Band yang berasal dari San Diego ini cerdas dalam menggabungkan musik folk dan Americana dengan sound modern musik punk rock yang penuh dengan hingar bingar yang menggetarkan hati. Sedikit sentuhan Bluegrass juga terasa di katalog mereka. Lagu-lagu dan album mereka bisa di download secara gratis di sleddingwithtigers.com/ – Interview berikut ini dilakukan dengan penulis lagu, gitaris, dan penyanyi Dan Faughnder.
How did the band come together?
It basically started, once I got ‘serious’ about song-writing, as an excuse for me to express emotions and thoughts that I wouldn’t normally share. Then , I started asking friends like Sam, our violinist, Robert, our banjo player, and Taylor, our new Mandolin player, to play shows with me, and I guess that makes us a band.
An obvious one, but why “Sledding with Tigers”? How does one actually sled with tigers?
The name, “Sledding With Tigers”, comes from my favorite comic, Calvin & Hobbes. I always liked how this little kid could approach situations so intelligently, but still come from this childlike, wonderful perspective.
Are we right in hearing a fair balance of playfulness, some childlike glee, mixed together with punkish folk rock in your songs? What were the bands that you all grew up with?
Oh man. We all come from really different backgrounds. I played classical percussion in college, which is where I met Sam. Robert has been a member of the California punk scene forever. He used to front a really rad skate-punk band called “Gross Negligence”. We all also play in a gypsy punk band, Grim Luck, so I think we’re all informed by the punk attitude, and most of the shows we play are with DIY Punk artists. It’s where we feel the most at home. At the same time, though, we all really love those old Allan Lomax blues field recordings, Woodie Guthrie and Pete Seeger records. I’m really always just trying to make a record as fun and awesome as Pete Seeger’s Carnegie Hall performance. We like sing-alongs, but we also like screaming at the top of our lungs, so it makes things pretty fun!
The album covers are very distinctive. How does the band’s particular aesthetic play into the whole thing?
I guess I have to take the blame for that one. To be honest, I am not much of an artist, but I know my way around Photoshop, so a lot of it is just trying to make something that looks fun and weird, but still is aesthetically pleasing. Our friend, Caitlin VanArsdale, made the art for The Hill Sheep, and David Naylor, our friend who does the webcomic “Cool Party Guys” drew the cover for the Kids Split.
What feelings do you want to project through your artwork/ imageries?
I don’t really have a specific feeling that I’m trying to convey, I mostly want something fun that’ll make people smile and remember us.
How does the writing process usually work between you guys? How do you know when a song works or when it doesn’t?
The songs are written largely by myself, in my room, or in my car, while I’m stuck in traffic. Then I record the parts, and try my hardest to give Robert and Sam enough time to write cool parts of their own. Normally, I just throw them in unfairly difficult situations, and they end up writing the coolest lines. I’ve been really fortunate to surround myself with talented, thoughtful musicians, who understand what I want in a song.
Which from your currently released songs do you feel represents the band’s artistic process best?
Sometimes, you just have a song come together in the studio, and it’s the best feeling. in the world. At that point, you just hope that other people hear the things that make you love the record. I’m really happy with “The Kids Will Be Alright, Eventually”. I wrote that song the day before we went in to record that EP with our friend, Ted Gabbard. It came out even better than I had it in my head, and I think it’s the best thing we’ve done. Some people like it, too, which is certainly a plus.
Any possibility of visiting these shores anytime soon?
I hope so! It would be so much fun, and thanks to our friends at Lazy Acre, we’ve been getting a little UK following. I would really love to, and I just hope we get the chance to soon. I spent a few days in London with a Wind Ensemble tour in high school, and I’ve always wanted to go back!