About Me

Interview with Tygers Of Pan Tang

We got to chat with Jack Meille, lead vocals from the long-running and one of the most important names of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), Tygers Of Pan Tang. Formed in 1978 – with a 12 years gap, though - we talked about their latest album, Ritual and a little bit about the band’s history.

M.I - First of all, congrats for the fantastic new album.

Thank you so much! We all 5 are very proud of our new “baby” too!

M.I - Your music has always relied on engaging hooks and fetching melodies. How is the songwriting process? First the lyrics? First the chords? From where do you draw inspiration? Do all members contribute?

We have no rules. All of us are able to write songs. There are songs which have been written and arranged in the rehearsal room, some in the home studio of Gav, our bass player... And then there are songs like “Words Cut Like Knives” that came complete while Micky and myself were jamming. 

M.I - What`s the biggest difference of “Ritual” from past albums?

The confidence we have in the band. We wanted to produce an album that could rock hard and yet with great melodies and catchy choruses. We couldn't wait to see and hear the fans singing these new songs live.

M.I - What are you addressing lyrically in “Ritual”?

It's me and Craig Ellis, the drummer, who write the lyrics. We have two different approaches: Craig is a great storyteller... Think of “Rescue Me” or “Worlds Apart”, while I leave it to the first emotion I feel when I hear a riff or a groove. Take for example “Sail On”: the minute I heard that riff I immediately visualized the waves and a ship caught in a storm... And that gave me the input to write the lyrics.

M.I – You’ve been around for some time now…In the beginning you had a lot of work released in a small period of time. In the last years, you have taken more time in the studio and invested more on tours… What do you prefer? Conceptualizing a studio album or an exploding live performance?

You should ask Robb this question... But by what he has been telling us, in the early 80´s it was all different and the tour/album/tour/album schedule was tough and exhausting. There was no time to let the songs “breathe”. Nowadays, we were able to write and arrange a lot of songs, and choose the best ones for the album. 

M.I - Being one of the greatest of the NWOBHM, do you think this movement is still relevant today? Do you think kids today acknowledge the importance it had in today’s music?

NWOBHM had a great impact and has proved to be something fans and rock listeners can still click to. It was something that was very related to the times when it started. England was changing fast at that time and it wasn't an easy change... People were not happy... Lots of families were struggling, lots of factories were closing down as well as the coal mines... NWOBHM was the working-class music and still is. I think this is why it is still so appealing.

M.I - Looking back 40 years (although, with a 12-year gap), what was the highlight of the band’s career to this day?

I know Robb would say the day Tygers and Scorpions played in Tokyo in two different venues and Tygers show was sold out... For me again, it has been playing In Japan. It was my first time in Japan and I loved every second of it!

M.I - With 4 decades playing, being through different line-ups over the years and still going strong, what’s the secret to continue and maintain the energy and durability that you guys continue to show?

We love playing live. We love meeting fans after show. I am a very lucky person as I live the dream I was having when I was a teenager. 

M.I - Being on the break of 2020, what do you think of the metal scene today compared with the 70’s/80’s/90’s?

Metal will always survive. Metal might change its sound, but the core ingredients will remain the same. If it makes you sweat and howl to the moon that's it, it's HEAVY METAL! 

M.I - So many years playing music and you just came to Portugal one time… Why??? What do you best remember from the concert of 2017? Can the Portuguese fans expect another gig from you soon?

You should ask the promoters. We'd love to come back but... Please let's hope the airline company doesn’t lose our guitars and bass again!!!

M.I - Just like what happened with The Big 4 in Thrash, if you could choose 3 bands of the NWOBHM to share a stage in a couple of concerts, who would they be?

I would love to play with our good friends Praying Mantis and Diamond Head.

M.I - What do you listen to today? Who do you think best represents the more recent metal?

Right now, the new The Who album... maybe not metal but yet a great rock album. I enjoyed the last Flying Colours album and the latest Diamond Head release: They nailed it!

M.I - What does the future hold for Tygers of Pan Tang in the next 40 years?

40 years!?!? Robb would be 100 years old just like Kirk Douglas, the actor. I bet he would still love to play “Euthanasia”!! Seriously, we all think we want to record another album after “Ritual”, so we will still be playing for at least another 10 years!

M.I - Any last words for the Portuguese fans?

Keep rocking, keep shouting and believe in the power of R'n'R!

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Ivan Santos