Interview with The Tiger Lillies by Carla Sais

We inaugurate articles from contributors at Dark Valencia, with an interview to Martyn Jacques, from incomparable The Tiger Lillies (United Kingdom). The interview was made and published by Carla Sais on through her digital magazine Manicomio Magazine. Despite that its content isn’t unpublished therefore, we believe we have to help spreading magazines and bands that are worth the effort. Enjoy the interview 😉

Pic of Martyn Jacques performing

How was the little boy Martyn Jacques? His first approaches to art…?

I wasn’t interested in art I wanted to be a train driver! Shoveling coal into the furnace going 100 mph and traveling across giant bridges built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Still sounds good but there are no steam trains anymore. When I was 16 I made a choice between painting and chose music. It was cleaner, you didn’t have to store loads of canvasses and it didn’t smell…

England. Late 80´s. Tiger Lillies was born, the English underground had given the world amazing groups, but you have not only weathered the clock you made lots of amazing shows and lots of albums. The secret?

I looked around at what was happening in the 80’s and did everything the opposite. I dressed differently sang differently and played different instruments. I spent the next 25 years ignoring everything else that was happening in music…

Promotional pic of Tiger Lillies

Dietrich, Baker, Piaf and several artists of the called Cabaret were antifascist activists, it was a necessary movement in a society that required freedom from oppression and death. What’s all this in the heart of Tiger Lillies music and compositions?

I like the artists you mention. They lived their lives and did what they wanted. They didn’t worry about the neighbors. Some of the neighbors were fascists. They’re the worst kind of people. They want to to stop you living the way you want to live. Obey the state, the rules kill things that are different that are “decadent”. Stick your fingers up at their moronic authority…

You’ve worked with many different artists on stage, what are the best memories of these for Tiger Lillies?

I’ve worked with funny characters. Too many to name dancers, puppeteers , actors, musicians… as well as producers and directors. I guess they must of all been fans or they wouldn’t of worked with me. Everything we’ve done was mad that’s my best memory…

Genuine and nothing commercial, you´ve been nominated for awards, you played on renowned stages, etc… From your perspective, how do you see this great monster of music industry?

Fame and money don’t mean anything once you have them… They are our false gods. I feel sorry for all famous mainstream artists, their mediocrity is comical/depressing.

Promotional pic of Tiger Lillies

How do you live performances as Tiger Lillies and how do you live recording sessions?

We tend to do most things live. Spontaneous inspired. There’s a song called Over You on our album Circus Songs. When I’d finished singing it the drummer turned to me and said where did that come from? I had no idea. Some dusty corner of my soul and because I was open it came out.

Do the musical and art process works follow the text?

Sometimes the text follows the music. There are no rules.

Hours of your life on the road as well as the gypsies in their wagons, is the road an inspiration in your work?

Oh yes all the people I’ve met all the people I’ve read about all the people I’ve imagined. Traveling, changing re-imagining…

Do you think like the Marquis de Sade, a great artist is who leaves any form of morality?

Yes all non conformity is healthy.

In 2012 Tiger Lillies presented the show The Tiger Lillies performs Hamlet with director Martin Tulinius, this show will be presented at The Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico, in October. How is this show and how will it be for Hamlet lovers in Mexico?

It’s a good show and Hamlet is one of the best recent Tiger Lillie albums. I’d be surprised if we don’t get some bad reviews though! Some people don’t like it when you mess with their sacred cow. I guess Hamlet is pretty sacred for some… I don’t care about classical interpretation but some people do…

You played in Mexico earlier, one of the quintessential surreal countries, of what memories do you benefit from this land?

I love madness I love when things don’t make sense. Nothing makes sense anyway. But a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to make sense of it all. They waste their time and look ridiculous. Look at religion or politics it’s insane!!! Some places you go surprisingly quite a few people know this… hullo Mexico!

Desires and sighs of Tiger Lillies and Martyn Jacques are…

We’re nothing special very human in a world full of utter mad men…

Many thanks Martyn , it has been a big pleasure. All my respect!!!

It’s a pleasure come and say hullo.

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