Ahead of their headline show at UCA Epsom, I sat down with Brighton based band Tigercub to discuss their local music scene, their favourite albums and getting “blackout drunk” on tour with Royal Blood.
How did Tigercub form?
Jamie: Well me and James met at university in Brighton. Our original bass player quit and we’ve been mates with Jimmy for ages, everyone knows him and he’s cool so he was the perfect guy to join our band and he did. That’s how it happened right?
Jimmy: Totally. These two put in a load of hard work and then I just parachuted in and reaped all the rewards!
How would you describe your sound?
Jimmy: We’re an alternative rock band. We take a lot of influence from the 90s. It’s very easy to start falling in to these pigeonholes but we’re essentially and alternative rock band with a grungy edge I guess. Yeah?
Jamie: Nailed it.
Royal Blood won Best British Group at the Brits this year and you recently supported them on their UK tour, what are they like to tour with?
Jimmy: Absolute sweethearts. They’re legends. They’re really, really cool. We never get to see them anymore because they’re famous big time bitches.
Jamie: When I met up with Mike [Kerr, vocalist and bass guitarist of Royal Blood] he said that he hasn’t stopped since the tour. He’s been playing shows almost every day.
Jimmy: The great thing was it that we shared a very keen sense of humour with both of them and their touring crew as well. We don’t really have a big budget for a crew, we always get friends to drive us but they had really funny guys with them. We had some really funny times on that tour, like when we had a lock-in in Hull. We were riding bikes around the venue playing The Bill’s theme tune really loud and generally running around. There may have been some stripping as well…
Jamie: We got pretty blackout drunk.
James: I don’t remember that… that’s the sort of thing that I wouldn’t really remember.
Jimmy: You kept getting on the promoter’s bike and crashing it!
James: I got lassoed by Mike. He lassoed me off a bicycle with a microphone cable while the Baywatch theme tune playing and all of the disco laser beams were on.
Jamie: You just kept crashing that bike! You were so determined to ride it around and the promoter came over was like “Do you reckon you could get your drummer to stop riding that bike because he keeps crashing it” and you kept riding it, crashing in to something and then falling off, going away, having another beer and then getting on the bike again and crashing it!
Jimmy: They were up for that kind of behavior though. They’re at a level where they can kind of get away with anything, but they’re not idiots with it, they just like to mess with people. They’re really cool. The Brit Award couldn’t have gone to nicer people.
Jamie: And if they like your band they’ll get you to support them on tour, they’re quite in control of that. They want to help bands to climb up with them. They wear our t-shirts on stage. I got loads of texts one day because Mike had mentioned us on MTV so that’s nice. It makes us want to pay that forward with other bands that we like.
Looking back at all of the shows you’ve done so far, are there any that really stand out for you?
Jimmy: Our Great Escape [annual Brighton based festival] show last year was really good. Jamie was being carried around.
Jamie: I was crowd surfing! Everyone had dragged me offstage and forced me to do it.
Jimmy: It was one of those 1am gigs where everyone was completely of their faces and I think any music is going to be amazing at that point. Y Not festival last summer was really really good as well. That’s one of my favourites just because we’d shown up expecting to play a really small tent with a few people in it and we got there and there were like 700 people in this massive tent so we were a bit like “Wow”.
Jamie: There’s been a lot of that really, you turn up on the first show of the tour or whatever and these massive venues have sold out. We’ve been really lucky in that sense because we’ve been able to support these great bands who sell a lot of tickets.
So with you being from Brighton, a town with a very lively music scene and home to The Great Escape festival, are there any artists you’re tipping from your hometown to make it big?
Jimmy: Not so much from our local scene but there’s a guy we know really well who we’ve played with before and been friends with for ages called Vant. Jamie went to school with him, he’s from London but we’d tip him to be really big.
Jamie: We know he’s going to be really big because he’s just signed a massive deal!
James: Spoiler alert!
Jamie: He’s going to be fucking massive.
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of life what would it be?
Jimmy: Mine would be Revolver by The Beatles. Or maybe Abbey Road…
James: Can we include double albums? Because mine would be The White Album by The Beatles.
Jamie: I’d have Future Perfect by Autolux. I just love it.
James: Maybe I should have Yeezus [by Kanye West] just so I could listen to Black Skinhead!
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Jamie: PJ Harvey.
Jimmy: That’d be awesome.
James: That would be pretty cool, yeah.
Jamie: Just so that we could learn everything from her.
Jimmy: We’d suck her brains out!
What’s next for Tigercub?
Jimmy: We’ve actually been discussing this recently but we went to Germany in November so we’re going to go back to again in April. We’re going to put out a track, not a proper single but just a track so that people don’t forget about us basically.
Jamie: Our record is coming out in Australia and New Zealand, we’re just tidying up a deal so that the record can come out over there. A lot more touring hopefully. We’re writing the new album at the moment so that’s what we’re doing.