Your New Record will be released these days. How have the reactions been so far from people or friends who have already heard it?
We ended up having to release the digital version early because someone leaked an inferior quality version of the album. The reaction to the record has been overwhelming. So many people saying nice things about it. I am very excited about that because I'm very proud of this record. It was unfortunate that someone leaked it, but it's such a relief to finally have the record out there for people to hear.
How hard was the shock for you when your band mates quit? Did you ever thought about breaking up?
It's definitely difficult to deal with such a drastic change. It wasn't something that I anticipated happening, so Brianna and I sort of had to take a step back and say "Okay, what do we do now?". At first we didn't know what would happen, but we knew that we didn't want to cancel all of our tours. We kept as many of the dates as we could and decided we would sort out everything else later when we had time to reflect and also look ahead. The tour last summer was incredible. It really showed us that people care about our band and want to keep supporting us despite the lineup change. We knew in our minds this wasn't something we wanted to give up, and the success of that tour gave us the courage and drive to keep going.
How many of the songs of the new record where already finished at this point?
At the time they left the band, more than half of the record was pretty much finished. I was thrilled when they agreed to record Charmer, because we all worked so hard on the songs and it would not have happened without those guys. All three of them did an awesome job in the studio and the record has a great sound and overall vibe.
Would you say that you two have already been the most important persons for TIGERS JAW in the past?
Absolutely not. I totally understand and respect Adam, Dennis, and Pat's decisions to move on, but their contributions to Tigers Jaw continue to be very valuable to the legacy of the band. We accomplished so many great things together, and they are some of my best friends, and I loved making music with them. Brianna and I are ready to step up and continue moving forward, but I wouldn't say that we were ever more important than any of the other previous members, Mike May included.
What do you think influences you most when you are writing music or lyrics for TIGERS JAW?
Honestly, anything can be an influence. Every song is different, too. I still haven't discovered a writing technique that works consistently. I try to keep an open mind and expose myself to a variety of mediums to draw inspiration from. I will say that relationships in my life have played a big part in my writing. Also, the TV show Twin Peaks is always a huge inspiration. The interplay between the characters is so interesting and the underlying themes of duality and mystery are really great. It's a good show to immerse yourself in and draw influence from. I have also been greatly influenced by local Scranton bands growing up. Local bands like Okay Paddy and the Sw!ms expanded my musical taste beyond the typical pop-punk stuff I was listening to early on. While I was in college, working part time jobs that sucked probably also influenced my writing whether I realized it or not.
How would you describe your new record to:
1. a person who has never heard of you and your music before
2. a person who knows all your former releases.
1. This is an indie rock record with introspective lyrics and a focus on melody and harmony. It covers a lot of ground, with faster and slower songs, some harsh parts and some delicate parts.
2. This is a maturation of our band. We have come a long way since our first releases, and this album is a great mix of exploring new territory while sticking to the honest, genuine songwriting people have come to expect.
Any special plans for the rest of the year? A lot of touring?
We are doing a US/Canadian tour that consists of two parts: Some headlining shows with support from Pity Sex, Petal, Loose Planes, and Wild Moth, and then a tour doing support for Touche Amore, with Dads playing as well. We will be gone for about six weeks. After that, we still have a few things to sort out with regards to schooling, but once that is finally settled, we plan to be a lot more active with the band. Previously, it has been very difficult for us to tour because school limited our schedules. We made a commitment to finish our degrees, and managed to stick with it while still making as much time for the band as we could. It definitely kept us from doing more with the band, but allowed us to plan for our futures and become more well-rounded as people. I'm glad we did that, but I am also excited at the prospect of touring. There are tons of places we haven't been yet that we want to go.
Any last words?
Thanks so much for reading. Support your local bands. Listen to Kite Party, Petal, Halfling, Cave People, and Three Man Cannon. Hope to visit your country in the not too distant future!