Where does The Tiger & Me hail from? How did you decide on your stage name?
Like many, many other bands, we live in the inner north of Melbourne. We have Jane’s housemate to thank for the band name. Shortly after Jane and I started seeing each other we began writing together. We didn’t really have anything planned, the songs and the band grew organically. We realized we had enough material to gig so we booked a show but couldn’t land a name, right up until the day of the show. Jane’s housemate had heard me call Jane ‘tiger’ earlier in the day and casually suggested ‘The Tiger & Me’. It stuck.
You've a wide range of influences from The Beatles to Michael Jackson and Radiohead. How have these artists influenced your sound, or is it that they've influenced your passion to contribute to the world of music?
Both – that’s a list of the key one or two names that have been important to each band member in many respects. You can hear the influence Tom Waits in Tobias’s vocals and lyrics; Sarah’s drumming is heavily inspired by the music of Erykah Badu, Jane is a massive Gillian Welch fan, Tristan loves trip-hop acts like Portishead and Massive Attack, and Ed Harcourt’s album The Beautiful Lie was a huge influence for me. The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Radiohead are probably the three names in that list that we all included independently. Especially Radiohead. But especially Michael Jackson. But especially The Beatles.
Which other band / artist do you dream about performing with?
Lately: Bon Iver or Andrew Bird. Perhaps both. Imagine that.
What's been a highlight in your musical career?
Some of The Tiger & Me’s festival performances have been a highlight – big crowds and a lot of fun. One of our shows at the last Port Fairy Festival we played was a particular highlight. I’ve also had a couple of opportunities to work with people I hugely admire, which is always a great experience. Earlier this year I co-write a couple of songs with Lior for him to sing with Tinalley String Quartet – it was performed at Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre. Lior’s voice is incredible and Tinalley are all monster players – it was a pleasure to work with them and hear the music in those spaces. The other one that always jumps out is the album launch of our first album. It was the first time we sang to a room of people who sang along. Having a crowd of people sing a song back to you, a song you just made up in your head one day – that will stay with me.
Since being signed to ABC Music's label "Four|Four" in 2012, and with your third album in production, what plans do you have to tour in 2017?
We’re hoping to get back on the road in the back half of 2017 and visit some of the places and venues we have enjoyed so much in the past. We’re itching to tour again – we were a very hard touring band for several years, but have taken a couple of years off the road to write and work on other projects.
Your official video for 'Sleep The Night Alone' speaks to me as the physical representation of the inner workings of the mind of an insomniac. How would you like the video interpreted?
Ha - great! I can see that. And I can relate... I’d like it to be interpreted in any way that makes sense to the viewer. The same goes for our lyrics. There’s always a concept or idea that is our intent behind the song/video, but I don’t necessarily think of that as the ‘correct’ interpretation – I like listeners and viewers to find their own meaning a lot of the time. Sometimes our intended meaning is hard to miss but often we like to leave some room for interpretation. The intent behind the video was to represent the sentiment in the lyrics. I gave the filmmaker Patrick Mason and dancer Chris Bloom a detailed description of the lyrics and meaning and then left them alone to bring their own vision of that to life. It is essentially a sliding doors song – it’s about indecision, feeling pulled in two directions, and ultimately not pursuing someone or something. Maybe for better, maybe for worse – we can never know for sure.