Artist Name: Tiger Mimic
Song Title: Don’t Cover Up My Eyes
Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative
Release Date: July 2018
Tiger Mimic – Don’t Cover Up My Eyes
Tiger Mimic is a London-based (by way of NYC) Indie Rock band with catchy songs that tell sinister tales. They recorded their debut EP “Elephant Skeleton” with Grammy-Award-winning producer, Matt Lawrence, and their song “Don’t Cover Up My Eyes” is the first single.
Tell us your history.
Bram & Jess met in NYC and started making music together, under a different band name. In 2018 they decided to relocate to London where they were joined by Ben & George, and thus “Tiger Mimic” was officially born. In searching for the right place to record, luck connected them with Grammy Award-winning producer, Matt Lawrence, who was a perfect fit for the project. Over the course of three months, they recorded at London’s Livingston Studios, releasing their first single “Don’t Cover Up My Eyes” in July of 2018. Their follow-up single, “Elephant Skeleton”, is set to be released in mid-September with an accompanying animated video, and the full EP will come in early 2019.
Describe yourself as an artist.
We’re a new 4-piece, Indie Rock band based in London. We really try to focus on having memorable melodies, intriguing lyrics, and exciting instrumental parts, songs that will still surprise you after multiple listens.
Tell us the genre of your music.
Our music is a bit indie rock, a bit alternative, with lots of different influences. One word that keeps popping up is ‘sinister,’ which we agree with, but the songs also have energy that we hope makes people want to dance!
Tell us the story behind your song.
The song was written right after Jess left a bar in NYC, where she noticed that every single song that had been played that night was about men and the heartbreak they’ve caused women. She started thinking of what a truly twisted relationship would be like and, freezing in the cold outside while waiting for her cab to show up, she started writing the lyrics and singing the melody into her phone recorder. Starting from Jess’ acapella melody, Bram wrote the instrumental backing on guitar and later added bass and drum parts for a rough demo.
Tell us the problems you are facing as a musician.
The biggest challenge is just getting the coverage and promotion that helps you grow when you’re new; every blog/ writer/ website/promoter is being flooded with requests from bands on a daily basis, so sometimes it’s hard to even get your foot in the door.
Discuss the recording and production of the song.
We spent three months working with our producer, Matt Lawrence, and it was a really incredible experience. He understood the vibe of our music immediately, helped us pick a studio that could capture it well, and generally worked his ass off right alongside the band to make sure it was the best EP possible. We recorded it here in London at Livingston Studio, playing the songs live as a band, and then did some minimal overdub work at the Orinoco Studio complex. The goal was to make a very professional-sounding studio record without losing the feel of a live band. The record was mastered at Metropolis Studio.
List the names of blogs, radio, or television stations that have supported you so far.
Get In Her Ears / Hoxton Radio (London, UK), Lost In The Manor ‘September 2018 Hot Picks’ Spotify playlist (London, UK), Rubyfruit Radio (Atlanta, GA, USA), The Girls At The Rock Show Blog (Dallas, TX, USA), The Devil Has The Best Tuna Blog (Liverpool, UK) – Due out on September 8th WFPN Radio (Norwich, CT, USA).
Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
BRAM: We really came to London specifically to focus on this band, so when it comes to other activities, they basically all come second to making music. So we mainly manage other activities by squeezing them in when we can and skipping when we can’t! Luckily, the whole band gets along really well, and we all love similar dorky things.
JESS: Agreed, music comes first, and agreed they are all dorks. We always find time to get together and do non-music-related activities, we’ve been doing these movie marathons where we eat too much and talk too much (got a movie marathon coming up on Sunday, actually. Predator, anyone?)
Elaborate on your music career, experience, and future goals.
We all have had different bands, so there’s probably more history there than you’ll want to get into. Bram & Jess had bands in NYC for years; Ben & George have been regulars in the music scene over here for quite a while too, so it would make for a lengthy CV if we wrote it all out. Long story short, we’ve all been playing music since we were teens or younger, and here we are! Goal-wise, we just want to get our music out to as many people as possible. We’re releasing another single/video in mid-September, and we’ll release the whole EP probably toward the end of the year/January, so for now the goal is just to keep busy with gigs.
Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
Jess and Bram have written the songs so far, and generally, we have very different inspirations.
JESS: It really depends on the song, but generally they start with some improv! I get new melodies in my head constantly and the words just kind of pop up, and then I create a whole story or vibe based on those initial words. It’s easier for me to do when Bram is playing something on his guitar. I’m aware some songs can sound like they’re about something deeply personal, but generally, they aren’t!
BRAM: I tend to write about personal things in very obscure ways. Usually, some kind of surreal narrative to say something very simple in a very complicated way. A lot of times I’ll start with some kind of central image and work from there. So I guess mine don’t sound deeply personal, but generally, they are.
Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.
BRAM: Haha, good question. I’d be interested to know myself. Seriously, though, I think the best thing anyone can do in music is trying to figure out what they have to bring to the table that is unique to them. There are enough bands out there that sound really similar – what can you do to sound different? A hit in the short-term is not the same thing as a career.
JESS: What he said.
Tell the advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Everyone has musical influences, but don’t spend all your time trying to sound like someone else, use the time to figure out what your voice/style is, and embrace the things that make you different. Oh, and be patient. It takes time to build a solid foundation.
Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition, or awards you might have received.
BRAM: Well, like we said before, that’s a lot of bands to cover. Prior to Tiger Mimic, Jess and I both had other indie bands going in NYC, but we started focusing exclusively on Tiger Mimic once we realized that we worked well together. Ben & George have both played in a bunch of bands over here, but we’re really excited to be playing together now, it really feels like an exciting fit. The forthcoming Tiger Mimic EP will be our debut, so right now we’ve only released one single, Don’t Cover Up My Eyes. We’ll have another single and our first video coming later in September, and at least one more song before the end of the year, so we’re excited to see what people think of the next ones.
Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
BRAM: Lyrics are a mix. I tend to write lots of lyrics over time, and then piece them together into a song once I have a melody or guitar idea, then I just build from there. Usually, I’m pretty slow with finishing lyrics, I can spend ages fussing over a certain word or line, just because I have a certain feeling I’m trying to capture. Pretty much the same with singing/arranging, I’ll sit and try 50 different keys/rhythms/tones just to settle on a melody I like. Although Jess will also sit down and work on lyrics sometimes, she really has a gift for improvising lyrics (and melodies, actually) while I play guitar, and then fine-tuning them afterward. Some of our things were written so spontaneously thanks to her just turning a little guitar snippet I’ve been playing into a whole song. Once we have the basic structure of the song, we bring it to Ben & George and see what works as a band, what doesn’t work, and generally just tighten up the song. Everyone brings different ideas to each song, so sometimes what we start on an acoustic guitar ends up being a really big, noisy song, and vice-versa. Same in the studio, go in, see what works, see what doesn’t, and try to make the best music possible.
JESS: Yeah! And having fun is a big part of all of that! Working with Matt Lawrence and seeing how he does things really helped guide us with structure, and working hard at trying to figure out what sounds best rather than picking what’s just the easiest.
Name your favorite artists for collaboration.
BRAM: We haven’t collaborated with anyone yet, but in a dream world I’d love to play with Tom Waits or Radiohead.
JESS: We’d love to collaborate with people! Where y’all at?? Let’s do this!
Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
BRAM: Haha, well, a lot of things. Promote the band, head back into the studio and record more, pick up a bunch of books and records, and I also have an obsession with guitar effects pedals, so I’d definitely pick up way too many of those.
JESS: Hmm…it’s hard to tell without actually, physically having the money….hint, hint, wink, wink. Ha, no but seriously, I’d probably do a lot of what Bram said, and I’d also love to have an animal refuge. Music and animals are two things I love, so that’s where a good chunk of the money would go. Oh, and also, you know the shopping list that’s on my fridge – you still need to eat when you’re a millionaire.
Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base.
BRAM: A lot of reading, a lot of emails, and a lot of social media stuff. There’s no shortcut for a new band, you just have to spend a chunk of your day, every day, reaching out to people. You need to research the people that might listen, send them an email, and do it again. There are a lot of opportunities out there; we’ve met a lot of really awesome, helpful people who are excited about new music. There are also a lot of people who aren’t excited about getting another email from another new band. You just have to make the best music you can, hope that someone agrees, and keep trying if they don’t.
JESS: Agreed. Also, I think the best promotion is putting on a really great show. It takes practice, and I know we still have a lot to learn. I get so excited when I see a stranger filming us with his phone during shows – I know that they’re excited about what they’re hearing and that we’re doing a good job – that’s how I feel when I start filming a band I like!