Smalltown Tigers – Roaring Rock ‘n’ Roll Goddesses 🐯💕

When someone tells you that girls should be wives & not rock’n’rollers, you should tell them to fuck off.

💖 What’s Smalltown Tigers about?/ Where did the name come from?

A friend came up with it, for no particular reason.

We liked it & we thought that the name reflected who we are & where we come from.

We come from a small town in the north east of Italy, Rimini, so . . .& why Tigers?  Well, the tiger is a feline & we feel a bit like that.

Of course we could have chosen cats, but Smalltown Cats sounded weird for a non-rockabilly band.

💖 What inspires you to play music?

The bands we listened to when we were kids & the dreams of living the life of our idols has been our main inspiration & the leading force that brought us here.

But what keeps us going is the adrenaline of the stage. It’s the desire to play always & everywhere. That’s our true passion. 

💖 What’s your writing process?

It’s some kind of a random thing.

Sometimes we find ourselves whistling a melody in our car – the Tigermobile! – and that same melody becomes a song in the rehearsal room.

Other times we just start from a text, a message never sent, something written in a moment of anger that any of us would need to become a song just for the sake of shouting it in the face of someone.

Mood & circumstances are usually very important.

💖 Who are your main influences in music/life?

Our influences have changed over time. Of course, our main influence are The Ramones.

They not only shaped the way we play music but also the way we dress. Apart from them,  we love anything punk rock from the 70’s to these days.

Regarding life, I guess we have different things that inspire us but the one thing that’s common for all three of us is reading. Books, all books, all kinds of them. Whether they talk about music, poetry or essays. 

💖 Tell us about your aesthetic!

Case in point

We love our black leather jackets!

We actually like colours as well, but we always end up wearing a black look. You know, you can’t go wrong with black.

💖 How would you sum up “punk rock”?

Loud, fast, wild & cocky.

💖 When you’re not doing band stuff what do you get up to?

Living with our music today is really hard, especially here in Italy & now, in this situation.

We all have day jobs that allows us to pay our bills. Apart from that we all go to the beach. Growing up in a coastal town, we love beaches.

Then in the time we have left we have many hobbies. Some of us love sports, some painting, but we all love to read & cook.

💖 You guys have had an amazing year touring & playing with some great bands, what’s been the highlights?

Last year has been a great year!

As newly formed, in March 2019 we did a mini-tour as opening band with Baby Shakes from New York & it’s been amazing. Those girls are so cool, we learned so much from them that we couldn’t thank them enough.

In October, we played in England for the first time, & for the first time we travelled in London not just as tourists but also as musicians.

We all love London & really felt the spirit of punk music history over there, it’s been a blast to play in places like The Hope & Anchor knowing that we would step the same stage as rock’n’roll royalty.

We met so many people we never met before, or we just knew on social media. It put us in the perfect frame of mind for the gigs.

Performing & connecting with these people, it’s been amazing. There’s so many highlights that to list all of them would turn this interview into a novel but . . . before our first gig ever in London we lost a bag in a pub with all our passports & credit cards inside that would have turned the whole week into a mess! Luckily we came back to the same place after a few hours & find our bag untouched. That’s what rock’n’roll is about.

💖 What does feminism mean to you? / What 1 thing could everyone be doing to make the scene a better place?

As you know, there are three of us, so if we each look deep inside ourselves, each of us can have different opinions about feminism that come from our individual ideas & experiences.

As an all-female band, & as friends, we’ve discussed & challenged each other on this topic & many others. Generally speaking, when we were younger we had a more radical view of feminism. But as we gained more life experience, some of our rebellious & less refined positions grew clearer, based on knowledge, as opposed to just pure passion. 

We feel that women & all people should have the freedom to express themselves by following their own instincts, morals & beliefs. Women also have to have equal rights in the workplace & should feel safe from sexual harassment & discrimination.

We’re way past the time when women should be criticized about how they dress or their hair style at work. We also feel that when women prove that they can do a good job that they should get the same pay as men. Sadly, there are still a lot of problems when it comes to true equality. 

As for what everyone could do about it, perhaps the first thing is to recognize that the problem of sexism still exists. We see it in marketing, advertising, pop culture, music lyrics, videos . . . everywhere. This has to change.

We also think that it can help if girls are empowered when they are young. They don’t have to accept sexism & can fight back. When there is an injustice, they should be encouraged to say something!

When someone tells you that girls should be wives & not rock’n’rollers, you should tell them to fuck off. 

As a rule, we say be open to discuss these issues & support other women fighting the fight. As women, we need to continue to show men that we are equal. When Smalltown Tigers are onstage, we are not just women, we are rock musicians & we will kick ass just like men.  

💖 Tell us about your last release – what’s the feeling to it/what’s it about?

Five Things’, our first mini album, came out on April 24th. It’s a record about different moments in your life, when things don’t go exactly the way you have imagined them to do.

The whole mini-album is a collection of powerful rather melodic songs. It’s alive, loud, fast & powerful. That’s what Smalltown Tigers are about.

We like that little bit of anger just to make sure that everyone would understand the nature of the band. We like to play fast & we’ll be out there to prove it. Can’t wait for new year to come & (hopefully) hit the road again.

💖 What’s next for you guys?

At the moment, our new video of the album’s title track ‘Five Things’ just came out & you could find it at link here.

Other than that, another single & another video will be issued pretty soon. We know this is our first record but we’re very proud of it & we want to keep it running as much as we can.

As for the future, I guess that this pandemic situation will allow us to take some extra time off working & playing, enabling us to work at some new songs, a thing we already started doing before we’ve been forced to isolation.

💖 Five Things has a lot of bite & real grit to it – how did it come about?

First, we would like to pay our dues to Joan Jett & Suzi Quatro

It’s been an honour to be compared to them, as they defined the role of the female bandleader during the ’70s where rock’n’roll was mainly ruled by men. Along with The Ramones, they have been vital for what we do.

As for our sound, it’s true that it’s a sum of what’s been played on our stereos since we were kids that we brought into the recording room along with the live experience. We recorded the whole album at L’AmorMioNonMuore studio in Forli, Italy. It’s an all analog studio, where they use reel-to-reel recorders & an old ‘70s mixing desk. No computer tricks, just a bunch of tube amplifiers.

The whole process took really a few hours: we didn’t want to stack too many layers of sound in it just to make it sound bigger. Our goal was to create a raw & unfiltered sound, & I think that with the help of our producer Stiv Cantarelli & the mighty Jim Diamond, who crafted records for The White Stripes & Dirtbombs & made the final cut – we succeeded.

💖 Dates for any upcoming shows/livestreams/releases etc? 

We were due to make an England comeback in May for a record release tour, but that’s been cancelled because of the world situation. All the tour dates have been postponed to November & we really hope it could happen.

We are still optimistic that when this crisis will end we could be able to tour extensively & bring ‘Five Things’ to the stage anywhere in Europe they would want to have us!

About livestreams – for now the rules of lockdown over here in Italy don’t allow us to meet so it’s temporary undoable, but we’re already setting up the stage for doing it as soon as the rules will be loosened & allow us to be all together in the same room.

So please stay tuned on our social media channels & we’ll update this very soon 😉

💖 How does the punk scene differ between London & Rimini? Or the UK & Italy?

As opposed to what many people may think, Rimini has always had a lively club scene since the ’80s. Although everything has changed since those days as most of the clubs where the action was have closed down.

Today most of the clubs only want tribute bands to play because it means easy money for them. But there’s still a whole underground scene going on around squats & private spaces where you could organize a party & see the best local bands play.

Despite this, nothing beats the UK when it comes to a live music scene! As said before, you could really feel you’re walking around the places where history has been made.

I know it’s more difficult to find your own spot & grow your following as there’s so many good bands out there, but we guess that in the end it’s all about the music.

Also, English fans seem to be more interested about new music & prepared when it comes to go out & enjoy it. We know sometimes they can be a bit more rowdy, but we rather choose that over indifference & apathy that seems to rule in most of any other places including Italy.

We love a roaring crowd, it turn us into tigers. Smalltown Tigers. 🐯

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