In the early 1980s the North East New Wave of British Heavy Metal included the big five of Raven, Fist, Venom, Satan and Tygers of Pan Tang. After a load of gigs played, records made and over 40 year experience in the music biz you’d think Tygers guitarist Robb Weir had seen it all.
The last three live shows the Tygers played were back in March 2020 when we went to Holland, Belgium and in Germany with Saxon. When we returned back to the UK a national lock down was imposed and that meant no more live appearances for a few months, or so we thought.
Here we are in February 2022 nearly two years on and our live shows are still being postponed, what is really going on? If you know please tell me as I have run out of patience!
How did you handle the lockdown ?
I write music all the time so when we were confined to our ‘living spaces’ I took the opportunity to demo some of the ideas I had with thoughts of the next album in mind.
Along with all this lock down caper we changed our guitar player and welcomed the amazing fretboard talents of Mr Francesco Marras into the Ambush – if you didn’t already know an ‘Ambush’ is the name for a gathering or group of tigers in the wild!
What was the recording process ?
I demoed about twenty songs and sent them to Francesco to get his input and fresh ideas on them. Francesco re-recorded them in his studio and with his musical additions took them to the next level. The only problem we had was deciding which ones were going to make the final cut onto the new album as they were all contenders.
At the same time we also decided to record an EP to give everyone a taste of what’s to come, also to showcase Francesco’s ability to play a lovely melodic guitar solo, so two new tracks were written.
We also asked Francesco which was his favourite track from Wildcat our first LP in 1980. He said ‘Killers’ was always one of his favourites and I had a bit of a passion to re-vamp ‘Fireclown’.
We set about recording these four tracks remotely in our own studios, I recorded my parts in Gav Gray’s studio as mine is out of the ark. The finished tracks were sent to Marco Angioni, at Angioni Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark to be mixed and then across to Harry Hess in Canada to be mastered.
Is there a release date for the record ?
‘A New Heartbeat,’ is officially released World Wide on February 25th with an accompanying video but can be purchased pre-release online now from the Tygers web shop (link below) also our record company’s web shop Target Records.
What’s next for the Tygers ?
Gav Gray (bass) decided he wanted to visit ‘pastures new’ after we finished the new recordings so we have now welcomed a new bass player into the Tygers family, Huw Holding.
I’m very excited about the new Tygers material as I feel it’s the strongest yet, but we’ll let you be the judge of that….best Tyger wishes to you all!
Interview by Gary Alikivi January 2022