It is WAY too beautiful to be inside on the computer right now, so here are some quick updates!
You can finally order a Republic of Wolves vinyl which has 4 songs on it: Cardinals on the A side, and Wood/Bricks, a new song, on the B-side. It also comes with downloads for two alternate versions of For His Old Branches. Listen to it all. here
Also, Vintage Hustle Records have set up a contest for your chance to win some really cool stuff, so check it it out over here.
– dehydrated wolves among the grazing in the sun sheep
Tigers on Trains is a two piece band from Long Island, New York consisting of Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs. They have been getting quite a lot of attention over here, and we were lucky enough to be granted the opportunity to do an interview with them. This is their first official interview as a band, and we hope you guys enjoy it as much we did!
There is more to these two men then the music they make. Their answers are incredibly insightful and thoughtful and even at time, humorous. Tigers on Trains is in a word, brilliant and it is with great hope and eager paws/hooves that more ears will allow the hearts below them to flutter with emotion and the mind above to indulge itself in creative thought. While they may be new to the music scene, Maggio and Van Deurs are wise beyond their years – the proof is in the lyrics, the melody and the delivery.
Be sure to check out their music and keep an eye out for these guys! Listen to some songs below from their full length Grandfather:
A Year In The Garden Shed
Here’s the interview, click below for the rest and enjoy!
Wolves Among The Sheep: Alright, let’s begin with some background information. How and when was Tigers on Trains born? Were you two friends beforehand or did the music bring you together?
Mason: Well we’ve been good friends since 9th grade, a couple years before we started this project, but it was definitely music that brought us together. We met through a mutual friend and the first thing I said to Christian was “Wanna join an emo band?” The first thing he said to me was “No.” This repeated a few times until we actually became friends and started playing together. We were in a couple of “bands” together until we decided (in October of 2006) that all we needed were two acoustic guitars and our voices to make the music that we wanted to make.
WATS: What the story behind the name of the band? Do you guys love animals as much as we do?
Love is a strong word. But both of us definitely respect animals, and appreciate their wide range of skill sets. The name of the band came from a lyric in one of the early songs we wrote (before Tigers on Trains existed), entitled “Indian Ocean.” There’s little chance of anyone ever hearing that song. But lyrically the “tigers on trains” were a metaphor whose meaning was quickly forgotten, if it ever had one.
“That’s one of the things that’s great about art. You can create something out of thin air, something totally unrelated to reality, and that can carry an emotional power of its own and evoke that feeling in not only the listener, but also the artists themselves.”
One of the best things about having the original version of a song is being able to compare it to a demo version or a remixed version when a band is kind enough to share it with you. In this case, one of my personal favorite tracks on The Republic of Wolves’ EP His Old Branches (#1 EP of 2009)The Clouds, has been released as a demo with a link to a free download on Gregg Andrew Dellarocca’s – one of the five wolves’ – tumblr page.
This song brilliantly covers a wide spectrum of emotions ranging from what seems to be experiencing, dealing with and attempting to move on from loss. As the song begins, we are immediately introduced to inevitable death in the face of what was once patient hope. The inability to comprehend and accept the concept of ‘being without’ follows shortly after, where alcohol is introduced as a method to erase what realities are present and flood the mind with the delusion that the taller the bottle, the easier it will be to bring back what is missing. The ‘floor’ (or ‘ghost’ in the EP version of the song) gives no response to the main character’s attempts at finding closure through carrying on conversation with open space and though his attempts are tireless, they are fruitless as well and it is then that he begins to realize that there is no changing the certainty of death. There is, at this point, an immediate shift in the mood of the song, which is complimented by the sound itself – no longer attempting to stretch the realms of reality and giving rest to the inner battle that one faces when trying to achieve the impossible – the song hits a cathartic stride. What is left to bring back memories of what is lost is to be buried, hidden and tucked away – not to be forgotten but to be done because it is necessary for rescue, release, rebirth and growth. However, what takes a piece of us remains a part of us forever – so, no matter how deep we bury our memories, we never actually bury them deep enough to let go completely – ‘and they will stay there underground but no matter what I do I never will stop talking to you.’
(At least, that is how I interpret the song, have a listen and let us know what you think!)
I still see your face in the day.
And I see your eyes in the bottle that was way too tall
I finished it just to see if we could talk.
Now I’m speaking with the floor again
It’s telling me that I don’t listen.
Their latest full length album, Grandfather came out this past August, as their fan-base increased at a rate which was probably exponential. This is due to the youtube-brand new-fiasco (Google it?). At least, that’s how we shamelessly discovered them (Ok, maybe there’s a little bit of shame considering we didn’t discover them earlier .. But whatever, it’s great music). The two guys, Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs, have also started a new project, called The Republic of Wolves. Their first EP (His Old Branches – check it out if you know whats good for you and your ears) dropped last month with a beyond smooth landing.
Along with the simplicity of our love for this band, so is the strumming of their guitars – which must be endowed with magical powers – in practically all their songs. All of their songs, new and old, have a serious folk sound – so much damn strumming and nothing else! No piano, no drums, just strumming along. For someone like me who is tone/pitch deaf and overall musically retarded (what am I doing writing a music blog?), their songs do not tend to differ from each other musically. But this simplicity just WORKS for Tigers on Trains. That is because the beauty of their music lies within the lyrics and the simple raw transition of emotion into instrumental sound. These men have the ability to isolate a moment so beautifully that the music is all you care to hear.
There is now a new demo on their myspace, Canossa:
And sure enough we spent the day
Dreaming of ways to make the past come back
We drew the sky up on the wall
You drew the sun and I drew the clouds
That’s when I realized I was casting all this shade
As for us, we are still trying to wrap our heads around how two guys that are this young (they must be at least under 25), are capable of thinking such complex thoughts and creating such beautiful words and music; It is at the level of someone who has gone through life and figured out all of the great questions of what it means to be alive. They must have a hell of a life filled with a mountain of heartache!
My last thoughts for you; trust me when I say that that best way to spend a lonesome snowy day is in bed under a warm blanket while listening to Tigers on Trains.
We care for one thing here - to share sounds and words and melodies and ideas that are so beautiful, they'll make you want to fall apart and sleep forever.
Come say 'Hi!' at: email@example.com we don't really bite (that hard) or shed (that much) despite being creatures who hunt and graze for fun! Regardless of whether you love or hate what you see here, we hope that you find what it is you are looking for, eventually.
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PS: We apologize in advance that we are a little too addicted to using emoticons.. Nobody be thrown off, its all in good spirit! :D
The MP3's posted on this blog are intended for previewing purposes only. If you ENJOY what you hear, do what you can to support the band (purchase a CD, go to a show, buy some merchandise, invite the band to a sleep over, have the lead singer sign your face then get it tattooed, etc). If you HATE what you hear, turn the volume down and get over it! More importantly, if you represent an artist or a label and would prefer that we take down an MP3, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to!