Brothertiger

BROTHERTIGER ROCKS THE SPLASH OFFICE IN NYC
April 27, 2016 1:42 pm

Every month ATYPICAL SOUNDS throws a crazy “After Dark” music meets tech party in the NYC office of Splashthe create-your-own event tech startup.

Brothertiger gave us an amazing performance, which we were able to capture on film and share with you.

BROTHER

After watching the video about 20 times, we feel very blessed that we were able to have Brothertiger play our party last month.

This video is the proof that these events are something very special. Great music from emerging artists, free beer from Sixpoint Brewery, Whiskey tastings from Widow Jane, and a hot new food vendor every month, there is a little something for everyone at ATYPICAL SOUNDS AFTER DARK at SPLASH.

The guest list is comprised of the who’s who in the Tech, Startup, Entertainment and Music world.  This event is amazing for networking minus the awkward Meetup vibes.

RSVP only for entry as the event tends to be sold out within hours of announcing it. Interested in hearing some amazing music and mingling with the top players in Tech and Music? Well then AFTER DARK is where you need to be every month.

Brothertiger Live at Splash

Stay tuned for our May party coming up with IDGY DEAN and check out the Brothertiger LIVE at Splash video below and find what its like to party with the BEASTS.

BACKSTAGE WITH BROTHERTIGER
February 5, 2016 1:00 pm

It’s Saturday night and I’m at Rough Trade in Williamsburg. It’s about three hours before Brothertiger is set to play, and I find him onstage assembling his equipment. He shakes my hand and invites me backstage, and I do my best to keep my cool. I’m nervous–I’ve been a fan of his for awhile now–but I remain calm and follow him up and around the stage into a narrow, well-lit, concrete green-room. He offers me a beer–he likes beer too, can you believe it?!–and we sit down to chat.

“You mind if I record this?” I ask, recording this. He doesn’t mind.

“Excited about tonight? Gonna have a good show?”

“Yeah of course. I haven’t played in about a month though so I’m a little nervous.”

I’ve seen him live twice before, once at Webster Hall and once here at Rough Trade. “This is kind of old-hat for you, playing here?”

“Yeah, if I’m gonna play a show a month after touring this is where it’s gonna be. I love playing here, it’s an amazing sounding room. It’ll be a fun night.”

“Has there ever been a point where you felt like you had ‘made it’ somehow?”

“No, I definitely don’t think I’ve made it. I mean, my previous two records I put out on a label, and the first one was really awesome with a lot of hype, built up and stuff, but then the second one was kinda ‘eh,’ so that’s what made me want to make this third one on my own. Good press for me is really a big factor, you can get a lot more plays based off that.”

A man enters with a plate of hummus and pita bread. Standard procedure? I’m impressed. We continue without eating.

“But yeah, I mean I’m always reminded that I shouldn’t stop. I’m the kind of person who is always second guessing myself, and with this last record I was really nervous about it because I was doing it myself, and I was like ‘how am I gonna do this as well as it was on the label?’ But getting good press, seeing that there’s a response from people, that’s to me why I haven’t quit.”

“But do you think about quitting or the eventual end?”

“Right now no. There’s this constant battle like ‘is this the right decision? Is this dumb? Lame? I shouldn’t be doing this, what am I doing?’ But then I’ll play a good show or release an album people like and I’m okay. I don’t see it ending anytime soon. I want to expand it, more than anything. Build on it.”

That’s good to hear, as a fan. I add my two cents: “I think the new album does sound different, but like better and thicker and stuff.”

“Yeah, I mean that was the goal. I didn’t want it to sound like typical electronic stuff.”

“It all flows together well. How long did it take?”

He looks to the ceiling for his memory. “We started it at the beginning of last year–“

“Who’s we?”

“Me and my friend Jon who works at a studio with me. He’s an awesome punk/rock producer, so he comes from that background, but the two of us have worked together a lot and it’s always been really interesting. He co-produced it with me. I had all these demos and everything was sequenced out, we booked four days at this studio in Bed-Stuy, and then we spent about three weeks mixing it. So it was done around late March.”

“Of last year?!” That sandbagging son-of-a-bitch! “You were just sitting on it for nine months?!”

“Yeah I was sitting on it. I was seeing if there was potential for another label to pick it up, but finally I got sick of just waiting around, so I was like ‘screw it, I’ll release it myself.'”

“And it’s harder to get a crowd pumped if they haven’t heard it yet.”

“Yeah, that’s the problem. I never really played the new stuff until the tour with JR JR.”

I have to ask: “What are they like?”

“Very cool dudes from Detroit. We had quite a different vibe musically. I think it was a really cool blend, and they wanted me to come. They asked me to come on their tour which was very cool.”

“That must feel great.”

“Yeah it’s a really amazing feeling. I mean they’re on a big label with Warner Brothers, man. But yeah, they have this cool pop sound that’s really striking and different from me. It was really beneficial, I think I got a lot of new fans out of it, but some people were definitely like ‘whoa, this is interesting.'”

The hummus man returns, this time with chips and salsa. It looks delicious, but totally ruins our conversational flow. I change the subject.

“So, why here? Why New York?”

“So I’m originally from Ohio. I went to school for recording in Ohio. I moved here because I had previously interned here at a recording studio. Basically they said that I should move out here, they can give me work, and that I could actually live there too because it’s like an apartment/loft with the studio. So I lived there, which was great.”

“At that point were you aware of your goals to be a headliner? Or just a producer?”

This one takes him a minute. “Well, not to be a headliner–I still don’t see myself as a headliner–but I knew I wanted to produce other people and also make music myself, and this is the best place for me to do that. So I did it and I’ve been here for about three years.”

“You ever get tired of New York?”

“Yeah all the time. I went on tour in October and I was gone for about a month and a half, and I took my friend who did sound for me. So it was just the two of us in this little Toyota Camry. We put twelve thousand miles on it.”

He’s gesturing as if there’s a map in front of him, but there is not. I make do. “Like in the Midwest and stuff?”

“Everywhere, the whole country. Well, except Texas.”

“Fuck Texas.”

“I know right? But yeah, the whole time I was thinking ‘man I fucking hate New York.’ I knew it was just because I was away and on this amazing experience touring, but I got back here and was like “God I just don’t wanna be here.’ But then after a week or two I was like ‘okay, this isn’t that bad.'”

“Like ‘this is where my fans are, so…'”

“Yeah, I mean I draw pretty well here and in a few other cities around the country.”

“What’s your other favorite city?”

“Well, Denver has been really good to me. My manager is from there. We met when he booked me on this festival out there, and I’ve been playing it for the past three years. I kind of half-convinced him to move to New York, and now he’s booking this new venue here and it all worked out. But yeah, Denver has always been a really good show, I like Denver, LA, New York…”

“Those are some solid cities, that’s awesome. So let’s talk about your music a little bit. How do you start writing a song? Start with the beat? Start with the melody?”

“Yeah, you know I was just asking myself the other day, ‘how do I come up with this shit?'” We laugh that one off for a minute, then he continues. “It always depends. Like sometimes it’ll start out with drums, I’ll get a drum loop going and then just play some chords or something. Or I’ll have a melody in my head or some lead or something and I’ll build around that. It really depends on the song. I usually do have a melody or a beat or a hook in mind that I’ll want to record quickly and build around. But I never set out being like ‘I’m gonna write a song about this.'”

“Well do you even think about the lyrics while you’re writing the music? Or that comes dead last.”

“Yeah, that’s the very last thing. I just read Brian Eno’s biography, and there was one thing that really hit home for me about how he wrote his lyrics. He would go into the studio and loop a section and just speak gibberish into a microphone, and then kind of work that until the consonants and all the sounds made sense and sounded good with the melody, and then form words around that, something that makes half-sorta sense. And that’s exactly how I do it.”

“Must have been good to read that in this book, from this legend.”

“Yeah, I thought I was one of the only people on Earth to do that, but the fact that he does–and he’s one of my biggest influences–it was just like ‘whoa man, fuck yeah!'” 

“Do you use Ableton?”

“Yeah, Ableton is my main thing for sequencing and building a song, but then I’ll mix it in Pro Tools. But yeah, onstage is Ableton. I got my two controllers hooked up to Ableton with a synth and drum pad.”

“How much of it is there already and you just press play, and how much of it are you actually doing?” 

“Yeah, I have it all sectioned out, the parts of each song, so I trigger stuff. But if I don’t trigger it, it stops. So there’s work involved, but it’s essentially just a bunch of loops, like the length of a verse or something. And I can modulate each track if I want to, which I do. But a lot of it’s there, ready to go, because…”

“…because you’re singing up there too, right?”

“Yeah, I mean if I had a band, and I did it that way, yeah I could definitely take away a lot of it from Ableton.”

“You could just press play, you know. It’d be a lot easier.”

“I could, and I know a lot of people who literally just have an ipod and sing on top of it.”

“But that’s not who you’re trying to be.”

“No, I try to make it interesting for myself. I try to break up a song in a certain way to make it fun for me to play, to make it to where I can change it up on every show. But yeah, pretty much everything is already recorded, broken up song-by-song, and it’s like this giant grid mess of colors.”

“So your show is never the same every night?”

“No, no it’s not. In fact tonight I’m even playing a new song. At the very beginning, no less.” We laugh. Why would he do that to himself?! “I’m just gonna wing it and we’ll see what happens. If it sucks, it sucks.”

I’m getting toward the end of my cheat-sheet, but we’re having so much fun I just have to extend the conversation.

“What are you listening to these days? What do you listen to when you’re walking around the street or whatever?”

He thinks about this for a moment. “There’s this guy, and I don’t even know how to say his last name, but I’ve been listening to him constantly. He’s this ambient dude who used to be in the band Emeralds named Steve Hauschildt.” This last name is a doozie. We try to pronounce it, fail, but continue anyway. “He’s got this really awesome ambient album that I’ve been listening to religiously. I’m also pretty obsessed with the 80’s though. Tears For Fears all the time–I’m actually working on a cover album for Tears For Fears, doing the entire thing, so I’m just listening to it always like ‘oh I should do that, oh I should do that, etc.'”

“Wow, that feeds perfectly into my next question; ‘what was the best decade to be alive for music?'”

“Oh my God,” he begins, clearly having thought hard already about this exact question. “The 1980’s, specifically 1984-1985. If you could be 18 years old in 1984…”

“Wow, you really had that answer ready.”

“It was the greatest year in pop music. Like in the UK, and with new-wave American bands, Talking Heads, all that stuff. Just an amazing little era right there. 1984 is my favorite year and I didn’t even live in it.”

“You do that Talking Heads cover of ‘This Must Be The Place.’ Why? What made you do that?”

“Well, because it’s my favorite song of all time. I don’t remember why exactly I decided to cover it, but I think I had the idea in my mind for a few years. I tried it a few times and it didn’t work, but finally I got it to sound decent and just released it. So now I have it, and it’s a great thing to play at shows because everybody knows it and likes it.”

“It’s a dope song.”

He looks around like well obviously.

“What would you say is your biggest influence that a casual fan wouldn’t expect? Obviously Talking Heads, but I would expect that, you know?”

He thinks for a moment. “Ooo… Wow, that’s a good question.” Did he really just respond to the quality of that question? Unexpected. I have to come clean about it then.

“I actually crowdsourced that question. That was my friend’s question, I can’t take credit for it.”

“That’s a great question! ‘What influence do I have that people wouldn’t expect me to have?’ Boy, that’s a tough one. That’s a fucking tough question. But it’s good, it makes me think!” I can’t believe he likes this damn question so much. What about all of my questions?!

After much deliberation, he comes up with an answer: “Talk Talk, probably, because I love them and listen to them all the time. Talk Talk’s got a really dry, ambient, slow-going sort of sound, which is not at all what I’m going for. On this last album though I took a lot of influence from them. So, yeah. Gotta go with Talk Talk.”

“That’s a good answer.”

“Maybe people expect it, I don’t know, but that’s the one I can think of. I can’t think of anything too zany.”

“Is there any one musician that you’d like to do a collaboration with?”

“Probably M83. You mean modern music? M83. In the past either David Byrne or Tears For Fears.”

“Well obviously. I mean how bout the Beatles too, I mean come on.” I was thinking more realistically, more in the realm of possibility. He laughs.

“So you just went off tour, and then… now what? What’s the future hold for Brothertiger?”

“Well, there’s that cover album, Tears For Fears, and I’m starting to write some new stuff, so hopefully by the mid-to-end of this year I’ll have an EP. I haven’t done an EP in a long time and I think I need to have one, so there’s that. And hopefully touring again soon, maybe in the summer.”

“Do you like touring?”

“I love touring.”

“What’s your favorite part?”

“I think just going to places I haven’t been. I know a lot of people hate the driving, but I think driving is… just seeing the country for what it is is one of my favorite parts.”

“Is touring your favorite part of what you do?”

“I think recording is, but translating it to a live scene is fucking difficult. But I love touring and recording.”

I’m clearly grasping at straws with these questions, and he knows it. I surrender. 

“I’m all out of questions. Is there anything else you want to tell people?”

“Just that, to whoever is listening to my music and whoever likes it, thanks.”

A solid last answer for a solid interview. I stop recording so I can use my phone to take a selfie. I have got to get a selfie with my main man Brothertiger. I mean, pix or it didn’t happen, right?

BroTigerSelfie

But it did happen, and I’ll never forget it.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS WINTER PLAYLIST
December 5, 2015 1:04 am

I love when the seasons change. Mostly because I love runny noses, flu shots, sweaty pits in the afternoon and frozen fingers at night, and the overwhelming desire to be in bed at 7 because it really feels like midnight. Well, the Winter season is slowly pulling into the station, and before we know it, it’ll officially be time to curl up by a fire (or Widow Jane) and listen to our freshly made, gluten free, hand picked winter playlist! Curated by us BEASTS for your ears and this special time of year. Happy Holidays and winter season from your Atypical family.

1.Nico- Winter Song

2.Golden Panda – Snow and Taxis (Throwing Snow Remix)

3.Twin Shadow Castles In The Snow

4.The Chemical Brothers -Wide Open

5. Little Wings -By Now

6.Adueduct-The Ballad of Barbarella

7. Jack Garratt -Breathe Life

8.MYZICA – I Was Made For Loving You (KISS cover)

9. Mumford and Sons – Winter Winds

10. City and Colour -Northern Wind

11. Elvis Depressedly -Weird Honey

12. Salvia Palth – I Was All Over Her

13. Hippo Campus -Violet

14. Brothertiger – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

15.Caveboy – In The Grottos

16. Legs – Whole Wide Woman

17. Rubblebucket -On The Ground (homemade acoustic version)

18.Khamari – Love Yourself (Justin Bieber cover)

19. Fleet Foxes -White Winter Hymnal

20Bob Dylan -Girl From The North Country

21. City Of The Sun -What Took You So Long

22. ODESZA – Light ( feat. Little Dragon)

23. Little May – Hide

24. Dean Martin -A Marshmallow World

25. PWR BTTM – Carbs

26. Beta Radio – On The Frame

27. Vancouver Sleep Clinic -Vapour

28. Harrison Storm – The Words You Say

29. Bear’s Den -Elysium

30. Dustin Tebbutt – The Breach

BROTHERTIGER + JR JR = MAGIC
November 6, 2015 3:39 pm

Wowzers. Great Scott. Holy Guacamole. All of these interjections could describe the show at Webster Hall Wednesday night, yet they barely would scratch the surface of the magnitude of awesomeness that Brothertiger and Jr Jr provided. The enormous ballroom was hazy with incense from the start (although they must’ve had a smoke machine too), and as ghostly stagelights pierced the fog above the crowd, Brothertiger took the stage.

IMG_91601Much of the crowd was unprepared for Brothertiger’s entrance, still busy ordering drinks or leaning against the far wall, but his hypnotic rhythms and angelic vocals quickly got their attention. The Brooklyn based solo artist seemed at ease in Manhattan, deftly engaging the growing crowd at his feet. While his original songs were sublime, the highlight of the set was a spellbinding rendition of Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place.” With most of the crowd familiar with the song, it was a truly magical moment for everyone.

And then Jr Jr took the stage and blew everybody’s minds. From the moment stagehands unveiled the giant “JR JR” light up set-piece behind the stage, it was clear that the performance would be epic. They did not disappoint. Passionate energy filled the cavernous hall, as upbeat indie/electronic pop saturated the room. The Detroit foursome had the audience at hello, and continued their captivation throughout the night. Singer/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Zott’s insane hairdo contrasted nicely with other singer/multi-instrumentalist Joshua Epstein’s more subdued personality, although both of their energies were electric and contagious.

IMG_9172One recurring characteristic of their music is the use of some sort of vocal layering machine. Their song “James Dean” is a great example of the technique, but many of their songs made use of the technology, leading to a very thick, satisfying upper register. Contrast that with their well executed rhythm and bass sections (at one point Zott was going ham on a drum pad–it was awesome) and you’ve got yourself something special. You could even call it magical, if you were so inclined.

Jr Jr ended their set with a generous four song encore. The band came back out wearing these unbelievable matching jackets that glowed neon under overhead blacklights. As a pair of bubble machine pumped their little bubbly hearts out, the group went absolutely wild dancing in front of the enormous flashing JR JR lights behind them, much to the excitement of the audience. Jr Jr continues their tour this week, ending in Chicago on Saturday, and if you have the chance to see them you really should take it. They are magical.

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BROTHERTIGER: READY, SET, TOUR!
October 26, 2015 8:14 am

Brothertiger, known to friends as John Jagos, is setting out on a 20+ date tour. He will be performing with JR JR (formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.) for the remainder of their tour, and then setting off on his own to show the U.S. what he’s got. While preparing for this potentially-intimidating undertaking, Jagos took some time to get us prepared.

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You’re about to start a pretty long tour that will last until December. Does that seem overwhelming to you, or are you looking forward to it? What are you doing to prepare?

I’m a bit nervous, but I think I’m ready for it. I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it’s a true testament to why I wanted to do music in the first place. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and now it’s finally here. So I have to do it, and I have to do it right. I’m bringing my friend Will to do sound for me, so I think a lot of the stress of having things sound right will be taken care of. I’ve also rehearsed the set about 300 times.

You’re opening for JR JR during some of your upcoming tour dates. Have you worked with them before? How did you get involved with them?

I’ve never worked with them before! But I’m so pumped to hop onto shows with them. My booking agent connected us and made it happen.

As a resident of NYC do you have any fond memories of Webster Hall, where you’ll be performing with JR JR?

I have seen plenty of my friends’ shows in Webster Studio, the basement venue, so it’s really awesome to play in the main room after all those shows!

Has anything happened to you during a performance that has particularly stood out to you?

When fans know almost all of your lyrics, I think that’s particularly memorable. I played a show in Brooklyn a few months ago and there was this group of people who were singing along to almost every song. I thought it was some weird echo going on with the room, but I noticed them singing out the corner of my eye. It was quite a thing to see. Very awesome.

What can you tell us about your LP coming out in December?

Well, it’s 47 minutes worth of what I think are the most honest songs I’ve made so far. It’s a big jump from the stuff I made in the past, but I think people will dig the direction I’m headed with it.

You’re a Brooklyn resident, but grew up in Toledo, OH. When did you move to the city? Did you experience any culture shock?

I moved to Brooklyn right after I graduated from school in 2012. I didn’t really experience that, mostly because I had interned in Brooklyn the summer before my junior year, so I knew what to expect.

How do you feel about the pizza in NYC versus the pizza in Ohio? Where is your favorite place to get pizza in NYC?

Ha. Pizza is pizza to me. There’s so much pizza in NYC that it’s hard to figure out what makes it so unique compared to anywhere else. The best pizza I’ve had in the city is the kind that has been hastily prepared, with lots of toppings thrown onto it in a careless way. Artisanal pizza has no life in it. It’s too perfect. There’s an awesome bar by my apartment called Pizza Party. It looks like a teenager’s bedroom in 1987. They’ve got amazing pizza.

I’ve heard that Brian Eno and M83 are two of your biggest influences. Which albums or songs affected you the most?

Eno – I got into him when I was in high school, when I heard a semi-new electronic album he made called Another Day on Earth. I really loved the production, so I dug deeper into his discography and found stuff like Music for Airports and Apollo. The first time I heard “Always Returning,” it really affected me, and it definitely changed my approach to music.

I found M83 in high school as well, after sifting through similar artists of other bands I had found on allmusic.com. M83 is the band that really made me want to make electronic music. I just loved how much emotion was in the music, how important the overall human experience was for writing that material. Saturdays = Youth was and still is my favorite album of theirs.

Many of your releases are available on vinyl, as well as digital formats. What appeal do you see in releasing vinyl records?

I have been collecting vinyl since I was a teenager, so it’s still mind-blowing that my own material has been pressed onto wax. I see a huge resurgence in vinyl sales. CDs have no life to them. A vinyl record is a true physical piece of music. You can feel it in the grooves. I love how much customization you can have with vinyl as well. All the colors, the options, and the sleeve art are so important in conveying the message of an album.

What can we expect to see from you during your tour?

I guess you’ll have to come out and see for yourself! Expect to see a show I’m incredibly excited to play every single night!

 

Upcoming tour dates:

10/21/2015 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl at Center Stage
10/23/2015 – Athens, GA – Caledonia Lounge
10/25/2015 – Birmingham, ALSaturn
10/26/2015 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
10/27/2015 – St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre
10/28/2015 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
10/30/2015 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre
10/31/2015 – Saxapahaw, NC – Haw River Ballroom
11/2/2015 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
11/3/2015 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
11/4/2015 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
11/5/2015 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
11/6/2015 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11/7/2015 – Albany, NY – The Hollow
11/10/2015 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
11/11/2015 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar
11/12/2015 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Centre
11/13/2015 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theater
11/14/2015 – Chicago, IL – Metro
11/16/2015 – Rock Island, IL – Rozz-Tox
11/17/2015 – Omaha, NE – The Slowdown
11/20/2015 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake Lounge
11/21/2015 – Fort Collins, CO – Downtown Artery
11/24/2015 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
12/3/2015 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
12/4/2015 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
12/5/2015 – Los Angeles, CA – The Lost Room

Reptar @ Rough Trade; A Music Overload
July 21, 2015 12:22 pm

I was thoroughly blown away by the overload of back-to-back talent at Friday night’s show at Rough Trade. The first opener, Meth Dad, performed a high energy set in the middle of the audience, eliciting a call-and-response interaction with the crowd. Surrounded by large, inflatable Christmas decorations, he finished his set by collapsing into a pile on the floor. Then came Brothertiger, another solo performer who projected his own unique energy into the crowd, this time from the confines of the stage. The highlight of his set was his excellent rendition of Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place.” The penultimate act, Stranger Cat, somehow managed to surpass the high bar set by her predecessors. The brainchild of Brooklyn’s own Cat Martino, Stranger Cat filled the hall at Rough Trade with her soulful vocals and powerful supporting band. I was overwhelmed to day the least, but nothing fell short of straight up awesome.

Finally, however, it was Reptars turn to take the stage. The Athens, GA group produced bouncy synth-pop highlighted by singer/guitarist Graham Ulicny’s very unique vocal performance. Bassist Ryan Engelberger, keyboardist William Kennedy, drummer Andrew McFarland, and guitarist Jace Bartlet round out the five-some and provided more than enough energy to completely saturate the packed house at Rough Trade. They released their new album, Lurid Glow this past spring, and in performance they managed to strike a pleasant balance between their old and new material. I managed to catch a short video of my favorite song, Rainbounce, from their debut album, Body Faucet:

Reptar will continue their summer tour into the Midwest this week, culminating in a show in Chicago on Sunday night.