Drunk Tigers' Zach Carter talks new EP, peanut butter and the 'Mats

Drunk Tigers' Zach Carter talks new EP, peanut butter and the 'Mats

Can’t remember what was playing on Zach Carter’s turntable when I wound up on the porch of his Belmont house a few months ago. But between Budweiser-n-’bascos, I remember that Carter suddenly stood up. He went indoors, lifted the needle, lowered it onto Neko Case’s first solo album, The Virginian, then returned to his seat.

Welcome to the jungle: Drunk Tigers (from left: Matt Bierce, Zach Carter, Mike Parisi and Dan Sebring) unleash a few intoxicating blasts of noise on a new demo. Catch ’em at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar on Saturday.

Perhaps better than most local musicians, Carter knows what a rock album should sound like and, moreover, what committing to a band means. By the time his former band, Cataract Camp, closed its lids a few years ago, Carter and his bandmates recorded an album with Dismemberment Plan leader Travis Morrison and completed the sort of endless, ambitious tours you book when you’ve got a lot of love for the material you’ve written.

“We didn’t lose millions of dollars or anything, but it does kinda suck to be in Arizona and to not have enough money to buy a jar of peanut butter so you can make it to New Mexico,” said Carter during a recent interview. “When that band broke up, I didn’t think I was going to play in a band again. I thought, ‘I don’t want to put that kind of energy into music before. It’s too disappointing when it doesn’t work out.’”

“Of course,” he added a moment later, “I was wrong.”

Naïve bands are the first to have their hearts broken, but Carter’s new act, Drunk Tigers, is too wise to be easily led and a touch too music-savvy to kid itself with line-straddling shrug-alongs. Example? Drummer Mike Parisi, may be new to the skins, but he booked acts for Tokyo Rose and spun his share of albums for WTJU, which leads this writer to believe that if the Tigers wouldn’t see it or spin it, then they likely wouldn’t play it themselves.

Drunk Tigers—Carter, Parisi, singer/guitarist Matt Bierce and bassist Dan Sebring—have a new three-song demo and a handful of gigs coming up, including a spot this Saturday, September 26 at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar ($5, 8:30pm) and an October 10 gig with Titus Andronicus at The Southern Café and Music Hall. The EP was recorded with Bella Morte synth player Micah Consylman at his Final Symphony Studio, where he produced the most recent Synthetic Division album.

“We wanted it to sound like a rock record,” said Carter, but I pushed him for a few rock touchstones, and he shares ’em—Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, and The Replacements’ Tim. Then, I brought up the Neko Case incident from a few months before.

“I love the way that record sounds—like Neko Case and her band in a room,” said Carter. “And there’s tons of reverb on her voice, but it sounds like she’s standing in a big room singing.”

“It’s really hard to sound intimate with a big rock ’n’ roll record. That’s more what folk musicians do. But I like it when rockers can do that.” Drop by the Tea Bazaar on Saturday night to catch hints of “Swingin’ Party” in tunes like “Winter Party,” and to see just how intimate you can get during a Tigers set.

Hello, sailor

Fancy a chanty? How about a prog-folk epic that involves tales of knocking off kiddies and the most bizarre woman-beast love affair since “Leda and the Swan”? Feedback felt pleased as a pirate to nab an interview with Decemberists songwriter Colin Meloy last week before his band’s gig at the Charlottesville Pavilion on Thursday, September 24. ($25, doors at 6pm) Read the interview on the Feedback blog.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?

No need to get Edge-y, U2 fans—Feedback nabbed a map and a handy list of parking tips from the folks behind the upcoming Bono-rama at Scott Stadium. Check the Music section for details. One love.