Two Inch Astronaut Interview

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Colesville, Maryland trio Two Inch Astronaut’s explosive brand of indie rock carefully straddles the thin lines of several genres but they prefer to call it “anti-prog arena math,” which frankly sounds better than any label I could slap on it. Their latest effort, Bad Brother, is out on Exploding in Sound Records and is also on the famed Dischord Records distro. The band manages to pack surprise after surprise into its altogether too brief 27-minute run time. Just when you think you know their game, they throw a curve ball at you. This grower of an LP is equal parts fun, catchy, and tight with enough dissonance and weirdness to keep you on your toes. You might not know them yet but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go buy all their stuff after you read this interview.

What’s your name and what do you do in Two Inch Astronaut?

I’m Sam, I play guitar and sing in Two Inch Astronaut.

How did Two Inch Astronaut come to be?

The band started as an acoustic thing, with a percussionist and our current drummer on cello. Over time it evolved into a more traditional “rock band” kind of lineup mostly because that shit is more fun.

Where does your name come from?

According to my cousin, when you go to space your spine elongates by two inches. I thought it was a neat parallel to playing music or doing anything creative, because it gives you a chance to be “bigger” in the sense that you’re living out more extreme parts of your personality that don’t really factor into your normal life. It’s kind of a silly band name honestly, but whatever.

Your record label Exploding in Sound has an incredible roster of bands. Who are some of your favorite artists on EIS and how did you guys get on it?

We met Dan Goldin through the Grass is Green dudes. He put out the split we did with them and luckily for us wanted to put out our album. I have pretty deep love for all the EIS bands, but lately I’ve been going through a Kal Marks phase. Totally crushing album, and live it’s even more unhinged and almost too intense, great drummer too.

Your latest record Bad Brother is a serious grower that is extremely dynamic with a surprising amount of knotty twists and turns that balance out the more melodic tendencies on the record. It also was released as part of Dischord’s distro. How did this come about? Did you get to meet Ian Mackaye?

Thank you! I guess they just contacted us and asked if they could add it to the distro. I have enormous respect for that label and it’s an honor to have any part in it. Haha no, we didn’t deal with Ian directly but I did meet him once when I was 11. He was picking up some old footage from my friend’s father and I remember him using the word “fuck” which I thought was very cool at the time. Of course I had no idea who he was.

Speaking of Dischord and Ian Mackaye, coming from Maryland, do you guys fit into the DC punk scene? If so, who are some other bands to look out for in the scene?

I’m not really too aware of what’s going on in DC to be honest, but there are a lot of great bands around. I’m terrible at making lists like this, so I’ll just say look out for Dark Reservoir. I also really like Big Hush.

You guys played some new songs on an awesome set on WVAU radio. Are you guys in the process of working on something new? What can you tell us about it?

Yep, we’re gonna record a new album in the late spring or early summer. It’ll be a full length and it is tentatively titled “foulbrood.”

What’s a typical Two Inch Astronaut show like?

A typical TIA show involves lots of tuning and mumbling on my part, lots of seizure inspired moves by Daniel, and lots of grim facial expressions by Matt. I like to think it’s pretty energetic though. There’s always a lot to learn about the kinetics of playing live, which makes it pretty fun and challenging.

The sounds on Bad Brother seem to come from a lot of places. What are some of your biggest influences as a band?

I think mostly our sound just comes from playing around one another and figuring out our strengths and weaknesses as a band. We’re pretty limited as a three piece so we have to do a lot to compensate for that sound-wise.

What’s in store for Two Inch Astronaut for the rest of this year?

We’re touring down to SXSW with Grass is Green, then we’ll record, then who knows.

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Two Inch Astronaut Band Camp



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