Iowa Band, initially active from 2008-2011. Resurrected June 2019 – ongoing.
EthanLinks to past music:
Kyle Miller – guitar
Andy Sweerin – guitar
Tom Cook – bass
Lindsay Keast – keyboard
David McNertney – drums
Ethan Cote – electronics/glockenspiel (Past)
Jordan Scott – violin
Emily Highnam – cello
Lindsey Skillings – additional vocals
Stubborn Tiny Lights VS Clustering Darkness Forever OK, first gathered in the basement of a commercial building in downtown Waterloo, IA in the fall of 2008. Several meetings occurred here where people of all different backgrounds would come together to make music. Noise and inspiration from the first gatherings twisted into what is now, the 2009 EP: ‘OK’ . Physical copy’s of the EP: ‘OK’ , are hand made by the band members and feature a cloth sleeve with unique paint splatter art work. Inside the sleeve is the disk and a typed insert with the basic info. The band has been playing shows upon request in the Midwest of The United States, and played a week tour through the 2009 to 2010 new year. Currently they are recording a new full length album, release date is yet to be announced. 2010 Summer tour is in the works! To contact, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current members include Andy, David, Ethan, Tom, Jordan, Emily, Kyle and Lindsay.
Version 4, edited by karthurmiller on 31 August 2013, 10:53pm
The Infinite Regress
Interview: Stubborn Tiny Lights vs. Clustering Darkness Forever, OK?
Stubborn Tiny Lights vs. Clustering Darkness Forever, OK? have been causing something of a storm at TSB HQ with the 2010 release of The Infinite Regress. Here, TSB’s Omar Shaukat talks to Kyle Miller.
How did Stubborn Tiny Lights vs. Clustering Darkness Forever, OK” come to form?
We pretty much started when I moved to Cedar Falls. I decided I wanted to try something different. I was in the band Followed By Ghosts for a while. I pretty much knew everybody that was initially in the band, and I just tried to get a lot of people together to make some noise [laughs].
It started with12 of us, and we got to practice in the basement of a place that makes dentures. The basement was hit by the floods of 2008, so it was kind of grimey and gross, but definitely a very creative spot.
How did the band boil down from the 12 original members to 6?
People just moved away or graduated from school.
Obviously, the name is a direct reference to Godspeed You! Black Emperor liner notes. In doing that, you are inevitably drawing comparisons to Godspeed. How do you feel about immediately being compared to Godspeed before anyone even hears your music?
I don’t know. Initially when we picked the name it was kind of a pseudo-joke. We didn’t know how far we would be going with the band ? It was pretty much getting together and having people from different musical backgrounds play music. So, originally the name wasn’t as big a deal tous.
Who brought up the idea of the name?
It was initially me and Seth, who is no longer in the band.
Was Yanqui UXO a pretty seminal album for you growing up?
Yeah, that was probably one of my favorites. I’m a big Godspeed fan, but I don’t want to put them on a pedestal or anything like that.
For people who don’t get the reference, I’ve heard a number of mixed things. Telling my friends about the band is a bit of a mouthful. I was wondering if you would take back the name if you could, or would you have abbreviated it?
I think I dig the name regardless. The name is just a vessel for the music, and the music is what’s really important. Some people can’t look past the name [laughs]. I understand how people think it’s a terrible name, or we’re just ripping off Godspeed or whatever, but in the end it’s just about the music.
Is there a difference to you whether people abbreviate your name to simply Stubborn Tiny Lights?
[Laughs] No, if we’re trying to be shorthand we just call ourselves Stubborn Tiny Lights, otherwise we say the whole thing.
Now that the name discussion is out of the way, we can finally arrive at the music. The recording for the 2009 EP was an earlier take on the 3rd track of the LP, but what was the recording process of the EP? I can tell it’s of a lesser fidelity than your LP.
There were probably 7 or 8 people on that recording. After one of our members left, we moved from the basement of the denture place – which we nicknamed The Tooth Factory – over to a house where 4 of our members lived. And then we had to revamp the whole basement in order for it to be inhabitable. We recorded in the basement of that house using protools. The way we had to do it was we did a scratch track with four of us playing and just kept the drum part. We had to re-record all the separate instruments one at a time because our microphone capabilities and being able to isolate sound was difficult thus the lower fidelity.
Did you record the EP knowing that you wanted to re-record that track at a later point?
Yeah, it was mostly just to get something out there. At the time we only had recordings done with one room mic. We wanted something different so we could put our name out there.
How was the initial reception to the EP?
People liked it for the most part. I guess because of that recording we managed to sign to futurerecordings, so it has helped us a lot.
How did the fidelity upgrade from the EP to the LP take place? How long did the LP take to record?
We went into an actual studio for the LP. It took around 3-4 eight-hour sessions, and we had worked up all the material up to the recording time.
What was the reasoning for the inclusion of vocals on the second and third tracks?
It just felt right, especially with track 3. The mood of the song felt like it needed some sort of vocal part.
How does your song process work?
For the most part it starts as jamming, and then we individualize and work on certain parts. The next time we get together we bring it up and see where it goes.
How was your summer tour?
It went well. I think we did 25 dates, and we were gone for over a month. We did the Midwest, and then we went south to Texas, and then over to California, then back up through Salt Lake City.
How was the attendance?
It was pretty hit or miss. The beginning of the tour was a bit shaky [laughs] – it probably wasn’t until Nashville when it was relatively decent.
I heard attendance was especially slim at the Houston show. How do you work around when you arrive and see that attendance isn’t what you hoped for it to be? Your sound is obviously very grand, and so how do you deal with only playing to a few people at a time?
It doesn’t really bother us. We really were only worried about whether we were going to make it to the next place. If people are there, we’re definitely going to play for them because that’s the reason we’re out doing this. We’re out to have a shared experience with other people. It would be bad if we didn’t give it our all because that’s the reason we’re doing this. We aren’t necessarily doing this to get rich fast, but it’s more self-expression. And obviously we aren’t getting rich fast [laughs] – but that’s not the point at all.
What is it like touring with 6 people?
There were actually 9 of us in the band during the tour. We toured with the Andrew Weathers Ensemble. Lindsay and I played with them for the entirety of the tour. It was pretty crammed [laughs].
Any crammed nights spent in the van?
Actually we got pretty lucky, and I don’t think we ever had to sleep in the van. Pretty much everywhere we went, people were friendly and offered us places to stay.
Are you currently working on new material?
Yeah, we started working on one new song, and it’s going really well.
How do you want your sound to progress?
I don’t know. We’ve been trying to figure that out. I don’t know if it’s more of a conscious effort, or if we’re just letting it do its own thing.
The Silent Ballet would like to thank Kyle Miller / Stubborn Tiny Lights vs. Clustering Darkness Forever, OK” for the interview. The Infinite Regress is available here
Beautiful work, precise arrangements full of virtuosity, very Godspeed style, long melodies well elaborated, cadenced and in perfect harmony, in a harmonious and growing way, showing all the technical potential of the band. Looking forward to the next job, congratulations to Banda. Aryon Maiden