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Interview:
Shiny Toy Guns Takes Aim At Success
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Shiny Toy Guns is no stranger to the cliché that the third time’s the charm.

The Los Angeles electro-rock quartet recorded its debut album, “We Are Pilots,” three times before its major label release in October, tweak- ing sounds, lyrics and arrangements with each successive session.

Keyboardist/bassist Jeremy Dawson says that there were, and are, plenty of new songs to record, but the group was invested in giving the 11 tracks on “We Are Pilots” the best shot it could.

“We felt like, ‘OK, we have these songs. We’ve played them this many times. People like them. It’s working,’ ” explains Dawson, 30, who’s been playing with singer-guitarist Chad Petree since the two were teenagers in tiny Shawnee, Okla., and put together Shiny Toy Guns in 2003 in Los Angeles.

“We felt like we would be idiots to throw all this away and just make a new record. It would blow everything we’ve done for four years. So we said, ‘Let’s just bite the lip and act like we just wrote the songs and go for it.’ We went to New York and made Version 3.0 of the album.”

The process did make a difference, however. With the club-style “Le Disko” bringing fans to the party — to the tune of nearly 500,000 plays on MySpace — listener reaction has prompted Shiny Toy Guns (whose name comes from a song lyric) to release “You are the One,” which underwent one of the most drastic makeovers, as the album’s next single.

“It was originally much slower,” Dawson says of the track, whose video will be fi lmed in Japan in early February. “It was an acoustic song that we were playing around with early on. When we did version two of the album, we rewrote it and rewrote all the lyrics and retracked it.

“The song went up 45 percent on iTunes individual track sales, so it was a no-brainer,” adds Dawson, who takes time off to chase tornadoes each spring in his native Oklahoma. “It was defi - nitely the one waving the flag like, ‘Hi, I’m next. Please let me go now.’ If people band it on their iPod all day long without anyone telling them to or an ad telling them to or a radio station, then maybe that’s the right decision, y’know?”



Shiny Toy Guns, Paris To Rome and the Nice Device perform Saturday (Jan. 27) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www. majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdertroit.com

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