"I don't think we'll ever try and write pop music"


By Katherine Allvey

May 16, 2023 13:00

Tigercub have had one heck of a year by anyone’s standards. For a start, they’ve been working on their new release, ‘The Perfume of Decay’, due for release on 2nd June. If ‘As Blue as Indigo’, Tigercub’s 2021 album, was ‘geared towards colour, the subjectivity of how we all perceive colour in different ways’, then their next album is ‘a monochrome nighttime dark record’ according to frontman Jamie Hall. “All of the rock bangers on this record, I want them to beat all of the rock bangers that we’ve released on previous records. All the softer, acoustic piano-based moments, I want them to be the best delivery and imagining of what we set out to do on the first two records,” said Hall proudly, and he’s right to be. The first single, ‘Play My Favourite Song’ is all nineties electronic swirling through a potion of dark plasma and dreamlike vocals, and the title track is a beautifully seductive downward guitar spiral, just daring the listener to become a critic and interrogate further.

The new album is a record influenced by the grandaddies of darkness, taking their intelligence and twisting it for this decade. “I was listening to a lot more of like The Cure and I’ve always been a fan of like OG post-punk goth like Joy Division, Bauhaus, Chameleons, Killing Joke and stuff like Sisters of Mercy. That’s a big part of my musical diet…” smiles Hall, and there’s a lot of Robert Smith proverbially looking over his shoulder. Thankfully, this doesn’t come out in the band’s communication style: “Jimi, our bass player, he’s good friends with Robert and he shows me his text messages that he gets from him all the time which are -I’m so jealous- in caps lock but that’s his life! The man’s full caps, ride or die!”

Of course, their inspiration isn’t just down to listening to moody vinyl. Following a huge American tour with Clutch, the band found themselves in a completely new environment which they channelled into their new album: “We were just driving through Texas down to like Tyler and the border with Juárez in Mexico, and we got this sense of just the scale of the world and how massive America is and how important having your music being able to translate in a car! We wanted to make these like huge sounds that sort of match the territory that we were driving through.” The American influence is personal as well as geographical since Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam recently signed Tigercub to his label, Loosegroove Records, and champions the band at every opportunity, even recruiting them to support at Pearl Jam’s massive Hyde Park show. “Stone is, all of a sudden, like this shiny Pokemon card that we have who’s part of the team,” grins Hall, “it’s just so fun to have done something for so long and to have experienced the taste of defeat so many times, just to have some breaks, and have some things start to really just go right.  We’re enjoying the momentum picking up, it’s just a really fun thing!”

In terms of their production, Tigercub have also gained the confidence and power to make their sound more experimental and push themselves out their comfort zone. Hall produced ‘The Perfume Of Decay’ as well as up-and-coming shouters Snayx. “I see production as  if it’s almost like the the extra member of the band,” reveals Hall, “we were able to be really experimental in the studio and and mess around with like hitting a beer keg with a baseball bat. James (Allix) brought some massive industrial chains into the studio and he ended up wearing the chains when he was doing drum takes so there’s just a faint textural jingling in the background…”

On the brink of becoming household names, Hall ponders what that will mean for the band.  All of his songs are autobiographical, moments that are personal to himself translated into musical gold, so what will change if they do hit the ‘big time’ in the near future? “I don’t think we’ll ever try and write pop music. I think we would always try and  stay true to ourselves,” said Hall confidently, “Whenever I write, I will always picture this Tigercub fan in my head. It’s imaginary, like an Avatar type, and I’ll just write stuff and picture them reacting to it, whether it makes them do a ‘stank face’.  If I can get that reaction right then we’re good no matter what we do. The primary objective, you know, is to serve satisfy and service people.” With a philosophy like that, and a high powered grunge hero as their patron, Tigercub are bound to take on the world and win. 



‘The Perfume of Decay’ is released on 2nd June 2023 on Loosegroove Records.