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When I first heard Spring Tigers a few months back I thought “Man, these guys sound cool”, and was that ever an understatement. These guys not only call Athens, GA and Aylesbury, England home but they also have much more fascinating stories than almost everybody else I know. Their sound ranges from early Bloc Party angularity to more sunny and melodic moments at the drop of a hat and succeeded in making this editor extremely jealous (more) in just the course of one brief interview. You can read about some of this craziness below in an interview with Singer/Guitarist Kris Barratt and you can catch these guys in Greenville at The Radio Room with hometown favorites Shallow Palace this Friday. The show is at 10PM and is Free. They also some tunes available for listening on Facebook here.
First off I would like to say congratulations on working with Bright Antenna. How did that come about? To be on the same label as OMD must be pretty crazy!
That was a weird one. We were contacted by them on the day of our first show. Our old drummer mentioned us to a friend who knew someone there and they listed to my demos on Myspace and liked what they heard. We’d already arranged to play SXSW and so they came and saw us play there and then at Athfest in Athens and signed us up. It was literally a matter of weeks from our first gig to being signed etc. It was just lucky timing really.
We went on tour with out label mates The Wombats and have played with MC Rut, Magic Wands and Jimmy Gnecco, but OMD are the only band on the label we haven’t had a chance to meet yet. They are actually our keyboard players favorite band but he seems to be playing it cool so far. No fangasms yet.
So you’re working on a new album, can you tell us a little about it? Any favorite songs to play live off of it?
We released a mini album about a year and a half ago which did fairly well and have been focusing on recording this first full length since January. It’s sounding amazing. We can’t wait to share it. It’s going to surprise some people I think. It’s more rock and less glossy than the mini album. Our favourite song to play just now would probably be one called “Haints” or another called “All the young Droogs”. They are about pretty similar subjects. Actually the whole album is. It all sounds pretty angry compared to the first record. Loud and angry but still catchy basically. We’ve switched from Fenders and AC30′s to Gibson’s and Marshalls.
I saw at your recent show you had a list of “Awesome covers” lined up, what constitutes an awesome cover in your opinion?
One that isn’t too obvious so that it’s a slight surprise, plus it has to be a banger. We ended up just doing one cover at that show which was “Game of pricks” by Guided By Voices. It went down a treat. Definitely got the crowd going.
You cite a lot of different influences from Blonde Redhead to The Refused and even Black Metal, why Black Metal? Why not Thrash or Nu-metal?
To be honest I don’t like many Thrash bands. I like Megadeth and a bit of Slayer etc, but I was never a fan of Metallica or Anthrax etc. I always preferred the punkier or sludgier end of stuff like Unsane, High Rise, Refused etc. I actually used to work at Metal Hammer as deputy art editor until a few years ago when I moved to the states. I guess I just always thought that the black metal guys had bit more integrity than most. I like the way they are always on message and are very DIY.
Actually I once got in trouble with Thomas Gabriel Fischer from Celtic Frost. He phoned me up a few times to have a go at me as he thought I was making fun of him in Metal Hammer by using photos of him in corpse paint (apparently he is sort of embarrassed by it now). We were actually doing a feature on how he invented all of that stuff though and I explained that I couldn’t do the feature without those photos. He was cool in the end he phoned up a few days later and said he was really sorry etc. He was a nice dude actually. A lot of those guys are. The guys in Dragonforce are super nice.
Speaking of The Refused, who do you think would win in a fight, your band or The Refused (circa 1998)?
In a fight, us. They just survived on a diet of Pickled Herring, we eat red meat a lift weights daily. If you are talking about a live show. I dunno, they were pretty amazing from what I’ve seen. Actually I just got that “Shape of Punk…” Special edition with the documentary, the live stuff on there is awesome.
What am I saying? I should really sell this show right?
Yes come to our show, we are better than Refused at their prime. Now were going to have loads of pissed off Refused fans at our show.
Last time we played Greenville I was talking to two punk dudes that were arguing over us. It was pretty hilarious. One was freaking out as he said he hadn’t seen “Real punk®” in a long time while the other was saying we were “Poster Punk©” and obviously thought we were poseurs or something. They were still arguing as they wandered off at the end of the night.
How does being in Athens affect the band? Any crazy stories of hanging out with Michael Stipe or things of that nature. Tell us something that might blow our minds… if you can.
Shane and Stephen both went to a pool party at Stipes house last week for a mutual friends birthday. Apparently he has a lock of Morrisey’s hair in a glass case. Shane cuts Mike Mills hair. Ummmm, I live 3 doors away from Sam Fogarino of Interpol. He’s a nice chap.
The only thing Michael Stipe has ever said to me was what year David Byrnes film “True Stories” came out when I was stood next to him at the bar and asked my friend said question.
Any other Athens bands we should be on the lookout for?
I really really like Futurebirds. I think they are awesome. Super nice dudes too.
What are your plans for the rest of 2011? Any big tours in the works etc.
Finishing mixing, releasing the records and then heading out on tour with Burzum and Mayhem. It’s going to be amazing.
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