Midwest emo trio Tiny Moving Parts release new album, play Fall Line Fest Saturday

by | Sep 2, 2014 | MUSIC

The Midwestern section of the United States is a flatland of epic proportions, a place where adolescent dreams are swallowed up by long stretches of highway and cornfields.


The Midwestern section of the United States is a flatland of epic proportions, a place where adolescent dreams are swallowed up by long stretches of highway and cornfields.

But for Dylan Mattheisen, the singer and guitarist for Minnesota trio Tiny Moving Parts, the Midwest has its share of upsides, too.

“It seems like time goes a lot slower . . . here,” Mattheisen said. “Not as busy. [E]verybody is very genuine and nice and have manners.”

This heartland politeness has helped carry the band out of their hometown of Benson, Minnesota and across America and Canada.

Tiny Moving Parts, who will be performing at Fall Line Fest on Saturday, September 6, is a family band of sorts, consisting of Mattheisen and his cousins Matthew Chevalier and Billy Chevalier on bass/vocals and drums.

While 2013 saw the group performing primarily at DIY venues and house shows in support of their release, This Couch is Long and Full of Friendship, the stakes have been raised in 2014. So far this year they have toured with the likes of Modern Baseball and Sorority Noise, and starting in October they will share the stage with Dads, Nai Harvest and Choir Vandals well into November.

“It’s just been a blast, honestly,” Mattheisen said. “Everything is exciting right now.”

Amidst the insanity of touring, however, Tiny Moving Parts will release their new full-length record, Pleasant Living, September 9 on Triple Crown Records. The album marks a new direction for the band, who are known for their math rock tendencies mixed with elements of pop-punk and post-hardcore.

Pleasant Living retains all the nuances of Tiny Moving Parts’ previous releases, but adds more singing and stronger, frequent melodies.

“With the Couch record, it was more in-your-face, kind of aggressive,” said Mattheisen. “ We didn’t wanna write the same album, you know? We wanted to have a different look at every song we wrote; we’re really happy how it turned out.”

The band worked with producer J. Robbins, known for his work at the helms of bands such as mewithoutYou and Against Me!.

“I totally fan-boyed him,” Mattheisen said in reference to Robbins. “That A-B-Life album[mewithoutYou’s first album, produced by Robbins] . . . is still one of my all-time favorite albums, like ever since I was fourteen-years-old.”

The attention to sound and detail Robbins brings to the table is apparent. Pleasant Living treads between grit and clarity, the band pushing on the brink of recklessness while still remaining cohesive as a group. There’s a strong sense of collaboration between artist and producer.

“We all clicked really well,” Mattheisen said of the recording process. “When we recorded the album, [Robbins] had such great ideas. Every input he [gave] made perfect sense. Just an overall great guy, had a great sense of humor.”

It would be easy to write off Tiny Moving Parts as one of a plethora of bands creating waves in what has been known as the “emo revival”. The term, mainly created by music critics and bloggers, refers to bands whose sound harkens backs to the emotional hardcore bands of the mid-to-late 90’s.

While Tiny Moving Parts find nothing wrong with the phrase or the movement itself, they prefer to see the bigger picture when it comes to their musical aspirations.

“It is what it is,” said Matthisen. “We don’t try to have our records sounding like they’re ’emo revival.’ It just so happens we like these emo revival bands. It doesn’t bother us, but we don’t empasize it at all.”

Regardless of genre definition, Tiny Moving Parts is on its way to becoming one of the most energetic and respected bands of this decade and beyond. Their fan base is a dedicated and fervent one, and it’s clear the band gives back just as much dedication, as is made apparent via Pleasant Living. The band has brought said energy to Richmond on multiple occasions in the past.

“We play the Camel a lot the few times we’ve been there,” Matthisen said. “Richmond’s been great to us. We’re pumped to come back.”

Although the touring life is a hectic and often scheduled one, Mattheisen is looking forward to catch some bands while at Fall Line Fest.

“Our drummer Billy has been really getting into The Hold Steady,” Mattheisen said.“So I’m definitely going to check [them] out.”

Tiny Moving Parts will be performing at Strange Matter Saturday, September 6 starting at 10:30pm. For more information regarding tickets and schedules, visit 2014.falllinefest.com.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner




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