Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Adam McIlwee of Tigers Jaw

I stand with Adam McIlwee in the kitchen of My Parents House, the former Spraynard residence and host to West Chester's best basement shows. The Tigers Jaw singer/guitarist takes a long pause to contemplate who his favourite character from 'The Office' is, while I nervously glance over at a hissing vat of pasta on the stove. Adam decides on intern turned failed CEO Ryan and the water starts to boil over. As we both rush over to turn the stove down, Tom May from The Menzingers and Corey Ciresi of Lee Corey Oswald enter the room. Insert 'How many band members from Scranton does it take to make spaghetti?' quip here. "Trying to steal my interview?" Adam jokes. Pat Graham of Spraynard walks in, apologizing for leaving the water on unattended and forgetting about it. Mystery solved and the interview can continue.

Take Aim Zine.: You're doing a few new solo songs tonight, what made you decide to pursue that?
Adam McIlwee: [Tigers Jaw] wanted to tour with Lee Corey Oswald, but the rest of the band couldn't do the tour, so they asked me if I'd just do it on my own and I said yes.
T.A.Z.: Did you already have songs?
A.M.: No. Well, I had some in mind and this put some pressure on me to finish them and have new stuff.
T.A.Z.: Are you recording your solo work?
A.M.: I already did. I have CDs with three songs.
T.A.Z.: I heard you're also doing a zine. Does that go along with the album?
A.M.: Well, I don't have that with me...
Pat: Ha, the way you said that sounded so sad!
A.M.: I mean, I don't have it ready for this tour. I wouldn't have been able to get it printed. It's unrelated [to the album], but it's all from me, so I guess there's something similar about everything.
T.A.Z.: Writing for one, I obviously love zines. Have you ever made one before?
A.M.: For school and stuff.
T.A.Z.: You made zines for projects? That's so cool!
A.M.: Yeah, for English class.

T.A.Z.: Tigers Jaw are working on a new album, how far into that are you guys?
A.M.: Not very. I know Ben has a song, I have one we've practiced a bit. We don't have that many songs finished and we've agreed to do a lot of other stuff, so it's going slowly.
Corey: Am I allowed to watch your interview?
T.A.Z.: Yes! You can participate if you want.
A.M.: I have to text my Mom, she sent me like four texts in a row.
Corey: I'll answer a question while he does that! Pretend I'm Adam though.
Pat: What's your favourite restaurant?
Corey: That's a good question. I'll go with Buona Pizza in downtown Scranton.
A.M.: I wouldn't say it like that... I don't get pizza there, only cheesesteaks. And hoagies.
[Note to foreign readers- A hoagie is what everyone outside of the PA/NJ/NY area calls a 'submarine sandwich.' Either way, both names are silly and they're delicious, so no arguments about it.]
T.A.Z.: Are Tigers Jaw playing Bamboozle again this year?
A.M.: *laughing* I don't think so. They haven't asked us yet and they would have by now.
T.A.Z.: I remember you saying the only other band you wanted to see that night was Das Racist and they were on at the same time as you guys.
A.M.: Yes! I was so bummed!
T.A.Z.: Did you ever get to see or talk to them?
A.M.: Nop,e, never did. I mean, I got to see a lot of other great bands, but I was looking forward to their set.

T.A.Z.: You do interviews on your blog with web comic artists and cartoonists, what are some of your favourite comics or graphic novels?
A.M.: Matt Seneca's 'Affected'... Anything by Jack Kirby. Batman.
T.A.Z.: You mention Kreayshawn on your blog a lot too.
A.M.: She's my inspiration! All the songs I'm doing tonight are because of her and her friends. I sample her in them.
T.A.Z.: Her friends? Like that other girl who just walks around and says two things in 'Gucci Gucci'?
A.M.: They just kicked her out! They're called 'The White Girl Mob' and Kreayshawn and V-Nasty kicked Li'l Debbie out!
T.A.Z.: *laughing* Her name is Li'l Debbie? I did not know that.
[note to foreign readers- Little Debbie is an American brand of pre-packaged desserts, so this is about as funny as a rapper with the nickname Tim Tam.]
A.M.: And V-Nasty just released an album with Gucci Mane.
T.A.Z.: Have you seen the fish taco parody of 'Gucci Gucci'? It's like the story of my life.
A.M.: No, I haven't. I'll have to look that up.
T.A.Z.: The girl in it looks exactly like her. So, do Tigers Jaw have any overseas tours planned for 2012?
A.M.: We want to do a million things, like go back to the U.K. and eventually get to California.
T.A.Z.: Australia?
A.M.: Oh yeah! Australia and Japan are my top two.

At this point, I asked a question about movies that somehow veered into everyone in the kitchen nerding out about MTV's 'True Life.' Fun fact: Corey almost had his own episode about being in a long-distance relationship.

T.A.Z.: What was your favourite piece of news in 2011?
A.M.: That Li'l Debbie got kicked out of Kreayshawn's crew. *laughs*
T.A.Z.: You should contact her and do an album together!
A.M.: I actually tried to get in touch with her on Twitter.
T.A.Z.: We'll send her this interview and make it happen!
A.M.: Yes!

So, if any of you out there personally know Li'l Debbie, get this to her ASAP. If you don't know her, Twitter link the crap out of this article to her. If you live in the US, be sure to make it out to Tigers Jaw's upcoming tour with Captain We're Sinking! and (on the second half of the tour) Balance & Composure. If you don't live in the US, buy Tigers Jaw's self titled album!

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