The following is a way too detailed biography chronicling the creation of the band TIEG. It is me asking the question "Where did the time go?" and answering it for myself so I don't feel so bad. None of this bio is very interesting unless we were to become famous. What do I mean by that? It's the same way a mundane and unfunny commercial becomes a viral comedic work of genius when you swap out the no-name actor for Samuel L Jackson. Or how something as dumb as lip syncing can become a hit tv-show when Emma Stone is the one doing it. My hope is one day, this bio will also become worth the time it takes to read; not from changing anything about the bio itself, but just because of the people it is about. I hope one day this bio sounds like an epic name drop fest even though right now it serves mostly as a diary entry to remember facts I've already forgotten many times because they are inherently boring.
February 27, 2009
21 year old Tieg Johnson is performing a rare solo concert at Arnie's Cafe in Sunland, California. Fellow headliners include his sister Madison and neighbor Tara Louise. During Madison's set she brings up Tara and their friend Shelby Lindley to sing a 3 part harmony cover of "Baby Mine" from Disney's Dumbo. Tieg was already secretly their biggest fans individually. He had heard Shelby sing "Happy Birthday" at a friend's birthday party and was shocked that no one except him noticed that there was a singer with perfect intonation in the group. Tieg has also heard Tara perform her music before and likewise was astonished that nobody but him seemed to notice that she was clearly a pop music savant. He had never heard them sing together before and he was once again feeling that feeling that nobody else but him was realizing just how good this was. Was nobody seeing the potential of the situation? He couldn't let this go to waste. Maybe he would steal his sister's singers. He could do something important with this. Plus, it seemed like a mean older brother thing to do, and he hadn't done any mean older brother things in quite a while.
Tieg was in no rush however. His current musical outlet was as the guitarist for the progressive rock band Canon. They had recently lost their bassist however and it would prove to be the beginning of the end for the band. The group never officially had a break-up talk but by the next year, all activities had slowed to a halt. Less time with Canon allowed Tieg to spend more time writing and recording his own material that year. He didn't realize at the time, but his own music would soon be his new musical outlet.
Tieg got asked to perform at a holiday party at his godmother's house. Tieg thought back to his sister's performance earlier that year and decided that now was the time to steal her singers. He asked Shelby and Tara to be his backup singers for the show. Luckily for Tieg, the girls were huge fans of Canon and they readily said yes. (Seriously though, Tara's email was email@example.com).
After their performance, several of the audience members were left full-on crying and asking when their next performance was. It seemed Tieg's hunch was right. Perhaps, the three thought, they should make this an actual thing. Inspired by the naming convention of popular folk artists from the 60s, "Shelby, Tieg & Tara" was born.
December 20, 2009
They wanted to record what they had arranged together before the holidays were up. They entered the studio of Canon drummer Cassidy Turbin and recorded a mashup of "O Holy Night" and "Hallelujah". (At the time they thought it sounded awesome, but it's actually terrible so Tieg won't be releasing it ever). Later that night Tieg and Tara stuck around and decided to arrange and record an original song of Tieg's called "Works of Heart". (At the time they thought it was awesome, and it actually is.)
After a positive experience of spending a few day's in Cassidy's studio, the trio starts recording their original songs in Tieg's bedroom. Tieg would learn the art of recording by watching hundreds of hours of online recording tutorials. He didn't need to watch as many as he did, but it happened.
Feb 6, 2010
The trio played their debut show as an actual band. They crafted their image around the fashions of the 1940s. (Thankfully for Tieg's wallet, the band TIEG doesn't still do this.)
May 30, 2010
They released their first EP at the NoHo Arts Center to a sold out crowd. The EP was called "Beauty Wood" and contained an original song from each member plus a cover of Mr. Rogers' "Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" whose lyrics inspired the name of the EP.
June 15, 2010
The band was already working on their full length record. Tieg would ask his friend Shannon Canchola to record flute on his song "Off To Neverland". Shannon went to Pasadena City College with his sister Madison and friend Chris Rolontz. She had previously shown the trio to her boyfriend at the time, Robbie McCarthy, who liked the music. Robbie played the oboe and Shannon thought it would be worth it to try and incorporate both of them into the song. Shannon brought Robbie to Tieg's house and the five of them started writing. Robbie and Shannon ended up being featured on the track and would also go on to accompany the trio at various concerts. It was the first time Tieg recorded and performed with wind instruments. The idea of an orchestral-folk band was planted somewhere deep in his mind.
January 29, 2011
Roughly a year after the band was formed and 6 months after their first EP, the album "Off To Neverland" was released at another sold out show.
June 17, 2011
Six months later their second EP was released. "Mother Father Daughter" contained 3 songs written by Tieg; a song for his Mother, a song for his father, and one for an imagined future daughter. On this date they also released their first music video for Shelby's composition "In The Morning (The Pancake Song). The video was made by director Cartney Wearn who had approached them with his concept after hearing the song on their album.
The group decides to work on their next album. They would title it "Works of Heart" named after the first original song they ever worked on together. To start, the group decided to make a music video for Tara's song called "Jealousy". They would attempt something very unique. They chose to record the tracks at the same time as making the music video. Their only previous video making experience up to this point were some live videos as well as a music video for their song "Hey Daddy" created out of old home movie clips. In an attempt to out-do themselves (along with everyone else), the idea was to make a traditional story telling music video with all the usual edits, but instead of lip-synching, the band would record live during each scene. The project ended up being more ambitious than they realized and incredibly time consuming.
STT create the sickest version of The Star Spangled Banner.
November 17 2012
The trio performed their last concert together at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Alta Dena.
They were midst recording 10 songs during this time. Of those, they only managed to finish and release Tara's song "Wish" where they recorded the audio and the music video live at the same time. However, the overall lack of progress on the album and the Jealousy video at the speed the group was used to eventually took its toll and Tara decided to leave the group to do some soul searching.
In just three years the group had performed 113 shows together (probably more actually), recorded 13 songs and made 18 videos.
Shelby and Tieg were faced with the decision of breaking up the band or finding a replacement. They decided to keep the band together and Tieg immediately set out searching for a new Tara.
November 25, 2012
The first person Shelby and Tieg auditioned was violinist Jordan Slocum. Jordan not only played violin, but sang and played piano. Tieg was ready to call it a band and get moving but Shelby thought it would be wise to audition a lot of people before deciding how to move forward. So audition they did.
December 2012 - April 2013
The now duo would rearrange their songs and continue to play shows as "Shelby & Tieg". Over the next several months they auditioned many singers and even performed with some new Tara's, but no lineup lasted very long. Tieg didn't limit his search to just singers though.
January 17, 2013
Tieg had contacted various music schools in Southern California to see if they could assist in his search. The dean of The University of Redlands forwarded Tieg's request in a school wide email. Cellist Seana Thompson responded that same day. (Thank you dean! You're a cool dude.)
Feb 27, 2013
Seana made the hour-and-a-half trek to audition for Shelby & Tieg in Sunland from Redlands where she lived. She impressed the duo greatly and Shelby & Tieg would make several trips over the next few months to Redlands to work on cello arrangements for their songs.
March 11, 2013
Tieg asks his friend Chris Rolontz if he'd ever like to play with him and Shelby. His exact response was "FUCK YES. Any time, always, whenever, yes."
Tieg first met Chris back in 2001 when he was 14 years old. Side Story. Tieg had a genius plan to get out of high school early with a diploma. See, at the time at least, you had to be 16 to take the GED which is a high school equivalency test. You pass it, you get a diploma and you're done with school. Tieg wasn't 16 so this wasn't an option. California offered its own test though called the CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam). To take this test you had to be in 10th grade. Tieg figured if could find a high school that would be willing to test him into 10th grade, he could then pass the CHSPE and never have to do high school. Well he found just that school and it just so happened to be the same school Chris went to and that's where they first met. His plan worked by the way. Tieg never went to high school but he has the equivalent of a high school diploma. They would always find themselves in the same circles of friends ever since.
Chris went to Pasadena City College with some of Tieg's friends including Shannon Canchola and his sister Madison. Chris playing music with Tieg was so natural it was probably predestined in some way.
March 23, 2013
Tieg was at a recital for the music school he taught at. Fellow teacher Gabriel Grinta suggested they play some music together (as musicians are known to suggest to each other). Tieg and Gabriel had some mutual friends but never really knew each other until they started teaching at the same school. Gabriel went to grade school with an old girlfriend of Tieg's. Tieg's earliest memory of Gabriel was him thinking "Who is this asshole calling my girlfriend?". According to Macintosh iPhoto forensics however, they had actually met way back on July 6, 2006 when they were both invited to the same movie by a group of friends.
Gabriel played the drums and cajón. Since they did just get a cellist and bassist on board, perhaps a full band with a rhythm section would be the way to go. He had been looking for a singer to make a trio, but a full band was falling in his lap.
April 19th 2013
During a Friday mid-day rehearsal at the University of Redlands with Chris and Seana, they just happen to bump into their old friend Shannon Canchola who was also a student at the University. (What are the chances of that? We don't even live near there and now Shelby and Tieg AND her old classmate just happen to be in the same building as her on a random day. An otherwise completely empty building mind you! She was doing warmups alone. It boggles the mind.) Shannon joins in on the rehearsal. Later that day, Tieg asks Shannon to join the group. She says yes. He's not sure if she is serious but he goes with it.
May 3, 2013
Shelby & Tieg perform their first show as a 4 piece at the Republic of Pie in North Hollywood with Gabriel on cajón and Chris on upright bass.
June 1, 2013
Shelby & Tieg play their first show as a 5 piece with Shannon joining in on flute and voice for a benefit concert at the Coffee Gallery Backstage to help with the Oklahoma Tornado relief.
The distance between Redlands and the San Fernando Valley where Shelby and Tieg lived made it very difficult to get together often enough with Seana to work on music. They would see each other maybe one or two more times.
Now that it was clear the band was turning into a mini orchestra, they asked the very first person they ever auditioned, Jordan Slocum, if she'd like to be their violinist as well as help Shannon with vocal duties.
August 24, 2013
The band played their first concert together as a 6-piece.
Oct 11, 2013
Shelby & Tieg performed as a duo for the Official Showcase at the Far West Music Conference.
The band started recording their album "Works of Heart" for the second time but now with full band arrangements. Over the next year they would start the recording process on 8 songs.
Jan 22, 2014
The full Shelby & Tieg band performed at the NAMM convention.
August 4, 2014
Back in 2010 some friends of Tieg's asked him to compose a song for a short film of theirs. 4 years later, the time had come and Tieg had written a song called "Believe". Up to this point, Tieg had recorded everything himself. In May he had recorded Gabriel's drums for the song but upon working with the files would realize drum recording was a different beast altogether that required not only someone with experience in recording drums, but also required an actual studio to get the proper sound. They would enter TreeHaus Studios which was co-owned by an old school mate of Tieg's named Dusty Schaller to record drums, with Dusty engineering.
June 18, 2015
Shelby & Tieg perform in Alaska! Getting there involves Tieg finding a truck with a hidden key in the back of an airport, then driving the truck through roads clearly made for airplanes to find his way back to Shelby. He probably did something very wrong, but it was exciting. They then drove along the coast of Alaska for two days to their destination. Why they couldn't just fly into where they were going in the first place is a question they never found out the answer to.
July 4, 2015
The band plays its first show with violinist Yu-Ting Wu. When Jordan wasn't able to make a gig, Shannon knew just who to call to fill in.
August 4, 2015
Jordan and the group split ways. (Tieg will not go into the details because unlike everything else in this bio, he remembers it very clearly and everyone who hears the story calls Tieg an idiot afterwards and he doesn't need you to tell him as well since he is very aware of that fact.)
Fortunately for Tieg and the band, Yu-Ting was down to be an official member.
After almost 2 years of trying to make the band's record, Tieg finally gave in. Recording one song a time with the intention of releasing them together on a record was not working. Of the 8 songs they had started work on, only "Believe" would be completed due to the fact that the short film it was written for had a release date. Deadlines = surprisingly effective. Since there was also a new member, it seemed like the right time to take a fresh approach.
The first step was to finish converting the remaining songs with Gabriel from cajón (which he had been using in the band up to this point) to a full drum kit.
Another factor was Shelby was currently pregnant. At first they thought her being on maternity leave from work might mean more time for the band. But Shelby did not have an easy pregnancy and they were not able to work on music as often as they wanted.
December 16, 2015
Shelby gave birth to a boy she named Cassidy. She named her son this to get a good recording rate with their friend Cassidy Turbin who they would make their album with (joking). The pregnancy and birth would have a drastic effect on Shelby's voice making it much lower. She would need to relearn how to sing with this new voice.
June 24-June 26 2016
Shelby & Tieg entered the newly remade home studio of his old "Canon" band mate Cassidy Turbin to record their album "Works of Heart" (3rd times a charm?). Cassidy had recently won three grammies as part of the engineering team for Beck and agreed to engineer their record.
Shelby's voice wasn't yet back to 100% but they didn't want to hold up the project any longer. Besides, the vocals could be saved for last and recorded by on their own later on.
They would start with recording the instruments live at the same time; Chris, Tieg and Gabriel in the main tracking room while Shannon and Yu-Ting recorded in bedrooms of the main house. In 3 days they had the instrumental tracks for 10 songs recorded.
August 26, 2016
Shelby and Tieg started recording their vocals at the studio of another old friend of Tieg's, film director Taron Lexton. While Tieg was able to get into the studio often to finish his vocals, Shelby's new status as a mother was making it difficult for her to find time to focus on music, and when she was able to get in the studio, she wasn't able to record for too long on account of her voice not being fully rehabilitated yet.
March 4, 2017
While waiting for Shelby to complete her vocal tracks, Tieg decided to record a song he had previously started writing back in July of 2014. The song was called "What I Used To Know" and is about his fear of losing memories in old age.
April 13, 2017
On a Thursday night in Pasadena, Tieg was out Lindy Hop dancing and bumped into none other than cellist Seana Thompson who, unknown to Tieg, was also an avid swing dancer. (Seriously, what are the chances of that? She doesn't even live anywhere near there. It boggles the mind.) He told her about the song he was working on that he just happened to have written cello parts for and asked if she'd like to be a part of it. She excitedly said yes and 10 days later they were in the studio recording.
April 15, 2017
Two days after reuniting with Seana, Tieg wrote a song called "The Cliffs Of Moher". It had an Irish flair to it and he knew Seana would be perfect for it. They started coming up with parts for the song at the end of her recording session on "What I Used To Know".
June 2, 2017
Recording for "What I Used To Know" is completed. Seana, Chris, Yu-Ting and Shannon would all record on the project in addition to one more player - oboist Robbie McCarthy. The song had a very lush orchestral arrangement and it was only fitting that Tieg would call on the person partially responsible for planting that seed in his mind to appear on the track. Robbie was the final person to record. A new band that was kind of the same band was forming.
July 26, 2017
"What I Used To Know" was released under the name TIEG.
August 23, 2017
Recording on "The Cliffs Of Moher" began. The song would feature all the same players as before with the addition of drummer Gabriel Grinta on the bodhrán. Tieg saw Seana play this type of drum years ago and asked Gabriel if he'd be willing to learn how to play it for the song.
February 23, 2018
More than a year-and-a-half had passed since the band re-recorded the tracks for "Works of Heart", yet the vocals remained incomplete. Tieg and Shelby decided it would be best to disband so they could each focus on music at their own pace. The two would each still make music with each other however with Shelby becoming a member of TIEG.
During the time they spent as Shelby & Tieg, they performed over 50 shows all around Southern California as well as Las Vegas and Alaska.
May 13, 2018
Having a band name TIEG was very freeing and Tieg realized he could have anyone in the band since no other names were in the title. He had recently become roommates with his old bandmate Tara Louise. It only seemed fitting to complete the circle and ask if she'd like to be in the group. She said yes.
On Mother's Day, TIEG played its first show together as a 7-piece band. (Hopefully one day, all 9 players in the band will be on stage at the same time.)
June 20, 2018
"The Cliffs Of Moher" was premiered by Lemonade Magazine with a video featuring the recording sessions.
September 26, 2018
Buzz-Music.com premiers TIEG's third release, "Lovelight". The song was originally intended for the "Works of Heart" record and features Shelby on vocals.
November 21, 2018
Buzzbands.la premieres the music video for "Lovelight". The video was created by Tieg and features a very powerful performance from Shelby who Tieg learned that day could cry on command.