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Tiger Army interview with Nick13- November 2006

            Norcal punkabilly heroes Tiger Army travel around with a tireless brigade of fans obviously seeking immortality. That is, the trio’s diehard fans can often be found ad shows hollering the band’s “Never die!” motto. The Dominant Allele had the chance to e-mail interview frontman Nick13, who was eager to share his ideas and experiences.

            The dynamic vocalist offered a condensed version of Tiger Army’s decade-long history, saying, “The band was started by myself in late '95/early '96. We played our first show in spring '96 in Berkeley, CA opening for longtime friends AFI. For the first several years of the band I used friends who had other full-time bands & session musicians for various recording sessions and shows -- including our first album, released by Epitaph in late '99.

“Around 2001, we began touring heavily for the first time and basically have continued since then, playing all over the world. The current line up has been in place since fall '04 and has done over 150 shows at this point. We're now writing for our fourth album and plan on entering the studio in October or November.”

            He also noted that classifying his group was “better left to other people,” although he cited influences including the early rockabilly and rock’n’roll from the ‘50s, the punk movement especially from the ‘70s, and the darkpop realm of the ‘80s.

            “As far as [fashion] style, I’ve always been drawn to mid-twentieth century style, roughly the thirties through the early sixties,” Nick13 commented. “The average person today looks terrible, that’s for sure.”

            Nick continued by emphasizing touring and its centrality within his band’s career. He identified a few of his Tiger Army highlights as the opportunities to visit both Australia and Japan for the first time. While he listed the band’s unfortunate struggles as their former drummer getting shot as well as high stress on the road, it is apparent that the Tiger Army bandwagon keeps on trucking across the globe despite adversity.

            “Sometimes touring as much as we do comes at the expense of personal relationships, but that’s really [the same with] any band. Illness on the road and van problems are also par for the course.”
            The singer yet again, however, stressed the group’s resilience and even his preference for touring over recording.

“Recording has an almost religious importance to me, but it can be very stressful. Road stress is different and you get the release of playing every night, getting an instant reaction. There’s nothing better for the spirit than playing a good show.”

            He also explained Tiger Army fans’ fervent battle cry, as mentioned earlier: “It has meanings on many levels, but it’s about facing and overcoming adversity. Finding and using the strength of one’s own will.”

            With the knowledge of The Dominant Allele’s Pittsburgh home base, Nick13 commented on his fondest memory of the Steel City.

“I remember the first time we played in Pittsburgh, at Club Laga with Dropkick Murphys and Sick Of It All, the crowd was insane for us. This was five years ago, when many cities on the East Coast were just starting to hear of us. Every time we've ever been back, it's always great. It seems like a city with a strong scene that just needs a solid venue to keep it going. We had a great time at Mr. Small's on the Dark Romance tour. If there's a place to play, we will be back in 2007.”

Extending appreciation to the fans in the ‘Burgh and beyond, he added, “Thanks to everyone in Pittsburgh and the world who has supported us, we'll see you on the road when our new album is released next year! If you'd like more info on the band, check out our website and Myspace profile. TxAxNxDx!”

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