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Let Tired All the Time’s new song “Then and There” distract you from stress

“It was a bleak coincidence that shortly after we wrote and toured with the song, we saw the good and bad screen schedule begin to shape so many more people.”

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Formed by college friends Ed and Richard who have been co-creating music for a long time, Tired All the Time’s lineup eventually grew into a four-piece featuring Daniel Euphrat (Timmy Sells His Soul) and Brian Miller (USSA Pleasure Dome).

Their new song, “Then and There”, is coincidentally very timely with the circumstances we’re facing now. Using the inspiration from “the sense of enervation when faced with the modern world,” they write songs to let one detach from all the negativity and to be able to connect with one another.

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Admit it, we all can’t help but feel stuck and repetitive at the same time throughout the pandemic. Lockdowns have kept us in the same space constantly and it’s completely understandable to feel tired of the same rotation over and over again. “Then and There” explains the cycle and lifestyle that we have, becoming a battle cry and voice to change and develop a new set of experiences in order to stop feeling burned out and tired all the time.

With the quartet’s pooled talents, they’ve just recently ended a series of shows in the DMV area. First, on April 14 at the Tiger Cub, then on April 16 at Man on Man, and finally on April 23 at Empath. They also plan to go on tour in North Easton in late July. Below is our very telling conversation with the band’s Michael Richard Talley on what Tired All the Time are all about.

“Then and There” is wonderful, congratulations! Can you share the writing and recording process of the song?

“Then and There” was one of the tunes that emerged from our reformation as a trio shortly before our mini-tour of the upper south in 2020. The skeleton of the song emerged from a draft I had been kicking around for a while of a song that is in F major but only used that chord once as a way of giving the song a constant sense of needing to resolve.

Given the time frame, this is also one of the songs we had to record remotely but given the themes present in the lyrics, it felt very appropriate to do so. As COVID really settled in and millions upon millions of people settled into remote work, the idea of exploring the blurring of boundaries between work and free time became appealing. The good screen, bad screen schedule was already a reality for people pre-pandemic and it was a bleak coincidence that shortly after we wrote and toured with the song, we saw that schedule begin to shape so many more people.

Can you tell me more about yourselves? How the band started, what are your roles in the band, and the story behind the name?

Well, Ed and I have known each other since college and have been making music together. for just about as long. We initially formed as a four-piece alongside Daniel Euphrat and Brian Miller and we still play some of the material from that time. The name came from something we and many others unfortunately have in common: a sense of enervation when faced with the modern world. 

The good screen, bad screen schedule was already a reality for people pre-pandemic and it was a bleak coincidence that shortly after we wrote and toured with the song, we saw that schedule begin to shape so many more people.

Tired All the Time

I love the rock and chill vibe of “Then and There.” I’ve also seen the visualizer from your YouTube channel. Can you describe what its music video could be like if you’ll ever record one for it?

The image that immediately comes to mind is a short of someone working at a desk and the environment shifts constantly from home to an office Silent Hill style. The protagonist would keep getting distracted by more and more minor things as they continually get texts and emails from their direct supervisor asking if they need a meditation break.

Thoughts about touring? What’s your favorite part about it? Which other places would you love to visit and perform at?

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A lot of work goes into getting things together but when it all slides into place, touring is a lot of fun. It’s always interesting to link up with different local music scenes and talking to other performers about their craft is both enriching and enjoyable. We’ve always had a lot of fun playing around in the South and I myself would like to be able to take our act as far as  Florida, Louisiana, or Texas.

I’ve listened to your songs “The Board”, “Flower”, and “Sun”, they are brilliant! Can you tell me the theme of “Then and There” and what sets it apart from your previous material?

There are a few parallels between “Sun” and “Then and There” in terms of timbre and the drone but one of the big things is the single chord progression mentioned earlier. By having this kind of perpetual need to resolve, it lets us focus primarily on developing tones and melodies. The lyrics try to further reinforce this sense of change and descent within a repetitive frame.

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of Tired All the Time? 

I’d like to think I am absolutely filled with good ideas waiting to be shared with the world but if I’m being honest, there’s some real stinkers and half-baked stuff in there. Collaboration with other artists is a very good way of protecting yourself from your worst impulses and seeing a better side of an idea you might otherwise throw away.

By having this kind of perpetual need to resolve, it lets us focus primarily on developing tones and melodies. The lyrics try to further reinforce this sense of change and descent within a repetitive frame.

Tired All the Time

With “Then and There” out in the world and with you guys together as a band, what message would you want your fans to get from the song and from the band as a whole?

Work sucks and it’s getting more alienating and degrading all the time so it’s important to find those things that you can connect with lest you detach completely. I wish it was something more profound than “Go outside more and talk to your friends and family more often,” but outside of any broader structural questions, that’s really the subtext here, isn’t it?

Collaboration with other artists is a very good way of protecting yourself from your worst impulses and seeing a better side of an idea you might otherwise throw away.

Tired All the Time

I’m sure the year has a lot in store for you guys! Can you share some upcoming plans?

We are beyond excited for an upcoming slate of shows. We are also in the planning stages of a tour of the North East in late July. We’ve got a lot of new material that we’ve been playing live already and working on exactly how to get that to our fans.

It’s important to find those things that you can connect with lest you detach completely.

Tired All the Time

Stream “Then and There” by Tired All the Time below.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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