Citizenship: The Tiger And Me
The Australian Government isn’t the only entity that puts people through a rigorous cross-examination to prove their loyalty to a bunch of stars and a Union Jack. Each week at M+N, we make an Australian act kiss the flag by asking them questions about their favourite local acts: who they’ve been listening to recently, their underground heroes, or whether they prefer Kylie or Dannii Minogue.
Taking the test this week is Ade Vincent, pianist/guitarist and one of three singers in Melbourne’s The Tiger and Me. The band’s second album, The Drifter’s Dawn, was recorded with Steven Schram (Eagle and the Worm, Little Red) with a focus on capturing their live energy. It’s out now on ABC Music’s Four Four imprint, home to Tim Rogers, The Snowdroppers and Boy in a Box. The Tiger and Me will tour the East Coast behind the record, starting tomorrow (Oct 27) with a local launch at Revolt.
a. You recorded this album sequentially, concentrating on one song at a time. Were you tempted to skip ahead when a particular song got tricky?
Not really. We loved the process of finishing a song before moving on. The doing-it-in-order thing was our idea, but finishing a song (vocals, overdubs, everything) before moving on is producer Steven Schram’s process and we knew that going in. It was especially good for the vocalists, as when it came time to do vocal overdubs we were warmed up from all the guide vocal takes and already had our heads in the song.
b. You’re partway through a trio of EPs. Have they helped you explore things in a different way than the two albums have?
Creating EPs means less time to work with (in the case of ours, six tracks at under half an hour on each), so the canvas is smaller than when writing an album. There isn’t the time to ebb and flow that an album allows. This can obviously work, but we had a few themes we wanted to explore that we thought needed more time, so we decided to write EPs that were part of a larger series. This gave us the space we wanted to build a story. So we have part one (The Howling Fire) representing a descent into insanity, part two (The Silent City) is the struggle with madness and the new album (The Drifter’s Dawn) is part three: the embrace of insanity (and the consequences).
c. There are three lead vocalists in the band. Is the songwriting split up between the three of you as well?
Yes, although it's very collaborative across all six of us. Usually the lead singer of a track is the person who brought that song to the band, and then everyone writes their own parts. If another singer takes a verse, they'll usually write their own lyrics. This singer is not always the composer however; the new album features a song written by our guitarist, which he brought to us with a specific idea of who was to sing each section. Overall there’s no real formula; we have songs entirely written by one person, songs with very equal contributions from all six of us, and everything in between.
Part 1. Geography
a. Tell us about your hometown.
My favourite things are music and footy. I also like trying to blend in with hipsters in Thornbury and fickle weather. Melbourne and I get along very well. If we’re talking hometown as in originally, then all I’ll say is Ballarat is cold but it was good to me while it lasted.
b. Name your favourite bands from your neck of the woods.
Gotye, Augie March, The Cat Empire, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Something for Kate/Paul Dempsey.
c. Where’s your local and what’s it like?
Kelvin Bar. It is both excellent and close, which is both excellent and dangerous. It’s responsible for many of our best and worst decisions.
Part 2. History
a. Which Australian bands did you grow up listening to?
I listened to a lot of AC/DC and Silverchair. By all rights I should have a rock band. I don’t know what went wrong.
b. What’s the first Australian record you bought?
The Razors Edge – AC/DC.
c. Who’s your favourite Australian band/artist of all time?
Do you sense a theme here? AC/DC.
d. What’s the most “Australian” record ever produced?
Wired World of Sports – The Twelfth Man.
Part 3. Current Affairs
a. Who are some of your favourite new Australian bands?
Chet Faker, Lanie Lane, Ainslie Wills.
b. If you could collaborate with one current Australian artist, who would it be, and what would it sound like?
Lanie Lane. Like Zero 7 or Air but with Lanie Lane's voice. Am I right? RIGHT? Yeah.
c. Last great local gig you saw.
Good timing for this question, because the answer is the gig I went to last night. It was Communion Melbourne at The Toff, and it finished with an amazing set from Howl at the Moon.
d. Do you think an Australian artist needs to go overseas to succeed?
Not necessarily. Not as in move overseas, or spend more time overseas than here. It really depends on how you define succeed, but there are plenty of bands who seem to spend most or all of their time in Australia and who I would define as successful.
Part 4. Multiple Choice
a. The Voice or Australia’s Got Talent?
b. Hungry Jacks or Red Rooster?
c. Northcote or Brunswick?
d. Potato cake or dim sim?
Both only ever come into play between midnight and 6am, and I cannot be held responsible for my dietary choices at these hours.
e. Dan Sultan or Dan Kelly?
f. Kylie or Dannii Minogue?
Kylie. I guess.
g. Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman?
h. Neighbours or Home & Away?
See a and b.
i. Cheezels or Twisties?
j. Kimbra or Gotye?
Hmmmmmm. As I’ve opted for neither on several of these, I would like to have my cake and eat it too on this one and go for both. Can I do that? I’m doing it. I like both.
THE TIGER AND ME TOUR
Sat, Oct 27 – Revolt, Melbourne, VIC
Thurs, Nov 1 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Fri, Nov 2 – The Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Fri, Nov 9 – Braidwood Hotel, Braidwood, NSW
Sat, Nov 10 – The Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW
Sun, Nov 11 – Majors Creek Pub, Majors Creek, NSW
Thurs, Nov 15 – High Tea, Sydney, NSW (acoustic show)
Sun, Nov 25 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Sat, Dec 1 – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA