With music instantly accessed at the touch of a button, it seems that the urge to pigeonhole bands as quickly and neatly as possible has been driven to ever more extremes in recent years. Good Tiger, however, forge their own path. Blending their influences in a manner that defies lazy classification sets them apart from their contemporaries, imbuing everything they do with a distinctive sound and feel, and with We Will All Be Gone, Good Tiger have dramatically built upon their stunning debut, 2015’s A Head Full Of Moonlight. “I think that what a musician wants to do musically is always pretty fluid and can change from day to day,” states guitarist Derya “Dez” Nagle. “Going into our second record, we wanted to focus more on songwriting rather than specifically on any kind of wow factor, instrumentally or production-wise. We wanted the songs to speak, and everything we did was serving that purpose.” This is evident after even a cursory listen to We Will All Be Gone, the members’ passion and sincerity palpable as it progresses somewhat effortlessly through its ten tracks, urging the listener to go back and start over the moment its final notes fade away.
Comprised of guitarists Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles, bassist Morgan Sinclair, drummer Alex Rüdinger and vocalist Elliot Coleman, each member came to Good Tiger from prominent acts in contemporary alternative music, and at their inception they inevitably had the ‘supergroup’ tag thrown at them. However, their 2015 debut A Head Full Of Moonlight saw them swiftly transcend this label, and that it was such a dynamic and accomplished record made it clear that the whole was very much more than the sum of its parts. A substantial touring campaign followed, sharing stages with the likes of Between The Buried And Me and Dance Gavin Dance, establishing them as both a distinct musical entity and formidable live act. “We have all toured for years in various other bands, but each new band brings new experiences which you haven’t necessarily come across before, and it’s a constant learning experience. It’s very much like being in a relationship with four other people, and that takes time to work through,” says Nagle. “We were still finding our feet on ‘A Head Full Of Moonlight’, and seeing how we all integrated with each other. I think the second album really hones what we liked from the first album and develops things from there.” Indeed, We Will All Be Gone harnesses the core sound of its predecessor but raises the stakes across the board, showing a humbling confidence throughout. Every track has a definitive character of its own, and none stay in a single gear, all of them dynamic and textured as they evoke various tones and moods. “Salt Of The Earth,” for instance, crashes to life with a chunky, timeless rock riff against a widescreen chorus of almost impossibly vast scale, which stylistically different and explores different feelings to those found on “Grip Shoes”, which mixes post-hardcore influence and the dreamiest of pop, or “Such A Kind Stranger”, which is as edgy as it is seductive. “Going into this record we had a pretty clear idea of what we wanted to achieve on a more holistic level, but weren’t too concerned with the micro level. When talking about this, the references we were looking at had nothing similar in a musical sense but more so what they achieved within that era and genre. We wanted to make an album which did not feel dated, or connected to a fixed period of time.“
With various members contributing lyrics there is a mixture of perspectives offered, but as with the music there is a real sense of cohesion, emphasizing the connection between the five men, with discussions of human interactions, emotions and the psyche pushed to the fore. “‘Float On’, for example, talks about the idea of mindfulness and the perspective that comes with that,” explains Nagle. “It’s described and talked about in a somewhat ambiguous way, although I feel if you listen to the lyrics that idea can quickly be taken from it.” Elsewhere, on the likes of “Grip Shoes” and “Salt Of The Earth”, they deal with the topics of “friendships, relationships and all the complications that come therein“, and “Nineteen Grams” is essentially a memoir drawn from their touring experiences. “We’re all big coffee drinkers, especially on tour, so finding that perfect cup – nineteen grams is supposedly the perfect amount of coffee for an espresso – becomes quite a moment every day. While the song discusses themes beyond that it’s definitely centred around the emotions that accompany touring.” Closer “I’ll Finish The Book Later” stands as one of the album’s most poignant moments, and Nagle singing alongside Coleman brings the lyrics vividly to life. “Thematically, the lyrics discuss the appropriation of thought and living vicariously through a writer’s work, so having the two voices made sense.” The title We Will All Be Gone encapsulates the feelings of the album as a whole while acknowledging its existential themes, though Nagle is quick to assert that it should not automatically be taken as a negative statement. “While the title could be seen to be quite nihilistic or down I would like to think it comes with an air of optimism and positivity. Letting go and not having to be drained or occupied by something which has little relevance for day-to-day life opens the door for positivity.“
Tracking at Middle Farm Studios in southwest England, the band recruited producer Forrester Savell (Karnivool/Dead Letter Circus), and engineer/mixer Adam “Nolly” Getgood (Periphery/Animals As Leaders). “We worked with Nolly on the last album, we had a great working relationship, and wanted to explore that further in a more developed situation. Forrester has made some of our favorite albums, and is someone we could trust steering the ship. Having self-produced for so long it can be at times quite difficult to let go, so it was important we found people we could fully entrust to help create the album we wanted to make.” Working long days for nearly a month in a studio in the middle of nowhere is trying for any musician, and Nagle admits cabin fever definitely settled in on occasion, but it was ultimately a highly rewarding – and tremendously productive – experience for all concerned. “Having the time to experiment with sounds, structure and various parts was something none of us had really done before, and it definitely helped in developing the album into what it is now.” With We Will All Be Gone under their collective belt the five members of the band are already looking to the touring that lies ahead, and the ambitiousness embodied in their music also extends to their live shows, with big ideas in terms of production, and the desire to incorporate conceptual videos into their sets. “We are all extremely proud of the album, and can’t wait to explore the music in the live environment. Having that direct interaction with an audience, each single person, is an unbeatable feeling.“