Tiger Army stops in Phoenix during exclusive tour

Photo courtesy of Tiger Army

Sunday nights have a tendency to feel devoid of excitement. The weekend simmers down and sends a taunting reminder that Monday marks the arrival of a new school week.

Tiger Army, Stellar Corpses and Goddamn Gallows will ease those Sunday night blues when they reach the Marquee Theatre for Octoberflame V on Oct. 28.

Octoberflame is a series of annual concerts that typically occur in California. Octoberflame V marks its fifth anniversary.

This year, Arizona will get its first taste of the annual concerts.

Nick 13, Tiger Army’s singer and guitarist, took some time before kicking off Octoberflame V to reflect on the band’s history and to reveal insight about the psychobilly genre with The State Press.


The State Press:  Do you feel the band has changed since its conception in 1995?

Nick 13: Yeah. I’ve been the sole consistent member of the band and we definitely evolved quite a bit musically since the band first started. It’s been really exciting. I think the lineup we have now sounds as good as it ever has, maybe even better.

SP: In your opinion, is psychobilly still relevant today, or is it a fairly small genre?

N13: I mean, certainly it’s not relevant in the mainstream world, but the mainstream world has never been my focus.

My focus has been drawing on different elements of music that have inspired me, whether it’s early rock ‘n’ roll or early punk. Psychobilly gives me the freedom to cover a lot of ground musically in the same set.

SP: What drew you to the psychobilly genre?

N13: I think for me, it was a combination of everything I loved under one roof. I was drawn to music that had dark elements.

Psychobilly can be melodic or aggressive, or it can be both at the same time. It also has spirit that you can find in rock ‘n’ roll, which has always appealed to me.

SP: What is your favorite song you have recorded so far?

N13: Wow, that’s tough. I don’t have kids, but I feel like it would be like asking parents who their favorite kid is. The song “Outlaw Heart” from the first record was the first time with a pedal steel guitar, so that was definitely a special experience for me in the studio. I had a lot of fun writing our last record, “Music From Regions Beyond,” with Jerry Finn as the producer. He was a good friend and has unfortunately passed away since then. He made us sound the best we ever have on a record.

SP: As a band, how do you guys distinguish yourselves among other psychobilly bands?

N13: There’s an emphasis on songwriting and vocal melody that isn’t necessarily typical of the genre and that sets us apart. Also, I think fun is part of the musical style, but it’s a novelty.

SP: How was the band name derived?

N13: It’s something that just kind of came to me. I initially liked the way the words sounded. It was like metaphors emerged relating to the tiger being a solitary, independent animal that stands apart from the herd — mentality — that people can exhibit.

SP: You and your bandmates have played shows across the nation as well as worldwide. Where has been your favorite location to play at?

N13: Playing in Japan was definitely a lot of fun. Australia was fun as well. But, actually, one of my favorite places to play is in the American Southwest, so anywhere between California and Texas. I think it must be the landscape. The shows are really fun.

SP: Would you say the concerts in different countries vary from the concerts in the U.S?

N13: The fans are pretty similar even as we travel to different countries with different cultures. There’s not a huge difference in what the shows are like and what the fans are like.

SP: Is the Phoenix metro area an uncharted territory for Tiger Army, or have you guys performed here before?

N13: We’ve had a lot of good shows here over the years. I would say Phoenix was one of the first places we played at when we first started to leave California.


Reach the reporter at lrogoff@asu.edu

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