Tiger Army

Band: Tiger Army            

Album: Retrofuture

VÖ: 13.09.2019

Label/Vertrieb: Luna-tone / Rise Records 


Due out Sept. 13, 2019, ‘Retrofuture’ is the bands’ sixth full-length (their second on Luna-tone / Rise Records) – it arrives a full two decades after their first album. 

Produced by Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucero), the LP’s concept is elaborated on by frontman Nick 13: “Retrofuturism is generally a visual aesthetic, but it got me thinking, it’s the perfect description for our sound! The gear and instruments are mostly 1950s and 60s, but while the tones may be classic, we’ve always tried to push into uncharted territory musically with each release.  So the idea behind this record was to create our version of what someone might imagine future rock ’n’ roll sounding like, but from the perspective of the mid-20th century.”

Brimming with vintage fuzz, tape echo and reverb, the album’s thirteen tracks weave stylistically through vintage punk, garage and rock ’n’ roll, while still maintaining a curious modernity as influences from Latin music to surf shoot through like satellites in the night sky.  Present as always are the band’s signature melodicism and 13’s ethereal vocals.

The band will embark on the “Retrofuture Tour” in September, with dates through the end of 2019 taking them across the United States, Canada, the EU, UK and Mexico. Fellow Angelenos SadGirl will support in the States, with Finnish post-punks Grave Pleasures supporting in Europe and the UK.

‘Retrofuture’ follows last summer’s ‘Dark Paradise’ EP, the title track being the trio’s take on the Lana Del Rey song.  The EP drew on midcentury surf and exotica music, while the visuals reflected a love of Tiki subculture.  The single received airplay on KROQ in Los Angeles and various specialty radio stations around the country.  The release was supported solely by two sold out shows at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles as the rest of the year was reserved for writing what would become the new LP.

Tiger Army started in 1996 in Berkeley, California – playing their first show at seminal DIY venue 924 Gilman.  A trio with electric guitar, stand-up bass and drums led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Nick 13, the band’s sound is a unique blend of punk and Midcentury rock 'n' roll, with an emphasis on songwriting and melody.  The band has called Los Angeles home for the majority of its existence, since 2000.  Their live sets have to be experienced, taking the audience on a journey from high-impact stompers to atmospheric ballads, drawing as much at times on Monument-era Roy Orbison as The Ramones.

Tiger Army’s first four records were released on Hellcat / Epitaph Records, starting with theirself-titled debut in 1999. Heavy touring began shortly after and continued through the end of 2008, when the band wrapped up the worldwide cycle for their fourth record, ‘Music From Regions Beyond’, produced by the legendary Jerry Finn.  They shared stages with artists like Morrissey and Social Distortion.  While the album yielded the single “Forever Fades Away” and saw their highest visibility with favorable reviews in publications like the ‘New York Times’ and national TV appearances such as ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, they’ve always been outsiders to the mainstream, with authenticity the only priority.

The band’s adherents are closer to members of a movement than fans, with hundreds of tattoos existing related to Tiger Army's lyrics, song titles or signature "Tigerbat" logo.  More probably the number is in the thousands, and lest one think that’s hyperbole – it isn’t.

 In 2009, Tiger Army slowed down as Nick 13 embarked on a solo career playing Americana music, releasing and touring a self-titled album on Sugar Hill Records in 2011.  Perhaps unexpected to those who hadn’t paid close attention to the roots music underpinnings of the band’s sound, the frontman played festivals such as Stagecoach and Austin City Limits, while his videos were played on country music video stations like CMT and GAC.  Tiger Army played only a few gigs a year during this period, including “Octoberflame”, a multi-night SoCal festival curated by 13 that had its ninth year in 2017.

After spending years searching for the next creative evolution in the band’s sound, 13 found inspiration in early 60s American and British rock ’n’ roll – the transitional and experimental period after the genre’s first wave, but before the new decade became musically codified.  The era spoke to 13’s “what’s next” sensibility and in 2015 Tiger Army recorded the album that would become ‘V •••–‘ (Rise / Luna-tone), beginning a tour cycle with its release the following year that lasted twenty-two months; taking them all over North America, Europe and Australia – headlining as well as doing select dates with Frank Turner, a co-headlining run with Murder By Death and performing on two episodes of NBC’s ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’.  The cycle also saw the band embark on their first-ever South American tour, where audiences reached a fever pitch for songs like the Spanish language “Hechizo de Amor”.

Infos zur vorherigen VÖ:

Tiger Army

Album: V •••–  

VÖ: 20.05.2016

Label: Rise Records / BMG / Ada Warner


V •••–  features stellar production from Grammy winner Ted Hutt (Old Crow Medicine Show, The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys) with impeccable playing from singer/guitarist Nick 13, bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Ray Lamontagne, Dan Auerbach) and drummer Mitch Marine (Dwight Yoakam).

Though he says the album was partly influenced by New York City's early punk scene--'Static Age'-era Misfits, Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers and The Ramones—Tiger Army vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Nick 13 was mostly inspired by the music of the early 60s, the pre-Beatles period when Del Shannon made his mark with the 1961 hit "Runaway."

“That whole era gets overlooked, I think,” he says. “Because there's the narrative about the end of the ‘50s with Elvis going into the army, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens dying, Little Richard going to Gospel--that is all true, but the people who were able to carve out a niche for themselves before the British Invasion, and not just do the pure pop things, that to me was some of the most interesting music. And it was some of the most innovative as well. Because the first wave of rock 'n' roll was over, and everybody was trying to figure out what's going to happen next. And I think there was a lot more experimentation, sonically and otherwise. That really interested me."

Since their arrival in ’96, TIGER ARMY have drawn critical praise from the New York Times, performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, had a No. 1 Most Requested Song on influential LA radio station KROQ with the single “Forever Fades Away,” shared stages with artists such as Morrissey and Social Distortion and built a diehard international fanbase by blending punk grit and mid-century twang to thrilling effect. Last October, they held their long-running two-day Octoberflame festival at the Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. The dates, which sold out immediately, were the band’s first in two years and the shows’ electricity prompted the Orange County Register to write, “Maybe the most remarkable thing about Tiger Army’s set was how the band and audience seemed as in-step with each other as ever. If Nick 13 wondered whether Tiger Army would still have a strong fan base after so much time away from the stage, the Octoberflame concerts served the role of reassurance.”

Singer -  Nick 13 comments the single  "Prisoner Of The Night" : “Our sound has always been about a mix of old and new,” said Nick 13. “But this song, like others on the new record, draws from the early ’60s. It was a transitional period after the end of rock ‘n’ roll’s first wave, but prior to the British invasion. There was a lot of sonic experimentation as people tried to figure out, ‘What’s next?’ Radio singles of that era also went on to influence early NYC punk, so ‘Prisoner’ plays with that as well.”