Renowned for their fierce live show, Tigercub are the band you want to see if you’re looking for a mental half hour of headbanging and smashing into one another. They have already gathered a strong local following with outstanding performances, and it seems like rest of the country are now starting to realise what the buzz is all about – following supporting tours with Blood Red Shoes and Royal Blood as well as their own recent headline tour. Having released songs like ‘Centrefold’ and ‘Hold On’, there is no doubt that Tigercub are close to breaking through. I had a quick drink with lead singer and guitarist Jamie to find out more about the band.
Where are you from?
I live here in Brighton, but I’m originally from Sunderland. I had visited London a couple of times, but came to Brighton and thought it was really cool place and liberal minded, especially being a tall dude with long hair.
How did Tigercub meet?
We’ve been going quite a while, since 2011. I met James our drummer at the University of Sussex, and met our current bassist Jimi through Brighton Electric on Lewes Road. We had all moved here to study. James is from Canterbury, and Jimi is from Reading.
Have you always shared the same interest in music?
We are all into different things. I grew up on Nirvana, The Sex Pistols and The Stooges. Then started discovering Krautrock bands, 80s Post-Punk and the weirder side to 90s Alternative Rock. I really like American Hardcore as well.
Can you remember the first time you jammed together?
It was good. The first time we played with Jimi, he turned up with a load of guitar Fuzz pedals for his bass, it sounded harsh and I really liked it. It got heavier and heavier for there.
How would you describe Tigercub?
Not to take yourself too seriously. You could call it Post- Alternative Grunge. I would like to call it punk but it’s not. It is mainly just simple song orientated, with the tried and tested dynamic of loud quiet loud for the moment. Its rock music at the core. The history of popular music has been around for quite a while so it hard to find new ideas that are good. We are trying to find our own format, as we do get a lot of comparisons in the press.
What inspires your lyrics?
I find writing quite therapeutic and I like doing it. At University I studied Jean-Paul Sartre (French philosopher) and existentialism. Asking the bigger questions, encased in nice sounding vowels. It usually starts with words that go together with half rhymes. I find questions like what it would feel like before you are born really interesting. They are intellectual concepts undertaken by a bit of an idiot.
How do you attack the recording process?
I usually sit at home and flesh out the bare bones, putting the general vibe of the song together and where I can see it stands with us. Then we’ll all kick the shit out of it, make a demo and take it to our producer Tom Dalgety. He will listen to it objectively and put in his creative direction into it. As it is just guitar, bass and drums, it is relatively simple to track as there isn’t much you can do.
Do you prefer the recording or playing live?
I prefer recording to playing live, and what songs could be on the recordings compared to what they could be live. Also if there is something that doesn’t necessary work in the practice room, we will still pursue it as it might work really well in the recording studio. If I could live in a recording studio I would.
Do you have a mind for how a song would sound live when writing?
When the band started, playing live was very much our main platform. We didn’t have the cash to record, so it was mainly getting as many ideas together and getting them sounding as good as possible. That’s why when we do get enough cash together to get into a studio, it’s a relatively simple process. Now we have been around the block a few times, there is a lot of talk about a debut album and things have now shifted into the opposite direction.
Is there anything you can tell us about any planed releases?
We are laying down tracks at the moment. We have just got this really good manager and are talking to a lot of labels about what we could do. We will probably release an EP first that will lead into an album. Our bass player works at a recording studio and knows when the studio is free for us to use, so we are recording as much as we can whether it sounds good or not in the practice room. Then compiling a long list for the album, and when we have a bit more money we will record it properly.
Who would you like to do the album with?
It’s a bit of a tossup. Doing our debut with Tom Dalgety, who did Royal Bloods album, would be great. We have also written letter to Steve Albini at Electric Audio in Chicago. His assistant got back to us saying that they would be up for having us there and would do us a good rate, which would be awesome but expensive.
What has been a musical eye-opener?
Seeing GBH live when I was younger in Newcastle was a total game changer, it was the gateway to Punk-Rock and American Hardcore for me. Touring with Royal Blood was pretty insane as well. When we turned up on the first day, we heard their sound check and realised how good a band can sound live. It made us start rehearsing to try and get to that level.
If you could work with any artist, who would it be?
I would love to work with David Lynch, it would be amazing. It totally wouldn’t work, but I think that is what would be so good about it. Like the Metallica and Lou Reed collaboration – it sounds ridiculous as well as hugely ironic. I’m sure they did it just to annoy their fan bases as they are both in a position where they can get away with it, as they have both arguably already written their best material and there careers span such an amount of time.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I have recently revisited The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, it’s a great record and some of the lyrics still knock me out. I am really into Can, our bassist played with Damo Suzuki down at the Green Door Store a couple of years back.
What are the future plans?
We are really excited to be playing your Alternative Great Escape show, it’s going to be carnage. You have got a line-up of some of Brighton best bands in my opinion. There is going to be a release with Too Pure Records in August on their singles club – it might be a song called ‘Bittersweet Mother Fucker’ but we haven’t decided yet. We will then do an EP, and hopefully have an album ready for this time next year. Also loads of touring.