Falling Debris” is another favorite of mine, especially the reprise.

Izzy: You have a few upcoming local live dates, but is there any chance of a full-scale tour in the near future? We’d love to see you in Philly.  If so, what can be expected of the live experience?

Devon:  We have our album release party coming up August 23rd at Stubbs in Austin. During late September/October we will be touring some cities on the East Coast, including New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Most of our band is originally from the East Coast (our drummer, Mark, is from Philly) so we hope to have some great shows! Our live show is everything you love about rock and roll. Two guitars, bass, drums, keys, and killer harmonies.

Izzy: And what’s next for Tinnarose?  What do you have planned for the immediate future?

Seth: We’re currently working on material for a second album and making plans to begin recording in December.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.