You can’t throw a rock in the suburbs of Philly these days without hitting a member of a good band. As a matter of fact, one of those rocks could hit one of the members of Tiny Hueman. The rock might hit Dustin Miller on guitar or Richie Hollahan on lead vox and guitar, Kevin Miller on drums or Vinny Vaccaro on guitar or Richie Tavers on bass. They hail from Doylestown, PA (home of Pink), close enough to Philly to be a Philly band. Hollahan says that people think the people in Philly are mean, “but they are really great and very receptive!” The city has been kind to Tiny Hueman as they have played to packed shows and they’ve moved on up to selling out shows in the gilded venues of Brooklyn.
The band’s cryptic-sounding name, as explain by Miller, is actually a play on words. They collectively decided to leave in the extra vowel, since “‘hue’ means color so that is why we kept the extra vowel and added the ‘man’, man.” Tiny colored people. We like it, we like it.
Their music has been hedged into the indie/alt categorical ghetto, but there are many things going on with this band so it’s wrong to shove a multi-influenced band into a genetic pigeonhole.
After listening and watching a few of their live sets on YouTube, they sound primed and polished for a young band. Tiny Hueman came into fruition when Miller and Hollahan began crafting some tunes in Hollohan’s basement. They realized quickly they were onto something after doing a DIY demo, Growing Bones. Miller’s cousin, Kevin, jumped on the drumset and they tracked down Vaccaro and Tavers to round out the solid five piece. They decided it was time to get into the studio to produce their first EP, Shallow.They chose to record at Headroom Studios, a prominent studio in the Philly area. The song “Kate” got it’s share of play on the Philly alt station 104.5. Kate details a relationship in the midst of change. “We do this dance/ What’s changed since then?” It sound as if one wants to cling to the familiar and the other wants to see what else could unfold. Hollohan’s angsty yet rich vocals are riveting and the drum beat fierce. The bass coincides with the buzzy guitar on their break out hit. The Tinys released Drift in November of 2017. Comprised of 5 songs, the EP showcases there rapidly solidifying trajectory. You definitely hear Hollohan’s vocal range expanding. The ascension of the guitar on the title track sets the tone for the rest of the tracks, although it is the third track that hits highlight status. “Stay Awake” is ripe with Tavers searching bass lines. Hollohan wails “Don’t walk away!” Miller crushes the kit on this song while Vaccaro keeps solid time with the percussion. Live favorite “Hollowhead” is drizzled with quarter life crisis and millennial apprehension. “I’ve gotta learn to bite my tongue…I was so damn drunk/I could barely speak/ But that’s never stopped me”. Downstroke guitar chords sneak up behind the strong vocals to produce a deceptively warm-toned base for this sentiment. “When One Door Closes” is an instrumental with a particularly optimistic title that sits in stark contrast to closer “RIO”, an angry swat at the thoughts racing through the singer’s brain.
The band is currently touring the East Coast. I saw them hitting up IG followers for a couch to sleep on in the Albany area. That’s is the spirit, boys. Dustin was kind enough to take time to answer some of my burning questions.
How would you describe your music to someone unfamiliar?
Miller: That’s a tough one. It’s hard to categorize the music you make, but I’d say we are overall an ‘alternative rock band’ with many different influences and sounds. Our songs range from melodic/poppier to heavier/alternative. You tell us what you think!
What are your rehearsals generally like?
Miller: It depends what we have coming up. Recently we’ve taken a break from repetitively going through our set (consisting of songs from our two EPs) and have been jamming and writing new music. We have a tour coming up in a few weeks so we’ll likely switch to running through the set again soon. We typically meet up early on a Sunday, set our equipment up, and spend several hours playing and perfecting our live set. It’s always fun, especially jamming new stuff.
Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
Miller: We generally practice every Sunday. Half of the band lives in Philly, and the other half live outside in the suburbs, so we switch the location of practice every week to alleviate the drive for us all. It’s a nice way to end the weekend and hang out together.
What is the writing process like for Tiny Hueman?
Miller: Our song writing process is very collaborative, especially now. When we first started Tiny Hueman it was just Richie Hollahan and myself writing songs as a duo, but since then we’ve progressed a lot and have really made it a group effort; we wouldn’t be Tiny Hueman without each individual member and their contributions to the songs.
Do you feel the songs have a theme? I definitely hear something familiar.
Miller: Themes seem to be pretty personal to him. About personal relationships he has had, both family and romantically
Does Tiny Hueman have a vision for the future?
Miller: From out lead singer, Richie: “A lot of it was made from conversations I wasn’t able to have with people, like with friends or family members and trying to vent a bit. Moving forward I plan on getting more personal and attacking it more from a ‘what can I learn from this’ point of view. But just daily interactions really. As for vision, we are really still solidifying that as we learn about each other and ourselves but we want to see where this goes. We really enjoy each other and writing and definitely have a bigger picture we’re working towards. I guess you’ll have to wait and see “
We shall wait it out, Tiny Hueman, and will be looking forward to what comes next.
EP ‘Drift’ recorded at The Headroom Studios, engineered/produced by Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips, released on November 24, 2017.
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