Impact caught up with Nottingham Uni band Tiger Blood (members Alex Condliffe, Alex Duval, Alex Leszczuk and Jonny Fitzpatrick) following their set at Summer Party 2012. They inform us all about their love of the kazoo and the inspiration they draw from Charlie Sheen and Phil Collins…
So how do you feel your performance went today?
Tiger Blood: Good! I think it went really well.
What other gigs do you have lined up for after this?
TB: We’re playing Grad Ball on Thursday, and we’ve got loads back in Essex after that, Hooga particularly. This might be the end of our Nottingham career, though we may continue gigs here next year.
Three of you are in your final year here at Nottingham uni; do you think you’re going to continue the band after you’ve graduated?
TB: Yeh, I think so! We’ve kind of developed a repertoire of songs, we might as well carry on and move forwards to London. We’re having fun, so hopefully we can move on from here!
I’ve heard that you’ve just released your first song on iTunes, congratulations! What song was this, why this one in particular and how did you manage to get it onto iTunes?
TB: The song’s called ‘Big Steve’; we chose it because it’s a crowd favourite, and that’s it really. We spent months trying to decide which one to record. We sent round loads of demos. We did it on our own, we didn’t do it through a label or anything. We’ve had little bits of interest from certain labels, but we stuck to our guns/didn’t bother and have just done it on our own really.
You’re a very guitar-based indie rock band, have you ever thought about experimenting with other genres at all?
Leszczuk: Jonny keeps bringing a kazoo into band practice, and as much as he tries…we also put piano into ‘Big Steve’, in ‘Jamie’ there’s a few extra instruments.
Jonny: We’ve used percussion instruments before such as the tambourine. We’ve also wanted to bring a little bit of piano into the onstage performance.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
Leszczuk: On behalf of all of us, Phil Collins and Genesis! Condliffe loves his REM and his Smiths, Jonny…I don’t think he likes anyone other than The Beatles and Duval’s just an eighties’ child (but not actually an eighties’ child…he just loves all his eighties’ pop) and I love everything…but especially Phil Collins and Yazoo.
What are your future plans? Are you going to think about releasing an album at any point?
TB: You keep asking questions we’ve never even thought about! We’d love to; getting signed, getting on a label and releasing an album is the aim of the dream. We need some financial support and also some help getting it out there, a label or management or something like that. One of the next steps is a single, then maybe an E.P., and play more high profile places like this.
What do you like most about playing live?
Duval: The sound of the drums live through the microphone is one of the best things I’ve ever heard in my life. It just punches through, it’s absolutely amazing. I love playing live.
Leszczuk: I really like acoustic gigs where Duval doesn’t come. Just joking – I just like dancing about. I kind of forget to play at times, it’s all about the dancing for me.
Jonny: Sometimes in gigs we try to put each other off as much as we can. So, one of them will come up to me and lick my face. That’s just a little thing to do when we get bored of Condliffe’s crooning.
Condliffe: I like crooning.
So who are you looking forward to seeing later on?
TB: Definitely Wheatus.
Leszczuk: Labrinth. He’s the only reason I came. I was going to come anyway, and then I found out we were playing.
Would you say the Nottingham music scene is growing? Where would you put yourselves on the map?
TB: Bodega tries to get a lot of high-ish profile bands who have 2 or 3 support bands. We played with a few local bands, and we’re friends with Frontiers; they’re on the up-and-up, they played at Reading. It’s obviously not as strong as London, but it’s doing alright! We’re quite lucky to be part of the Nottingham university scene. I think if we weren’t at the uni, it would be a lot more difficult.
Do you think it’s been easier for you to develop a fan base at university?
Yeh! Multiple fan bases, as three of us are based in Essex.
We know that the inspiration for your band name comes from the legendary Charlie Sheen – why did you choose him as your source of inspiration?
TB: We spent months trying to think up a band name. We’re not good at deciding things! We were sat on Facebook for hours and there were just hundreds and hundreds of suggestions for names, most of them jokes.
Was Tiger Blood a joke?
TB: Ironically, no. At the time, it was more a temporary thing. And then loads of people kind of liked it, and we got to a point where it was too late, it was difficult to ditch it.
Condliffe: It’s just about far enough from the whole original Tiger Blood Charlie Sheen blow up so that we can get away with it.
TB: And people will remember it!
Jonny: Though, I do think it does sound a little bit too much like a metal band.
Leszczuk: …maybe one of our mishaps!
Thank you very much for your time!