It was with some difficulty, but I did it – I found the nicest spot in Birmingham. A brief walk on from much loved music venue-cum-pub The Flapper, you’ll find a tranquil canal. It’s there at the canal where I became acquainted with Tigercub, a gnarly trio of dudes from Brighton who were set to play The Flapper later that evening.
Their Birmingham show came just a few weeks prior to the release of their new single ‘Destroy’, out later this week through Too Pure. As part of the Too Pure Singles Club, the limited edition vinyl release is a double A-side, consisting of tracks Destroy and ‘You.’ Bass player Jimi set a delightful tone for the interview, pointing out that the monthly subscription service is “…like a kind of musical period, but its better, less messy and probably more expensive – but the outcome is certainly better”
Whenever I’ve spoken with anyone about the wonderful Too Pure label, they’re always gushing with praise. Paul Riddlesworth, the man behind the scenes, is looked on favourably amongst those he’s worked with. Tigercub are no exception to this, as guitarist/vocalist Jamie commented “It’s awesome, man. There’s no bullshit, it’s just cool. Paul Riddlesworth who does it, he just seems a nice guy and it’s just been easy… Also, part of the package is to go and master your track at Abbey Road Studios, which is such a plus, ‘cus you get to go there. I think it’s great”
Adding to the praise, bass player Jimi was equally as won over, citing it as a kind of “tastemaker label“, chuffed to be on the roster “…it’s kinda nice to be put in with bands like Tall Ships and all those guys, it’s cool.”
Tigercub join a number of bands that recently got the chance to hang out at Abbey Road as part of their involvement with the Too Pure Singles Club. When I spoke with Jason of Allusondrugs at 2000trees, he mentioned how unreal it was to walk through the hallways of the infamous recording studios, and the peculiar situation of being in the car park, having “a spliff and a tinnie.” For Tigercub, the situation was just as surreal, as Jimi recalled “…When we arrived we were just like tourists, taking pictures of everything. Huey Morgan was randomly there doing some TV show, he sort of said Hello to us and we all just ran away”
Guitarist Jamie smiled at this, noting the brief conversation they had struggled through with the cucumber-cool Fun Loving Criminals frontman. As for the actual studio’s themselves “…They’ve just got loads of vintage gear just hanging out in the fuckin’ corridor, like all these old EMI tape decks and mastering consoles and mixing consoles. It’s just mint”
One half of the result of their brief love affair with Too Pure is the righteous ‘Destroy’, the video of which premiered in mid-July on Clash. The brilliantly sordid, unnerving lo-fi effort depicts a host of things being – you guessed it – destroyed. One particularly striking clip sees a plush teddy bear being utterly annihilated by some heavy-duty machinery, the end of which Jimi and drummer James are still undecided on.
Jimi “Something like springs out of that machine at that second as well, I don’t know what it is, I think it might be his spleen or-“
James “Probably his soul…”
Jimi “…his soul has left the grinder”
Lo-fi videos that have that ‘ripped from a VHS’ aesthetic are all the rage these days, but in terms of it being used for Destroy, Jamie explained it was more of a cost cutting decision “We were just really pushed for time for a video, we were like – we need a fucking video, dudes. So I just thought – put some archive footage together, it’s easy. Cutting corners, but it’s cool man. Works with the song I think. We just didn’t have budget or time to do a video properly. We may actually do one… we might actually do a proper video for it.”
It also comes down to the fact that the trio aren’t afraid of looking stupid in videos, or doing their best to come across as cool. Jimi confirmed that it was quite the opposite, in fact. “We’re fairly unprecious about how we put ourselves across in videos and stuff, we like to look – well, we’re not too concerned with looking very cool. Finding interesting footage that kind of worked with the song seemed to be the way to go really. We don’t really like to do videos where we look cool playing in a room, because it’s impossible for us. So we have to look toward other things. Destroy is very ambiguous in what it’s about, so you can cut anything to it we found, so that was quite cool.”
Commenting further on the Destroy video, Jamie discussed the surreal, creepy-as-fuck scene where a merry little congregation watch a man bounce around on a beam – wielding an axe. “It just makes it a little bit more… creepier if you set something that’s super happy and cheery over something that’s a little bit heavy, it’s just kinda funny”
Away from the release of the single, the start of the year saw the boys on tour in Europe with German electro-punks Egotronic. No strangers to venturing across the continent, it’s something Tigercub are starting to get the hang of. “It kind of gets easier every time,” mentioned Jimi “Every time you go somewhere, you meet someone and then you have a connection there for next time”
Later in the year, they’re off out on tour again for more European shows; this time with Berlin based Val Sinestra. The way of life for a musician in some of the European countries they’ve ventured to is one they’re huge fans of, as Jimi went on further “We just love it there, because the riders are really good and you get paid. People don’t leave halfway through, unless you’re really fucking sucking, which is great.”
Ah yes, the riders. The lovely Tom George of The Lion And The Wolf recently regaled me with tales of European riders and the joys they bring. In typical Tigercub fashion, the chance to gain a different type of “joy” from their rider is usually too much to pass up, as Jimi joked “Yeah, we asked for a hand of eggs, which is a rubber glove with ten eggs in it that’s been poached. Then the glove is removed so it’s just a solid hand made of eggs, but no one knows what it is except us, so we never get it. But it’s on there.”
Looking past their upcoming release through Too Pure, and moving away from the subject of eggs in rubber gloves, I was keen to find out if we can expect more tracks from the trio this year. “We’ve just got mixes back on an EP that we’re gonna put out really soon,” confirmed Jamie “It’s hard to say whether we’ll do a full length anytime soon. Hopefully like spring next year, but there’s nothing solid in place yet. It’d be nice to see the world and play a couple more shows, write some more songs and just… A lot of bands seem to be really scared about how new they are, but I don’t think that really matters anymore. So I’d rather us just mature and just do it our own way”
Destroy/You, the new double A-Side single from Tigercub, is released this Friday through Too Pure. You can pre-order the single here. The single release will coincide with a launch show this Friday at Bleach in Brighton, which you can purchase tickets for here.