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Interview - Jay Pepper (Tigertailz)

Interview with Jay Pepper from Tigertailz
by YngwieViking at 21 December 2013, 8:55 PM

Possibly one of the strongest Sleaze / Glam Metal bands of the 80’s, and not from the US, is TIGERTAILZ. Heavy as always, the band returns with a rather new lineup after six years with a new EP release, “Knives”, newly signed to Scarlet Records. YngwieViking talked to Jay Pepper, band’s founder and guitarist, about the new EP, new lineup and more…

Hi Jay, First I believe that “Knives” is a solid release and a great return in a fine shape for TIGERTAILZ…What will be your words to describe it?

Hi there, we think “Knives” is an awesome record…  The songs were laid out in a way captures the Tigertailz sound from the classic Young & Crazy and Bezerk days (anthemic and melodic).  And we wanted some riffage tunes that also kept faith with our heavier side from the Wazbones and Thrill Pistol era. We also want to always remember Pepsi so included one of his songs (Spit It Out).

So Tigertailz is back and firing on all cylinders again…

Can you first tell us about you, your background as a guitar player? Your past or actual involvement in other bands or projects.

I’m a fairly private person and like to keep the band and my personal life separate. So once the tour’s over I go back to being a dad with my family and put Tigertailz down until I need to go back to work with the band.

As far as guitar influences I have many. But the guitar players who really struck a chord with me are Randy Rhoads, Angus Young and Richard Parfitt from Status Quo. Those players made me want to play in a Rock band and literally changed my life.

As for other bands / projects, I’ve never really do much outside of Tigertailz.  However, I do plan on doing some slightly different type of music in the next few years. Not quite sure what form this will take just yet but we’ll see.

Please can you introduce, the new TIGERTAILZ line up.

Jules Millis is our new singer and also sings in White Widdow. Rob Wylde is one Bass and also plays in Teenage Casket Company.  Matt Blakout (drums) was in Tigertailz for many years and it’s great that he’s back. All are really great guys and big Tigertailz fans.  So working with them is easy and they bring a freshness and enthusiasm to the band I’ve not seen in many years.

In my review for the EP “Knives” I states that TIGERTAILZ was in my eyes one of the most badass act in Sleaze Metal with a real implication in a subversive attitude…What is your feelings about this quote?

Well I agree. And it’s nice to see someone really listens to our music and understands where we’re coming from…

I’ve never seen Tigertailz as one of the LA strip hair type bands. Yes we write commercial songs – but we also have enough riffage to match most hard metal bands..  That’s because our roots have always been in classic British rock bands like Sabbath, Priest, Ozzy, Iron Maiden etc. as well as Kiss, Van Halen, Def Leppard. So we automatically write songs with melody but usually with a riff to take your head off as well…

In the same review, I also pointed that the heaviness is now very prominent and obvious in the guitar department, today more than ever… Do you think, it’s a natural thing or perhaps it’s a way to stick with the sound of our time?

It really just comes naturally to us and the guitar riff is at the core of all Tailz songs.  I think a lot of new bands often take the easy route and use the guitar simms / Pro Tools etc. and end up all sounding the same. They need to get the valve amps and cabs back out, mic them up and develop their own sounds…

I suppose that the memory of Pepsi TATE is still very present in your everyday life & in every single show you play, can tell us more about him?

Pepsi was a great guy and very talented both artistically and musically. He was also very professional in everything he did and any band would miss his creative side.  But we also miss him as a friend who had a great sense of humor and lust for life that touched us all.  We miss him very much.

Jay Pepper, where are you coming from as far as guitar influences are concerned?

As above, for me it’s all about the riffage - Sabbath, Priest, Ozzy, Iron Maiden.  So guitar players like Randy Rhoads, Angus Young and Richard Parfitt from Status Quo.  But I also loved Gary Moore who left us way to early and was a fantastic talent… And Dave Meniketti who’s an awesome player and now also a good friend.

Tell us what we have to expect from your side in the future to come?
Well, the KNIVES EP is the first of 2 x new Tailz records. We’re already working on the follow up which is called DAGGERS.  This should be out in the first half of next year.  After that we’ll see where we go..

An European tour?

Yes, we already have a full UK tour lined up for November this year.  And shows are now being booked for 2014.  So watch this space…

What do you think of the state of the market in 2013. What is your opinion concerning digital downloading legal and illegal?

I think the music industry doesn’t know where to go. And the digital download stuff is inevitable and totally unmanageable – impossible to police. So you have a situation where you want as many people to listen to your music as possible, and this is where the Internet is great as millions of people have instant access to your music. But, the vast majority doesn’t want to pay for it anymore. So what has been created is unworkable business model whereby bands don’t really sell any kind of volume of records / CD’s any more.  So can’t easily make a living being in a band anymore…

So on one hand the digital revolution has been great - but on the other not so great.

I also think the loss of proper full-size album covers is a lost art form. The CD practically killed this off overnight.

For me nothing will ever beat buying a gatefold vinyl album putting it on the decks and then pouring over the album artwork with all its fabulous pictures. And reading all the credits and hidden text within the cover.  This seems to have gone forever which is a real shame.

What is the last CD you have purchased?

The best of Uriah Heep…  I’m a dinosaur I know… J

Please let us know your Sleaze/Glam TOP 5?

Slade, T Rex, The Sweet, New York Dolls, Motely Crue

Please let us know your Alltime TOP 10?

Ozzy – Over The Mountain (Diary Of Madman)
Ozzy - Diary Of Madman (Diary Of Madman)
AC/DC – Gimme A Bullet (Powerage)
AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie (If You Want Blood version)
Status Quo – Is There a Better Way (Quo Live)
Status Quo – Backwater / Just Take Me (Quo Live)
Status Quo – 45 Hundred Times (Quo Live)
AC/DC – Go Down (Let There Be Rock)
Exciter – Judas Priest (Unleashed In The East)
Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin (Zep II)

Now it's time for the Chinese portrait aka Le questionnaire de Bernard Pivot, which is inspired by Marcel Proust but This questionnaire is probably more familiar to English audiences as the one that journalist James Lipton asks at the end of  the TV show "Inside the Actors Studio."

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?


What turns you off?


What is your favorite curse word?


What sound or noise do you love?

 Harley Davison V Twin Engine

What sound or noise do you hate?

The Bin Men’s lorry on a Monday morning

If not yourself , who would like to be?


What profession would you not like to do?


Who would like to see on a new bank note?

Richard Pafitt (Status Quo)

If you reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?

A Beautiful Butterfly

If God exists, what you like to hear him say at the gates of Heaven?

Come on in geez it’s a free bar..!!

Jay, thank you for the interview and I wish you guys the best of luck with the new Line up and stay Outrageous!. Any last words for the fans out there?

I got Lurex Socks, Blue Suede Shoes, V8 Car & Tattoos  –  I’m a Rocker.!! Keep well… 


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