Interviews

Published on August 30th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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A Look At “Artist For Artist” With Tribe Friday, Tim Riehm, New Parlor, mmmonika & The Dumes

Following over 20 years of friendship, basement rehearsals, studio recording sessions, album releases, world tours and festivals, Artist For Artist — or “AFA” for short” — was co-founded by Matthew Reich and Neal Saini. A New York City-based full service talent management and events collective launched earlier this summer, AFA is indeed run BY artists FOR artists, with artist needs especially prioritized.

Reich — who this writer first met late last year on a press trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma — and Saini set me up with artists from the current AFA roster for some Q&A on behalf of The Hype Magazine:

mmmonika – A Korean-American-led, L.A.-based 5-piece band playing “happy songs for sad people.” The group recently made its way on to Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist and Ones To Watch with “Unwind Me!” and its upcoming music video for “Swamp Time!” was directed by K-Pop star Amber of the group f(x). New music and left/right coast tour dates coming up in early Fall.

Tribe Friday – 19-year-old kids from the woods of Sweden playing garage rock revivalist music with pop hooks. Its Trying Your Luck EP came out earlier this month and the quartet just wrapped European and U.S. tours with a handful of new singles on the way this Fall and an opening slot for Swedish rock royalty act Mando Diao.

Tim Riehm – Nashville-based high school valedictorian and bio-engineering degree pop singer/songwriter with an unparalleled voice and perspective that is “right now.” He has been on-tour with AFA co-horts New Parlor and Tribe Friday.

The Dumes – An L.A.-based project from magnetic frontwoman Elodie Tomlinson of Sibling. Now with a full 5-piece band set-up, the group is in the studio crafting new music. KROQ listeners in Southern California may have heard “Caught In The Middle” being played and championed by Kat Corbett.

New Parlor – Students from Vanderbilt University playing pop/rock/indie jams. They have over 1 million streams on Spotify, while lead singer Gavin Becker alone has over 100K social media followers. The band, f/k/a Peachy, is currently in their dorm room studio working on material to follow up “Heartbreaker” “Beautiful Liar” and “Bye For Now.”

More on all things AFA can be found online by visiting www.artistforartist.com.

How did you end up working with the AFA team?

Tribe Friday: The Internet! Cyberspace truly is a place of wonders. Matthew basically found us online, liked what he heard and slid into our DMs. We got along well with him and Neal, so it’s all been downhill from there really.

mmmonika: Ryan and Nick had a deep emotional connection with Matt spanning back to 2015 when they participated in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. The light never left the relationship despite the long distance — Ryan and Nick live in Los Angeles — and they finally consummated it in 2019 with the inception of mmmonika!

Tim Riehm: Back in April, I released a single called “Expectations” that’s been one of my favorites so far. Somehow it got onto Matt and Neal’s radar, and they reached out to me by email. From there, we scheduled some time to talk on the phone, they flew down to hang with me in Nashville for a long weekend, and we’ve been making moves since.

New Parlor: We received an email from Matt and Neal from AFA after they had stumbled upon our music on Spotify. Soon after we had a phone call with them, were very impressed, and they flew out to meet up with us in Nashville.

The Dumes: Matt and Neal sent us a classy DM. We’ve been taking things slow, but things are definitely heating up.

What does working with AFA mean to you?

Tribe Friday: For us, the nicest thing about it is working together with people who we enjoy and trust, and who understand what we’re all about. It’s such a comfort to have that instead of struggling to build a career all by yourself, which — speaking from experience — can be extremely confusing and hard. All in all it’s just about having people we get along with fighting for our team. We’re super-lucky to have that. The other acts on the roster are super-cool people too, so that’s a big plus!

mmmonika: It means big things popping, little things stopping!

Tim Riehm: Matt and Neal are just good dudes. You can tell you’re a priority with them, and I don’t think Matt actually sleeps, so that’s always a plus when someone’s working with you. They’re guys who’ve had some success on the artist side, and they’ve also got experience and a network on the industry side, so their perspectives are invaluable. They’re just committed, you know? It just goes so far to know that people are just as committed as you are to making dreams reality.

New Parlor: It’s been really great to work with AFA. To have fellow musicians with years of experience on the road and in the studio to give advice and support has been extremely valuable. Unlike many other music industry management companies, they weigh the quality of art and performance much higher than any meaningless metric. They have pushed us to constantly develop as artists and performers, and have kept us continually inspired.

AFA collaboration aside, what’s coming up for you?

Tribe Friday: Loads! First of all we’re working on a bunch of new tracks that we’re super-excited about. Also, we’ve got some of our biggest shows yet coming up as support for Swedish legends Mando Diao. World takeover is next on the to-do list!

mmmonika: This is the only good thing in my life!

Tim Riehm: I just released a dance remix of “Expectations” that I expect to do some damage, so I’m currently watching that little bird fly. Otherwise, I have a new single that’s set to be released at some point in the next few months, and I’m working on a single to follow. As far as shows go, I’m based in Nashville, so a lot of my performances tend to be focused in that area, and I’ll be playing a songwriter’s round at the Analog on the 18th!

New Parlor: We have loads of unreleased music that we are currently developing and are unbelievably excited to release. To the public we are still a very new band, and we have become significantly more cohesive as artists and collaborators through our extensive writing and tracking sessions over the past two years. We can’t wait to show everyone what we have created, how we have developed and how the songs are presented live!

The Dumes: We’re mainly focusing on amping things up to 100 percent.

What is your proudest career accomplishment so far?

Tribe Friday: When a Swedish punk band wrote and published a — really good — diss track about us called “Indie F**kers.” Or that one time our bassist Vincent bought a vape as a joke and accidentally set off the fire alarm at one of the hotels, resulting in a full-on evacuation and a very upset tour leader. Fun times.

mmmonika: Proudest accomplishment is the release of Swamp Time!, our worst-streaming song yet!

Tim Riehm: Simply doing it. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but I come from a background where the only path was college then a “real job,” so I consider it an achievement. It’s tough to go against the grain and take leaps of faith, and sometimes it’s actually the hardest part of pursuing dreams. As far as tangible accomplishments go, I once had a crowd sing the entire final chorus of a song I wrote back to me. Someday I hope I’ll have that every show, but that’s always been one of my happiest moments.

New Parlor: So far, our proudest career accomplishment has been performing at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, our hometown. Ever since forming and moving to Nashville, Marathon has been a favorite spot to see bands that we look up to. It was quite surreal to perform in the same spot as our influences.

The Dumes: Creating something exciting with people who are just as passionate about the sound as I am.

Finally, any last words for the kids?

Tribe Friday: Stay hydrated! Especially if you come to one of our shows. Also, come to one of our shows. Or three-four of ’em. We promise you’ll have a good time.

mmmonika: Don’t do drugs!

Tim Riehm: Follow your dreams, and BE UNIQUE. Especially in the beginning, don’t focus on the amount of tangible effort you put in for what seems like nothing in return. Focus on the reason you do it and the fulfillment you get after taking one more step toward it. It’s worth it, and if it matters enough to you, you’ll figure it all out.

New Parlor: Lots of new songs, tour dates, and merchandise coming soon!

The Dumes: Stay tuned!


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly PureGrainAudio.com). He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.


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