Robb Weir of Tygers of Pan Tang Says There is Something For Everyone On New Record
Tygers of Pan Tang have been releasing albums for nearly 40 years. How does a band make it 40 years? Well, I guess they do it for the love, or they’re broke, either way, Robb Weir has managed to present one incarnation after another as Tygers of Pan Tang. He is the driving force, the band founder, and even though he has brought in various members and called them Tygers of Pan Tang, the band has remained truly a product of that moniker.
Yes, 40 years later and Tygers of Pan Tang are still Tygers of Pan Tang, regardless of the lineup. The lineup, in this case, is solid, though. Three of the members have been with the band for over a decade and the remaining two don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. Thus we have the band’s recent creative output, a self-titled album. Why do bands make self-titled albums so late in their career? I guess they do it to show they still have what it takes to put out a good album and call it by a legendary name, in this case, Tygers of Pan Tang.
Tygers of Pan Tang is a legend even though they’ve never been a standout act like Iron Maiden. Without the help of Metallica and Megadeth, many of the second wave of British metal bands, NWOBHM if you will, haven’t gotten much exposure. Still, even without the name recognition of Diamond Head or Iron Maiden, Tygers are able to release a video to over 100,000 raving fans. They’re doing something right. Read on to learn more about Mr. Weir’s latest music under the Tygers of Pan Tang name.
Rex_84: When did album come out?
Robb Weir: It came out in October in the U.K. and in Europe. We released it last week in the States.
Rex_84: How do you feel about the record?
Weir: It came out so well, beyond our wildest dreams, really. The band’s on fire at the moment. All the current members of the band have spent quite a lot of time in the band. Craig, our drummer, has been with us 17 years. Our newest member, Micky Crystal, he’s new and he’s been here 4 years. The record came out really well. We recorded it in late January and December of last year. We sent it across to Soren Anderson in Copenhagen. He’s the man to watch at the moment, production-wise. He’s kind of ahead of everybody else.
Rex_84: You’ve been around for about 40 years. Has it been 40 years?
Weir: 39 years this year, yes.
Rex_84: You’re close enough. We’ll just say it’s 40 years.
Weir: Right. It doesn’t seem like 40 years.
Rex_84: The record sounds like Tygers, like stuff you played in the ‘80s. At the same time, there are some songs that seem very modern. “The Reason Why” is a good example. Those power ballads remind me of Chris Cornell/Soundgarden (and Shinedown).
Weir: Yes, that has been said and those are very favorable comparisons. Micky wrote that about 3 years ago and has been hanging around. We didn’t do anything with it. The new album was an opportunity to see what we could make of it. It came out really, really well.
“Never Give In,” a heavy metal song, will be the next single. The current single, which is a digital download, is called “Glad Rags.”
Rex_84: You got your glad rags on?
Weir: Yes, the new video is good to sing along to it and it has hot girls in it. It’s all good.
Rex_84: It seems like a hit. I don’t see why it can’t be on mainstream radio. Some of your rockier stuff—you have your metal and your rock songs—reminds me of Def Leppard.
Weir: Yeah, maybe (laughs).
Rex_84: Do you have a relationship with Def Leppard?
Weir: We started at the same time as Def Leppard, Iron Maiden and Saxon. We’re all friends. Steve Harris and Def Leppard are good friends of mine. When they come to the U.K. to play shows, I come and say hi. There is still a good camaraderie and a good friendship. As I was going to say, the songs on the album like “Never Give In,” are heavy metal/hard rock. “Blood Red Sky” is a dark, hard rock anthem. There is something for everybody on it, but it’s very much a hard rock album.
Rex_83: What I really like about the song “Blood Red Sky” is the melodies.
Weir: It’s great, isn’t it?
Rex_84: It is a good song and “Glad Rags” is good, too. It’s such a catchy tune. Tell me about the concept. Is it just about letting loose and doing your own thing?
Weir: Do you know what glad rags are?
Rex_84: No (sort of).
Weir: Say you get out of work on Friday night. You go home, you shower, you go to your room and you put on your glad rags; you put on levis, your best shoes, best cowboy boots and you go to the bar for some Jack Daniels and a great rock in roll act. When you put them on, you feel good. The world is your oyster. You just got to go out and have a good time. That’s what Glad Rags is all about.
Rex_84: That’s what I gathered from the song. It’s like you go to work all week long and they tell you how to dress. Then, at the end of the week, it’s time to shake loose, put on my best outfit, go out on the town and have a good time.
Weir: Absolutely. Have you seen the video?
Rex_84: About a million times, man.
Weir: Very good. Well, the album opens up with “Only the Brave,” which is on You Tube.
Rex_84: Tell me about making that video.
Weir: Yes, we did a video for it that is currently on You Tube. It’s gotten around 110,000 views. So over 100,000 people like it. It’s doing really well. What really helps is we have great management and a great agent. We have a fantastic record company, Mighty Records. The C.E.O. of the company really loves the band. He pulled all the right strings for us. It all helps, we were going in the right direction. Everything is really good.
Listen to the rest of the interview to hear about the band’s feline-focused name and their affinity to Michael Moorcock.
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