The Made of Chalk Sargent House Takeover continues! Here is the first of three videos to come from TTNG who just released their second full length album titled 126.96.36.199.0 earlier this year. The band is currently on tour with Tera Melos in support of this release. You can check out the remaining dates here! and see Tera Melos and Native videos in the take over HERE.
TTNG live in Oxford “I’ll Take The Minute Snake” - cheers to GreenDore Films for sharing
TTNG performing the song ‘Adventure, Stamina & Anger’ and Interview with our friends at Stop the Silence - shot on February 12, 2013 @ B2 Club in Moscow, Russia.
TTNG will be heading out on tour with Tera Melos in the USA & CANADA starting April 18th - SEE ALL DATES HERE
There is greatness here. The cumulative effect of TTNG’s 188.8.131.52.0 (released January 22) – a title that references the Mayan calendar’s counting sequence covering the beginning and end of creation – is mounting impressiveness. Weaving seamlessly between exposed delicacy and tough, technical musicianship with impactful oomph, the album charms and charms, and the more one revisits it the better it gets. There are some surface similarities to ursine alternative rock darlings Grizzly Bear, Bear In Heaven and Minus the Bear but Oxford, England’s TTNG are more robust instrumentalists capable of the kind of finger-knotting complexity within melodic frameworks worthy of Rush and Tortoise. Add in the curving, unexpectedly enticing voice of lead singer Henry Tremain, whose pipes and phrasing recall the wild bird flap of Smiths-era Morrissey and Bronski Beat’s Jimmy Somerville, and you’ve got a unique combination of primary elements. The captivating clawhammer picking of guitarist Tim Collis and controlled ferocity of drummer Chris Collis weave together so well with Tremain’s swooping vocals and whomp-heavy bass, and it’s only at the end of this set that one realizes the wide range of moods and subject matter that’s been covered. A humanist thread emerges early on opener Cat Fantastic, which notes, “You feel less satisfied the more you acquire…You’ll be happy when you’re willing to share.” But these aren’t tambourine whacking hippies by any stretch of the imagination. There is something big, bold and beautiful gestating in this trio, and 184.108.40.206.0 is the sound of that multitudinous thing kicking and squirming, ready to burst into the world. (Dennis Cook)
DON’T MISS TTNG ON TOUR SEE ALL SHOW INFO HERE
Ever-burned into our musical conscious through his affiliation with alternative heavy hitters TTNG (formally This Town Needs Guns), guitarist Tim Collis is renowned for his technical playing style and effortless, progressive technique. Having played in the Oxford-based band for countless years, with records released through Big Scary Monsters and Sargent House, we caught up with Tim off the back of an EU tour to talk about his playing style, his vintage Fender amp, and his inspirations as a musician…
TTNG spent last year re-imagining themselves as a band, pushing on to tour with an altered line-up. Where other bands would fall by the way-side, they’ve evolved enough to be firmly looking forward to a great future, and their recently released new album is the perfect hard evidence for it. James Fox had a chat with guitarist Tim Collis on where they’re at, and what’s in store next.
You’ve got a lot ahead of you it seems this year. But yesterday you had your new album out, 220.127.116.11.0, your first one as a three piece after Stu and Jamie left. How was the creative process this time?
It was pretty different, as you might expect with both Stu and Jamie leaving. Jamie was around for the writing of that album actually, and some of the basic ideas and riffs we started with had actually been around for a couple of years. So it was a bit funny – we had little bits from up to 2 or 3 years ago, some bits that were more recent to when the album was recorded, and quite a lot of parts that were just experimentation in the studio at the time. It was a weird process that combined all three ways, compared to the previous record where we just wrote a bunch of songs together, tried to grab what time we could, and recorded them pretty much as they were in rehearsal. It was a bit freer this time and it was more intense and definitely more serious. We’d flown producer Ed Rose over from the states so we knew it was a bit more serious and things had stepped up for us in some ways. It was a good process though.
The instrumentation on the record seems a little bit more adventurous?
Yeah, definifetly. We had a bit more time and a little bit more budget which is great because you can then obviously do things that are a bit more experimental. You’ve got the time and the ability risk it, and you’ve even got in a better a studio the means to do that with better equipment or different equipment. There are a few different flavours on there, some different instruments we tried out. There’s some really random stuff like wine glasses with liquid in them and making all sorts of noises with those. There are a few more effects. With the previous record it was pretty clean and it was just vocals, drums, bass, guitar and that was it. It was nice to try some new stuff out this time for sure.
TTNG are happy to announce their upcoming USA & Canadian tour dates with Sargent House label mates Tera Melos.
SEE ALL SHOW DETAILS HERE
TERA MELOS & TTNG TOUR 2013
Apr 18, 2013 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Apr 19, 2013 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Apr 20, 2013 - Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
Apr 23, 2013 - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
Apr 24, 2013 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue 7th Street Entry
Apr 25, 2013 - Appleton, WI @ Lawrence University
Apr 26, 2013 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
Apr 27, 2013 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theater/The Magic Stick
Apr 28, 2013 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
Apr 29, 2013 - Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
Apr 30, 2013 - Hamden, CT @ The Space
May 1, 2013 - Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
May 2, 2013 - Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
May 3, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire - (early show) SOLD OUT
May 3, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire - (late show) SOLD OUT
May 4, 2013 - Washington, DC @ DC9
May 5, 2013 - Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade
May 7, 2013 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
May 8, 2013 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
May 9, 2013 - Miami, FL @ Bardot
May 10, 2013 - Ybor City, FL @ Crowbar
May 11, 2013 - Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
May 13, 2013 - Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
May 15, 2013 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
May 16, 2013 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
May 17, 2013 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
May 18, 2013 - Austin, TX @ Red 7
May 19, 2013 - San Antonio, TX @ The Korova
May 20, 2013 - El Paso, TX @ Low Brow
May 21, 2013 - Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock
May 22, 2013 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
May 23, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
May 24, 2013 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Constellation Room
May 25, 2013 - San Francisco, CA @ The Bottom of the Hill
May 26, 2013 - Fresno, CA @ Star Palace Ballroom
TTNG (formally known as This Town Needs Guns) Have had quite the year. TTNG found out that their lead singer and guitar player Stuart Smith would be leaving the band to start a family and the band recruited singer Henry Tremain. However, soon after beginning work on their new record the band was faced with loosing bass player Jamie Cooper as well. As Cooper exited the band Tremain took it upon himself to take up the bass duties and transformed the band into a trio leaving brothers Chris Collis on percussion and Tim Collis on guitar.
Throughout the major shifts in the line up TTNG managed to write and release one of my favorite albums of the year thus far. 18.104.22.168.0 was released in the first part of January 2013 and quickly started garnering major attention. I was able to send some questions to the band and after a short stint of touring in the UK, TTNG’s Chris was able to get back to us with some responses.
Note: At the original time the interview was sent TTNG had not yet changed their name.
TTNG in Zero Core click here to read full frame on page 27 of the Issu.
TTNG’S headline tour with Nate Kinsella’s solo project Birthmark joining on all shows starts in Paris on January 31st! Both bands are touring in support of their latest releases.
THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS / BIRTHMARK TOUR - 2013
Jan 31, 2013 - Paris, France @ Les Combustibles
Feb 1, 2013 - Bielefeld, Germany @ AJZ
Feb 2, 2013 - Dortmund, Germany @ FZW
Feb 3, 2013 - Hamburg, Germany @ Astra Stube
Feb 5, 2013 - Denmark, Copenhangen @ Basement Show
Feb 6, 2013 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Kulturhuset Lava
Feb 7, 2013 - Oslo, Norway @ Kampen Bistro
Feb 8, 2013 - Kristiansand, Norway @ Pir 6
Feb 9, 2013 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ BETA
Feb 10, 2013 - Prague, Czech Republic @ Klub 007
Feb 11, 2013 - Giessen, Germany @ Muk Gießen
Feb 13, 2013 - Berlin, Germany @ Magnet also w/ Maps & Atlases
Feb 14, 2013 - Leipzig, Germany @ Werk II
Feb 15, 2013 - Aachen, Germany @ Musikbunker
Feb 16, 2013 - Enschede, Holland @ The Loch
Feb 17, 2013 - Leuven, Belgium @ Room 66
SEE ALL SHOW DETAILS AND UPDATES HERE
All of us at Sargent House love and support this statement and the reasons for why the band wanted to change their moniker 100%.
Statement made by Henry Tremain below
“Seems a few people are lacking our reasoning behind the name change and jumping to speculation. I’ve just popped our statement about the change up on the main page of our website
Hopefully this will give you a little more context behind the change.
I’d also like you to know that my personal want to move away from the full name is completely abstract from any current events or social pressures of political correctness. When the boys asked me if I would consider joining the band, the name made it very difficult for me. I eventually got perspective and realised that the opportunity to work with such amazing musicians was way more important than my dislike of a silly band name. It wasn’t until in the band that the gravity of the name became more obvious, and that it wasn’t just a silly band name. With stories of people being on the receiving end of abuse for wearing the band’s t-shirts, the importance of context on the name was clear - without the knowledge that it was the name of a band, the statement ‘this town needs guns’ is left to be taken literally. As we continue promoting the bands music, the name is going to find itself in more and more places without this qualifying context to excuse it.
I am an adamant pacifist and the idea of guns and indeed any form of violence turns my stomach. The idea of attaching myself to such a statement, that can so readily be taken out of context, and irony overlooked, has felt like a real compromise on my integrity.
Anyways, we are not violent people, we don’t make violent music, why should we have a violent name? I often wonder how many people have been put off listening to the band assuming that the music is really heavy.
So why not change to a completely new name all together? Because we’re still the same band. We still play old songs and want to continue doing so. Sure the band’s evolved since the last release, but TTNG has always been in a state of flux throughout the bands history. In fact, on the album ‘Animals’, for which the band is most known, Stu was the only original member. So that’s it, we’re still the same band, we’re just moving forwards. Changing the name all together would sever the link between the old material and the new and remove it from being seen as the progression that it is as a whole body of work.
Having just read this back I realise that it might seem to some that the name change has been my idea, I assure you that this is not the case. It is a decision that we have come to together with the help, love and support of our amazing record label Sargent House.
I’m going to pop back here to see if anyone has any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.”
High-fives and goodtimes,
Conversations: This Town Needs Guns
I went to a cocktail bar in Shoreditch to talk to the delightful members of TTNG prior to the launch show of their newest full-length, 22.214.171.124.0. Whilst professionally sipping over glasses of Coke, they had the following to say…
It’s great to see you guys back in London. Was there any reason in choosing to have the album launch at the Old Blue Last?
Henry Tremain: Well we decided we wanted to do a launch show pretty late in the day, and we got in contact with our friend Haruna who is a wonderful promoter. We asked her if she was up for putting a show on, and I think it was her suggestion to do the Old Blue. But personally, having been a Londoner, I really appreciate the Old Blue just for the fact that they have cheap and often free shows on, which in London is pretty rare.
Seeing as the new album comes out tomorrow, it makes sense to talk about that. I was wondering if you could outline when and how the new material started coming about?
Tim Collis: It’s been quite a long process in some ways. The ideas for some of the songs, and certain sections of songs came up to about three years ago. But we do have some stuff that was written more recently, like last year just before recording the album, and some of it during recording the album. We’d be experimenting and playing with stuff as we were in the studio.
Henry: That was the most fun really, most of the inbetween tracks on the album were quite often an idea Tim would have, that was no more than some chords or a riff, and we built it up in the studio together and that collaborative process with Ed Rose (Producer) was thoroughly enjoyable. I think that’s when he enjoyed the session the most as well, getting to be creative himself rather than simply managing the mechanical process of recording pre-written songs.
Having listened to it through a few times, do you think it’s fair to say that it’s perhaps more varied and eclectic than previous works?
On the eve of their new album’s release, This Town Needs Guns have announced a name change — they’re cutting out all those pesky words and calling themselves simply TTNG. The album title, 126.96.36.199.0, is a reference to the rebirth signaled at the end of the Mayan calendar (we’re still here, aren’t we?!), and it’s their first album with a new three-man lineup. So in a way, it’s fitting that 2013 also sees the band rebranding themselves.
In a statement announcing the name change, the band said the following:
“Over the years, many of you have asked where the band name comes from. As a band originating in Oxford, UK, ‘This Town Needs Guns’ was simply a name chosen by a group of friends wanting to make music together. At the time, this name was not considerd particularly offensive and indeed was an ironic statement given the setting of such a historic and cultural city as Oxford.
Context plays a big part in the way a band name such as ‘This Town Needs Guns’ may be perceived. In the UK, guns are not present. Ordinarily, our police force do not even carry guns. Within this context, an idea such as a town needing guns seems too absurd to be taken seriously.
However, eight years on, things have changed. With our music now finding new cultures, the irony of the name is no longer implicit. Also, in light of the controversy over gun ownership in the US as well as tragic shootings there and elsewhere in the world, we want to distance ourselves from a band name which we are now uncomfortable with.
We hope this change of name doesn’t disappoint anyone. It is the music that is important, not the name. As Shakespeare’s Juliet said “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’”
Honestly, anyone walking by a television screen or newsstand in the last month probably saw this coming. However, as the band’s label stresses, the name change won’t be altered for the album artwork, or listings on iTunes, Amazon, etc. “The band is altering its name to the shorter TTNG for all of their purposes moving forward, but that won’t affect their web site URL, Facebook page, retail items, etc.”
Below is the Japanese version of the new Album’s Art, the first item to put into play the revision to their name.
188.8.131.52.0 hit retailers on January 22nd, through Sargent House. Below, take a listen to the album cut “I”ll Take The Minute Snake”.
Though it’s been quite a while in coming, there’s no doubting that the new This Town Needs Guns record is worth the increased wait. The band could very easily have called it quits after the departure of Stuart Smith and Jamie Cooper in 2011, but they’re still here, albeit as a slimmed-down three-piece. There’s nothing slimmed-down about the sound of ‘184.108.40.206.0’, though - it’s as full-on as anything else the band have produced up til now, and as usual it tends to veer in rather unexpected directions, focusing on acoustic beauty with ‘2 Birds, 1 Stone and an Empty Stomach’ and ‘Nice Riff, Clichard’ (the latter of which throws some glitchy rhythms into the mix), and seeing the band let their hair down with the extended outro to ‘I’ll Take the Minute Snake’. Their technical mastery remains undiminished, even if their second album is, on the whole, less frenetic than 2008 debut ‘Animals’, and the band veer into pop-like territory more often than before (especially on the brilliantly-titled ‘+3 Awesomeness Repels Water’). We don’t want to resort to cliché and call this a ‘maturation’ of the TTNG sound, but the more accessible approach taken on the album works wonders, and should bring them a whole ton of new admirers.