5 Questions: Backstage with Jeremy Dawson of Shiny Toy Guns

Alcohol is a hell of a drug.  Last night, Twin Cities party people turned up in droves to the Fine Line for Amstel Light's Amsterdam Live showcase, thirsty for the gallons of free beer and an impressive lineup of music, including DJ Steve Aoki and LA electro-rock outfit Shiny Toy Guns. The Guns aren't Minneapolis virgins--they've been here often, either in support of other bands or as headliners themselves. Combine a solid Minneapolis fan base with a boatload of free brew, and the result gets a little rowdy, even on a school night (if you were there, you might even be reading this from the comfort of your couch after you called in sick). Amidst all the chaos, Gimme Noise had a chance to catch up with Shiny Toy Guns' bassist and keyboard wizard, Jeremy Dawson, who talked to us about tour essentials, killer albums, and dressing up like King Arthur.

Gimme Noise:  So, what's up with the show tonight?  What brings you to Minneapolis this time around? 

Jeremy Dawson:  Well, the tour is a performance/art/music conglomorate that focuses on the art and music of Amsterdam. You know how Amsterdam is art and music first, work later...that's why it's great, and it works. So, different bands, art collectives, dance troupes have gotten together for some shows, trying to do that sort of thing, but American style.  Just give it that kind of Amsterdam feeling, and it's really cool that it's free. We're doing a few dates on this Amstel tour, and they'll bring in a shit-hot DJ like Steve Aoki, or b-boy crews, all these paintings, and...and...

Chad Petree (guitar, vocals): shit...

JD:  [laughs]  Oh yeah, we'll get into that later.  The late-night interview.

GN:  When you get done with the show and head back to the tour bus, what will you be listening to?

JD:  White Lies. A lot. Too much. I've never heard such an album, not in years. The whole record is amazing. It's a real album, y'know? They're untouchable right now, going on tour with Coldplay and Kings of Leon...and they're 19. So young. The oldest one is 20. Unreal. It makes me sick.

GN:  The last Shiny Toy Guns album just came out last year, right? What are you guys working on this year? There were some rumors about appearing on some high-profile soundtracks...

JD:  A lot of it's up in the air right now, and some of it I can't talk stuff, y'know? But, there are a few things. What can I talk about? You know Mark Ruffalo? He's almost finished with his new movie, and one of the main songs that's in the movie--it's about a band--and the song the band learns is one that Chad and I wrote. The guy...the lead singer from Mars Volta sings it. He's really awesome. It should be a big movie. I don't know if we have any more TV lined up, but you know we did Yo Gabba Gabba, and it was a blast. It's a hip, kinda trippy kids TV show. Chad was dressed up as a banana. I was King Arthur. But, yeah, there will be a few other things this year, other than this tour.

GN:  Speaking of the tour, what are your essentials while you're out on the road? What are the things you can't live without?

JD:  Look over there [points to bar and laughs]. No, but really...sleep. Sleep is important. And when you're out traveling around a lot, it's really nice to come to a venue and have the towel, the wi-fi, some drinks, food. Our tour manager is really busy, so it becomes a nightmare if we have to track it all down when we get here. The green room is important. But, look around, we don't need a lot. There's no bowl of only green M&Ms over there. This is it.

GN:  So there's no crazy stuff on your rider? You don't demand live tigers or anything?

JD:  No, no live tigers. Jalapenos. We request jalapenos, but we never eat them, ever. We just like to order them. [laughs]

STG albums Season of Poison and We Are Pilots out now on Universal

Shiny Toy Guns @ Hype Machine