Carbon Tigers, #TOURLIFE Hometown Edition

On this edition of #TOURLIFE we visit with Chicago’s Carbon Tigers. Below you’ll hear there thoughts about their influences, struggles, and of course their hometown – as well as some of the band’s favorite spots around the city.

Wicker Park, one of their favorite neighborhoods

Your brand new album, The Wars at Home, just came out — is there a song in particular that you’re most proud of?
It’s hard to say, but the song we’re most proud of is “The Wars at Home”. Lyrically, it embodies what the album is about as a whole. Musically, it showcases a lot of very different influences, but I couldn’t tell unless I pointed them out specifically, One way we typically describe our sound is as if though Katy Perry and Thom Yorke got together and wrote songs for Minus the Bear. For example, the bridge on this song was influenced by “Firework” by Katy Perry and I think it’s interesting how we’re able to draw from so many different influences while we were crafting this song.

Surprising, to me anyway, is how different this album sounds compared to The Burrows — to what do you attribute this change in your sound?
Chemistry and gradually discovering who we are and what we do as a band. The whole time we’ve been a band we’ve all wanted to be influenced by particular bands, but at the same time sound like ourselves. In retrospect, when listening to The Burrows, you can hear a band that was in the early stages of developing a sound. Over the years, we’ve gotten much better at communicating about what we’re listening to. The more important aspect is the development of our chemistry. Whether it’s a band, team, company, or any group of people coming together to create something it takes time and practice to get everyone in a universal mindset. There will always be differences amongst us, but it’s an abstract factor that cannot be quantified.

How much does the experience of having your, pretty much everything, stolen still have on the band? Is it something that’s still on your minds?
We don’t look back on the situation, however we learned some very valuable lessons and we will never forget the people who were so generous to us.

Subterranean, one of their favorite venues, and home to their first album release show

How, if at all, did that change your outlook on being in a band (recording music, touring, etc.)? What were your expectations when you decided to go the crowd-funding route to raise back the money?
It made us realize how much we had already invested in the equipment because you buy it in separate chunks and pieces. It confirmed that we still wanted to play in a band together; that we had done so much, invested a lot of time, and we couldn’t give up that easily.

Chicago has always been a very fertile breeding ground for bands of all types — have there been any local bands in particular that have motivated or inspired you?
Bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Maps and Atlases, Audiences, Santah, and even Chance the Rapper because these bands demonstrate that you can make anything happen in this city if you work hard and believe in what you’re doing. There are really a ton of bands that motivate us within Chicago. Being in this scene, where we’re surrounded by endless amounts of talent and professional musicians really sets the bar very high for ourselves and we just want to contribute as much to Chicago’s music scene as anyone else.

Are there any bands touring today that you would love to hit the road with? Maybe collaborate with?
We have some lofty aspirations to tour with Arcade Fire, Katy Perry, and Radiohead. The exposure from touring with these bands would be incredible, but it’s all the things we would learn from them such as how to tour successfully and write music more creatively.

The band, at home

Finally, 5 songs just isn’t enough! Can we expect a longer release from you in the future?
Yes, there is always a next release and I know that the next release will most likely be a full-length. We would’ve put out a full-length this time around and that was actually the plan, but we need the financial support or resources to make it happen. By the time we were about to go into the studio to write The Wars at Home we didn’t have the money to stay there long enough to put out a full-length. We could probably go in to the studio, track everything live, and call it an album, but we’re much more detailed and really like to give us the time and space to make sure we put out the music that represents us best.

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Chief Of All The Things at Emo At Heart
Josh is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Emo At Heart.