Exclusive Interview with Tilian Pearson (Dance Gavin Dance)

Browse By

Tilian Pearson is currently on yet another tour. This time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the band he has been singing in since 2012, Dance Gavin Dance. He also is in the middle of promoting his new solo record which will be out at the end of this month. (11/27/15)
Amongst all that he took the time to sit down with me and answer a few questions about DGD, the new album, and….Dr. Dre?

N: What was the first band you were ever in?

T: “I was in an alternative band in L.A. when I was 18 called Secret Empire. I played bass. It was a valuable experience because it was the first time I practiced an instrument relentlessly.

N: What was the first concert you went to?

T: “I saw the Up In Smoke Tour with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Warren G, Xzibit, etc. I think that was in 2000. It was a pretty wild experience for me, being 12 or 13 years old at the time. I remember there was a video where Dre and Snoop got in a gun fight in a liquor store before coming out on stage. They asked the crowd before killing the last guy, “Should we do this n***a?” and the crowd screamed. They shot him a bunch of times and then came out on stage.”

N: What’s an artist you’d like to see live and never got to?

T: “I’d like to see A Perfect Circle.”

N: What are you listening to right now?

T: ” I’ve been on the new Børns album, the new Northlane, Pvris, Kimbra and Geographer.”

N: “How was the transition from Tides of Man to Dance Gavin Dance?”

T: “It was interesting singing other people’s songs at first, but now it seems more like a band with the current line-up. I’ve actually been in DGD now quite a bit longer than I was in Tides.”

N: How was it that you got in contact with DGD and started singing with them?

T: “We had previously toured together in separate bands and when they needed a new guy, Matt Mingus called me up and we talked about it. We did a trial together and then went from there.”

N: Which project (DGD & solo) would you say is easier to write for lyrically? Do you have to tailor your songwriting at any point or can you just write freely for both?

T: “DGD is much more free-flowing. I wouldn’t call it “easier” but it is definitely a little less pressure, given the band’s more avant-garde approach to writing songs. I guess the difference is one guy trying to paint a sensible picture verses six guys on one canvas, going one at a time.”

N: How long was the writing process for your upcoming album “Perfect Enemy”?

T : “It was sporadically written over the last three years. I tried to track list the album so it flows like a story. I had a long term relationship fall apart in that time period, so there was plenty of fuel for material.”

N: Where did you record the album?

T : “Six songs in Portland with Kris Crummett, one song I tracked in Malibu, CA and then Matt Malpass produced it from Atlanta. The rest were tracked in different studios in L.A.

N: Would you say that there is a healthy mix of more up-tempo poppy songs and more mellow songs (i.e. ‘All I Ever Do’ and ‘Tug Of War’?

T: “Sure. But for the most part, I wanted this album to sound more organic, so we used a lot more real instruments as opposed to synths and samples. There’s a rock song, a couple uptempo folk/pop songs and a good amount of songs with more space space.”

N: Any prospects for a Tilian solo tour?

T: “Yes, in late winter/early spring there will be a partial U.S. run.”

N: Have you considered doing any other “acoustic” or re imagined versions of DGD songs?

T: “Matt Mingus (DGD Drums) actually did a chilled out version of “Honey Revenge” on a Tilian tour in Australia.
Also, we re-recorded 12 live-style songs in Sacramento recently. Two songs from every album with Jon and I covering the vocals. Should be out on Rise Records pretty soon!”

Tilian’s third solo album will be released 11/27/15. You can pre-order “Perfect Enemy” HERE!
Get your tickets for the Dance Gavin Dance 10th Anniversary Tour HERE!
Grab your tickets now, dates are already selling out!
12240458_986047174784748_6421236424156919372_o