The Rise of Tiger Army
Tiger Army was formed in 1996 by lead singer and guitarist Nick 13. Their debut performance was in Berkeley California, opening for the well-known band AFI. Adam Carson, AFI’s drummer, sat in with the Tiger Army band that night and became a part of an unforgettable performance. The band continued to play at local gigs and recorded a demo which later became the album known as the Early Years.
They were quickly recognized by the co-founder of Hellcat Records; Tim Armstrong, and offered a recording contract. By this time, Nick 13 did not have a set lineup for Tiger Army, but Armstrong had faith in him and signed him anyways. Armstrong set Nick 13 up with a studio line up and gave him the title of their sole songwriter. Tiger Army recorded and released their self-titled album in 1999, and in doing so brought the Psychobilly scene, up from the underground, into more of a main stream view, here in the US.
In 2001, Tiger Army recorded their second album, titled Power of Moonlite. This pushed Nick 13 into moving to Los Angeles to search for new band members to tour with and continue on his journey to stardom. The new group consisted of Nick 13, Geoff Kresge and Fred Hell. Kresge played stand up bass and Hell played the drums. Together they toured around the United States several times and even made their way over to Europe and Japan. They performed at various festivals and headlined many concerts.
The release of Tiger Army’s third album, Ghost Tigers Rise, came about in 2003. This year became a roller coaster ride for the band which involved tragedy and recovering. Fred Hell was shot in a home-invasion. It took him months to heal, but he never fully recuperated. Luckily, a close friend of the band and talented drummer, Mike Fasano, replaced Hell and brought the band back from their misery. A year later, Hell was back in action and Tiger Army performed with the 2004 Warped Tour. With still lingering health issues, even after a miraculous recovery, Hell was unable to continue with the band. Hell had to leave the band and Geoff Kresge, stand-up bass player since the second album, announced his end when they returned home from the Warped Tour.
Nick 13 had nothing else to do but pickup the pieces and move on. Enter the current lineup of Jeff Roffredo, stand-up bass and James Meza on drums. This new line-up is said to be the best so far and have a chemistry like no other. Things really started to pick up when they headed off for their first United States headlining tour at the end of 2004. This tour was known as the Dark Romance Tour and it created a following with their fans not only in America but also various cities around the world. They sold out numerous performances, with their most accredited one being at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Through all their struggle, Tiger Army managed to climb to the top and are still going strong today.
See the gallery of Tiger Army at Hootenanny 2008 Here