Tin Armor

Tin Armor

The first ever Cyclops Festival takes place Saturday, September 17, at John Bryan Center in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  In addition to featuring tons of handmade goods, the event also features music.  On the roster are Columbus quartet Tin Armor who just finished a US tour in support of their self-released second record, Life of Abundance.  Since launching the band in 2007, Tin Armor have nabbed support slots opening for nationally recognized bands, and have even been named “Band to Watch” by Columbus alt-weekly Alive.  We caught up with Tin Armor’s Matt Umland this week and asked him a few questions in order to get fest goers better acquainted with them.  Here’s what he said.

You Indie: You guys just returned from touring in support of your second album, Life of Abundance, correct?  How was that experience?

Matt Umland: Tour was great. We hadn’t been on a tour that lengthy in a while so it was nice to get out there again. We plan to do much more touring in the upcoming year. 

You Indie: How does Life of Abundance differ from your previous output?

Matt Umland: It’s a little slower and has a bit more variety on it. The songs are longer and have more instrumental work. We worked on these songs for a much longer time and I think they sound a bit more developed. 

You Indie: For a while you were shopping your album to indie labels, but then decided to put it out yourselves, right?  What prompted the decision to self-release?

Matt Umland: These days bands have the means of producing a record available to them so why not do it yourself? We worked for a while part-time and saved our money, paid to record it, then paid to press it. We spent our money, have our records and the freedom to do what we want with them. 

You Indie: Matt’s songwriting has been compared to Blake Schwarzenbach?  How accurate is that description?  What would you say your major influences are?

Matt Umland: Jawbreaker is cool, we like them but I wouldn’t put them high on our list of influences. These days we listen to a lot of Delay, Big Star, Belle and Sebastian, Sparklehorse, Crazy Horse, Paul Simon, Jackson Brown, Landlord and Madeline. 

You Indie: You and your brother are from Dayton, right?  Who are the Dayton bands that influenced your development as musicians growing up?

Matt Umland: Braniac and Enon were bands we liked. These days we really like the Motel Beds from Dayton.  

You Indie: You guys have had a big year; you were featured as a Band To Watch in Columbus Alive, have opened for a bunch of high profile bands in Columbus, and seem to be developing a great regional following.  What’s next for Tin Armor?

Matt Umland: Tour tour tour. We want to tour as much as possible. Nude photos for money? 

You Indie: How did you guys decide to play the Cyclops Fest?

Matt Umland: Brian Johnson (Basho) is an very old friend of ours. When he asked us to play, we said ‘yes.’ Plus it sounds like it will be sweet. 

You Indie: In keeping with the theme of the festival, if Tin Armor were a monster, what kind of monster would you be?

Matt Umland: Zoidberg.