Interview by John Erickson
Will Bentley works at KCRW; mixes the eclectic 24 at KCRW; Primary songwriter/singer/guitar player in Tiger Stir.
John Erickson is a composer for Akaitsuki, a producer, and a web designer.
Tiger Stir is a Los Angeles based eclectic rock band. With a sound running the sonic gamut from ’60s and ’70s psychedelic undertones to an almost punk aesthetic, core members Will Bentley, Max Hagen and Jack Ryan began forming the band in the Summer of 2012. With the help of Bjorn Winberg the band recorded the singles “Someone or Something,” “Lunar Bowls,” and “Liliana”. All three songs have received air play on influential L.A. radio station KCRW 89.9 and subsequently attracted fans in L.A. as well as internationally. With the addition of Tex Mosely on bass, the band began playing shows around Los Angeles and even made their live radio performance debut on local L.A. college radio station KXLU 88.9.
The following is Will Bentley from Santa Monica, telling me about his new band Tiger Stir and their plans for the future via Skype.
John Erickson: So tell me about your current plans.
Will Bentley: Well right now we have two singles recorded, they are out on our Soundcloud and Bandcamp. We are finishing a third right now and have about 10 others that are being tracked right now. Once we get about 4 songs we are going to release an EP. We are also working more on our live show and will start gigging again once we get that down. JE – Sweet man! So who are your inspirations for your current sound? WB – Well I come from a punk background so a lot of songs we have been playing are really punk rock, but this project is more ethereal and atmospheric, so I have been looking more into bands that do things their own way, and are more experimental, such as Radiohead and The Mars Volta . But we are also trying to keep that pop accessibility that people can relate to.
JE: You mentioned Radiohead, and I know that they were one of the first bands to come up with a different approach to selling music and promoting [link to: http://pitchfork.com/news/33749-radioheads-in-rainbows-successes-revealed/], how are you navigating music 2.0?
WB: Well I was never ingrained in the old musical landscape so it’s not really a big change for us. As I mentioned we use Bandcamp and Soundcloud mainly and we release our stuff for free online. I kinda wish I didn’t have to focus on that stuff as much so that I may concentrate on the musical aspect of things. But, we don’t have a manager yet (Anyone want the position?) that would take care of that sort of thing. It is exciting because we are able to present our music to people around the world, instead of just in LA (and some of our biggest fans are from other countries) but it is frustrating as well because we have to learn all these new mediums for marketing. We are talking about starting a Kickstarter, or an Indie Go Go to raise some money for album presses though, in a lot of ways the new musical landscape helps out.
JE: So what has been the most effective means for presenting your music to people? WB – Our Bandcamp does really well, and we got some good exposure on the Henry Rollins show [link to:http://www.kcrw.com/music/programs/hr] on KCRW.
JE: Thats great to hear, don’t you work at KCRW as well?
WB: Yeah I do, I mix the Eclectic 24 show [link to: http://www.kcrw.com/music/eclectic24], I’m actually here right now! [laughs]
JE: So to wrap it up, tell us your plans for the summer.
WB: Well after seeing a lot of bands come into the KCRW studios, I have noticed that they use Ableton Live to control a lot of their live sound (samples, etc.) We are trying to get into that some more as it will help make the live presentation that much better. We are also focusing a lot more on backing vocals and harmonies, perfecting our live show before we really start gigging again. Expect some new music this summer!