I’ve always been a fan of bands mixing different components of various genres to create a sound all their own. Sledding With Tigers is a prime example of this, labeling their style as bluegrass-punk. I recently had the privilege of conducting an e-mail interview with frontman Dan Faughnder of this San Diego-based band to shed some light on their upcoming debut album A Necessary Bummer, which is being released digitally on April 15 through Antique Records.
MEB: First of all, how did the name Sledding with Tigers come into creation?
It’s just a reference to Calvin & Hobbes. I wish I had a more fun story for it, but that’s it. Maybe I’ll start lying and saying that we came up with it after a particularly snowy season in San Diego, and the tigers at the zoo became restless. After a few hours of mauling visitors, we found that the only true way to calm them was through various traditional snow sports.
I noticed that you have your album Not the Beatles Yet available on several different colored cassette tapes. Is there any particular reason you chose to develop the album on a cassette tape?
Because I don’t have a CD Player and I have two cassette players. Also, I just think CDs are useless in today’s day and age. If I’m going to buy a physical copy, I want it to either be super cheap and sound like garbage (a cassette), or really beautiful and big and sound like magic (Vinyl).
What bands do you mainly draw inspiration from?
Creed, Nickelback, Sugar Ray, 311, Lit and Nickelcreed.
How would you describe the sound of your band to someone who has not listened to any of your material?
A pack of buffaloes trampling over outdated instruments.
Where’s the coolest place you have traveled for a show?
Stockton, CA. (The #1 most miserable city in the country according to Forbes)
Being based out of San Diego, do you find it difficult to differentiate yourselves from other west coast bands in the bluegrass-punk scene?
There’s a scene? Maybe there is, but I just threw that genre name out there because I don’t always know how to describe our music to people. I guess we’re just a folk band, but we never play with folk bands. I guess we’re just a punk band too, though. Genres are dumb, music is party, everything is nothing.
Describe the creative process for songwriting (do the lyrics come first, the melody first, etc.)
I yell the lyrics in my car on the way home from work and then pray they make sense when I play three chords underneath them.
If you could pick a band to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Mandarin Dynasty, OH WAIT THEY’RE ALREADY ON OUR NEW ALBUM OH SHOOT.
Or The Frights, OH WAIT WE’RE GONNA PLAY A SHOW TOGETHER SOMETIME AS A TOGETHER-BAND.
Or Parliament-Funkadelic, OH WAIT I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH OF WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BE IN THAT BAND.
Is there a particular track you are really proud of off the upcoming album A Necessary Bummer?
I love all of them equally, and also hate them equally. They’re like my children: I regret every decision that led up to them being born, but now I guess I’m pretty proud of them, even though they’re sloppy, unkempt and ugly.
Lastly, do you guys have any upcoming tours in support of the new album?
I’m just hoping to make it out of bed tomorrow.