Up and coming band Tin Sparrow is part of the lineup at this year’s Festival of the Sun. This year has seen them touring extensively and releasing a new single … even receiving some airplay on a couple of popular American TV shows. Performing at more festivals in the future is also on the agenda for this popular group.
Tell us a little about Tin Sparrow and how and when you got together?
Well, we’ve been together for two and a half years now. Most of us got together at uni, and the singer, Matt, he went to school with our drummer. So we came from a few different places, but once we got together and started fleshing it, out it kinda worked out well.
Give us an overview of the band members and that ‘something special’ they each bring to the group.
We have Matt Emery, who is our singer, leader and front man; he is an excellent songwriter, and I guess he respects a lot of the classic Australian songwriters like Paul Kelly, and that comes across in his writing. Our drummer, Mark Pickles, who is an excellent drummer and musician – he is a bass player, guitar player and has a really nice voice; Sonia Van Hummel is our sole female member and aside from being a heartbreaker/heartthrob for all the male audience members, she too is excellent musician and has an amazing voice – she can play like three instruments at once! It’s pretty awesome.
And then there’s me; I play guitar.
So you guys had a new single out in October?
Yes, that’s true. We just finished recording it a couple days ago in Melbourne with Tom Youngset from Big Scary, and this single signals a bit of a shift from our usual kids’ stuff. We’ve tried a few different ideas out and thought it’s a little more Pop focused … umm yeah; we’re pretty stoked with it, and it should be out in a few weeks.
You said that Matt is your main songwriter?
Yeah, he generally comes up with the main sort of core idea – and then we get together and flesh it out with him.
You’ll be visiting Port Macquarie this December for Festival of the Sun. Have you guys played many festivals over the last 2½ years?
Ah, we’ve played a couple. The first one we really did was Peats Ridge, which was a couple of years ago. We were pretty scared about it, and we haven’t really played many since, but we will be doing a few this December and we’re super excited – especially for me personally.
I mean, what could be better than going to a festival and hanging our with a bunch of weird people and seeing heaps of bands while getting some sunshine! So yeah … I am pretty stoked.
A couple of the songs you have produced have been picked up by hit TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Body of Proof. How do opportunities like that come about for such a young band?
Well … I guess it’s the work of our publisher, who is based out of Melbourne, and well … I guess we owe them a lot of thanks for pushing out our music to a few different places around the globe. It’s worked out pretty well.
That must have helped create some momentum for the band?
Yeah, in a way for sure. I mean, with a show like Grey’s Anatomy, they have a huge audience in America and we have never been over there, but hopefully when we do, maybe that sort of stuff will help us in the long run.
You have toured with some big bands and artists too and opened for their gigs on tour. What opportunities has that given you for exposure?
We went through with Matt Corby, and it was actually a pretty crazy first half of the year. We went around with Husky, then Matt Corby and then Boy & Bear for 6 weeks, and cruising with massive bands like that, you just learn so much. The main thing is seeing the amount of hard work and effort that goes into a show of that size and sort of learning from those guys who have been on the road a lot longer than us … seeing how they conduct themselves and just sort of learning the ropes from them.
And it must be good to be able to leverage off their fan base, as they have a huge following?
(Laughs.) Yeah! Especially Matt Corby and Boy & Bear – their fans are hard core. It’s amazing to be able to play in front of them and try our best to steal a little bit of the limelight. It helps a lot.
So what’s on the calendar for 2013?
Well, I believe we’re working on a new EP, which should be released about March next year. We’re playing one or two festivals early next year as well, and I guess we’re just planning on expanding what we’re doing and to keep pushing and putting songs out and meeting new people and having fun.
Tin Sparrow will be playing at FOTSUN on December 14 & 15. For tickets, go to fotsun.com