Feature / Interviews
Tiger Army

Words: Matt • October 16, 2010

SPB: Green Day released a rock opera album, AFI slowed down and became more melodic.. what's next for Tiger Army? A jazzcore psychedelic prog-rock record?

Nick 13: I don't think so. I mean, to me, the new album we've just done, Ghost Tigers Rise, is a fairly intense album, but a lot of people were concerned that it was slower than the last record. I still think it's hardly a slow record, there are slower songs on it, but really I think you need to explore different tempos and different times. Sometimes playing something slower can add more power to it. But at the same time, we obviously have a lot of fast songs in our set. As for the next record, who's to say what you can see, you'd probably see a bit of everything.

SPB: What bands do you think should be big in 2005?

Nick 13: Well.. Unfortunately it seems like the bands that should be big never are and vice versa. Bands that I think are good that are around right now.. AFI, Interpol...

SPB: Do you think AFI can get any bigger?

Nick 13: It's possible. Their last album just went platinum in the states, which I'm sure if you'd have asked this years ago, you couldn't have imagined that.

SPB: Could you ever see Tiger Army reaching that level?

Nick 13: You know, I would like to become as big as possible, on our own terms... I don't ever see us getting that kind of massive success, but I'm certainly not gonna tailor the music I play in the hopes of getting success, but I do think that any musician who tells you that he/she doesn't want as many people as possible to listen to the music and be into it is lying.

SPB: What have been your favourite records of 2004?

Nick 13: Let me think. Um.. the new Morrisey album You Are The Quarry, it was definitely my favourite record of 2004. Next would probably be Antics by Interpol. Gosh, after that, it starts slowing down for me. Those were the records that made an impression on me at all. There's probably some industrial/EBM stuff but I can't remember if it came out within 03-05. The Explosion's new record was good, Black Tape. The new Social Distortion album is pretty good too.

SPB: You guys have just been touring with them in America, how has that been?

Nick 13: It was a good time. It was a bit long, it was 9 and a half weeks on the road, 46 shows.

SPB: No breaks?

Nick 13: No, just straight through it. Longest tour we've done. Yeah, I can't say, um.. well, it had it's bright spots. But as far as 2004 in music, I'd have to say it was a pretty dead year.

SPB: When it comes to doing a tour that long, and you just wanna go home or go to bed, how do you set yourself up to play shows and you're so tired you just wanna die onstage..

Nick 13: Ha! Well, fortunately I'd have to say that more than 90% of the time I'm really happy to be onstage. I'm not always happy to be on tour, especially a tour that length, but.. really, the downside of tour doesn't have to do with the time you're onstage, that's the fun part.

SPB: What's the one band you'd give anything to see?

Nick 13: Would it be in a time machine or now?

SPB: It could be back in time or right now or whatever..

Nick 13: I have to say that I'm really tired of bands getting back together.. it's getting more and more depressing and it seems like it's taking away from them. I mean, if they were really good then it's cool, but more often than not it just takes away from what they did originally. I'd like to see maybe, Joy Division or The Smiths.

SPB: I've heard you guys shy away from political stuff in your music, which is a rarity in punk bands these days. Why is that?

Nick 13: Really, it's just that I would hope that the people who listen to and enjoy our music are intelligent enough to form their own opinions on stuff.

SPB: Without being told.

Nick 13: Yeah. Exactly. And research the issues for themselves if they care to do so, without needing to be told by me what to think. More so I think it has to do with the fact that... politics.. they're obviously important, I wouldn't say they're not of interest to me personally. They don't have anything to do with our music, they don't have anything to do with the lyrics.

SPB: It'd seem contrived if you tried to fit it in.

Nick 13: You know, the things that I'm personally trying to express with the lyrics happen on a very different level than that, of everyday life, and the kind of that politics is a part of. So, um, there is pressure sometimes to say what you think about this or that, but it's not something I'm interested in doing, because if it had something to do with the song or if it had something to do with what I'm trying to express through music; the reasons I'm playing it, then by all means I would, but it just doesn't. As far as the kinds of things I am trying to say in the lyrics, it has more to do with things that are timeless and don't change regardless of the year or the decade. A lot of times the music that talks about political topics really directly is just kind of dated and it might be thrown away. I mean, it might ultimately become relevant again, but...

SPB: I've seen in other interviews that you guys wanted to put a DVD together. Is there any news on that, and what would be on it?

Nick 13: Well, that's a bit on the back burner for now. I mean, at one point we were going to put out a DVD/EP of just the few videos that we've done, but it's still definitely something that's important to me, as the visual aspect of the band is something I'm really into, as well as the musical obviously, but we have four videos now, I'd like to wait until we do a couple more and then kinda do a longer one.

SPB: Would you ever do a live show on there?

Nick 13: That's possible.

SPB: What about a live album?

Nick 13: You know, I've never cared for live albums, but as the years have gone on, I've noticed the way the songs kind of organically kind of evolve through playing them many times, they develop little hooks and things that weren't neccessarily there originally, and sometimes take on different aspects that are kind of cool that just aren't on the record. So, um, I can't say it's something we're really planning on, but if you'd asked me that 5 years ago I'd have said never, I hate live albums, and I wouldn't say that now, so.. maybe someday.

SPB: Thanks for your time Nick.

Nick 13: You're welcome.

Tiger Army - Live in Nottingham, 15/01/2005

Interview & Graphics by Matt

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Matt • October 16, 2010

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