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Interview with The Tiger Moths

The Tiger Moths are a five-piece Americana inspired rock band from London. Heavily influenced by the late 60s/ early 70s folk-rock and country rock scenes, the Moths combine alt-country guitar runs, jazz-infused piano and a thundering rhythm section to forge a new and exciting twist on the Americana genre.

We caught up with the band to chat about their latest release 'Dreaming of Yesterday'

Introduce yourself and tell us what you do in the band?

Hey Punk on the Rocks. We are The Tiger Moths - namely Rich Orpin (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Alex Rosenberg (piano, vocals), Tom Watson (bass, vocals), Dave M on (drums) and Tom Fleming (guitar). Tell us a little about your band, how you got together and the story behind the name if there is one. We're a five piece Americana inspired rock-band. We've been going since 2013 and have been together in our current line-up since 2020, when some lockdown inspired jam-in-the-local-park meet-ups led to Dave joining on drums, shortly followed by Tom on guitar. We draw inspiration from lots of stuff made in the heyday of the late 60s and early 70s, as well as stuff made more recently, and try to forge our diffuse influences into a new twist on the rock and Americana genres. Tell us a bit about your latest single, what’s the story behind the song? Dreaming of Yesterday is a song that laments the loss of the past but is also about hope for the future. It was written in early 2021, when the pre-pandemic world seemed like a distant memory, yet the promise of a new tomorrow seemed far away. It conveys a sense of longing for the pre-pandemic world but also a fortitude to ride out the storm. It was a huge relief for all of us when we were able to finally get in the studio to record it and I think that energy comes across in the recording. What is your writing process like? Do you start with lyrics and then come up with a melody or is it the other way round? I find songs come along in all sort of ways and there is no set way to be creative. Sometimes lyrics come first, sometimes a melody. I have tonnes of half-written poems in my notebook, hastily scribbled down in response to a feeling, an energy or even a word I've read or heard someone else use. For Dreaming of Yesterday, the riff came first then the lyrics. We worked out the chords for the chorus in mid-lockdown by trading guitar and piano chords over WhatsApp voice messages! What bands were you listening to when you were writing this release? Do you think it had an effect on the end sound? Yes definitely! We have a lot of different interests and influences within the band, which we all add into the melting pot and that helps us alight on a sound that's, hopefully, new and distinctive. For example, Rich was listening to The Band a lot as all their legendary records were getting the 50th anniversary reissue treatment at around that time - Stage Fright in particular. By contrast, Dave was listening to Black Sabbath, a lot of obscure old school heavy metal and African drum ensembles.

You have a music video to go along with this single, what is the story behind that, was it fun to make? It was great fun to make! We shot it in a graveyard and surrounding area in Hornsey, North London, and played a show to 25 people at the same venue - Intimate Space - later that night. We took inspiration for the video from Tom Waits' "Hold On", and Bob Dylan's "Things Have Changed", both of which combine outdoor playing and in-car shots, which really help the song's narrative come to life.

What can you tell us about the release that the song has come from? This is track one on our debut album, 'When Sunshine Departs'. The album was recorded in Alex's home studio. We wanted to capture the essence of the music that inspired us to become musicians in the first place, while also adding our own twist to forge something new. The guitars - including a '74 Tele and and a '77 Strat - went through a '72 Fender Bassman and '82 Marshal JCM800 Lead Series. We also used a '77 P Bass and a bunch of electro mechanical pianos from the 70s. What would people be surprised to know about you?

Well your listeners may be surprised to know that Rich and Tommy went to uni in Southampton and cut their teeth playing the Southampton circuit, especially venues like The Joiners, The Hobbit and The Mitre. Do you have any shows coming up that we should get ourselves along to? Watch this space for news about shows! We'll be doing something special on Friday 16 June to mark the album launch, with dates to follow after. We look forward to seeing you and your listeners out on the road!

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