Neu Tigercub look to inspire hope with their new ‘Repressed Semantics’ EP
Guitarist Jamie Hall talks the inspirations behind Tigercub’s new EP - streaming in full exclusively on DIY.
Every weekday, DIY’s new music know-it-all Neu brings you one essential new release to get obsessed with. Today’s Neu Pick is an exclusive EP stream from Brighton bruisers Tigercub - Ali Shutler caught up with them to chat all things ‘Repressed Semantics’ - all their upcoming tour dates (including new German dates with recent Neu interview stars Dilly Dally!) can be found below.
“It’s one of the first things we’ve done that I can really get behind,” offers Jamie Hall of Tigercub’s new EP ‘Repressed Semantics’. Following on from the release of their welcome back singles ‘Destroy’ & ‘You’ earlier this year, Jamie admits there that they still feel like they’re breaking through; “We felt like we had to introduce ourselves to the tiny fanbase we have as well as anyone else who might have heard of us.”
Forming in 2013 with Jimi Wheelwright on bass, James Allix on drums and Jamie on guitar, Tigercub (because James was already taken. Bastards.) have been slowly plugging away ever since. Hooking up with the “fucking legends” at Venn Records, this 5-barreled EP sees the band making up for lost time.
“Last year we released two singles, nine months apart,” explains Jamie, “and we couldn’t get any momentum. We just went into the studio and smashed out eight songs. We knocked it out in a week. We wanted to make it really distorted and loud and we kept overshooting and had to rein it back. We focused on us being good in a room as opposed to doing any trickery or trying to tighten anything up. If it wasn’t working, you either need to play it better or do something else.”
Tigercub - ‘Repressed Semantics’ EP
Recorded in the same session as ‘Destroy/You’, ‘Repressed Semantics’ deals in gritted teeth, clenched fists and a hope for unity. Written around the time of the 2015 general election, “it was quite cathartic for me writing a lot of these songs. I don’t feel like anyone my age has a voice. The few people that do, have no real way to make anything change.”
Despite the backdrop, Jamie assures, “it’s not a political record. I really did believe there was an outside chance, at least from my demographic of being a 24-year-old graduate, there might be some sort of a future I could scrape and then it was quashed in a fucking landslide. It was a real sobering moment.”
“I want to show and not tell. I want to get across a feeling but not necessarily come out and say it. It always makes me cringe when people do that. I’d prefer to be a little more subtle and let people make up their own minds. It’s a pretty good way to get out some tension.”
From the fraught refrain of ‘Pictures of You’, through the swaggering bounce of ‘Rich Boy’ until the rolling swell of ‘The End’, ‘Repressed Semantics’ sees a band pouring everything they have in but know exactly what they want out. “I just want us to be a really hard working band and do a lot more than music. I want to just fucking try and create an ideology, something that people can really get behind rather than just writing fucking pop songs. It’s fun and great but the bands I like, Black Flag and stuff, your personality becomes that band. I want to try and create that, create something that’s unique. Push the genre forward a bit.”
True to their word, ‘Repressed Semantics’ is more than five really excellent songs. From the cover art featuring a bin burning from the inside and the phrase, “Something that you can do today, dispose,” in German to the zine that comes with preorders, there’s a world to explore; to scrutinise.
“There’s a lot of things I wanted to get across,” says Jamie. “I’m still learning and trying to get better so the statements I’m trying to make are probably ham-fisted. There’s a lot of ways you can get your point across without having to write a song. There’s a lot of things you can’t really say in a song unless you want to be really embarrassing about it. There’s poems and ranty stuff, word searches, I just want our band to be - make it an all-encompassing ideology.”
“I want ‘Repressed Semantics’ to be a refuge for anyone who feels a bit fucked over by the current state of affairs”
— Jamie Hall
After years of support tours and being a ‘Brighton band’, Tigercub are keen to step it up with ‘Repressed Semantics’. “I just want it to do well,” he states. “I want to keep doing this and to keep getting better. We’ve done a lot of support tours, we’ve had a lot of expectations and we’ve just done a lot of learning.” A tour with Royal Blood led to bars being set high. “Our manager at the time thought we were going to be a major label band and we got sucked into that a little bit,” Jamie admits, “We then realised we totally aren’t a major label band. It’s been a journey and we’re slowly realising you just have to work it from the ground up and bust your arse. All my favorite bands just toured it into the ground. It’s slowly been getting busier and picking up and hopefully, going into 2016, it looks like we’re going to be touring loads. That’s all I want to do, the road. Working.”
Wasting no time in getting to grips with their rejuvenated work ethic, Tigercub kicked off their UK tour last night (November 3rd). Snaking around the UK with their very excellent labelmates Youth Man, the band are excited to get stuck into their “first proper tour”.
“I can’t wait,” Jamie says. “When I’m not on tour, I’m just sat in my pants trying to write songs so it’s always nice to hop in the van and feel slightly important for a little bit. We’ve sold a couple of tickets so the shows won’t be empty. We’ve got low expectations but we’re hoping for the best.”
While we’re toying with the idea, ‘Repressed Semantics ‘ is by far the best Tigercub have ever sounded. It looks like it’s only going to get better from here on out.
“I want people to feel like there’s unity,” he signs off. “I want ‘Repressed Semantics’ to be a refuge for anyone who feels a bit fucked over by the current state of affairs or anything in their life really. There’s a little source of frustration that people can get behind. Hopefully people will feel the same way that I do about things.”
Catch Tigercub at any of the following dates:
03 Newcastle, Cluny
04 Glasgow, Nice and Sleazy
05 Derby, Radar Love
06 Birmingham, The Rainbow
07 Nottingham, Rock City Basement
10 Leeds, Oporto
11 Manchester, Gullivers
12 Doncaster, Diamond Live
13 Wakefield, The Hop
14 Southampton, Independence Festival
18 Stoke, Sugarmill
19 Milton Keynes, The Craufurd Arms
20 Bristol, Start The Bus
21 Exeter, Cavern
24 Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
25 London, Barfly
26 Guildford, The Boileroom
27 Brighton, The Haunt
11 Hamburg, Germany, Molotow Skybar (w/ Dilly Dally)
12 Munchen, Germany, Milla (w/ Dilly Dally)
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