After their second show on their new UK tour, Tiger Army are still settling into the routine of playing with a new band lineup. Their first time playing in the UK for three years, the band were keen to spread the psychobilly love with UK veterans The Hangmen and with thrash/hardcore zombies Send More Paramedics. Our man Matt sat down with Nick 13 and asked him a bunch of questions.
Scene Point Blank: Hey Nick. How did the show go yesterday?
Nick 13: Um, it was a good time, it was a bit weird for me, you know, the first show of a tour is always a little strange, you're kinda finding your sea-legs. Also, the jet-lag didn't help.
SPB: You got here yesterday?
Nick 13: We got here the day before yesterday, but I didn't sleep the night before. It was just a bit strange for me. I mean, it was still a pretty good show as first shows of the tour go, but tonight was much better for me, I just felt a lot more..
SPB: It seemed really natural onstage. So why don't you guys play the UK more?
Nick 13: Well, a lot it has to do with, you know, uh... 2003, we were here the beginning of 2002, and then 2003 was just such a strange year for us, from our drummer Fred getting shot, and then we were in the studio for a long time making this newest record, Ghost Tigers Rise. Really we hadn't played in the states for a long time, when we were done making the record, so we spent basically all of last year on the road in the states, and also in the studio.
SPB: How long did it take to record?
Nick 13: It was about 4 months total, but we came out of the studio to do a tour with Rancid, during the making of it, so it was kind of broken up to a couple of different sessions. But it's a shame really, cuz I love playing in the UK, we'll definitely have to get back here.
SPB: How has it been playing these shows with the new band lineup?
Nick 13: You know, it's actually.. surprisingly, it's really really good. You know, it doesn't seem like the type of thing you should be able to do, but somehow I think we managed to pull it off. Part of it has to do with the instrumental skills of Jeff (the new Geoff) and James. They're such excellent players, and another part of it is the fact that they had played in a band together before.
SPB: So they already had the..
Nick 13: They already had the rhythm section chemistry that's so vital to it. So I think when you put those things together.. I have to say that live onstage, I think Tiger Army sounds as good as it ever has, if not its' best ever.
SPB: Just today on the internet I saw you guys have added some shows in Australia. Have you played there before and are you excited?
Nick 13: No. I'm very excited about it, it'll be our first visit to Australia, uh, to do a tour there in March. It's really the last place that people play that we've never been, we've been in Japan, the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, so... I mean, there's certain countries in Europe I'd still like to get to, but it's a whole region of the world. Not many bands I know have been there. The only bands I really know that've toured there are AFI and Rancid, so it's quite a nice thing to be able to do it.
SPB: You debuted some new songs tonight, so how much new material do you have written? Are you ready to start recording anything or is it too early to say?
Nick 13: Well, yeah, actually I have been writing, I just started writing the last couple months, and I would say.. we've only just scratched the surface of actually playing with the other band. I've started jamming the material with those guys. I have about three or four songs. We're pretty busy touring the first half of this year, but I would say we can start working on a new album in some form, at least rehearsing the material if not going into the studio, by the end of the year.
SPB: Do you guys write in a different way now the lineup has changed?
Nick 13: Well, generally what I've always done is written the completed songs and then brought them to the practice room and taught them to the rest of the band, but I've been toying with the idea of changing the approach for this record, to kind of keep it fresh. I think I'll be bringing in material that's a little less developed, and bouncing it off them, seeing what happens.
SPB: Do you think the next record could sound different because of the different approach?
Nick 13: It's possible.. I think each record we've done has sounded a bit different, and I think that's a good thing. I would hope the next album sounds a little different from the last one.
SPB: Have you had a chance to look around Nottingham while you've been here?
Nick 13: Uhh yeah, I had a stroll about. It seems really nice, there's a lot of cool stores.
SPB: Is it true that british food is that bad compared to American stuff? Bands say that all the time.
SPB: Did you see 'Super Size Me'?
Nick 13: Yeah, it was pretty disturbing
SPB: Could you ever see yourself doing something with Geoff (Kresge) again?
Nick 13: I have no idea. I mean, who's to say? It's not really in the plans, but who's to say what's gonna happen in 5 or 10 years.
SPB: What do you think of the current trend in metalcore bands?
Nick 13: Well, you know, some of that stuff is cool. To me, metalcore is really a live music. There's certain bands we're friends with like Bleeding Through, where it's cool to just go to the show and watch it live, but... metalcore in general is not something that I really listen to at home, as I've never been a big metal fan. The hardcore I tended to like was eighties, the kinda more old school stuff, I suppose.