Beneath the bright lights and beyond the velvet ropes of Hollywood lies a different Southern California: a desolate land filled with darkness, punctuated by unrealized dreams, and broken down with anguished hearts. Tigercide, formed half a decade ago in L.A., givs musical form to this landscape with the ethereal, melancholic vocals of Shexist and the exotic, shadowy, and balanced beats of Saint Brendan.The post-punk of bands like Joy Division and New Order embodied a de-industrializing Manchester. The Bristol sound of Massive Attack and Portishead gave voice to the multicultural grittiness of their city. So, too, does the darkwave trip-hop of Tigercide capture the ethos of Angelenos anxious about their future. In a city characterized by soaring rents, temperatures, and population, can there be any more California dreaming?
We caught up with Tigercide about their new single and video, “Solomon Square,” dropping tomorrow. Check out the video below.
How did the band first get started? Shexist: I had just moved to my hometown Bakersfield after living in Los Angeles for a little over 11 years. I was a brand-new mother. All of my musical connections and resources were in L.A., and I was worried I would be leaving everything I had worked for behind. I began to search for musical projects I could pour my creativity into right away. I saw an ad Brendan posted, and I right away responded. It felt good to meet someone with similar taste in music, style, and the drive and motivation to make it all happen. We’ve been building ever since. And happily, I live in L.A. again.
St.Brendan: I was in another band, and I wasn’t happy with the direction. The label we were signed to went belly-up, so I was able to escape. I wanted to do something focused on electronica, so I started looking for a great singer.
Who are some of your biggest influences, and how do they inform your sound?
A: Artists like Liz Fraser, Beth Gibbons, Bjork, and Sade had a pretty big influence in my life and sound, because whether it was in their frequency, their voice, or the message I gravitated to, I could relate in some way. I remember my mother always asking me why I sing melancholy music. A human can’t help what moves them; it just does. Interestingly enough my daughter influences me so much these days. When I see her playing in her own little big world, and humming a song she made up, I start to remember the little girl in me and it takes me to that place of innocence and being present in a moment of creation with very little worry or fear. I always want to create music that way.
B: Massive Attack, Fever Ray, some Portishead. Also Dead Can Dance, I like a lotta DCD.
What else are you each involved in, and how does it inform the music you make together?
A: I believe everything we creatively work on individually outside of Tigercide will only help us progress together as a band. For example, I have been building creatively with musician and artist 0010X0010 since the early 2000s. In 2018, a song we worked, “She’ll Never Be Me,” got placed in a film called Compulsion which stars Analeigh Tipton. Progressing on other projects has not only expanded my creativity, it opens doors, new perspectives, and the inspiration to put forth good work in everything I do.
B) I make beats for all kinds of projects and genres, I do session work on synths too. I’ve did a lot of soundtrack work in the past, but that involves more ass-kissing than I was comfortable with. The soundtrack and sound design stuff definitely influences Tigercide.
What are you working on right now that you’re excited about or want to highlight?
B: We are writing new stuff; we debuted a brand-new tune at our Troubadour show. It’s a bit more uptempo.
A: Aside from The Remedy EP, we’ve got our remix kits finished and ready for a 2020 release. Remixes are like the dessert!
A) We are extremely excited for 2020. We have been invited to play Synthplex, an “All Things Synthesizer” festival/expo, in which we are thrilled about. Brendan must have manifested this because he has been talking about this festival non-stop since last year.
B) We are getting a new synth, Tigercide uses 3 hardware synths in our live show, one of those is getting the boot, replacing with a Dave Smith. I’ve been using the Moog One a lot this year too, you will probably hear some of that beast on upcoming releases.
And of course we got new videos coming out. We have Solomon coming out now, then a video for Murderous, where we tear up PCH in a vintage Porsche.
6. What’s your favorite band or song right now?
B) I was listening to some of the new Ladytron this weekend. It’s cool. Don’t really have a “favorite”. A lot of bands sound like they were made with a cookie cutter, not enough innovation. People are afraid to push that envelope, internet homogenization is the cause.
A) Song called “Give it up” by HTRK and the Cocteau Twins. Always the Cocteau Twins.
7. Where do you want to see the band in five years?
A) Making music for film. Traveling and performing outside the U.S.
B) SNL, Hollywood Bowl…
8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
B) Yes, electronic musicians, don’t be afraid to actually play live. Yes, you might mess up, but you gain a whole new dynamic. Don’t ever forget, you are supposed to entertain the audience, if you don’t think of yourself as an entertainer, get the hell off the stage.