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FROM TODAY'S SHOW
- We've reached 12 hours of incredible music by DC artists on the show's Spotify Playlist, I hope you'll check it out!
- We're up to 130+ artist profiles! I hope you browse and find more local music that you love!
- Prozac & Merlot - The Sea Life (Rock/Garage Rock)
- Sleigh Ride - Wylder (Rock/Pop)
- The Wild and Beyond - Aaron Tinjum and the Tangents (Rock/Folk Rock)
- Small Blade - Stranger in the Alps (Folk)
- Antelope - Louis Weeks (Pop/Electronic)
- Home - Cynthia Marie (Pop/Jazz Folk)
- Kool Kids - Justin Trawick (Bluegrass)
- Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)
AARON TINJUM AND THE TANGENTS
VIDEO - BIO - PHOTOS - TRANSCRIPT
DC's Aaron Tinjum and the Tangents released their new full-length album Foreign & Domestic earlier this year with a release show at Rock & Roll Hotel. The folk rock project originally formed in Austin, Texas where they were recognized by the Austin Mayor and City Council with their own official band holiday holiday. Since relocating to DC in 2013, they have opened for the likes of James McCartney, Kawehi and Sam Amidon.
The new animated music video they discussed in the episode:
Brian: D.C.'s Aaron Tinjum and the Tangents released their new, full length album, Foreign and Domestic, earlier this year, with a release show at Rock and Roll hotel. The folk rock group originally from Austin, Texas, where they were recognized by the city mayor and the city council with their own official band holiday. They relocated back up to D.C., and we consider ourselves so lucky to have them here back in 2013, and are continuing that great tradition of awesome music up here in D.C.
Guys, I first heard of these guys when they ... I stumbled across them online, they submitted their stuff to me, I was listening. I saw the bit about ... If you haven't seen, there was a video, what we talked about on October 11th, is their official band holiday in Austin, TX. On October 11th this year, I did a little info about them and posted a video about that experience. Basically, just really cool stuff happening.
Bottom line is, listen, it's a great pleasure for me to introduce Aaron Tinjum and the Tangents. I've got Aaron Tinjum and Andrew Cote with me, so say "Hi" guys.
Aaron: Hey Brian, thanks for having us.
Andrew: Yes, thank you so much.
Brian: Aaron and Andrew. Tell us about, I'm curious right off the bat, where is Aaron Tinjum and the Tangents? Where did the name come from?
Aaron: We originally formed in Austin, Texas about five years ago. As I was putting together the project with some of the other members, we were doing what every band does, debating what we should call ourselves.
Brian: Yup, happens a lot.
Aaron: I don't think any of the members wanted full ownership over the song since I was writing over them, they didn't want to be associated with my saddest emotions.
Brian: Oh, okay.
Aaron: We conducted a Facebook poll, and the Tangents was the ultimate winner. I'm not sure that's a solid methodology for selecting a band name, but that's what won and that's what stuck ever since.
Brian: Got it, so it was a Facebook poll. I love that, all right. Aaron Tinjum and the Tangents. How did you guys come together.
Aaron: It's been a gradual process. Originally started with our latest album we released earlier this year, Foreign and Domestic. We had six players on that with Andrew on drums over here. Andrew was found here in D.C. at the Treehouse Lounge.
Aaron: He was playing for us and we were looking for a new drummer, having relocated out here. We had a violinist, Katie Smith. Bass player also moved from Austin, Andrew Berglund. Andrew introduced us to a great pianist, David Chavez, who plays on the album. Our banjo player who didn't move out to D.C., still in Austin, recorded remotely, but actually came up for the album release show.
Andrew: We're working on getting him moving out here soon.
Brian: Very cool. How do you convince people to come to D.C. Is Austin ... I've heard great things about, in D.C., they talk about great things about Austin. What made you move to D.C.?
Aaron: I'd love to take credit for convincing other people to move to D.C., I don't think I can do that. I think musically, compared to Austin, you have a very supportive community here. Not that you don't have that in Austin, but in Austin, everyone's a musician.
Brian: Got it.
Aaron: Your audience is full of musicians, whereas here, you might have a real, live listening audience that isn't critiquing your every chord.
Brian: I guess that's good. It's a good place to move. What about on a personal side, you guys, outside of Aaron Tinjum and the Tangents, what's life like for you guys? What do you do?
Andrew: I guess I can jump in here. I work professionally as a musician, but, you know, you've experienced Brian, that takes many different forms. I teach at George Mason University. I work in the School of Music there, as well as the Honors college. I teach classes ranging from ear training to Intro to Research Methods, and kind of everything in between.
Andrew: Yeah, I do that, then I also work at church, in Fairfax, Virginia. I direct the choirs there. I'm sort of Composer in Residence as well, so I do a lot of arranging and composing and so-
Brian: Got it.
Brian: Drums is your main instrument, but clearly you play a lot more.
Andrew: Yeah. I'm trained as a percussionist, but in high school, I learned how to play guitar, kind of self taught. Same thing with bass and piano. Just from there, I studied music education and I kind of was on a one way trajectory to do music and had been able to piece together a living doing it.
Brian: That's amazing. I love the fact that you're doing it. I'm a drummer too, but I got a day job. I can imagine that it's a big leap of faith to get started and probably a challenge and some struggles sometimes, but it has to be pretty rewarding too, and I admire you for that.
Andrew: Thanks. Supportive wife has helped.
Brian: Shout out to the supportive wife.
Andrew: That's right. She has a day job, so that's also helping.
Brian: It's a team effort.
Andrew: That's right.
Brian: I got it. I love it. Okay guys. Aaron, you skipped out on that, what about you outside of music? Are you [crosstalk 00:05:14] what else is there to Aaron?
Aaron: For my day job, you have to fund your musical and creative endeavors somehow.
Brian: Got it.
Aaron: I'm a writer full time working in clean energy. I actually work remotely in D.C.
Brian: Wow. Where's the headquarters?
Aaron: Headquarter house in Ivy City.
Brian: Ivy City?
Aaron: Yeah, it's a great, creative community up there.
Brian: It seems like it, absolutely. Where, for those listening who don't know where Ivy City is, which Ivy City are we talking about?
Aaron: The one in Far Northeast Washington D.C.
Brian: Got it. You're working remotely from a couple miles away.
Brian: Okay, I'm clear. Okay. Very cool. Funniest moments from you guys performing, or funniest moment that comes to mind.
Andrew: Really you kind of glossed over how we met Aaron, which I thought was pretty funny.
Aaron: I'm sorry.
Andrew: It's okay. I mean, it's a big introduction right? No. Anyways, I was playing drums that night for another D.C. based artist. A woman by the name of Sally [inaudible 00:06:17]. Her and I met, actually though the church that I work at now. She's an amazing Singer/Songwriter, so definitely, I would recommend if you have some time, listening for her music.
Anyways, I was playing for her and Aaron come up to me after a set and said, "Hey, do you want to sit in a play drums with us?" I guess about a week prior to that their other drummer just didn't show up for a gig and that was just kind of the end of the time there.
Anyways, long story short, we end up meeting then and it turns out they were heading just the next couple of weeks, to go into the studio to start working on this album, Foreign and Domestic. A couple days later, we were in the basement of my townhouse at that time and we started writing this music.
Brian: Wow. You literally started playing with them when you were on stage?
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. The fee was great on the first gig.
Brian: Love it, oh my God. What a crazy story. What about success moments that comes to mind? What's the biggest success moment?
Aaron: Success-wise, I would say definitely being on your program today.
Brian: Stop it. Stop it. That's, no.
Aaron: This is as high as we get.
Brian: You don't get away with that. Give me another one. I want a story.
Aaron: Back in Austin-
Brian: I appreciate it.
Aaron: Like you mentioned, we wound up somewhat hilariously getting our own band holiday playing a wide range of random venues from furniture stores, to dive bars, coffee houses, the airport, used clothing shops.
Brian: Holy smokes. All right.
Aaron: Keeping Austin weird, that's one way they do it. Every month, they give away one or two holidays by official proclamations by the Mayor and City Council. That's definitely been up there. Since we've been playing out in D.C., we've opened up for a few great acts at Jammin Java like Sam Amidon, who just played [inaudible 00:08:07] Festival in [inaudible 00:08:09] Wisconsin.
Aaron: Kawehi who's like a looping legend now on YouTube, just turning up the covers. Then Paul McCartney's son, James, we opened for him back in June.
Brian: Wow, that's wild. I'm curious about the holiday thing. Do you get put in for that? Does someone nominate you? Do they pick names out of a hat? How does that work.
Aaron: They have their own, at least when we did it, there was an application system and we were ultimately chosen. You have to kind of show what you've been doing in the scene. All the places you've played, how often you've played. At that time, we were playing a very long string of gigs.
Brian: Right, go for it. I love it. What rules do you always break?
Andrew: That's a good question. Aaron, why don't you jump in first?
Aaron: I would say, unconsciously, first off, we do mostly soft rock. Soft rock isn't notorious for breaking a whole lot of rules, you know? We like to follow the rules.
But I would say, unconsciously, I'm probably the Jar Jar Binks of guitar rhythm. I'm very not good at that and that drive Andrew crazy. That's definitely one rule I'm breaking all the time.
Brian: The rhythm rule.
Aaron: I'm consistent with it.
Brian: It's good, you're reliable about that, I like it. Okay.
Andrew: I think, my go to thing is just adding more layers to it. Coming up with different string parts or piano, or adding, you know, they're just different layers always kind of being that ... I don't even know if it's just Devil's Advocate, but just always saying, "Okay, what can we do to shape this a little bit more." Yeah, Aaron beats up on himself a little too much with the rhythm thing. I'm the only one counting I guess.
Aaron: Andrew's the one, and the rest of the band, all the Tangents make all the songs actually good. I just kind of come up with the idea and they polish and clean it for me.
Brian: Got it. It's cool, especially when bands come together and they do that together, it's cool to hear. It's a cool effect too to be in those rehearsals I think.
What about one thing you've got in your music collection that would surprise us?
Andrew: Well, I have sort of a weird, strange instrument collection, but my new favorite toy is an instrument call the Otamatone, which is a Japanese instrument. It's basically, if you were to combine a digitalized slide whistle with just this crazy, animated looking face, that's this weird sound. Long story short, it's a synthesizer toy that's like $20, that I've definitely gotten at least $100 worth of entertainment out of.
Brian: What about artists or interesting music that you listen to that would surprise us?
Aaron: I've been doing this whole, you know, the cheesy 30 things to do before you turn 30.
Aaron: I've been doing that more from an album perspective. I have a very eclectic mix going right now, where everything from Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis, to if you've watched Westworld at all, they have a soundtrack with all of the player piano tracks, the cover songs going on in the background, which is pretty cool.
Brian: Oh yeah.
Aaron: Other than that, Bruce Springsteen's, Nebraska. Tim by The Replacements. I'm going for a wide range right now.
Brian: The last question that I love to ask is, what's one piece of advice that you would offer?
Aaron: Andrew's the professor so I'll let him take this one
Brian: Profess to us Andrew.
Andrew: That's another really big, tough question. I guess if, I know this is kind of a cliché, but just taking risks. I think a lot of the real fun that's come out of the recording process, working with Aaron and just really any musical endeavor I've taken, has been the uncertain ones that have gone it. There's never been anything really, that I've been super duper proud of, that came out of, "I'm doing this because I know this is safe."
I think it's just a matter of really just taking that sort of risk and seeing where it goes. Failing a ton, more often than not, and then just keep pushing and seeing where that leads. Everything is also connected as well. All the failure is connected to the positive stuff as well.
Brian: That's true. You got to take those risks. For those folks who are interested in finding out more about you guys, where do they go if they want to follow you? What are the best places to find you guys?
Aaron: You can find us pretty much everywhere. We've got our website, www.aarontinjum, or aarontinjumandthetangents.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Itunes, Amazon, YouTube, Tinder.
Brian: All those places.
Aaron: Any of those places.
Brian: Okay, got it. You got anything? I know you got some stuff over there. Andrew you got any places that if they want to follow you specifically?
Andrew: Yeah, for sure. I'm on Twitter and Facebook as well. I have a website for those of you who are classical saxophone enthusiasts, I have an album coming out in the next couple of days of some of the chamber compositions that I have and that can be found at AndrewCodyMusic.com.