The Rise of Tiger Army

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

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6 Responses to “The Rise of Tiger Army”
  1. Lucky Loser says:

    Successfully brought Psychobilly to the US in ’99? Are you guys idiots? Psychobilly had been in the US before Tiger Army even formed with bands like Photon Torpedos,Terror Train,Los Infernos,Calavera,and many more. Tiger Army is the worst band to use for the American Psychobilly movement. They are the reason why many people in the UK look down on US Psychobilly. Get a clue and find writer’s that actually know what they are talking about

    • Darkman says:

      Hey Loser, I mean Lucky Loser, Maybe I should change it to say Tiger army brought it more to light for many others and in a more mainstream way. Of course Psychobilly was in the US way before Tiger Army, but they were successful at bringing it more to light than most other bands in the US at the time. I have a clue, we know what we are writing about. Maybe you would like to re-write the article? Can you do better?

      • Lucky Loser says:

        Actually,I could,since I wrote a few articles for Psychobilly Fever prior to it’s collapse and rebirth. This site in general is a joke. Seriously? How to comb your hair and pout on lipstick and cuff your jeans? Rockabilly and Psychobilly isn’t about fashion or hairstyles,it’s about music. Music that created a stir,created a whole new scene and survived decades even through the two genre’s near demise.

        • Darkman says:

          Mr. Loser, If you looked at the search stats for this site, we get plenty of traffic from new and older people trying to find tips and tricks and info on Rockabilly/Psychobilly Makeup, Pinup Modeling, Music, Pinup Hair Styles, Makeup tips, Clothing, and tattoos.

          I am sure at one time you were a newbie somewhere and looked for guidance/direction from your older, more experienced peers, did you not? I’m also positive you probably danced in front of the mirror, alone until you got it right, after going to a website or dancing lesson to learn how to swing dance or something like that, right? 😉

          You’re on a few car forums and such, helping people out, I am sure you learned some of that from others, did you not? Maybe you might write some car articles for our junior members, or something like that. You might think this site is a joke, but we have a lot of people come here for a lot of different reasons.

          It’s an info site for people to come and learn, sorta like the wrecking pit you belong to.

          Anyway, thanks for the conversation and corrections, I’ll make a note of it and change the article when I get a chance. BTW is that a Por Pie hat you’re wearing on xPeeps?

        • Darkman says:

          I also wanted to say that you’re wrong that it’s just about music. As the site URL says “Lifestyle”. Back when I was 22 and greasing my hair back wearing my engineer boots and rolling my smokes in my sleeves you were about what…7 years old? It was about a lifestyle, heavy iron(rods), music, tattoos, a style or way of dressing, and we were called greasers, then it was called rockabilly. It’s all about little things like Zippo lighters, Converse hi-tops, and white t-shirts. It’s not just about music, granted music IS a huge part of the, now called “scene”. Take for instance, Sailor Jerry, That’s not music, yet it’s a major part of the Rockabilly scene, and it was also a huge part of being a sailor back in the day. It’s about a different time and living a lifestyle, it’s about the music that was happening at that same time, and the things all around it. The how tiki bar thing is also a part of “The Scene”, read the article about that here as well.
          The person who says it is only about music, someone who “dresses up” to go see a band, as opposed to someone who greases, and had dirt under his nails, and listens to the music on a daily basis, I would call a poser.
          We may not be as Hard core as your wrecking pit site is, or your heavy iron sites are, but then again we are covering a lot of different topics. I hope that makes a little better sense and maybe you will approve of our web presence.

    • seams666 says:

      Er…I certainly don’t look down on Tiger Army and I’ve been into British Psychobilly since the early 80’s. To be honest…they are like a breath of fresh air as they incorporate that hardcore feel into the tracks. The likes of King Kurt, The Meteors and Guana Batz will always have a fond place in my heart but nothing stays or sounds the same forever. Accept that and enjoy what the next generation brings. Fuck…I’m getting old and wiser. lol

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