Launching themselves onto the music scene with their debut single "Animalistic" earlier this year, Talk Like Tigers -- made up of twins Stephanie and Charlotte Walker and Mark Thompson -- have found themselves on the radar of many, including the world-famous BBC. The trio are now gearing up for the release of their new single "Gunning", which PopWrapped are delighted to premiere below.
With ambitions that include playing Glastonbury and having their music blasted in space by aliens, the trio kindly agreed to this interview to chat social media, favourite songs and dream shows.
PW: Please introduce yourselves.
Stephanie: Hello, PopWrapped readers! We’re a three piece band with a fierce attitude and energy towards music that makes us who we are: Talk Like Tigers.
PW: When did you first realise you wanted to be singers and artists? Was there ever a concert you attended or album you listened to that made you go 'Yeah, I want to do that'?
Charlotte: There wasn’t one pinnacle moment, it’s just something that I have always had to do. What is life without music?!
S: We received a new compilation album from our auntie when we were about 6 years old, and I remember singing and dancing around the living room. The feeling of freedom and being completely lost in the music was definitely appealing! I have never wanted to be or do anything else. Writing music is a way to express my emotions. Music takes you to a completely different level, almost like yoga does! I love that!
Mark: I guess I’ve always known. Music is the one thing that I have ALWAYS stuck with. Life is a fickle thing, and things seem to drift in and out, but my passion for music never has. That’s why I know it’s right for me.
PW: Which bands or artists did you grow up listening to and how did they influence you?
S: Charlotte and I listened to a really wide range of music growing up from our parent’s and older sister’s collections, from Motown to dance and grunge to pop. We’ve always loved vocal harmonies and Motown, TLC, Lauryn Hill, All Saints and Destiny's Child were our favourites to sing along to! I think our alternative twist comes from listening to artists such as Björk, Sia -- before she hit the Top 40 -- and Roisin Murphy.
M: I remember being at school, and the majority of people listening to chart stuff and embarrassing 90's music, and I was introduced to a live Van Morrison album that just completely set me off on the passion to write my own songs. Obviously he does a very different style of music to what we do now; however, he really influenced me growing up.
PW: Have those influences changed much as you've gotten older?
C: I’d say my taste in music has definitely grown to include a much wider range of genres. I love Little Dragon and dirtier sounding bands like the Prodigy and SBTRKT.
M: Definitely. As music genres take their cycles around the seasons, I guess my music taste started to evolve with them. Right now I love my dirty electro stuff, gritty drums and filthy beats. Prodigy, Björk, Viva City … they're all big influences.
PW: How did you girls meet Mark?
S: We posted an e-poster on Facebook saying that Talk Like Tigers were looking for a drummer, and one of our mutual friends suggested we get in touch with Mark. We, then, met up for coffee and cocktails and soon realised we were all on the same wavelength! Music is our life!
PW: As a three piece, is there a band or artist you might say you sound similar to, or do you make a determined effort to just be yourselves?
C: We have strong influences, but we definitely want to be ourselves and be as original as we can be. We have recently been compared to the Human League and Robyn, which is a massive compliment to us!
PW: Charlotte and Stephanie, what was it like being the backing singers for Duffy, and has she given you any advice now you're the ones taking centre stage?
C: It was an amazing experience! We enjoyed touring and performing so much, and we met some really interesting bands and characters along the way. Touring with Duffy emphasised to us something that we already knew -- that it is important to be strong females with clear visions.
PW: Your debut single "Animalistic" put you firmly on people’s radars. Is there a story behind it?
C: “Animalistic” is about letting go and being yourself. Being adventurous, not safe. If you want to be Animalistic, DO IT! If you want to be different and not follow everybody else, DO IT!
PW: What was the experience of making the video for the song like?
M: It was really exciting and very, very cold, which I think almost adds to the intensity of the video! Being the first band to film in the Victoria Tunnels where the video was shot was an honour!
PW: Tell me about “Gunning”, your latest single.
S: This is about two individuals. At first, you have control, and you take over the other person, then the tables turn, and you become lost within their control and become powerless. The song is ultimately about regaining the power back and keeping it this time.
PW: The track is a bit more 'fierce and in your face' than your debut -- was that intentional? Is there a purpose behind mixing things up when it comes to the music you put out?
M: Yeah, it was intentional to some degree. “Gunning” was written quite some time after “Animalistic”, so I guess it’s only natural that the sound evolved somewhat. We absolutely love the gritty, dancey sound, and “Gunning” features that a lot more than “Animalistic”. I guess we’re trying to create our own sound but, ultimately, just play what makes us happy and feel good.
PW: Who or what influences your song-writing, and is the process of putting a song together something you find easy or difficult? Can it depend on the subject matter?
S: Everything and anything can spark lyrics or music for our songs. For me, it can be a real life experience or even a line from a film script. I always carry my phone around with me, as moments of inspiration can appear at any moment! It’s kind of exciting when you think about it! The process of writing a song is not a set ritual for me, as the chords and lyrics don’t come in any particular order, as one can inspire the other. If the subject matter of a song is something very personal to me, writing the lyrics down onto paper can almost be a way of making sense of things.
PW: In your own opinions, which is the greatest song ever written and why?
S: There are sooo many, but I would say “Bohemian Rhapsody” is definitely up there for me!
C: “Nothing Compares To U” by Sinead O’Connor gives me shivers every time. It’s such a beautiful song.
M: God, that’s hard … I don’t even wanna admit how long I’ve been pondering over that question. I’m just gonna go with the first thing that came to my head: “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap because it’s mint. In fact, no, “Hyperballad” by Björk ... no, “If I Could Change Your Mind” by Haim … you know what, I’m just gonna stop.
PW: You've already earned support from BBC Radio's Nick Roberts, but do you honestly care much about what critics and those in the industry think, or are the views of the fans more important?
C: It’s always nice and encouraging to get positive feedback, whether it is from fans or from music industry professionals who we respect. Some critics and people within the music industry have major weight in terms of what music and which bands are drawn to the attention of the public, so, of course, it would be fantastic to get their support. Our Tigers fans are amazing, and we will always respect and be forever thankful to them.
PW: How has social media helped in terms of building your fan-base and establishing yourselves as artists? Would you agree it's necessary for bands and artists today to be socially interactive, given the many platforms available to them?
M: We think it’s pretty important for us to talk to fans and other bands over social media. We’d like to think that our social media pages help people to get to know us more and for us to get to know our fans better. Nothing beats meeting people at gigs, though! Some of the social media sites are so popular, and so many people spend so much time on them that of course you need to try and get under their eyes sometimes!
PW: Are there any tour/performance plans in the pipeline?
S: Wembley is on the horizon … well, not just yet! We have some summer festivals in the pipeline, which we are very excited about!
PW: If you could play one venue anywhere in the world, which would it be and why?
C: Now that’s hard! Sydney Opera House for me, it’s so iconic.
S: An amphitheatre and Glastonbury -- it’s one of the biggest festivals, so it’s a must!
M: I’d love to play the Jools Holland show!
PW: Which three bands or artists, who can be living or dead, would you most like to share a stage with, and why?
S: Wow, there are lots!! This is a hard decision … Bjork because I love her music and her originality. It would be awesome to perform live on stage with strings as she often does!
C: The Weeknd. I love his voice and we’d vibe together -- musically, that is!
M: Haim. They just ooze ‘cool’ and always seem to be passionate about their music and playing.
PW: What does the rest of the year have in store for you?
M: We have new releases coming to your ears soon, more videos for you to watch and gigs and festivals booked. This year is all about getting our music heard!
PW: Finally, then, what's your ultimate ambition as a band? What would you like people to say about you and your music 100 years from now?
S: Touring the world would be immense! We’d love to hear people singing our songs back to us and having an amazing time at our gigs. 100 years from now … we hope people will still be listening to our music. We would like people to say that we broke boundaries in terms of genres. We want to write amazing songs that are timeless. Maybe someone will perform one of our songs in space with aliens and blast it out to other galaxies!