We caught up with the five members of Tigercats through the medium of email to discuss playing public toilets in Berlin, Rebecca Black as well as the best way to part your hair.
COUGARMICROBES: What time did you wake up today? Was it out of choice or necessity?
GILES: 9 out of necessity, 10.30 after I went back to bed through choice.
JONNY: About 11.45. And yes, out of necessity. I went back to bed about 6.30pm – it’s been a good day.
LAURA: About 9.30am. Necessity. Had to go meet a friend, but I suppose it was also my choice to go meet said friend.
CM: Describe Tigercats to the uninitiated?
STEFAN: I always say poppy indie, rather than indie pop. Bit of Buzzcocks, bit of Tom Tom Club, bit of Violent Femmes. All pretty poppy. Not much shoegazing. Not much shoes, even.
CM: How have you been killing time when on the road when, hobbies?
DUNCAN: Allo Darlin taught us how to play Horse. If you see a horse you have to shout “horse”. Mike also taught me and Jonny how to play Suck Out, you get a plane full of celebrities and then the window breaks and the all get sucked out the last one is the winner.
STEFAN: The van wasn’t ever working long enough for boredom to be a real issue
CM: What have been your favourite venues to play? Any Venues you hated?
JONNY: That toilet in Berlin was pretty awesome.
DUNCAN: We played in an old public toilet in Berlin with some German punks and a semi-naked Goth. I think that is why Jonny enjoyed it so much.
STEFAN: I liked playing the Betsey Trotwood a lot. Far too small and sweaty. Ideal. Plus it was the first show we put on ourselves and we got to pick the support (Omi Palone and Moustache of Insanity) and they were both aces.
CM: Is there a song you are simply sick of playing?
STEFAN: Nah, we’re still full of wide-eyed wonder with the world – we love all our songs as if they were our children. We’re a bit new as a band to be refusing to play the hits.
CM: What is the songwriting process like for Tigercats. Are you able to write on the road or do you do this in your off time?
DUNCAN: I have started talking to unfinished songs as though they were people. If they come to me when I am on a bus or such I ask them to come back later. This is something Tom Waits does, obviously to more success.
CM: Favourite Tigercats track and why?
JONNY: ‘Jonny‘, for obvious reasons.
DUNCAN: We have a song about being in love with a man called Jonny. Its not about Jonny. And its not my favourite.
CM: If you could record any cover what would it be?
GILES: ‘What Presence?!‘ by Orange Juice
JONNY: ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea‘ by Elvis Costello.
DUNCAN: I would like to cover something by Leonard Cohen maybe ‘In My Secret Life, or ‘Boogie Street‘ or ‘Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On‘ or ‘Memories‘.
LAURA: I really want to cover something like ‘Don’t You Want Me‘ by the The Human League…or ‘Everywhere‘ by Fleetwood Mac.
STEFAN: ‘September‘ by Earth Wind and Fire
CM: Do your songs go through many revisions via demo recordings?
DUNCAN: I used to make demos of all the songs and bring them to the others but now we write them all together from the start.
GILES: Oh yes. We ain’t playing nothing till Jonny‘s happy with it. He’s a perfectionist and we secretly love him for it.
STEFAN: Yes, I secretly quite like Duncan‘s demos but he doesn’t do them any more – I thought we were going to sound like No Age when I heard them.
CM: What came first, the lyrics or the melody?
CM: What are your views on auto tune?
LAURA: It’s funny when you autotune people talking and put it on the internet.
GILES: I love auto-tune when it’s used as an outlandish effect, like it is in a lot of middle-eastern pop music and by Lil Wayne and the like. Bands who use autotune to attempt to cover up what they perceive to be failings in their records aren’t fooling anyone but themselves. I once had a singer in my studio break down in tears when I told her I didn’t have auto-tune. She presumed it was industry standard, but I think we were talking about different industries.
JONNY: I love Rebecca Black. This doesn’t need to be included in the interview – I just wanted to let you know.
CM: Any other band/bands from your local scene we really should know about?
GILES: Owl and Mouse, and Moustache of Insanity. Heart-breaking ukulele pop and exhilarating casio madness.
DUNCAN: Omi Palone, Fever Dream, No Cars, Hexicon
CM: Most flattering thing you’ve read about yourselves?
LAURA: That I remind someone of Daria.
DUNCAN: this isn’t something I read about my self but I heard that you should change the way you part your hair so that it looks bad in the mirror because in actual life it will then look good, so i have gone from a life long left parting to a new right parting. So far my life hasn’t really changed.
This doesn’t need to be included in the interview either does it but I do want to talk more about this.
STEFAN: I often get worried about the side I part mine on too. I have a secret fear that I might have changed it at some point by accident and it’s been wrong ever since.
LAURA: I parted my hair on my left side for the longest time, but then last year I started parting on the opposite side. Presently I have a front fringe, so don’t have to worry so much until my hair gets too long again.
CM: What was the first record/tape/cd you ever bought?
GILES: ‘Bad‘ by Michael Jackson.
STEFAN: “Pump Up The Jam: The Album” by Technotronic — but that was a pirated copy from the Ford plant at Halewood on Merseyside, so not sure if it counts
DUNCAN: Shaggy‘s ‘Bombastic‘
CM: What was the last song that got stuck in your head?
GILES: Something by Standard Fare. You should definitely check them out too.
STEFAN: ‘Blue Skies‘ by Irving Berlin. It was written in 1926 and it feels like it’s been stuck in my head ever since
CM: What was the last show you paid and queued up for?
GILES: I think it was Wolf Eyes.
JONNY: Howe Gelb and a Band of Gypsies.
LAURA: Fleet Foxes. Brilliant.
CM: If you had to bring on artist back from the dead in exchange for sending a living artist down, which artists would it be and why??
DUNCAN: i would not do this.
LAURA: John Lennon back in exchange for Justin Bieber. I don’t think this needs explaining.
DUNCAN: I dont think Justin Bieber should have to die for us Laura what’d he do?