There are amazing things to say about the music of GIVERS, but we at Mississippi Happening like to let the music do the talking. Watch this music video from GIVERS, then read our interview with Tiffany Lamson, singer and percussionist of this amazing band called GIVERS......
Mississippi Happening had the opportunity to interview Tiffany Lamson, vocalist and percussionist of the band GIVERS, an indie pop group from Lafayette, Louisiana. Their sudden success on Glassnote Records, (ie. label of Phoenix) has propelled them straight into the national spotlight. GIVERS has played several festivals across the country and completed a UK tour this summer, They are currently touring the U.S., set to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! September 13 and at The Lyric in Oxford, Mississippi October 15 . Purchase tickets here:
Below is an interview with GIVERS' Tiffany Lamson, a musician with an extensive performance history in Mississippi. She's played in the bands Rotary Downs (New Orleans) a few times and also as the drummer for Arbor Vitae (Lafayette, LA). She's a positive spirit and a strong supporter of music from the South. We admire her ambition, and are so excited to hear about her recent success. We hope you enjoy our interview with Tiffany Lamosn of GIVERS:
MH: How did you get started with the GIVERS?
Tiffany Lamson: I've known most of these guys since high school and/or during college. Also, we all played in some various Lafayette-based bands throughout those years. It came together more fluidly after this group formed randomly for a night of improvisation filling in a spot for a band that had cancelled last minute. We had a few more nights similar to that and I had recorded them on my distorted handheld digital recorder.. Listening back we decided to start making some recordings and I feel that's where it started to develop into something more.
MH: You've played in a few bands that have actually played in Jackson, MS prior to joining the GIVERS, ie. Arbor Vitae & Rotary Downs. What are some defining moments that you've had on your way to the GIVERS, with your other bands. How have they shaped you to be the musician that you are today?
Tiffany Lamson: I learned so much (and owe a huge chunk of lifelong thanks) due to the guys in ArborVitae first-off. They were the first real band I played in and felt belonging to. Tim Campbell and I would sing together for hours- he is amazing and taught me a lot about harmony and compromise/collaboration.. he was so kindly open to any suggestions I may have had, good or bad, and we always gave each others' ideas a chance. That was a beautiful thing because it took loads of patience and would deliver much more interesting and satisfying outcomes. It was like a honeymoon phase most the time since he was my first collaboration partner-- and same goes with guitarist Chad Viator. We all invested hours upon months into the music and each others' lives and they taught me what it was to be a family-band. They are still some of the most talented people I know. Rotary downs was similar but more established- they introduced me to a more career-orientated world of music; playing festivals, traveling, challenging practice and hardwork. Both had their place in instilling tools I use now probably subconsciously. I owe a lot to those people; they were gracious with their time and helped guide me through the rough years of finding my way. I plan on making some new music with Tim and Chad in the near future.
MH: What are the main aspects of touring that keep you on the road?
Tiffany Lamson: Funny you ask that because today is the first day of this tour...and I've probably laughed so hard I may have to change at the next gas station. That's one of the best things of the road- the connection you get with your band-mates--- more like family and friends than anything. We play a lot of pranks and jokes; it's important to keep things light-hearted as much as you can because the road can turn on you in a heartbeat if allowed.
They become my brothers and we go into the journey as a collective. Traveling absolutely opens the doors of perception. You realize things are out there that you never imagined or expected.. and you relinquish control. The experience factor is a key reason that keeps my love for the road strong. The road constantly, forcefully stretches you; reveals your strengths and exposes your weaknesses. A perfect time to reflect in the mirror of yourself. That ambition for more tends to become a driving force in my travels.
MH: You are a great percussionist and was the drummer for Arbor Vitae, do you see yourself hitting the drums in later releases and shows in the GIVERS?
Tiffany Lamson: Well, thanks.. Sometimes I forget that people even saw me in the outfit.
I actually do play some drums in this group but it's a customized standup kit. I've definitely had a resurgence of need to be behind a kit so I'm sure that'll make it's way in the set somehow. In this band, we are always encouraging each other to try new instruments, or in my case- return to some old ones.
MH: How do you feel about beating the odds of a southern musician born and raised in a small city and becoming a musician touring nationally and internationally on a large scope?
Tiffany Lamson: I can only imagine one word when this question arises and it always is gratefulness. We are blessed to be in this position and sacrifice everything we thought we knew about life to cater to this lifestyle and existence. Looking back, I really couldn't imagine any other way.
I think being from the south has it's benefits moreso nowadays- people are really starting to pay attention to what's goin on here for many reasons.. The filming outburst in the entertainment industry, television series that are focusing on "dumbing down" the southern regions, the ole natural disasters, the large musical reawakening, etc- America's eye are drifting towards the South and we get that opportunity to speak out and do it right. I believe if you put it all on the table with sincerity, passion, and ambition (and for the right reasons) then life grants you what you ask. Sometimes it has a funny way of showing it, but it's up to you how to react to it. I think I re-learn that everyday.
MH: To us southern artists trying to get our voice heard outside of our region, what would you say is your most source of inspiration and drive to get heard.
Tiffany Lamson: Inspiration seems to strike me when I stop searching for it. Every time I step back and see all my surroundings as unique experiences I can move at light-speed in, then I gain a bigger piece of myself that allows me to express my insides more; music happens to be the vessel that it chooses to come through. That is an energizing force pushing me to create.. Through that, I get closer to the source. I'd want anyone to seek that in themselves.. And I find it generally is achieved by being open and passionate.
MH: Do you plan on releasing any solo music in the future?
Tiffany Lamson: Yes actually, I did a solo Daytrotter session not too long ago that may come out within a couple months and also have plans to do some live performance filming in Louisiana.. Sort of a musical film-short. Most of my focus goes into GIVERS but there's also other parts of me that come out suited for a more somber or solo-esque outfit.
MH: With the sudden rush of success that you have received lately with GIVERS, how do you see the world and the music industry?
Tiffany Lamson: I could probably talk about that for awhile but i'll keep it short and end with spreading the notion that the best thing I've learned (although it may sound trite or cliche') is to always follow your heart and stay grounded. Some people in this industry will want to turn your creative outlet, passion, art.. into pure entertainment and or money. These are not the reasons for music to me.
The world is a vast place- getting to travel and explore it as of recent has set me in mood::: it makes ya step outside yourself. It's huge, because it makes you feel small. I encourage it; if I weren't playing music I'd still be finding a way to travel.
-Daniel Guaqueta, Mississippi Happening