The Tiny Giant Artist CollectivePosted 01/18/2012 06:58AM by Zach Roth as Article
Upon reviewing and featuring Those Mockingbirds a few months ago, lead guy Adam Bird asked me if I'd be interested in covering other bands in his "collective," as he called it. I answered, "Of course" first, and "What's a collective?" second. He explained to me that it was essentially a group of bands helping each other out, sharing tips, and leads (like attractive and well-spoken reviewers, for example), maybe gigs, all for the good of everyone involved.
Then I asked him if this was a common thing. I hadn't heard of any local bands in a collective before. When he said he didn't think so, I thought it might be a great thing to share with all the small to mid-size bands who might be reading Decoy and interested in getting a leg up. Rather than me reporting on it, though, I thought I'd stick with what I do best and give some coverage to a few Tiny Giant bands, while one of the founding members would get an open forum to explain both the inception and mission of the Collective. So today, we've got the Collective's informative origin story for you, courtesy of the fruitful fingers of Eric Goldberg, who sings and plays both flavors of guitar for The Nico Blues. The following article will be a quick and dirty run-down of the kind of talent on Tiny Giant's roster, courtesy of me. So pull out your reading glasses, and acquaint yourself with Eric's autobiography of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective.
The Tiny Giant Artist Collective: Our Band Could Be Your Life
(alt. subtitle: This isn't Eric Goldberg; it's Reed Adler, I just liked this picture.)
The Tiny Giant Artist Collective stems from the twisted minds of members of The Nico Blues, Holy City Zoo, and Those Mockingbirds. Originally an idea for a record label, the Collective was founded in the summer of 2010 when Eric Goldberg and Reed Adler of The Nico Blues and Frank Defranco, AJ Russo, and Joe Lanza of Holy City Zoo met to discuss ideas on how to cultivate a scene in New Jersey. The five of us noticed pockets of scenes brewing in New Brunswick, Hoboken, and Kearny, and we wanted a way to unite everyone and establish a community. Using the book Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad and the 1980’s underground music scene as our inspiration, Eric suggested the name “Tiny Giant.” It seemed to be the perfect banner and description for our attitudes and what we were trying to accomplish. Tiny Giant is a group of regular people who can do a lot of small things together to create one big result. A few months after our initial meeting, the Facebook group was created to foster communication and a community between bands.
Reed brought Adam Bird of Those Mockingbirds into the fold and together we started to slowly add bands to the Facebook group. Frank, AJ, and Joe ran with Tiny Giant, booking mind-blowing shows at the now-defunct New Brunswick bar McCormick’s and promoting the cause to all in attendance. New Brunswick, already famous for its legendary basement scene, had fallen a bit dormant in recent years with mostly only “slop punk” bands playing the area. However, under the Tiny Giant name the members of Holy City Zoo were able to unite New Brunswick’s blossoming indie rock scene under one banner. Utilizing the New Brunswick basement scene and the connections that Those Mockingbirds and The Nico Blues had in Northern NJ, the group has been able to unite bands who would’ve otherwise not known each other. After several months of adding bands, the group began to also include bloggers and photographers. Since then, the Collective has grown exponentially.
The goal of the Collective is to create a self-sustaining scene full of great bands, artists, bloggers, and photographers all in it for the music. The group is non-profit and based in New Jersey, but it also includes bands in both Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Bands in the Collective are now part of a community and a show circuit that continues to expand throughout the Northeast. The Collective has put out a 14-band compilation, has put on several showcases at various venues including the famous NJ venue Maxwell’s, and is currently working on a zine. The zine will feature Tiny Giant bands and be distributed at shows to help promote the bands involved. We work under the motto: “Ask not what the Collective can do for you, but what you can do for the Collective,” tasking each member to bring something important and unique to the table for the benefit of all the rest. There is no genre involved in the group, though all the bands could fall under the “alternative rock” category. The Collective is based around punk rock ideals, but none of the bands play generic punk rock. Instead, each band strives to build on the music of the past to create its own style, often with punk rock as a basis. The Tiny Giant Artist Collective is currently building its own website (www.tinygiant.org) and looking forward to expanding in 2012.
Bands mentioned in this article can be seen and heard at:
Those Mockingbirds (website)
The Nico Blues (website)
Holy City Zoo (bandcamp)
and the Tiny Giant Artist Collective can be found on Facebook!