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.”
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.
Um. Hello. Hey. Hi. Zdra-wait, how does one actually greet in a blog post? I wish I knew. It is only the second day of 2010 and it is already shaping up to be another sleepless year – some things last a long time, you know. Before I actually do what the receptors in my brain have sent me here to do, I would first like to send out an SOS to anyone reading this fabulous blog of ours because that is way more important. Ahem. On behalf of the toothless wolf and the wooly sheep, we wish you – from the bottom of the beating organs that keep our blood moving – a happy, healthy, magical and glorious 2010 full of people, places, things, music, words and feelings (new and old) that have the power elevate you towards that beautiful level of infinity. May you never have to run on empty and may more drinks always be on the way!
Happy New Year!
Stumbling upon Erik G. Neave, former member a band called Amalgam and the mastermind behind the music of Cedarwell, was an accident. Oh, how we love accidents sometimes. Cedarwell hails from the great land of Wisconsin, home of really cool cheese-head hats and the four walls that produced For Emma, Forever Ago. A couple of reviewers seem to think that Neave and Justin Vernon have more than Wisconsin in common but I, for one, do not hear it. While Vernon will forever own his signature howling, sound exits Neave’s mouth like a beating drum, pushing words forward and consciously placing each syllable where it belongs in order to lie perfectly with the music. Cedarwell’s Gamboge has been on repeat for the last couple of days, while I patiently wait for the latest release Smoky Mountain Bear to fall out of the sky and into my mout-I mean, hands.
Look through your day planner and pencil in 46:08 under the name Gamboge and take it out – get some coffee and go for a nice walk (the cold air will do you good) – then, let us know if you feel the butterflies.
Cedarwell is generous too, which is nice. There are a crap load of “free songs” on the official website (which may depend on your definition of free – take it for what it is). Just make sure you don’t sit around waiting for something to fall out of the sky, that only happens in my dreams. PayPal delivers quicker anyway, so let your steps fall soft and $how $ome $upport!
I opened up my skin
Under Wisconsin skies
I opened it again
When all the blood went dry
I wanted just one glimpse
If I still had a heart
That moment I got through, I didn’t
It’s better that way, I think
It’s better that way, I think
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