My Tiger My Timing are a five piece band from London that make extremely infectious music. This can be attested by listening to their debut album Celeste, a collection of wonderfully melodic songs and rhythmic happenings. In the process of writing their second album, AMBY caught up with the band to see what they have been up to.
AMBY: For those who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing you, how would you describe My Tiger My Timing’s sound in three words?
MTMT: Modern. Melancholy. Pop.
AMBY: How did the band come to form?
MTMT: We had all been members of other bands, and we also ran a label together (Snakes & Ladders which we still release our music on) so we decided we should join forces and form one band. James and I are brother and sister so we’ve always done music together, it just seemed like the obvious thing to do!
AMBY: Who influences My Tiger My Timing as musicians and songwriters?
MTMT: There’s so much, and we all have our own tastes in music, everything from Pavement to Rihanna to Bjork to Glen Campbell, but I guess the crossover points are things like Talking Heads, Nirvana and Blur – anyone who takes an interesting approach to pop songwriting.
AMBY: You have recently released your new video for the song Let Me Go, care to elaborate on the concept of the video?
MTMT: We worked with these great video makers called Visitor and we wanted them to really be able to take the idea as far as possible. We talked to them about the story behind the song – someone who is a prisoner to love – and they came up with the idea of me being kidnapped by a nightmare storybook monster and dragged and carried through a variety of scary dreamlike locations until I eventually manage to break free and kill the monster. We talked about children’s books like Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak, and also classic horror movie imagery – the guys also designed and built a special camera rig to achieve the cool effect you see on the video. It was so much fun to work with the guys, as well as being the most physically demanding shoot we’ve ever done – the band members and even the directors took turns in carrying me (I hadn’t realise dhow uncomfortable this would be!) and I was pulled through the woods, warehouses and cellars all in the name of a great video – but I think it was worth it!
AMBY: You released your debut album Celeste in July, what are your feelings about it now that you’ve had time to reflect on it?
MTMT: I’m really proud of it! It was a huge bit of work and the first full-on bit of production I had ever done, and right after we finished it I wasn’t sure I could ever listen to it again, but when I hear it now, I can ignore the flaws and just see it as an achievement and a great document of the last 4 years. I love it when people tell me they’ve enjoyed listening to it – makes all the pain worthwhile!
AMBY: What’s on your iPod at the moment?
MTMT: Artifacts forthcoming single Echoes, Plugs’ album, Radiohead Kid A, Bjork Debut, Jeff Buckley Grace, Nirvana Bleach.
AMBY: Written In Red is a great song, what is the story behind it?
MTMT: It’s about love and war, or perhaps love as war – I got the initial idea from reading spy novels about the Cold War and also researching the real life events of the time. I read about the ‘Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo’ – a couple who were caught on opposing sides but tried to run away together. They were shot trying to escape, I thought it was such a tragic story and symbolic of the enduring power of love against all odds.
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
MTMT: Not speaking for the other band members here but for me, Parklife by Blur, Bleach by Nirvana and Hejira by Joni Mitchell.
AMBY: Who would you like to be most and least stuck in an elevator with?
MTMT: I’d happily be stuck in an elevator with Jimmy Page so I could ask him what it was like to be in the greatest rock band ever. There are so many people I’d hate to be trapped with but I guess anyone with bad personal hygiene would suck in that situation.
AMBY: What do you do outside of music for fun?
MTMT: I can’t really remember, music is all-encompassing, so even when I’m not doing band stuff I’m writing or playing or listening. But I do enjoy drawing, swimming and watching stupid videos on YouTube – sounds like a personals ad!
AMBY: What is the best song of 2012 so far?
MTMT: That is tough, there have been a few belters…You Used to Be a Man by New Young Pony Club is an absolute classic.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about My Tiger My Timing that nobody knows yet?
MTMT: We’re currently in the process of writing the second album – we have ten brand new songs so far, and they sound very different to Celeste – very excited for people to hear them.
Have a listen to My Tiger My Timing’s superb track Let Me Go below and also check out their video! And lastly, thank you My Tiger My Timing, for giving us your answers!
Alicia & Yaz Atout