Posted Mar 11th, 2015 (8:51 am) by Stacie Sullivan
Swanky Tiger

Swanky Tiger, a young indie-rock band from New York City has started off their music career on the fast track. They've already been nominated for The Deli Magazine's "Best of NYC 2013 Poll for Emerging Artists," have had the chance to play many iconic NYC venues, and put out a new album titled Empires. The band took the time to let Inyourspeakers get to know them through a quick Q&A where they described their experience as a band so far and their future goals.

Inyourspeakers: To begin with formalities before getting into the real questions... How are you guys? Are you surviving the snow in NYC?

Oliver Myles Mashburn: It’s a little better now, it seems to be melting.

Michael Glendening: I goddam love the snow. Ain’t ashamed. Wish I were in Boston even.

Will Rockefeller: I love snowy NYC. Super rad.

Connor Crawford: I’m from Canada, this shit is nothin’.

IYS: How did the band come together?

OMM: Rokks, Deez, and I met in high school, where we had a little band backing up this really fantastic French singer, Hugo Jardin. After a while he went back to France to be a poet and we continued on ourselves, and found Connor along the way.

MG: Will and Oliver and I have been playing music in each others presence since boyhood. Actually we even made a record at The Cutting Room studios in high school. Times have changed, the music is better, but as people we’re pretty much the same. We found Connor after he fell out of a nest and the mother bird left him. Apparently if you touch the baby birds the mother abandons them or something? The cat picked him up and dropped him on our doorstep, we thought he was dead. Anyway we taught him to play drums and though he can’t fly anymore, we’d like to think we improved his life.

WWR: I was super impressed with Oli and Deez’s musical ability, I’d never seen anyone play like they did and for some reason they asked me to be in their band. Which was weird, because I knew like, two chords on the guitar? I had no idea how music worked. But look at me now!

CC: Chirp-chirp, chirp chirp. Mommy?

IYS: Where did you come up with the name Swanky Tiger?

MG: One summer’s eve in Saigon, our dearest Will Rokks was nearly mauled to death by a tiger wearing a top hat, but as the tiger was going to deliver the final blow, he stopped, grabbed Will by the collar, and told him he was going to let him live so long as he sent a message to the others. This is our mission. Beware the Swanky Tiger.

WWR: It was sort of a joke I said that something I saw was a “Swanky Tiger” and Oli and I looked at each other and were like "That’s it. That’s the name." I think everyone hated it until they realized how serious we are about the band.

CC: I think that it came to me one day while I was thinking about grass and stuff. Unfortunately it was already another band’s name. Who knew that one day I would be in that band!!!??

IYS: How would you describe your music for those readers who have never heard of you?

OMM: Heavy rock and roll, really, with raspy vocals, loud guitars and synths, and very snaky bass lines.

MG: Anthem rock music with a very heavy and modern influence. Swanky Tiger is love, Swanky Tiger is life.

WWR: I think our name is pretty indicative of what we sound like, Rock n' Roll with a large catlike demeanor.

CC: Basically if you take the punk of the '90s, but make it today with the technology that’s available that would be Swanky Tiger.

IYS: You guys have gotten off to a quick start for such a young band. You’ve had the opportunity to play shows in iconic venues and you were nominated for The Deli Magazine's "Best of NYC 2013 Poll for Emerging Artists.” What was that experience like?

OMM: I like The Deli, but to be honest not much has come from that mention. It’s to be expected, I guess, though it is still nice that people are thinking about us.

MG: Just like you’re describing- it’s been eerily easy so far. It’s also been seriously fun and flattering.

WWR: It’s been awesome! It’s incredible to have your work be validated by people who don’t actually have to give you the time of day. Shout out to those guys at The Deli! Thanks guys!

CC: I understand the love after getting the chance to work with these guys. It’s been great so far.

IYS: Do you have a favorite venue to play in NYC? Why?

OMM: I really liked the Bowery Electric, mainly because of the great sound and the neon lights. Webster was nice too, though.

MG: Webster Hall made me wet my pants on stage. We opened the show there with “Bad Operator” which starts with just me. Everything was fine, then just when everyone else is supposed to come in, BAM- strobe lights, disco, smoke- I was totally unprepared and probably screamed like a young lass in excitement.

WWR: Oh man, The Studio at Webster Hall! Killer sound, great lights great staff! They’re one of the only venues we’ve played that we didn’t have to pester anyone to get paid. Top stuff, Webster.

CC: I’ve only played at Bowery Electric, I’m excited for Arlene’s and Fontana’s though.

IYS: You guys just put out your new album Empires… How has the response been to that?

OMM: People seem to like it, which is nice, and once we can afford physical copies maybe they’ll even buy it! ;)

MG: For years I have told myself I am the best musician in history. So it’s very validating to finally hear other people say that too. But honestly I cannot thank the people enough who have listened to Empires, especially those that like it.

WWR: Really positive! There’s nothing like someone coming up to you and saying “*Blank song* is my favorite! It gets stuck in my head all the time!” It’s hard to get over that feeling.

CC: People love it. I had a random stranger come up to me at the school I go to and tell me that he loved "Glamorous" and that was a cool moment. My mom’s the biggest fan though.

IYS: Who were your influences while writing the album and what was the writing process like for you guys?

OMM: I was listening to a lot of The Rolling Stones while we were recording, and just got turned on to Pearl Jam when we were tracking “Metamorphosize,” though I’m not sure if those influences really turn up so clearly.

MG: The influences are all over time and space: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Dethklok, The Strokes, Muse, etc. We honestly just wrote whatever we liked that day and stuck with it. Also we have a big Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power poster hanging in our studio so I don’t think that was far from anyone's mind.

WWR: I think Muse and Queens of the Stone Age have been huge factors in the way we write and record. They’ve been some of our favorite bands for years.

CC: I think that it was probably One Direction for me. Big fan - ILY Harry.

IYS: Do you have a favorite song off of the new album? Why?

OMM: This is so hard. I have no idea. It’s a very sweaty three way between “Empires,” “With The Lights Out,” and “Won’t Be Home Tonight,” I think.

MG: It changes everyday but I think most often it’s “With the Lights Out”. That song started as such a whim but it ended up being the most beautifully structured song we’ve ever made and the most adventurous in terms of production. Plus I got to track the lead guitars on that song as everyone else was indisposed that day so that was fun.

WWR: "With the Lights Out" and "Metamorphosize" are my favorites for sure. I think I like those songs because I still can’t believe we wrote them.

CC: "With the lights Out," so much fun to play.

IYS: Do you have any plans to hit the road in the near future? What do you hope 2015 brings for Swanky Tiger?

OMM: We do, we hope to play as many shows as we can, and also do things like CMJ and SXSW, so be on the lookout! We hope 2015 brings fame and fortune and all that goes with it, my darling. Hoo - ha.

MG: I hope 2015 brings a Gulf-stream 6 and 4 platinum records. We don’t have an official tour going on but we’re kinda like batman. Just call on us and we’ll be there.

WWR: We’re trying to get on the road ASAP. Hopefully we’ll see y’all out there in your town.

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