Interview: A New Spin On The Pennsylvania Band, Tigers Jaw
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The emo/indie rock band Tigers Jaw prepares to embark on their upcoming tour to support the release of their new album spin, both of which will occur on May 19th. With core members Brianna Collins and Ben Walsh having been in the studio with producer Will Yip under the new label Black Cement, this is their most anticipated album to date.

We caught up with the lovely Brianna of Tigers Jaw on her way home from shooting the music video for the track “June” to get the scoop on the band’s newest project, and find out what they are looking forward to later this month.

CC: In your opinion, What about spin distinguishes it from past albums in terms of the songwriting/inspiration behind the record?
Brianna: Spin is definitely going to be different from our other albums first, because its the first album where Ben and I are the only people who worked on it, along with Will obviously, and second, its the first time I’ve ever written a song, so that was definitely a new thing! Also throughout the record, Ben and I both sang on every song and I think melody and harmony are both really well considered. Every song is so different but it is still a cohesive record. Not that our other records weren’t cohesive necessarily, but these songs really worked well together.

CC: Do you feel like the end result was what you expected? What stood out to you after the recording process was finalized?
Brianna: I think that this is definitely our best sounding record because you know, we’ve been a band for over ten years and I feel like every time we go in to record we know more from what we’ve learned from the last time we’ve done a record. And this was really great with it just being Ben and I with Will in the studio, it was very easy to be on the same page about what we wanted. So I think that made the production quality of the record really great.

CC: So you’re the introductory band for the new label Black Cement with Will Yip under Atlantic, how exactly did that opportunity come forth for you guys?
Brianna: It definitely all started with Will because he was approached by Atlantic about doing this imprint label, and then Will talked to us about it. The thing about Will is he doesn’t do anything unless he really believes in it, and we also trust him. He is one of our best friends and he wouldn’t want to put us in a situation with a label that we wouldn’t want to be with. He really knows us. So that was definitely the major factor in how we got in touch with working with Black Cement. And after meeting everyone who we would be working with at the label, it was definitely solidified because everyone at the label was so great and excited to be working with us. It was just a very mutual excitement.

CC: So you’re about to embark on a month-long North American tour on May 19th, what are three necessities to bring along?
Brianna: I am awful with packing. I can’t pack lightly to save my life so I always have a shoe bag that has anywhere from 3 to 10 pairs of shoes (laughs). I never wear more than two pairs but I just need all of them to decide. Also, I always bring my own pillow and blanket. I think it’s just that little comfort from home, knowing that they are my things. I have left pillows in hotel rooms probably more than ten times, where we actually had to go back to get them. But it is definitely an important thing, especially when you’re in the van. Even if we do end up getting a hotel room, in the van it’s just my way to make sure I’m comfortable. I sleep a lot in any vehicle that is moving when we are on tour (laughs). And then one other thing, I pack medicine and vitamins because I get sick every tour and just in case anyone else does, I like being prepared. The joke with our band is that it somehow always ends up going in a cream tote. It could be a completely different brand, but the color is always cream.

CC: Of all the tour dates, where are you most excited to go this time around and why?
Brianna: I’m always excited to play anywhere around LA because one of my older brothers lives there and the only time I really get to see him and spend time with him is when we are playing in California. It also just works out that anytime we play around Los Angeles, its just the best time ever because usually we go to Disneyland. Our booking agent knows us and he books a day off around L.A.. So we go to disneyland since we all love it, I get to see my brother, and the shows are always so fun. I don’t know what it is about California and especially the L.A. area, but the people who come out to our shows are all really nice and always have really great energy. So probably L.A., and I am also excited for Texas. We haven’t really played a lot in Texas and I think it’s a really great state.

CC: Based on past tours, where was your favorite city to stop in, venue to play in, and restaurant/bar you’ve visited?
Brianna: Well Philly is kind of like our home away from home. I love the venue Union Transfer in Philly. It’s just so cozy and I love the way it’s set up. And the food in Philly is so good! I’m obsessed with this restaurant called Local Pez. When I lived in Philly I would eat there probably twice a week. They have really good happy hour deals and their margaritas are great. And the tacos. And the nachos. It’s just all very good. So I think getting to play in Philly at Union Transfer and then getting to eat the food. It makes me miss living there.

Upcoming Tour Dates For Tigers Jaw, in support of their new album spin:
5/19 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – ROCK & ROLL HOTEL
5/20 – ASBURY PARK, NJ – THE STONE PONY
5/22 – RICHMOND, VA – THE BROADBERRY
5/23 – CARRBORO, NC – CAT’S CRADLE
5/24 – ATLANTA, GA – THE MASQUERADE
5/25 – JACKSONVILLE, FL – 1904 MUSIC HALL
5/26 – TAMPA, FL – THE CROWBAR
5/27 – LAKE PARK, FL – KELSEY THEATRE
5/29 – HOUSTON, TX – WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL
5/30 – AUSTIN, TX – THE MOHAWK
5/31 – DALLAS, TX – GAS MONKEY BAR & GRILL
6/2 – MESA, AZ – THE NILE
6/3 – POMONA, CA – THE GLASS HOUSE
6/4 – LOS ANGELES, CA – THE REGENT
6/6 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SLIM’S
6/7 – SACRAMENTO, CA – GOLDFIELD TRADING POST
6/9 – PORTLAND, OR – HAWTHORNE THEATRE
6/10 – SEATTLE, WA – EL CORAZON
6/12 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – THE COMPLEX
6/13 – DENVER, CO – MARQUIS THEATRE
6/15 – CHICAGO, IL – METRO
6/16 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN – CABOOZE
6/17 – DETROIT, MI – EL CLUB
6/18 – TORONTO, ON – VELVET UNDERGROUND
6/20 – CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH – GROG SHOP
6/21 – PITTSBURGH, PA – REX THEATER
6/22 – NEW YORK, NY – WEBSTER HALL
6/23 – PHILADELPHIA, PA – UNION TRANSFER
6/24 – BOSTON, MA – ROYALE

photo by: Jimmy Fontaine