Interview: Tigercub

Having just rocked Reading & Leeds festival 2017, Tigercub have announced a string of October shows as well as a massive London gig to kick off the new year. We have big fans of the Brighton trio here at TicketWeb, so we were delighted to have a chat with Jamie ahead of the release of Tigercub’s new EP “Evolve Or Die” which comes out on the 29th of September.  

You had an amazing response online to the premier of your new track “It’s Only Love” when Daniel P Carter premiered it on the Radio 1 Rock Show (13 Aug). How did that feel?  Were you listening to gauge the response?  Quietly confident or nervous?

Tigercub (Jamie)
It was exciting! I’ve stopped worrying about that sort of thing these days. I’m just proud of the song and wanted people to hear it fkn drop on the biggest station in the country. I’m sure some people will think it’s shit but you know, loads of people think U2 are shit and they still sell out arenas around the world haha so it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. You can’t please everyone so the short answer would be quietly confident/excited.

The 2 new tracks – “It’s Only Love” and “The Divided States of Us” are pretty different – does that reflect a big diversity of sound in the next album?

Yeah, it’s no secret that we’re throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks with this release, we went into the studio with an open mind and the will to take risks and try and become a better band. We’ve always had a heavy side and a light side and a few wildcards here and there in our past releases so it’s normal to me to have polarising songs in terms of sound,  I think the next record will be quite diverse if it needs to be.

You’ve been showing some love for The Cribs recently.  What’s your favourite music of 2017 so far?

Yeah, the new Cribs is cool, Albini production is always very attractive to me so I knew I would like it, and I was expecting it to be Nirvana worship but it’s just so much more – like if Kurt Cobain played guitar in The Cars, would recommend that album for sure.

I think everyone should check out Husky Loops too, heavy and weird. 

What’s your song writing process?  Do you have a strict routine of lyrics first – then music, or does it evolve differently for each song?

Has this changed over the years?

I usually write at home until there are ideas and songs worth taking into the practice room, it helps me find the flow in an album or E.P and just kinda map it out first. I like to start with vowel sounds and melody over chords and then cathart the fuck out of it later haha…But then, sometimes shit just comes together in the practice room and then I’ll drag it home and put some melodies and lyrics over it.

We used to tour songs for ages before we recorded them but now we don’t. It’s way way more exciting to go into the studio with songs you can’t even play live and build them from the ground up, there’s a danger there that seems to work for us.

We’re writing cheques that we can’t cash live haha..I think it forces Tigercub to get better though, we had to learn how to play ‘Control’ and a few other songs live after we’d recorded it, sink or swim kinda thing, and in the end, we did and I think it made us a better live band.

Jimi, what’s your favourite bass pedal?

The BOSS TU-2 Tuner pedal.

You’ve got another big tour coming up.  What’s the number 1 item on your rider?

In the Netherlands, you can get ‘Green herbs for relaxation’ which is always quite fun.. If I had a fantasy item it would be scratch cards, but in real life, it’s probably just Brandy

Lyrics are clearly an important part of your song writing. What is the most important message you’re trying to get across to people? Or are you simply just getting out what’s in your head as a way of release?

It varies. My lyrics don’t really provide answers, I just want people who listen to know there is someone else who feels the same way as them. It’s cathartic for me and I hope it is for other people. Sometimes that’s the perfect medicine you know, just knowing you’re not alone.

With so many bands around at the moment, it takes a lot to stand out. Is this something you’ve thought about a lot? Or have you just organically built your own sound over the years?

For me, growing a band is hand to hand combat..We just want to tour as much as poss and convert as many people as possible and grow organically, that way we don’t have to compromise what we do, It is very saturated at the moment but it also never been easier to find and connect with your audience.

At your last London show at Dingwalls, you had two female bands supporting you which doesn’t happen too much with an all-male band on the way up. Is this something you purposefully did and what are your views on gender equality in the music industry? 

TC are 100% behind the gender equality movement, the music industry is an especially male dominated space and always has been really, unfortunately it’s a systemic problem and it’s taken so long to be properly addressed, I’m glad to see things are changing for the better but ovc there is still a long way to go..I don’t feel like it’s quite my place as a man to wade into the conversation, but we see it as a vital and necessary cause and will support it where we can – I must say though, We had those bands on the bill first and foremost because we think they’re fuckin rad and wanted our fans to hear them.

Have you noticed your fan base change at all the more you’ve moved up into bigger venues?

It’s nice to see our fan base is diverse, and our music can mean something to people of all types – and ovc the more we grow the more varied I hope our fan base becomes. We are all as one.

Have you got a favourite song to play live? Do you feel like there’s any song on your set list that you might find monotonous to play in say 10 years time?

I love playing Picture’s of You live still, mainly because it turns into a huge sing-along and it’s beautiful but the newer songs are always a treat. If a song gets boring or monotonous to us we will just stop playing it live, I never want us to start phoning in shows, it’s not our style. 

Tigercub are heading out on tour this October. They’ve also just announced their biggest London headline gig to date at Scala in January. You can grab tickets to this show and the tour right here: ticketweb.co.uk/tigercub

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