I caught up with Katy, Sean, Tom and Josh of Chelmsford pop/rock band Tigress ahead of their debut headline UK tour.
You spent a few years as The Hype Theory [we saw them under this name in Glasgow with Patent Pending – Mosh] but now you have re-branded as Tigress – what brought on the change?
Katy – We all just grew up a bit and were writing new music that sounded like it didn’t belong under the old title, so we thought “lets do a re-brand!”.
Tom – We recorded some tracks as The Hype Theory but we listened to them and thought “this doesn’t sound like that band anymore”. We ditched quite a bit of material [that we had recorded] but about six of the tracks made it as Tigress.
I saw you play for the first time at your first show as Tigress at the ‘Vans Warped Tour UK Kick Off Party’ at Brooklyn Bowl back in September 2015. How was that? You had all played together before of course [there has been no change in line-up, just band name] but this was your first time playing as Tigress.
Katy – I was really nervous actually because we hadn’t played those songs in-front of anyone so it was pretty scary. Obviously with the re-brand people were excited excited to hear the new stuff and I was thinking “oh god I hope you all like it!”. I enjoyed it once we were on stage and the response was good.
My friend and I spoke to Tom briefly after the show to say that we thought you were great and wanted to buy some merch but you didn’t have any…
Tom – Haha, yeah I vaguely remember talking about merch after the show…
So that was just the warm-up; you then played the main UK Warped Tour – how did that go?
Katy – Yeah that was amazing. We had a really good time. We toured with Metro Station before it and that was really fun. It was our first festival as Tigress so it was all a little bit scary to start with, well for me anyway…
Sean – I wasn’t particularly scared; I was looking forward to it…I was excited!
Katy – But you get really worried about what people will think about what you have worked really hard on…
Tom – Haters gonna hate!
Do you feel more scared when you are supporting or when you are headlining?
Sean – I feel more relaxed when I am headlining.
Katy – I feel really relaxed now; I am really looking forward to these four shows.
People are coming to see us, whereas when you are supporting the crowd are there to see somebody else so you feel like you have to be really good and win people over. [On a headline tour] there will still be people who maybe aren’t sure about us yet, but not as many.
UK Warped Tour is just one day but the US version always seems to have a great line-up. Is that something you would like to go on? Bands like PVRIS have absolutely blown up after playing US Warped Tour.
Tom – I would love to do Warped Tour, that is on my bucket list. It looks amazing!
Katy – I would, but it looks so hard!
Tom – You have to do it; it is like a band’s right of passage!
Katy – If we were loaded we would have the best time; we could get a helicopter from place to place…or have a massive tour bus with a jacuzzi in it…
Katy – I would love to tour with Muse, that would be great.
Sean – Snoop Dog!
Tom – Probably Panic! At The Disco
Josh – Blink-182, for the eleven-year-old me
What bands have inspired you musically and who do you want to be as big as? Do you want the big shows like Muse?
Katy – Yeah, who doesn’t?! The bigger the better. With music you just progress and hope that each time you get bigger and bigger…the sky is the limit!
You brought out your first EP, Human, at the end of last year. Is there an album in the works? If so are you going to be playing us some new tracks from it?
Katy – We are going to play two new songs; one that we put a lyric video out for a few days ago [“Powerlines”] plus another new one.
Sean – I think the plan is to just release singles and then maybe another EP at the end of the year.
Katy – We are just going to go with it and see what feels right and what other people think we should do as well. We don’t have a set plan but we are always writing.
You guys are playing a sold-out show in your home-town of Chelmsford on Saturday 11 June. I don’t know much about Chelmsford, is there much of a music scene there? What is it like?
Katy – Chelmsford is now a city!
Sean – It is the birthplace of the radio; you get told that every time you drive into Chelmsford…it is on a sign…there isn’t a guy there shouting “THIS IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE RADIO – WELCOME TO CHELMSFORD!”.
How did you get started as a band and where did you start gigging in Chelmsford?
Sean – We met in London so we started gigging in and around London doing small venues in London. In Chelmsford there is probably two or three venues you can play.
Katy – There are three places in Chelmsford; where we are playing – Asylum, there is also The Fleece and Basement. Basement is cool…Asylum is the dirty grunger place, and The Fleece is full-on grime; a proper old-school pub venue. I reckon if you were going to start anywhere that would be where you would start.
A bit like Monto Water Rats in London?
Katy – That is where we started playing!
Sean – That wasn’t our first show, our first show was in London Bridge.
Katy – There was just a bunch of people in suits…
Sean – Reggie Yates was there!
Katy – It was so odd and we were shocking then, we were not great…haha!
Tom – I wasn’t even in the band then so…my first show was at Water Rats.
Sean – We supported Lloyd Grossman there – he plays in a punk band [New Forbidden]…and sells sauces!
Tom – He sells tasty sauces in the day and plays in a punk band at night!
Katy – It was so weird…we were supporting Lloyd Grossman!
Have you guys got any festivals planned for this summer – either that you are playing or just going to?
Sean – We went to Slam Dunk, that was awesome.
Katy – Download we would have gone to but it is this weekend and we are playing.
I am off to Download this weekend, otherwise I would have come to your Chelmsford show…I haven’t been to a show there before…
Katy – I get called a goth when I go out [in Chelmsford]
Tom – “Goff” with a double-f
Katy – Even my grandma called me a goth; she got me a birthday card with a skull on it and I said “that’s a bit cool Grandma” and she said “well I don’t know what you goths like”…it was ridiculous.
Tom – Sean is the gear man…
Sean – We don’t really do anything special on our guitars but we have some cool DI boxes that we run to our in-ear monitors…we have a Behringer wireless mixer so we do our own mixes and stuff…we play to a backing track and a click-track as well.
We have a couple of samplers and stuff…we haven’t got a bass player tonight so we have run a whammy pedal, split the wet signal out to a sansamp which then runs to the PA which is quite cool.
Tom – I’m playing bass tonight so I have had to learn to play bass on my guitar
Have you got anything special planned for tonight’s show?
Katy – I was going to do the splits but I haven’t warmed up today…and I was going to do a back flip as well but I heard that Brendon [Panic! At The Disco] does them all the time so I thought “I’m not going to do that; I don’t want to steal his idea”.
Sean – The first song starts off pretty chilled, second song is really up-beat.
Tigress are: Katy Jackson (vocals), Sean Bishop (guitar), Tom Harrison (guitar), Josh Coombes (drums) and Jack Divey (bass).
Set List – Tigress @ Islington Academy2 – 8 June 2016
- Lucky Ones