Some would love to forget the name they were called throughout high school. Instead, Tim Selles ran with it as he embarked on his journey as a solo artist, and thus Timid, The Brave was born. He notes of the moniker, “I like the contrast of it, the light-and-dark feel of it, and I think that tension suits the music,” adding, “I thought that just another guy with an acoustic guitar would be more likely to get lost in the sea of singer-songwriters out there.”
He’s not just some guy with a guitar, we talked about a number of things that prove just that. From cathartic solitude to his latest single “Alice,” and much more.
Kendra: When you went through the breakup with your band you noted it made you take a turn toward the dark side a bit lyrically. Would you say the feelings felt during that breakup mirrored that of a romantic one or was it worse because it was your career in a way?
Timid, The Brave: That’s a good way of putting it. It really did feel like an especially painful romantic breakup when it happened. When you place a lot of your ambition and goals into a relationship like that, it’s pretty devastating when it falls apart. At the time I felt like I was back at square one when it came to pursuing a career in music.
That being said, like any relationship, I was forced to acknowledge a lot of the mistakes I made along the way, and to learn from them. For example, I didn’t do a great job handling the creative expectations of the other band members. I had a very clear idea in my mind of what I wanted the songs to sound like, so I pushed my own agenda pretty hard, didn’t really allow room for co-writing, and that created some serious tension. If you’re unwilling to compromise at times in band, it’s going to inevitably create a rift, just like it would in any other relationship.
Kendra: Was it cathartic to go into Firesale alone?
Timid, The Brave: I actually felt less alone going into Firesale than I did with my previous album release in 2012, which was the record I put out right after my band broke up that year. I’ve made some great new friends in the past four or five years, and they were eager to accompany me on the songs. It was a lot more collaborative than my previous record, and we went for more of a full-band sound on most of the songs. It was refreshing to me, being able to take some of the lessons I learned from my first band and allow the space for creativity and inspiration in the studio. They’re all way better musicians than I am anyways, so it was easy to trust their direction.
Kendra: You penned “Alice” after your grandma passed, and a necklace was involved. Where is that piece of jewelry today?
Timid, The Brave: That necklace is currently in a jewelry box on my desk. I pull it out from time to time, it’s really a nice piece of jewelry. I’m hoping to pass it down to a daughter or granddaughter if it comes to that. Who knows?
Kendra: Also, is that as personal as you get on the record?
Timid, The Brave: “Alice” is one of the more personal songs on the album for sure, but it wouldn’t say it’s the most personal. Songs like “Time to Go,” “The Best,” “Watch for the Water” are all deeply personal songs about family and friends and the struggle to belong. I was born in Vancouver, grew up in Alberta, and have lived in Hamilton, Ontario for the past eleven years. My whole family is back in Alberta, nieces, and nephews and everyone, so it’s tough trying to live my life in two different places. That’s a recurring theme on the record.
Kendra: Do you have any plans set up for 2017? Touring perhaps?
Timid, The Brave: No touring plans at the moment. I’ll be playing a bunch of local shows, working on some new songs, and then hopefully getting back in the studio early 2018 if all goes well.
Kendra: Lastly, here at ZO we’re all about the creatives. So we know you’re about the music, but we want to switch your focus to art for a second. If you had to choose an art piece that best represents your sound, what would it be?
Timid, The Brave: Had to go with a Canadian artist for this one!