After our recent article on Unsaved Progress by Double Experience, I had a chance to sit down and ask guitarist Brock Tinsley some questions for an interview with Slickster.
Interview with Double Experience’s Brock Tinsley
Slickster: You’ve just released your third album, what has that process felt like for you? And to follow up, how long of a process did you go through to get Unsaved Progress released?
Tinsley: In so many words, our last album was a lot of really great ideas that we recorded, whereas our new album was a lot of really great songs that we recorded. Technically, the process only took about a month and a half of writing and two weeks of recording throughout October and November.
But as the album title suggests, the process started before we wrote the new songs, before our last album was even released and we were still auditioning drummers. We were always working towards this album, and we wanted people who support the band to know that they might not see every challenge we overcame, but we were making progress the entire time.
You obviously take a lot of inspiration from nerd culture, can you elaborate on what that means for you? For instance, what was it like writing a song about Godzilla?
Our whole band was raised on video games, we all visit comic conventions to add to our collections and meet our heroes and so on. The way we see it, a well-designed game is the modern day Rembrandt painting. Humans have always rallied around something that combines technical prowess and creativity because it inspires them to contribute to life in their own way.
Writing songs about the art-form of video games or graphic novels and anything else has helped us prove that rock music has been stuck in a rut for years. Lately, “Rock” could just as easily describe Nickelback as it does The Black Keys or Blue Oyster Cult. By the way, Blue Oyster Cult get full credit for “Godzilla.”
Maybe it was our way to remind people that this isn’t some nerd culture bandwagon we’re taking for a joyride, these are topics that have been focal points on rock music for years but these songs never get a fair shake because they weren’t about banging groupies or getting wasted.
Would you consider yourselves nerds? Tell us a little about that, what are your more geeky interests?
Well, speaking on behalf of the guys, I know Ian is really into Star Trek and the Lord of the Rings novels. Daf is more into classic video games like Pokémon or any game you’d find at a local arcade. I enjoy all of those, but I’m really into horror movies the most.
You guys have a UK tour coming up, what is the most exciting thing about going overseas to play music?
It used to be because we wanted to build a global profile to make Canadians pay attention to us, but now we’ve actually dug our roots so deep in the UK that it’s now become a reliable, annual visit that allows us to keep touring or creating music. The support shown to live music culture in the UK is far more impressive than Canada, as sad as that is to say.
Speaking of live shows, are there any memories from past live shows you’d like to share with Slickster’s readers? One ridiculous night, or perhaps one crazy fan?
We were playing a festival in the Alps last year and we had to follow a four piece local DJ act who dress up in Teletubbies costumes and essentially wreak havoc onstage. They obviously perform incredibly inebriated and for this festival in particular they showed up minutes before their set on bicycles and pretty much rode directly onstage, plugged in their laptop and started their show.
The crowd loved them, but the novelty wore off once they began throwing the bicycles into the audience, making out with each other on stage, doing cartwheels and feeding each other hotdogs. Leave it to the Canadian band to bring the peace after that spectacle!
Favorite pizza toppings?
Ian likes Chicken and BBQ sauce, Daf likes Meat, and I like extra cheese or jalapenos.
What would be your dream tour lineup? Assuming you were the headliners, who would you want to open for you and why?
This might be a boring answer, but unless the other musical act was eager to collaborate on a show or some other wow-factor for the specific tour, I’d sooner tour with a comedian like Brian Posehn than another musical act.
One of my favorite bands, Queens of the Stone Age, recently did a Halloween show where you had to go through a haunted maze to make it inside the venue, where a micro festival of bands and a freak show awaited them. It’s up to bands to start treating shows as more than 60 minutes of their music and move towards events or spectacles.
Are there any bands you’ve played with or look forward to playing with that you’d like to recommend to Slickster readers?
We’re going to be playing with Lionize soon. They’re like a reggae Clutch, who are also one of my favorite bands. And a friend recently showed me Dirty Loops, who almost sound like soul video game music. Their compositions are really dense but it’s actually a breath of fresh air compared to what else is out there.
What are your favorite movies? And to follow up, how have those movies influenced your music?
Well, I can’t speak for the others aside from their love of Star Wars, but I personally collect original memorabilia from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from autographs, VHS, posters and so on. Even the same model of chainsaw from the film sits at my place, which always makes guests hilariously uncomfortable on their first visit.
As for our music, one of our songs, “Horror Beyond Imagination,” was directly about people who watch movies to the point they are convinced they really happened. The biggest example I can think of was a study I read about Avatar, where people became depressed and even suicidal when they realized they would never be able visit the utopian planet.
How about your favorite video games? Any strong influence from there?
Again, Daf and I are huge fans of the Pokémon games, whereas Ian and I play Destiny and Diablo together. If a song isn’t overtly about one game like “The Glimmer Shot” is about Destiny, then we’ll try and sneak references into other songs as a passing nod.
“AAA,” for example, is about a guy trying to hit on the best arcade player in the world, and there are tons of references to old pinball titles all the way up to Super Smash Bros in that song.
Stay updated on the band here and pick up a copy of Unsaved Progress if you like your rock and roll by way of full-frontal nerdity.