Brothertiger | The Family Interviews
We are back to the future my friends. Brothertiger (aka John Jagos and his compadres) is well into that electronic ‘80s sound. With New Wave-y vocals and whole bunch of synth, he’s bringing the ‘80s back with a vengeance. Look out for giant shoulder pads, hairspray, and jazzercise workout videos, this crew is coming in HOT.
Read on below to find out about his baseball dreams, colors as sounds, and an excellent “Sopranos” drinking game.
Self Portrait By, Brothertiger
Would You Rather…
only be able to speak backwards or in fortune cookies?
Probably in fortune cookies. I think fortune cookies, most of the time, make some amount of sense in many situations. Talking backwards? Not so much.
Some Questions With Brothertiger
What did you want to be growing up?
I grew up playing baseball most of my young life, all the way up until sophomore year of high school. So, for most of my childhood and into my early teens, I wanted to play professional baseball. I woke up one day and just decided that I didn't want to do it anymore, so then I made the obvious turn to electronic music :D
You work nods to 80's synth-wave what draws you to that era/genre of music?
The thing that really draws me to that kind of music is the way that synths of that era interact with specific melodies. 5th chords, arpeggios, etc. Modern synths can certainly emulate that, but there's something about a Jupiter 6 playing big full major chords in a certain pattern that really does it for me. Also, I think it's just a general vibe I like. I'm not even a full-blown fan of hardcore 80s stuff, i.e. the big hair, clothing, general vibe of the music. I like the stuff that's not talked about so much that came out of that era. I like bands like Prefab Sprout, guys like Thomas Dolby and Brian Eno, who really used a studio and synthesizer in harmony to make something new and interesting.
Describe your sound in three colors.
Aquamarine - many people probably already know I like to sing about the ocean a lot. I'm from Ohio, so my lack of beach access really shows in my music.
Burnt Sienna - an earth tone. I think a lot of my more recent music has more "earthy" characteristics, and this color reminds me of gorgeous colors of canyons and natural formations out West.
Pacific Blue - see above
What was the best encounter you had with a fan?
I played a show once in New York a few years back, and a fan came up to me and told me that my most recent album at the time, Out of Touch, was very therapeutic for him as he was caring for his father who was terminally ill. It was really wild for me to hear something like that. Since then, I've had a few other people come up to me at shows talking about how my music has helped them get through something. It's still wild to hear.
What is the climate of the music producer community in NYC? Would you say it is collaborative, competitive, or both?
Ha, to be honest I don't really know. I wouldn't say I'm a part of any community here. I tend to keep to myself, and I produce and mix for a few people here and there who find me through my music. I used to think New York was the place to be for making electronic music, but nowadays, I think a lot of other cities have become more accessible for producers.
What is the best drinking game to play with people? (have you ever invented one?)
While watching The Sopranos, you drink every time Tony says "gabba goul."
What do you like best about the NYC music scene?
I like that a lot of people like to come out to shows here. There's still a good scene for live music here. I think a lot of people from out of town are intimidated playing in NYC, but really, this city is very welcoming to touring musicians.
What was the overarching conceit on this latest EP "A Chain of Islands". What do you hope people take away from it?
That EP was written in the midst of some deep self-reflection in my friendships and my life around high school. Kind of about growing pains, leaving friends to move away for college/work/etc, and coming back to visit and seeing how people change. Growing up in Ohio was pretty "normal," but still, a lot happened in my life there, and I think that EP is a good reflection of what I learned about living, if that makes any sense. From what I've gathered from fans, other people seem to equate their experience growing up to what they hear on the record.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who litter. It's all too common here in New York. I see people drop trash right in front of a garbage can all the time. It's just lazy.
Which was better Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network?
I was more of a Nickelodeon kid myself. The game shows really got me. Legends of the Hidden Temple is still a major influence on my music. No kidding.
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)
I'm working on a new full-length. Keep your eyes on the horizon.