Stamina and longevity are two keys to any band’s success. Ask Charlie Brand from Miniature Tigers, a group birthed in Brooklyn that relocated to LA. Composed of frontman Brand on guitar and vocals, Rick Shaier on keyboard and vocals, Algernon Quashie on guitar and Brandon Lee on bass, the band’s been together for over a decade. This past month, the indie rock meets dream pop quartet released their fifth and most enthralling album yet, I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy. It’s a collection of lo-fi indie gems reminiscent of music from the early aughts—The OC’s soundtracks definitely come to mind.
While a lot of similar bands aren’t particularly fashion forward, Brand sees importance in style. We spoke to the group’s frontman about JNCOs in the 90s, his love of clothing in Seinfeld and his opinion on the worst fashion trend ever.
Paste: Is fashion something you’ve always been interested in or is it more of an afterthought?
Charlie Brand: I’ve valued it more as an art form the more I’ve grown as a visual artist. I recently collaborated on a print and some clothes for my friend’s clothing line, Selva Negra. It was so fun to work in a new creative medium.
Paste: How would you describe the clothing people wore where you grew up?
Brand: It was the 90s, and it was a lot of flannels and JNCOs.
Paste: Who are some of your style idols?
Brand: Lately I’ve been really into men in their 30s from the 1990s. Like a Paul Reiser doing work around the house kind of vibe, or clothes my dad would have worn when I was a kid.
Paste: Is there a movie, TV show or music video that’s had a large influence on your sense of fashion?
Brand: I basically want every piece of clothing from Seinfeld. So many primary colors.
Paste: Do you dress any differently in your normal day-to-day than you do onstage?
Brand: In my normal day-to-day, I don’t put a lot of thought into what I’m wearing if I’m just running errands. I have maybe eight shirts total and two pairs of pants I alternate between. I’m always trying to pair down and simplify. Onstage, I’ll find something I feel good in and wear that almost every night.
Paste: Do you feel that you dress more for yourself or for others?
Brand: I dress for myself. I just bought a pair of overalls and they are so unflattering on me, but I wore them around for a week because I liked how they felt.
Paste: If you had to sum up your style in three words, what would they be?
Brand: Simple 90’s Dad
Paste: What is the worst fashion trend that ever existed?
Brand: Steam Punk
Paste: How does fashion relate to music?
Brand: I watch a lot of Project Runway, and to me, the process of writing a song or making an album is more closely related to making a garment or a line than almost any other art form.