Tigercity released their first album Pretend Not To Love and started getting attention all over the music community. Rolling Stone named Tigercity a band to watch; Andrew, Aynsley, Bill and Joel have been on the road ever since. Sharing their 80’s reminiscent synth-rock with vocals that have been compared to Justin Timberlake’s—but don’t you dare use the phrase “yacht rock” around them.
At this past Spandexxx DJ A-Cup of Moneypenny introduced me to the guys of Tigercity who were in town to play a show at The Double Door the next night. We chatted and ended up drinking whiskey until almost four in the morning, which Andrew and Aynsley later forgot. Inspired by 80’s legends Hall and Oates, Bryan Eno and lots of dark synth; Tigercity was originated by Joel Ford, who has long brown hair, perfectly straight and parted in the middle. He moved to Brooklyn and added Bill Gillim, Aynsley Powell and Andrew Bradley. Now on the road again we chatted and talked tour stories and the future album.
by Wilson Standish of Boy Kings
BK: Would you ever use the term “yacht rock”?
Joel: Definitely not. [Andrew and Aynsley make sour faces shaking their heads]
BK: Why is that?
Bill: When we started doing what we were doing there was no yacht rock. Yacht rock was labeled by the guys who did the videos, which are fucking hilarious. But they were being made simultaneous to us…There was a resurgence of people’s interest, and suddenly everyone was into that kind of music from the 80s. So, for us it was ‘remember that sick Phil Collins song?’ Our music wasn’t ironic or funny to us, but the videos are fucking hilarious. Aynsley: It wasn’t fallowing a trend, we were in our own bubble it just happened to coincide with this other thing.
Joel: But all the music labeled as that is awesome. We listen to Steely Dan in our van, but it’s not like “Hey, Andrew let’s put on some yacht rock.”
Aynsley: We do want yachts, though. If we could each have a yacht and continue to rock we would definitely do that.
BK: I was told to ask you if you had any good Andrew stories to tell.
All four start laughing.
Andrew: Are there any recent ones?
Bill: Well, you were the one who answered the phone when the prostitute called.
Andrew: Oh. Oh yeah, yeah that was a good one.
Bill: We played in this grimy part of Pensacola, and we were staying in the Super Inn, not even the Super 8. We were telling the people who booked the show that we were about to go there. They asked us if we wanted to stay at their house, and we were like “Nah, we’re going to stay at the Super Inn.” And they said, “Okay? That’s like hooker row.” So, we got there at 3:30 in the morning, and at 4 someone starts knocking on the door. Joel looked out the peephole, and it’s this chick smoking a cigarette, with not much clothes on. So we just ignored it and were kinda scared thinking, “Oh my God, hooker at the door.” She kept knocking for like 10, 15 minutes.
“Her pimp’s going to come break in our room and get mad at us for not having sex with the hooker.”
She finally went away, and then at seven in the morning we were woken up because she started knocking again, I guess she was desperate for work. I was the only one that woke up this time and was totally paranoid, thinking, “Her pimp’s going to come break in our room and get mad at us for not having sex with the hooker.” And then the phone rings and Andrew picked it up, and the hooker was like, “Hey who’s this? What’r y’all doing?” And Andrew just said “LEAVE US ALONE.” And hangs up the phone.
Aynsley: In the past tours there’s been more absurd stories, but this one’s been relatively sober so it’s all of us being hounded by a hooker.
Andrew: I can say that I duct taped boxes of pizza shut last night.
BK: Wait, what happened?
Andrew: We got really drunk last night and ordered Chicago pizza, and it’s like 25 bucks per pizza. We (Andrew and Aynsley) paid for it, and we’re super broke. So, we just duct taped the boxes really intensely so no one could get in it.
Bill: I was sleeping, and from my bedroom all I hear is “Pizza’s here!” They went downstairs, and I hear, “How much is it...?Whaaaaat...?Well, what’s that...?How is it...?Okay, $60. Should we give him a tip?” They went upstairs and blasted Radiohead, and then I heard, “Fuck it, no one’s eating the pizza, someone else is gonna want the pizza. Joel comes here! Bill comes here! They’re going to want the pizza! We’re duct taping the pizza.” The next morning I woke up and in the refrigerator there are two pizza boxes duct taped together.
Aynsley: Survival, man.
Bill: But tonight if I get drunk late night and want a piece of pizza I have to pay $10.
Andrew: You can have as much as you want for $10. You’re in. I’m going to be eating it for the next three days.
Aynsley: Food is the most important thing in the world.
BK: What was inspiring you going into the full length?
Joel: A lot of life on the road.
Aynsley: One of our most bad-ass moments was pulling up to a stop light and cranking Bryan Eno to compete with the dude next to us that was playing hip-hop. We won.
Bill: Yeah, we blasted “On Land” and were like, “Take on land, dude.”
Aynsley: And then proceeded to drive through the intersection and get lost, doing circles in around corn fields.
“…it’s those kind of situations that lay the foundation for a band to actually work outside of the music.”
Bill: It was ambient driving…For the last year and a half we’ve been driving around the country meeting random pockets of amazing people. We just stayed in Tampa with a woman who read an article with us where we said we were broke. And she said we could stay with her for three days. We thought there had to be strings attached. There wasn’t. She was the nicest person in the world.
Aynsley: I think it’s those kind of situations that lay the foundation for a band to actually work outsideof the music. Those people are just as important as what we do in the studio or on stage.
BK: What was one of the places you thought you wouldn’t like but stood out the most?
Bill: Actually two days ago, Little Rock, Arkansas. (others nod in agreement) Our good friends from the band American Princes are from there, and they just put us up and showed us a great time for two nights.
BK: So, what’s next?
Joel: We’re working on the conceptual ideas for the new album now. We’d like to incorporate more ambient collage music.
Aynsley: If we could supply soundtracks for other people getting lost in cornfields.
Andrew: I got lost in a cornfield for about seven hours with no shoes…It…sucked.
Bill: I had to pull rocks out of his feet with tweezers the next morning.
Andrew: I couldn’t walk until we had to do our next show. I came out of black out talking to corn stalks, and I was like “What the fuck?!?”
[everyone starts laughing and clapping]
Bill: I picked him up from in front of some lady’s house, leaning on her garbage cans.