Friday, June 19, 2009

Interview: Alligators

Alligators recently released their pop-perfect debut album, Piggy & Cups and will be touring the West Coast soon. They took some time out to answer some of my questions. Learn about their influences, what inspired the album title and their obsession with John Madden, specifically, the 1995 edition of his famous game franchise...

Atlas and the Anchor: You recorded Piggy & Cups at Jason McGerr’s studio, Two Sticks Audio and that has been a highlight in the press clippings. How, if at all, was he involved in the recording?

Alligators: He was involved in the buying of all the equipment for the studio, the building of the studio, renting the studio space, probably the paying of his employees. Other than that, he was not involved at all. He was there for a few minutes one of the days, but had family and Death Cab things to tend to. I remember him saying something about having to fly to Europe the next day. That was all we saw of him. Nice guy, though.

Atlas: It has been written that you are influenced by a lot of great bands like Radiohead and The Beach Boys but who do you say you are influenced by?

Alligators: I think some of us would say we are influenced by those bands. Doves, Phoenix, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jeff Buckley, dance bands, Beach House. Those are a few bands we are influenced by. Tyler says church music influenced him growing up. Unfortunately, I think all of us agree with that.

Atlas: My favorite song on Piggy & Cups is “Where Does It Hide?” because of the subtle style shifts throughout the song. What is your favorite song on the record and why?

Alligators: I don’t know if we have a collective favorite, but we all enjoy playing “Snow Children” and “Why Aren’t You Weeping (All In Your World)”. We also enjoy playing “Original Fear” and the groovy “Magic Woman”. “Conqueror” is a good one, too.

Atlas: You just wrapped up touring the West Coast, are there plans to tour the Midwest and/or East Coast?

Alligators: Actually we plan on touring the West Coast in a month or so, but no plans as of now for the Midwest or East Coast.

Atlas: What were/are you listening to in the tour van?

Alligators: We were/are listening to South – With The Tides, Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus, Doves – Kingdom of Rust, The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement, Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps, Sunny Day Real Estate – The Rising Tide, JR’s mix CD – Jamz Mang, and many more.

Atlas: Piggy & Cups is a strange name for an album. What does it mean and what was the direction for the artwork on the album?

Alligators: While we were recording and writing the album, we played a lot of catch with the Piggy (football) and drank a lot of cups (coffee). We thought it would be a good name. Is it? Tyler did the artwork, and with that info you should be able to guess the direction of the artwork. Except for the oranges. Those just looked cool.

Atlas: Are any of you working on a side or solo project?

Alligators: Not really. Tyler had a project called Kids On Bikes that turned into a band that most of us played in, but none of us are active in any side projects. We all write and record stuff on the side, but I wouldn’t call them “solo projects”.

Atlas: What one older and one current song do you wish you would’ve written yourself?

Alligators: “Heart of Sunrise” – Yes
“Star Spangled Banner” – Francis Scott Key
“Paranoid Android” - Radiohead
“Halo” – Beyonce

Only one??

Atlas: What bands would you like to collaborate and/or tour with?

Alligators: Neil Young, Buffalo Daughter, Sigur Ros, Sonic Youth, Leonard Cohen, John Madden.

Atlas: Not that you would, but if you had to replace yourself in the band with one person, who would you choose?

Alligators: Tyler – Fieldy (from Korn)
Josh – Gavin Rossdale (Bush)
Brad – Monkey (sic) (From Korn)
Kit – John Madden (from Madden 95)
Danny – Ricky Martin (from Latin)

Thanks to the Alligators for taking the time to answer my questions! Check them out on tour on the West Coast and pick up their debut album, Piggy and Cups, that Jason from Death Cab For Cutie had absolutely nothing to do with!

Download "Conqueror" here:

Read the Atlas and the Anchor review of Piggy & Cups here:

For more info click here: and


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