New Music Obsession: Tiny Danza are back and Killin’ It!

Tiny Danza are back! You probably remember huge buzz around the band a few years ago, when it seemed they were the darlings of every local festival and outlet and playing tons of impressive bills. The guys had the a magnetic spunk to their stage show, and the hooky tunes to back it up: Bruno Mars meets Rage with a flair entirely their own. Fast forward through a few whirlwind years, a stint under the moniker “Nixon,” and a change in management and label, and the quintuplet are back in action and ready for a full assault on the senses with their new material.

Whether you know your Tiny Danza history or you’re just hopping on for the ride now, Addicted caught up with the guys for a quick stroll down memory lane and a glance ahead at the future.

How long have Tiny Danza have been together? How did you get together? Who are the core members?
We’ve been together for 8 years. We all went to high school together, and a few years after we graduated we got together to start a band. After a couple of weeks of trying to be a folk band, we realized that life was worth living and changed to a hip hop band instead. It’s been the same 5 members since we started (…though we’ve run through a few bass players along the way):

Andrew Cameron – Vocals
Galen Hogg – Vocals
Matt Russo – Guitar
Andrew Santaguida – Keys/Synth
Nick Shao – Drums

Looking back, what has your evolution been like? Has the trajectory been what you expected it would be like?
Not really. We started out playing any show we could get for any amount of people and had a very live sound. We were closer to a live jazz band at first, with a lot of it being improvised and multiple solos in each song. After a while, we started to get more into the production side of things and are now trying to blend the two together. Right now we’re trying to find the perfect balance between the live and produced product.

You had a bit of a rollercoaster few years – it seemed like suddenly you became an indie darling buzz band; you were playing all around town, you won Indie Week, had management, signed with a label, and briefly changed your name to Nixon. And then it was a bit of radio silence. Tell us a bit about what happened.
It was kind of like when you’re dreaming and you’re flying through the sky, only instead of flying you get shelved for a couple of years and aren’t allowed to do anything. Something like that I guess. After we won Indie Week, we got interest from a label and signed with them. We were probably a bit naive about what that would be like. It turned out that we weren’t what they were looking for, and they weren’t what we were looking for, but it took a long time for both sides to see that at the same time. In hindsight, there were probably warning signs, but when you’re in that kind of situation, it’s hard to tell. We learned a lot though, and are a much better band after going through it.

What have you learned from the last couple of years? What have you gleaned from your experiences and how is it guiding your next steps?
The biggest thing we learned is that no matter what happens, you just have to keep pushing forward. Opportunities will always present themselves, and you just have to be in a position to tell whether it’s one you should jump on or not. We’ve also learned how to write music much more efficiently, which is a make or break for any band that wants to keep up in these fast times.

Fast cars, faster women, revenge… give us a band/road story or two. Don’t hold back.
Well, there was that time in Ireland when a couple of older women buzzed our hotel room. We looked out our window and saw at a distance that they were strangers, but decided if they could bring something to the party we’d let them up. They promised to return with booze at the very least and left. A half hour later they returned with booze, among other things, to reignite our party. We buzzed them up. Let’s just say they wanted more from us than we were willing to give. After drinking all of their booze we decided we had had enough of fending off their gratuitous sexual advances and asked them to leave. What happened next was a scene… man. If you’ve ever spent 3 hours trying to kick out drunken, violent, angry (horny?), middle aged Irish women through a stairwell that one of your crew members is having sex in, then you know what I’m talking about.

Also, there was that time Galen knocked a street tough out cold in Halifax and was promptly arrested.

Having met Galen… sounds about right! What’s in the pipeline?
We were in LA a few months ago recording, and are getting an EP ready to release in the next month or so. We also filmed a music video that will be released around the same time. We’re looking to play a bunch of shows until then.

So there you have it – the Tiny Danza boys are back at it and going balls to the wall again. Lock up your booze, sterilize your stairwells and get ready for some fresh tunes and killer live shows!

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Emy Stantcheva
Emy Stantcheva is a lifelong music junkie-turned-music biz dabbler, from music publicity and artist management to the not-for-profit sector. By day, she champions the indies at Canadian Independent Music Association and MusicOntario, and moonlights as Lifestyle Editor for Addicted and rep for southern rock n’ roller Basia Lyjak. A healthy living fan (yes, vodka is a plant), vegetarian of 20 years and lover of cooking, wine and craft beer, she’s always on the lookout for tasty and cruelty-free wares and fares. She’s also known for her hoarding of cats (she has four) and leggings (300 pairs and counting). With her feisty way with words, Stantcheva brings a fresh and intelligent perspective to Addicted’s Lifestyle section.
Emy Stantcheva