Sydney Alt Pop foursome Tigertown will make you feel the kind of love you’d travel the world for. They’re a family band, an ecstatic quartet, all Australian sunshine and L.A. heat: husband-and- wife duo Chris and Charlie Collins anchor the sound on guitar and vocals, and the two Collins siblings, Elodie and Alexi, round out the live set and recordings on bass and keys. Tigertown signed with influential American label Neon Gold Records, the tastemaker label that gave HAIM, Passion Pit and Ellie Goulding their start, and have been kicking goals ever since. After a splashy debut at SXSW in 2015 the band were soon scoring international tour supports with the likes of Troye Sivan, St. Lucia and Panic! At The Disco. The band recently finished writing and recording their debut album, collaborating with Tommy English (BØRNS, Dagny, Ladyhawke). We chatted to Alexi from the band on everything from tour tips and business advice.
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why?
My first musical inspiration was Michael Jackson. I would have been 4 or 5 and I watched the Michael Jackson Dangerous tour on TV with my older brother and sister (who are both in Tigertown). We taped it and I think that VHS may have been worn out because we watched it so often. As I grew up I would always save my money to buy a Michael Jackson album. I now have a huge collection of useless Michael Jackson memorabilia. In my opinion he is the greatest singer, songwriter, artist and performer of all time.
2) What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Get sleep whenever you can, use the Beanhunter app for coffee, and pack joggers because going on runs is a great way to explore a city and stay in shape.
3) What has been one of your most defining moments in your career?
Not really sure if it was the most defining moment, but last year we did a US tour with one of our favourite bands, St Lucia. We have always been in love with their song Elevate and on the last night of the tour we sung and danced on stage with them during that song. It was a pretty special moment because we can all recall first hearing Elevate together on the radio and it inspired us to write the music that we’re performing now.
4) How has your music practice changed over time?
My brother and his wife started Tigertown about 7 years ago and they recorded songs in their bedroom. They eventually started performing with a band and that’s when my sister and I joined. The music had more of a singer-songwriter vibe and Charlie had an acoustic guitar. As time went on we got tired of playing that music and our drummer at the time left. From there Charlie stopped playing the acoustic guitar, we started experimenting with programmed drums, different vintage synths and we learnt how to use samples in our music. It really made our sound what it is today and completely changed how we practice music.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Honesty and transparency is key. If you don’t have an honest and true relationship with the people you are working with then things will inevitably end badly. I don’t have any money-making tricks or anything like that but I believe good people do good business.
6) My biggest career mistake has been…
I am not one to dwell on regrets so I’m not really sure. Last year I had a moment of realisation that I was too concerned with success and popularity instead of just enjoying the amazing opportunities I had to play music around the world and work with different people. So my biggest “career mistake” was being worried about “career mistakes”.
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…
The slow demise of live music. Without getting into lock-out laws, noise complaints and things like that, I find it kind of heart-breaking that the concept of seeing a band/artist that you’ve never heard of has become an almost obsolete one. I’m an offender too. When I first turned 18 I was going out to see as much live music as possible and discovered some of my favourite bands from seeing them live first. Hopefully it’s just a phase and live music will come back in a big way.
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