Before the Tigerpicks had even played their first ever gig this September they were already the most talked about band in Manchester. CDs of "Disco Punk Electro Punk" had swapped hands, MP3's forwarded on around DJs at clubs such as Poptastic and Club Clique who were keen to get hold of the track that was getting more requests than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Gossip and before the door opened at Designer Magazine's In The City Preview show in September a queue was rapidly forming outside. Four weeks later and about 5 gigs later the band were signed to Deltasonic Records, home of the Coral and Zutons, in what must have been the fastest signing in history.
As the band warm up for their Deltasonic Charity Christmas Party at Liverpool's Carling Academy with the Coral, Dead 60s and the rest of the labels roster, Designer Magazine caught up with the 'Picks synth and keytar player Martyn Anderson to find out how a joke turned into being one of the hottest bands of the year and whether things would have been different if they'd have auditioned for X Factor instead of playing In The City
Q: So, The Tigerpicks play their first gig at the end of September and are signed to Deltasonic by the end of October....pretty mad....how did it happen so quickly?
A: You tell me. I think we're all still really caught up in it and haven't had time to kind of step back and think 'wow, this is so surreal'. We've got a rehearsal room at a place in Liverpool and the guy who owns them showed Deltasonic our stuff and they liked us so came to see us at a gig at Dry bar and then two days later at In The City we were signed.
Q: It wasn't part of the grand masterplan then?
A: haha no. If we're being totally honest, when we started making music as a band we never intended for it to go anywhere. We just wrote one song together ('Crazy Juices') and it was just for fun. Initially we didn't even have a direction we wanted the band to go in. We just got hold of some synths one day and decided that our songs sounded better with some dirty electro leading the way.....and that's how we decided to become electro. It started out as a joke, but now it's getting serious, and it's going somewhere which makes it possibly the best joke i've heard in a long time
Q: What was the best joke you heard before this one then?
A: I couldn't possibly say, the NSPCC will be onto the police about me
Q: ha ha....your first gig was at the Designer Magazine In The City Preview show in front of Andy Rourke from the Smiths and various Coronation Street cast members. How did that go for you?
A: As far as first gigs go we enjoyed it. I mean there were a few things we weren't happy about but I don't think a band is ever going to be entirely happy with their performance, be it their first or thirtieth gig. I do like the Smiths, but i wouldn't know who Andy Rourke was if he slapped me round the face with his pork
Q: How did the Picks get together and when exactly...rumours going everything from 2 months to a year?
A: We wrote our first song together in October 2005 and the following year just wrote more and more, but we never had like a set day of the week when we'd "rehearse". The first time we had a proper rehearsal was before we played for Designer Magazine in September, so in theory we've been together just over a year, but in practice we've been together just over four months
Q: The name...where's it from and what's this world of swurkeys and farm animals about?
A: We got the name from something that happened a few years back that most people (apart from us) won't find funny in the slightest. But it basically came from a toothpick in a porcelain tiger's mouth. As for 'swurkeys', a swurkey is whatever you want it to be...and a baby cow is just general term or any guitarist that joins us on stage
Q: Is a swurkey for life or just for christmas?
A: It varies. Mines for life cause I named it
Q: Back to the whole Deltasonic signing...an electro band and the Coral and Zutons? And have you shaken things up since you got there...you got them into a Tigerpicks state of mind?
A: You need to shake things up a bit don't you? We'd like to think so. We've pissed all over them and made them our own territory and they love it. Or at least they pretend they do, but that's good enough.
Q: And what's the plans for the first release on Deltasonic? When can we expect it? And is there a national tour support?
A: At the moment, early February should be our first release. Disco Punk Electro Funk. It'll be slightly different to the version that's been on our myspace
As for the other things I cant say because i' m not sure myself. As mentioned before, it's all happened really quickly, so im still trying to keep up with it all
Q: You played with the Little Flames last week as well in that rumoured secret Arctic Monkeys gig...your initiation into the fold?
A: We had a fun night, bit rushed cause we had to be in Chester later on that night for another gig. I've heard alot about the Arctic Monkeys making an appearance but it was news to me
Q: 2 gigs in one night - doesn't that make you proper popstars now?
A: No, it makes me f*cking knackered and i'm not doing it again for a long time
Q: Which bands have you met so far out of the Deltasonic roster and are you looking forward to the massive Xmas bash at the Academy?
A: We've pretty much met them all. You can't go very far in liverpool without seeing someone you know, so it's great for things like that. and yeah, the Deltasonic christmas gig should be ace, be nice for everyone to be there and to see us play and vice versa, really looking forward to it
I'm definitely a Manc at heart, but that doesn't mean I haven't embraced Liverpool, cause I f*cking love it. They're both totally different cities and it's great they're not too far apart
Q: The Tigerpicks aren't what people would normally associate with Manchester though (Oasis, Roses, scallies)....how did you avoid the ghost of Manchester musically?
A: We're all pretty much influenced by music we love which is quite diverse. Like there's definitely some New York punk influences going on with Ramones and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and then we love electro pop like Peaches and Le Tigre. We like bands like Oasis and Happy Mondays but we'd be no good at making that genre of music. We like to go mad and rave and I think electro music is a fucking great way for us to do that
Q: Are you Nu-Rave?
A: We try not to categorize ourselves too much, leave it open. electro is the genre and i guess 'nu-rave' is a sub-genre of electro. if people wanna pigeon hole us at nu-rave, then fair enough, but we're not gonna pigeonhole ourselves. Yeah, I have nothing against the Klaxons. I quite like them in fact. There's an energy behind their stuff which isn't too common these days. That's why i love bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars & Le Tigre, they're exciting and they put on an ace stage show. I wanna be entertained when i see a band perform. I saw Klaxons at Leeds Festival this summer and the atmosphere in the tent was unbelievable. Completely electric!
Q: And the look - are you the one that decides you'll try and outdress Kylie then?
A: I'm disappointed yet slightly amused that you think Kylie could pull off this look. For the record, she couldn't though
Q: She'll probably steal the Tigerpicks look and use it 2 years later in truth
A: If that is the case.. i'll pretend to be flattered
Q: So where is your look from...that guy from Fast Food Rockers who's a go go dancer in Essentials (which i've never been to but saw his picture on FmForums)?
A: No it isn't funnily enough. It's just a way i like to express myself, there's nothing wrong with a bit of androgyny and what better place to do it then when im on-stage. Trust me, they're going to get wilder. At the moment i'm kind of limited to time and money, but when they're not such a mish big they'll be even better. I'm not too bothered about what people think of me so i'll wear pretty much anything. I mean obviously, there's looking wild yet keeping that cool look about it and then there's just looking a plain tw*t
Q: Do the girls get jealous of your outfits?
A: Nah not at all. We all do our own thing and it works. We've all got different vibes going on
Q: What response do you think you'd get if the Tigerpicks walked into an X Factor Audition instead of In The City?
A: I think Simon Cowell would walk calmly over to us, whip out his cock and ejaculate violently over us. He'd violently ejaculate over all of us, but i'd probably be the one who'd enjoy it the most
Q: I guess that leaves us with the question - would you allow Louis Walsh to join in?
A: Ew no. I'd rather that Russian spy had a go!
The Tigerpicks play Manchester Roadhouse on Dec 14th and Liverpool Academy on Dec 16th
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