Armed with a storming new record and a touring schedule that’ll see them on the road until 2008, Tiger Army are all set to take things to the next level.
Main man Nick 13 took some time out to answer these questions…
Interview w/ Tiger Army (USA)
by Cameron Chambers
Monday June 18th
Hey mate, thanks for speaking
with us today.
No problem, how are you?
Good thanks man, where are
you calling from?
I’m back home in Los Angeles
at the moment.
Did you guys just get back
Well, since the record’s been
out we’ve been doing the odd show here and there. We actually just
got back from Detroit where we did a MySpace secret show which was pretty
Awesome, how was that?
Yeah, it was a really fun show.
The place was pretty small, I think it was about a 200 person capacity
venue and we flew over for that one show but it was really fun.
“Music From Regions Beyond”
has just been released – tell us a bit about the process, from writing
and pre-production right through to the completion of the record.
Let’s see. In 2005 – not too
long after we came back from Australia actually – we sort of finished
up the main touring on the last record. We’d bee on the road for a
few years straight and I was feeling a little burnt out.
Once we came off the road we began
writing for the next record. Little by little I started to get a collection
of songs that I liked. I don’t really believe in forcing the writing
process. Certain bands use a time frame and I don’t find that to be
a productive way to work. You may be able to write an album if you’re
working to a set time frame but it might not be that great. You can’t
The writing period gradually became
longer while I waited for that inspiration to come.
In 2006 we did some shows to stay
in touch with the live experience but we ended up getting a lot of great
tour offers that were too good to knock back.
We ended up doing some shows with
Morrissey which was great and some shows with our friends in AFI but
little by little we had enough songs that I felt passionately about.
Jerry Fin ended up coming to the practice space and was a fan right
away. We went into the studio and did 6 day weeks – about 10 hours
a day – and then 3 months later we had our best album.
Were there any prominent influences
on this record that weren’t present
on previous Tiger Army releases and if so, how did they affect your
song writing this time round?
I wouldn’t say there were any
new influences but some of the influences that had been bubbling under
the surface for the last record have become more prominent.
This record definitely has more
pronounced dark wave and 1980’s British dark pop influences. It’s
always been there in the lyrics but I guess this time round it became
more prominent. A song like “As The Cold Rain Falls” is a great
example of that.
At the same time, we still have
some fast and aggressive tracks on the new record. I got in touch with
my 80’s hardcore roots and stuff that I was listening to as a kid.
At the same time, it’s still pretty diverse.
A lot of bands aren’t 100%
happy with a record once it’s completed
– is there anything you’d change with the final product, or are
you satisfied that you guys have made the best record you could?
That’s a good point. I’m really
quite happy with this record. I mean, I’m proud of all our records
but with each of our previous albums there’s always been a few things
I’d change with each of them. With this “Music From Regions Beyond”
it’s the first time that nothing really comes to mind that I’d like
to change. I’m really please with how it turned out!
How do you think
“Music From Regions Beyond” stands up against other Tiger Army records?
For me it’s the best one. It’s
got the strongest collection of songs in terms of song writing. Each
record has a song or two that’s not so hot, whereas I stand behind
every song on this record.
As far as playing live goes, it’s
the best material to play – in terms of line up, the way everything
gels, the way our rhythm sections locks together, in terms of sonics,
it absolutely sounds the best and has the biggest tones.
For me it’s my favourite!
This was the first time that
you guys didn’t produce a Tiger Army record yourselves? What was it
like working with an external producer, especially someone with a resume
like Jerry Fin’s?
At first it was definitely intimidating.
The first night he came to practice to hear the new material I was a
little nervous, I just hoped he liked what he heard!
That went away very quickly though
because Jerry liked the new songs right away. I’d gotten to know him
through working on the last AFI record so by the time we started the
Tiger Army record I felt like I knew him really well.
We had a very easy working relationship
and we had a lot of fun. He definitely helped make it into a much stronger
record than if he hadn’t been involved.
How differently would the record
have turned out if Jerry wasn’t handling the production duties?
It’s hard to say. Song wise,
it wouldn’t have been incredibly different but there’s no question
that it wouldn’t sound as good. Jerry has a great ear for tone and
just has great ideas on how to record. He’s got great equipment as
well so it definitely wouldn’t sound as powerful without Jerry.
Your long standing friendship
with AFI is well documented – did you guys write
“Afterworld” with the intention of Davey contributing vocals or
did the track just need a little something extra to make it work?
The backup vocal thing is a pretty
informal process. Whether it’s me on their records which dates all
the way back to 1996 or Davey appearing on Tiger Army records which
goes back to our first album in 1999.
Over the years, it’s taken both
forms. I hear a part in my head and think “this part would be great
for this kind of voice”, which makes it a bit easier because I know
Davey’s voice so well. Sometimes you finish a song and think, you
know, it needs some extra.
What’s the response to the
new record been like so far?
It’s been overwhelming positive.
People enjoy it which is a nice thing. After saying that, I don’t
really write for the fans – I write for myself per se.
The test a song has to pass is
if I enjoy it and think it’s worthwhile. I write the songs I want
to hear and just draw from everything that I enjoy.
Has there been a change in
the dynamic of your live show since the inclusion of your newer, more
I think this actually dates back
to the beginning of when our 3rd record (III: Ghost Tigers
Rise) was released. We placed more of an emphasis on variety at our
live show. We’ll play a song with a country ballad feel to it and
then we’ll do a more rockabilly influenced number and then go with
a hardcore song like “Fuck The World”.
We’re all about “pacing”
at a Tiger Army show now. I come from a punk/hardcore background so
I love to see things go off live – but that’s not all there is to
live music. Getting to explore other stuff provides the band and the
audience with a chance to take a breath before we kick it up again.
The line up for this year’s
Warped Tour is pretty “scream” friendly
– how do you think Tiger Army will go down with the kids?
It’s always hard to say. The
vibe of Warped Tour evolves every few years. We last did the tour in
2004 and one of the great things about it is its diversity. It has been
criticised in recent years for leaning too much towards emo so I think
they’ve made a big effort this year to put on a more well rounded
It’s great that Bad Religion
is playing this year!
The other great thing about Warped
Tour is that the audience is a bit younger so you’re playing to kids
who are more musically opened. They haven’t picked their sub-culture
yet, so they’re keen just to soak up as much music as possible.
It’s nice to catch those open
minds when they’re fresh if you will, and you know, get a chance to
play to people who wouldn’t normally see a Tiger Army show.
Are there any bands on Warped
Tour this summer that you’re keen to check out?
Bad Religion definitely. A band
that has some members from Australia called The Dear And Departed.
I’ve also been hearing a lot
about Gallows from the UK so I’m sure I’ll see those guys at some
What have you guys got planned
for the remainder of the year?
After Warped Tour we’re doing
a US headline tour which will be great. It’s tentative at the moment
but we’re aiming to hit Australia again at the end of 2007.
It’s in the works and the time
frame could slide around a bit but I’d say we’ll be down there in
November or December.
If Tiger Army could hit the
road with any 3 bands – past or present
– who would it be and why?
Hmmm, let’s see.
Joy Division because I would’ve
loved to have seen them. The Smiths for the same reason and to round
the bill out, something a bit harder, a bit more punk. The Ramones!
That wraps it up man, anything
else you’d like to add?
I’d just like to thank everyone
in Australia for their support. We hear from everyone on MySpace and
it definitely seems like Australia has a lot of vocal Tiger Army fans.
We had a great time in 2005 so
returning is definitely on our minds. Like I said, hopefully we can
round out the year but hitting Australia again.
Cool. Thanks heaps for your
time man and hopefully we see you again in a few months.
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