Tinder Interview

Tinder is the band name for a musician from Toronto named Shawn. As you’ll read below, he was in other bands but this is his first solo record under the name Tinder. With help from producer Eric Matthews, Tinder released a terrific ep earlier this year that needs to be heard by all ears. Read below and find out what makes this guy tick an head on over to his bandcamp page while you’re at it.

Are you originally from Toronto? If not where did you grow up?
I’m from a smaller town SW of the T-dot (as we refer to ourselves). I lived in London England for a few years, and then settled in Toronto. It’s a great town.

What was the first record you bought with your own money?
I’m not certain, but I think it was a shared purchase between myself and my Mom, for the Musical Youth record. Pass the Dutchy was huge that year and I loved the cover shot of the band.

What was the first band/record that you became obsessed with?
One day, I, became interested in my Mother’s record collection. Loads of Elvis, Rolling Stones and of course the Beatles. My Mother was from England, and moved to Canada during the British invasion. So, not only was a complete Beatles record collection available to me, but in many cases UK and Canadian pressings…there were different track listings on the two versions. Needless to say, the Beatles became an obsession.

I used to drum along to the records too. I didn’t have a drum kit, but a practice pad and a pair of sticks. Oh, I did have a snare drum from my Grandfather. He played.

Is it your first record you have released under this band name or any other?
I am a drummer by trade. Played in a number of projects over the years. Had great experiences in the UK, and was in a band that released records/CD with indie record label – Fierce Panda.

This is the first record that I have put out – solo. Other than Eric, and he plays lots of stuff and sings some amazing harmonies, I wrote, played on and sang.

How did you come up with the band name, Tinder?
I liked the way it looked, thought it was easy to remember. I guess I like the meaning too.

I love the EP. How many other songs do you have ready for release?
Thank you very much. I don’t know any musician who doesn’t like to be liked.

I finished and recorded these songs a couple years ago and think I had enough for an album. I took some time off to focus on my daughter (she’s 2 now). Now that I’m focusing a little more on the music again, I feel like there is much more to come.

How did you meet Eric Matthews? Did he offer to produce?
I first reached out to Eric on Myspace. For me , that site really broke down boundaries. Pages were very similar, whether or not you were a indie act, or a pop star. Everyone had the same glitchy music player, etc.

Naturally you check out those who were inspirational to you. Eric’s records – solo and otherwise were really important to me when they came out. I was a bit of a music nerd in school, band, played percussion in a youth orchestra, liked and played jazz. Eric Matthews brought the elements of music that I loved; great recording, playing, arrangements, strong pop/rock songs, plus not only limited to the guitar…AND he was on Sub Pop!

I started my myspace page, and reached out to him and he kindly offered some feedback on my demos. Some of which ended up on the EP. Needless to say, I was chuffed. Following this Eric proposed we record some of these tunes. We did it completely via file sharing on ProTools. No pre-production. It was a lot of emailing.

How has the response been to the cd so far?
My friends and family like it. You and Dagger have been the first to review, which I thank you for. I continue to spread the word.

What has been the most interesting things someone has said about your music?
I like that most who listen have their own favorite song. Not one seems more popular than the other. I like that. I also like that people pick up on some elements that would be closely associated with my foundational influences (Beatles, Bowie, etc) but say it doesn’t sound like them. I think you said in your review Beatles to Badfinger, which was cool.

Will there be any shows/touring?
Currently, I am doing smaller shows, but plans are to have a larger band so to play the record more authentically…

If push comes to shove what is your all-time favorite record?
Gosh. Revolver is so important, London Calling, Television, Velvet Underground, Low/Heroes/Lodger? I think, I’ll do better on the top 10 discs.

Top 10 desert island discs?
London Calling – Clash
Elliot Smith – XO
Beatles – Revolver
Low – Bowie
Iggy Pop -The Idiot
Television – Marquee Moon
Big Star – #1 Record
Luna – Penthouse
The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

Special Mention:
Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
John Grant – Queen of Denmark
Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
100% Dynamite – Soul Jazz Comp – I need some Dub/Reggae on an island, no?

There are so many more…

Name 5 bands from Toronto that I need to know about now.
Austra – does a cool This Mortal Coil meet electro-pop thing.
Diamond Rings – glammy with good tunes
Hooded Fang –
Timber Timbre
Great Lake Swimmers

You got a day job?
Yes. I work in HR.

Final words? Closing comments? Words of wisdom? Anything you want to talk about that I didn’t ask?
Thanks for the opportunity to speak to your readers and helping a guy out.

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