Get to know “Tiger Speak”
Were back at it here at TS HQ. I know that I said we would look at the making of the EP and we will, but I wanted to give a little more insight into the group through the other guys. Matthew “Matt” Phenix is and always has been the foundation of Tiger Speak. The dude is honestly as professional as it gets. Always on time (usually carrying way more gear than anyone else) always energetic (it doesn’t mater if his ceiling just caved in at charlesgate EAST, he’ll be there ready to go). So enough of my waxing poetically on the subject that is Matt Phenix, here are his thoughts on hip hop.
“This is pretty much the band I’ve always wanted to have. My love for hip hop started at age 10 when I heard Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” at the end of my Jock Jams tape. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever heard, and I soon knew every syllable of every verse (although I still had no idea what they were saying). When Carter approached me about this project, it was an immediate yes. My influence on the group is that of a beatmaker, I would be quicker to list my influences as Pete Rock, DJ Premier and Black Milk than as another drummer. My greatest aim is to be repetitive, to be clean, to be hypnotic. I am thrilled to be playing with such prolific musicians, but for the most part I leave the jazz up to them - to me, they are the samples, I am the MPC.”
Lots of goodies coming down the pipe at http://facebook.com/tigerspeak What contests would ya’ll like to see?
Good question. Like every other label-less band on the planet we’re trying to garner a bit of a following. Facebooking, twittering, tumblring, reverbnationing, etc… the list is ridiculous and at times demoralizing. What I always wanted for this group was to have more of a personal touch than simply bombarding the internet with “LIKE MY GROUP” messages. For better or worse, this is my attempt at that, meet Tiger Speak.
Barely. I do however, remember calling up Phenix and asking if he wanted to be a part of some “hip hop” group I was going to put together (I know, white kid from Canada, I also hate Shania Twain). What I really had in mind was playing some of the music I and the other members of my group from Edmonton had been doing (Feed The Tiger, yep more tigers). Instrumental hip hop(ish) stuff (note: we all were and still are listening to more Robert Glasper than can be considered healthy) and I really had no plan on adding an emcee. Well Phenix brought Harrison to the first rehearsal, I really had no idea that was the plan, and it just worked. Harrison was and is a true hip hop head and was just starting out as rapper, dudes put in a lot of hours since then and you can tell. The music had to be adapted to allow for verses and themes, but after that first meeting it was pretty obvious that the group needed to have a lyrical element to it. After that initial meeting and a few months of trying to convince people to play with us, we have 8 (at times 9 and 10) members from across N.A. So that’s cool.
How it works.
I find writing the music for this group to be almost too natural. Everyone has something to say on their instrument and there is definitely a lot of freedom allowed in the parts. Sometimes everything is written and it’s a matter of just playing it down and memorizing it, other times (my personal favorite) an idea (could be anything from changes, to a melodic fragment or a groove) is brought in and beaten to death or until it makes sense for the group. The culmination of years of writing, either with the group or before it was conceived, is our EP, (found at tigerspeakmusic.com) which is something that all of us couldn’t be happier with. In the next installment of whatever this is we’ll look at the making of that record, a tale filled with power outages and narcoleptic engineers! Thanks for reading, much love, Carter
(Sorry for all the parentheses.)