WOM Interviews – Tygers of Pan Tang

Formed in 1978, Tygers of Pan Tang took their penchant for unrepentant and loud music and with it found a significant place in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal storm in the early 80s. The conversation with lead singer Jack Meille naturally revolved around the new studio work, “Ritual”. By Miguel Correia

First of all, thank you for the opportunity of this interview and welcome to World Of Metal. I start by congratulating you on the new album, it’s always great to receive music from a band as remarkable on the scene as Tyger. “Ritual”, what does it mean to you?

“Ritual” has been a very important album, for every member of the band. It hasn’t been an easy album to do, we had to postpone the recordings twice because we were not 100% happy with the songs we had at the time. We had some tough moments, but the aim to write songs we could be proud of has prevailed. 

 What distinguishes “Ritual” from your other recent albums?

It’s a “band” album, Each one of us has contributed to the writing and arranging of the songs. This album has proved this line-up “IS” the ultimate Tygers of Pan Tang.

Talking about composition, who are the elements that most collaborate to it?

With “Ritual” there have been no roles. I have been jamming with Micky (McCrystal), bouncing ideas about lyrics and melodies with Craig Ellis, getting excited when Robb Weir would send us some of his new killer riffs… This band has huge potential and with this álbum we all realized it.

And how do things work?

I’m still based in Italy and we used technology to help us get rid of the physical distance. It’s unbelievable what you can record on your mobile phone!

There are themes like “Spoils of War”, “Sail On”, “Destiny” and “Words Cut Like Knives” that are authentic hymns and which in my opinion prove that it is still possible to be traditional without being outdated and this album can easily get on the list of the best releases of the year! Is it pride for you to feel such opinions? Does it give motivation?

First of all thank you for saying such things. We wanted a record that could stand next to the “classic” Tygers album and at the same time we wanted to write songs that represent us 5, so the sound had to be powerful and fresh. We didn’t compromise. We had argued, we aimed for the best we could reach. If I listen to the album, and I have to admit I have been listening to it a lot, like I never did with any other album I recorded, I am proud and happy, because it represents the band and me as a singer. I have no regrets.

How did your deal with Mighty Music come about and what does it mean to you to have consistent label support for the first time in a long time?

Mighty Music supports us. Believes in us, This is crucial. They have been investing in the promotion of our music like nobody else has ever done since I joined the band in 2004. 

You’ve been in the band since 2004, if I’m not wrong, it’s been a long time, but how did you get the job with the Tygers?

Well I did my first and only audition of my career. I have been approached by a Swiss Management. I didn’t know it was Tygers until I have been asked if I’d fancy doing an audition. I knew Tygers since I was a teenager and I loved and still love ‘Spellbound’. ‘Take It’ was the first song I sang with them in the rehearsal room. And it’s back in the set for the 2020 Ritual tour. 

As a singer who are your mentors?

I am a great hard rock fan. A compulsive record and music collector. The record that changed my life is “A Night At The Opera” by Queen which I asked my father to buy me way back in 1976. So Freddie Mercury has been one of my heroes along with Robert Plant, David Coverdale – early Whitesnake and “Stormbringer” have been so inspirational – Phil Moog from UFO and the great Paul Rodgers, just to name a few.

Going back in time, maybe there are certain remarkable things during these years … what is the most important moment for you.

Playing in Japan in 2018 and going back to festivals such as Winterstorm or Bang Your Head and feel a bit like at home. 

And your participation in the Damn Freaks?

Thank you for asking me about Damn Freakes. We are writing the new album and so far I’m very pleased with the new songs. It’s definitively more mature and focused than the debut album. We should be recording in early 2020 so you will be the first to know when the album will be out!

How do you see the future in rock and the Tygers Of Pan Tang future?

We are going to promote the album all through 2020. New dates have been just announced and we are going to play anywhere they want to hear Tygers music!

Are there any plans to return to Portugal?

Maybe, we will! Above all, we love being on the road and meet our fans worldwide!

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