We are less than a week away from the inaugural Crossfade-sponsored The Local at The Stage concert series, and New Times HQ is buzzing with preparation.
To prepare, we figured it would be a good idea to give you, faithful Crossfade readers and The Local attendees, a preview of the evening's entertainment, starting with a Q&A featuring Miami post-hardcore unit Bulletproof Tiger.
This trio - which plays an anthemic, throaty, tech-but-still-kinda-emo punk rock - has accomplished a lot in the brief time they've been together, self-releasing an EP, touring the East Coast, and asserting themselves as major players on the local music scene.
Crossfade: Who, what, when, where, why is Bulletproof Tiger?
Miguel Alicea: Bulletproof Tiger began a little over a year ago. Kris and I started playing together when I joined up his band Fooseball Death Squad. Bulletproof Tiger was initially meant to be a two-piece project with me on guitar and Kris on drums, but my desire to play bass and get out from behind a drum set did not allow for that format, so we included the awesome Jessica "Keka" Zarate to the lineup. From the moment we had our first practice we knew we were onto something good. We wrote and recorded the Starving Hearts EP and had an amazing East Coast tour. Keka ended up leaving us shortly after that, and even though it was on good terms, we really didn't know what the fuck we were going to do. That is until Jared took over the task of bringing that sweet, brutal goodness.
As for the 'why' aspect of the question, we do it for titties.
What has the band been up to in 2011?
Kristopher Huseby: Assimilating Jared into the band was the first priority of 2011. After Jared learned enough of our songs we started playing out again and we got a great response with the new line up. More importantly, after Jared was up to speed we wrote our first song with the new line up, called "Fish Oil". Writing that song was a great moment because everything happened in a very smooth and organic fashion, it just sort of came together. Jared took an active roll and had a lot to contribute along the way. As soon as we were ready we went into Pinecrust studios with Jonathan Nunez and recorded "Fish Oil" and "Deaf Ears & Broken Legs." Those two songs are to be released on a seven inch that Livid Records is putting out at the end of this summer. 2011 has also been the year of awesome new friends, we've had the chance to play with Secret Arms, Slashpine, North & South, Shroud Eater, Holly Hunt, Beings (RIP), Homestretch, Meddling Kids, among other local awesomeness. As for the rest of 2011 we will be doing a whirlwind weekend with Tampa hardcore outfit Ink & Sweat in July, and we are playing a small fest in Tampa in August. We will be thinning out our local shows to focus on writing new songs and recording for future seven inches and splits. We are stoked to say the least.
Is Bulletproof Tiger a punk band?
Jared Berg: The short answer is no. I feel we all have at least some foundation in punk music or the punk scene, and that will always mean a lot to us as individuals. We also embrace a lot of the DIY ethics common with punk bands, labels, etc. Musically, however, we listen to many different genres of music (indie, metal, electronic, industrial, etc.) and we have no problem welcoming this when it comes to our own songs. You can argue all day about whether or not this makes a band more or less punk, but why bother? If people consider Bulletproof Tiger a punk band, then that's fine. It doesn't make us feel uncomfortable. We just don't want to think too hard about what genre we fall under.
Though the lyrics are often unintelligible, the band places an emphasis on vocals. What are you singing about?
Miguel: The song that I sing on is about how difficult it can be to feel content. It's about how sometimes you cant help but feel that nothing is right, and all you want to do is completely shut down and yet you end up mechanically grinding through routine anyway.
Kris: I sing about life. It's a cliche answer but its true. The EP deals with a lot of what was going on in my life at the time: insurmountable relationship problems, working like an animal at a restaurant, making shit money, the cause and effect of restaurant work and substance abuse. We also had some help from our friend JP Aristizabal on the song "Starving Hearts" so for that song specifically you would have to ask him. Lately, death and impermanence have been themes. When friends or people I care about die its something that I feel I have to to put into words. It is so important that we honor their lives by living ours and sharing their stories and memory with anyone who sees us play or hears our recordings.
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If you could open for any contemporary national artists, who would it be?
Kris: Hum (reunion, obviously), Hot Water Music (kind of reunion?), Young Livers, Torche, Bridge and Tunnel, RVIVR, Dillenger 4, Iron Chic, Planes Mistaken For Stars (another reunion), Russian Circles, Bruce Springsteen, The Hold Steady, Algernon Cadwallader, The Bronx, Doomriders, Red Sparrows, and on and on and on and on.
Crossfade presents The Local at the Stage with Bulletproof Tiger, Furious Dudes, and Secret Arms. Thursday, June 30. The Stage, 170 NE 38th St., Miami. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is free. Go RSVP for the Crossfade Music Series via Facebook and invite all your fucking friends, enemies, and ex-lovers. Call 305-576-9577 or visit thestagemiami.com.