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Artist Spotlight: Tigerwine talks ‘heavier, prettier’ new album

Colorado’s post-hardcore quartet Tigerwine released their latest album, Nothing is For You, earlier this month. The band took their time with this record, crafting a vision that matches where they stand in music and in life. Atlas spoke with guitarist Steve Lichtenwalter about the album, making a killer music video for “Scarecrow” and hopeful 2020 plans.

How did you guys get started as a band and how did you go about finding your sound? 

Around eight years ago, myself, Hayden and Sean played in a band together and when that ended, we just decided to keep making music together as a three piece and started Tigerwine. I played drums for the first four or so years of the band’s existence. We ended up meeting our current drummer, Shane, when he filled in for a band we were touring with. 

I had always written little bits and pieces of the guitars for our band, and never really considered myself a drummer, so making the switch to guitar was something I really wanted to do. When the time came for that switch, Shane was the obvious choice. 

In many ways, finding our sound has been a product of discovering our roles musically and learning to lean on one another for those strengths. We all have pretty different musical tastes and I like to think that shows in the music.


When you’re thinking of your inspirations and influences, what names come to mind?

Speaking for myself, Bob Dylan, Converge, Sigur Ros and Colour Revolt are among the biggest musical influences in my life.


What’s the music scene like where you’re from? How (if at all) has it influenced your music?

We are very fortunate to have an incredibly diverse and supportive music scene in Colorado Springs. It’s my favorite in the country (however, there are some that come close). It has been a wildly supportive environment for bands to develop their sound and try new things. The scene shifts and changes as time passes, but it has always been vibrant while also not taking itself too seriously. There are folks in town who work really hard to keep it that way too, and we are forever indebted to them (looking at you The Black Sheep and the Ostrows).

What’s the story behind the creation of your new album?

This is our first true album as four-piece. Our first full length “Die With Your Tongue Out,” was recorded as a four-piece, however, many of the songs were made as a three-piece. Shane joined the band a literal month or two before we recorded, so he was tasked with polishing my drum parts, while also creating new parts in very little time.

When we began the writing process for this record, we were fortunate to have toured with one another enough that we all really understood our roles musically and what each of us wanted to bring to the table. We wanted the record to be heavier in some senses, while being prettier in others. Compared to our previous record we were  afforded much more time to write and live with the songs which really helped to refine that vision. 

The video for “Scarecrow” is awesome! How did that come together?

Thank you so much! We have always sort of kept music videos at arm’s length because it is so easy for them to be cheesy. We wanted to do something out of the norm and decided that animation would be a really interesting route to take. We’ve known our buddy Keenan Goodwine for a long time having played shows with some of his bands over the years, and his animation is so unique he was an obvious choice. We wanted his creativity to run wild and I think it did just that.


What do you hope fans take away from your music?

Be slow to judge, quick to ask questions, and desperate to find answers.


I know that the coronavirus has made planning anything this year difficult, but what are you hoping for or planning for the rest of 2020? 

Honestly we just hope to tour again in any capacity. Maybe write some new music? Who knows?


Quarantine has changed the face of the music industry in only a couple short months. How are you guys getting through this interesting time in terms of staying creative and productive? Do you have any advice for fans looking to do the same? 

We are all in pretty busy seasons right now with work and some of us have kids now, so creating has been a very portioned out part of our lives. We have to be deliberate about how and when we are going to do it. That said, quarantine honestly hasn’t changed that part of our lives very much. I think the opportunity to slow down makes creative people think they need to create just because they have the time to do so, and the well ends up running dry. It can feel super frustrating. Instead, I think right now is a great time to soak in new ideas and fill the well back up.


Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you guys, or is there anything you wish you could talk about more that you may not get asked?

Jiff peanut butter is the superior peanut butter, case closed. 

Nothing is For You is out now!


Story by Olivia Khiel
Images courtesy of Tigerwine