Monday, November 3, 2008

Interview w/ Adam of Tigers Jaw

Curtis Childress

When i started this i planned on doing only hardcore bands but this band put out probably my favorite record of 2008 so i thought id make an acception. Check them out (

First, what is your name and what do you do in the band? How did you get into punk music?

Adam McIlwee, and I play guitar and sing. I got into punk music in sixth grade after going to my middle school's talent show and seeing a band (which Tom May from the Menzingers was in) cover "Roots Radicals" by Rancid. Later, I started going to the library and taking out dozens of CDs at a time, which exposed me to music that wasn't the same punk rock to which everyone else was listening.

How did the band start?

I had met Ben a few months before we started tigers jaw, but the band actually started around the Winter of 2005. I played one of the last Conor-run Test Pattern shows with the Minor White, and Ben was there for that. A few days later, we began recording with Ben playing drums, and me singing and playing guitar. After a few quick lineup changes, Brianna joined, making tigers jaw a three-piece. We played a show with Three Man Cannon at Dennis's house before he was in the band, and shortly after that Dennis joined the band. Mike May drummed for us a bit before Pat joined last year, and we've kept the same lineup since.

What are some of your guys influences? both lyrically and musically?

We've been heavily influenced by local music ever since we started, particularly those on Prison Jazz Records at the time, which included Okay Paddy, The Sw!ms, and The Green Chair. We also love Mount Eerie, Sonic Youth, Eric's Trip, Dinosaur Jr., and Archers of Loaf, although I don't know how much that comes through in our own songs. I can't speak for Ben, but I know that it's hard for me to try and write lyrics or sing like any particular artist, so I guess I gave up on that and attempted (and still attempt) to avoid trying to sound like or write like anyone else.

You guys just put out a record on Prison Jazz, how has the reaction been? Do you have any other upcoming plans(records/tour)?

We haven't played too many shows since we released the CD, but so far the reaction has been positive. We are currently working on a 10" split with Rainbow Crow that Embassy Vinyl is putting out, as well as a possible 7", although we don't have anybody lined up to release that yet.

If you could play any show with any band past or present what would it be?

We have played with them before, but being able to do another show with Okay Paddy would be great, if only for the fact that it would mean being able to see them one more time.

What is your favorite show you have played so far?

This is a tough one, and I had to call Ben for help. We agreed that every show at Dennis's house was incredible. We played a ton of awesome shows at Test Pattern, but we can't really remember any specifics. The Paul D. Benefit at Mark's house was really great, as was our CD release show. Also, early on we played a show at Test Pattern with The Sw!ms, Okay Paddy, and The Explorers Club that was incredible.

Top 3 records/books?

I'm only going to speak for myself, but...

Favorite Records (ever)
1. "The Glow Pt. 2" by The Microphones
2. "Hunk" by Okay Paddy
3. "...and Out Come the Wolves" by Rancid

Favorite Records (current)
1. "Crystal Castles" by Crystal Castles
2. "New Cornucopia" by And The Moneynotes
3. "Blood Loss" by These Elk Forever

Election day is on Tuesday, what are your thoughts on the election?

Again, I can't speak for the rest of the band, but I personally will be voting for Barack Obama, and I have a hard time understanding any young person that isn't.

Any bands you think people should check out?

Kite Party (www. myspace. com/kiteparty) is definitely the biggest one that comes to mind. Our friends from Brooklyn, You Aren't My Mother (www. myspace. com/youarentmymother) are excellent as well.

Any last words?

We'll be playing in Philadelphia for the first time on November 22nd at Titan House, and in Doylestown for the first time on December 5th at The Moose Lodge. For more information, check out www. myspace. com/titanhouse and www. myspace. com/swphiladelphia respectively. Oh, and thanks for the interview. You're the best.

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