‘Ritual’ is the second album from the Tygers of Pan Tang with the line-up of Jacko Meille, Robb Weir, Micky Crystal, Craig Ellis and Gav Gray. After recording had finished in 2019 I caught up with Jack, Craig and Gav who talked about the album….When we got into the studio we were ready for it. We knew we were gonna make a great album – and we have.
Jack: It was tough, but rewarding. We were forced to delay the recording twice because we didn’t feel we were ready to record. It wasn’t an easy decision to take but the best.
Craig: Writing the material for the album had begun over a year prior, and regular writing and rehearsal sessions were going on right upto going into the studio.
During that time we would video and record everything for reference and when a song is complete I write out the drum notation so I get it completely under my skin.
Gav: On day one we set up, got some drum sounds and worked towards day two to have some drum and bass takes with guide guitars. Craig is in the live room. Me and Mick would be in the control room with Fred Purser. We had worked on the songs for months so when it came time to record them it didn’t take long. Robb added his guitar and Jackie flew in from his home in Italy to do the vocals.
Craig: Both Jack and I write the lyrics and melodies to the majority of the songs and because of that I automatically absorb a songs structure.
Jack: The 11 tracks on the new album are the best we could ever record. I know it sounds like a cliche, but after all the hard work, we’re all very proud of the result.
The band recorded the album at Trinity Heights Studio in Newcastle, former guitarist with the Tygers, Fred Purser, is owner and producer. How did that go Gav ?
Yeah lovely bloke, we got on really well, he loved my tea and morning hugs (laughs). Being in a two guitar band sometimes requires that ‘less is more’ and most times that’s true, the bass doesn’t need to be too busy, just a really solid rhythm is all that is needed on a lot of hard rock songs. My thing has always been for the rhythm and timing. I was never a practising musician, just a frustrated drummer !
Craig: What makes for a good recording session is the engineer and studio, and Fred Purser at Trinity Heights made the whole thing an absolute pleasure throughout.
Gav: It all worked well, everyone’s playing on the record is fantastic. The whole session and working with Fred was, for me, one of my best yet. It’s a great place to make a record.
Jack: I personally enjoyed every moment spent in the studio with Fred. He is such a talented guy and made me feel at home. I only had 6 days to record, and believe me it’s not very much when you have to record 11 songs plus a couple of bonus tracks. But I made it and have to thank him for that. Also we discovered we have a passion for craft beers. So after recording we managed to ‘indulge’ drinking some really good ones (laughs).
This year the Tygers have lined up a European tour in April and are on the bill at festival dates with Black Star Riders, Gun, and Angelwitch. For gig confirmation go to https://www.facebook.com/tygersofpantangofficial/
Craig: We’ll be doing songs from the new album and I’m particularly looking forward to gigging with the Festival sized backdrop we’ll have for those shows, the Ritual Mask in giant-size taking ownership of the stage!
Looking to 2021 they share a stage with Tank, Vardis, Kingdom Come and Acid Reign and a headlining slot has been confirmed at the Newcastle indoor festival, Brofest.
For further information contact the official website: http://www.tygersofpantang.com/official/
Interviews by Gary Alikivi.
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