Interview: The People The Poet

Earlier this year Pontypridd, Wales band Tiger Please announced they were changing their name to The People The Poet.

Now with a new name, The People The Poet have recently completed a tour with Charlie Simpson, and are set to join The Blackout’s Gavin Butler and Attack! Attack!’s Neil Starr on an acoustic tour this month, before heading back into the studio to carry on working on their debut record, “The Narrator.” An album entirely influenced by personal stories contributed by fans, an idea which led the band to the name change.

Nonetheless before the band have one last release as Tiger Please; a vinyl release of their debut mini-album, “They Don’t Change Under The Moonlight.”

Lead vocalist Leon Stanford recently spoke to Already Heard to discuss the name change, “The Narrator”, their tour with Charlie Simpson, the vinyl release of “They Don’t Change Under The Moonlight” and more.

Already Heard: For those who don’t know yet, could you explain the name change from Tiger Please to The People The Poet?
The People The Poet: We’ve been know as Tiger Please, for 3 years. This year we made the big desicion to change the name before we released our first ever album, which we’ve been writing for the last year. We decided to write our album based on stories from fans and friends. During writing the process we realised how much we were taking on, and felt we couldn’t tell the story under the name of Tiger Please any more. That was a band which we started as 5 guys looking to have fun, but now its so much bigger than just the 5 of us, and we felt we should dedicate our name to the fans and people who trusted us and inspired us with their stories,which we now tell in song and poem.

AH: How has the inital reaction been to the change?
The People The Poet: The reaction has been incredible. We knew that we had brilliant fans but there was always that little bit if doubt – would they understand? The response to the new songs which we put up to help explain the reason behind the name change has been so good, and a lot of people shared a lot of respect for what we’re doing which makes it all worth it.

AH: Has there been any change in sound while you’ve been making your debut full-length? If so has the influenced the name change?
The People The Poet: Since the beginning of Tiger Please we alway set out to experiment with music and have no limitations to what we do, to help tell the story in whatever way we feel it needs to be told. The People The Poet still shares those exact same views, and we shall continue to experiment with music to hopefully inspire people.

AH: I understand the album will be made up of personal stories by fans of the band. What was the decision behind this?
The People The Poet: The decision was made after writing the Tiger Please EP ‘Seasons’, which was about a life changing year in my own life.It was a story of loss and love, and after writing the EP I asked myself ‘is love the greatest story ever told?’, or ‘is it the only story we ever tell?’ From that, I decided to think of a way that I could write about stories of all topics with lots of meaning. The idea came to me quite quickly but i never thought it would spiral into what it has become.

<a href=“http://thepeoplethepoet.bandcamp.com/album/thank-you-for-today” data-mce-href=“http://thepeoplethepoet.bandcamp.com/album/thank-you-for-today”>Thank You For Today by the People the Poet</a>

AH: Has it been a difficult task interpretaing some stories?
The People The Poet: It’s been the most challenging time of my life.I’ve read stories and learned things about people I know which have upset and angered me in many ways.The world is full of closed books and stories which may help people in the same situation.So, welcome to the open book club – we are The Narrator.

AH: Are there any particular stories or songs that you have really connected with?
The People The Poet: There was a point, about a month ago, where I thought the album idea was a curse, as it seemed every story I would receive – I would hear about someone close to me going through the same thing; but what I’ve come to realise is that the subjects that we have covered on the album happen every day, and I feel that everyone should have a song to relate to and on this album. I truly believe there will be one for everyone. Hopefully that will help people not to feel alone or will help them through that time, the way music has helped me through the bad times as well as the good.

If there was one I had to pick though, it would be one of the songs on the album which was written for a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer. The woman had sent in a story previously which I struggled to write for – as much as I wanted to write it, I couldn’t. Then a few months later she told me that she had breast cancer. I was truly devastated – but she was so determined to beat it, she was so strong.From there onwards she sent me a weekly/monthly update to let me know how she was doing. I have never had someone close to me have cancer, but through the emails I feel I have become very close to the woman, and I consider her a very good friend. She has recently been given the all-clear and plans to come see us on tour in March with Charlie Simpson, which makes me so happy.

AH: Has there been any change in your song writing habits?
The People The Poet: Most of the songs have been written in the same way – 5 guys in the smallest practise room ever in our drummers shed. We’ve worked really hard on the album and the dynamics to make sure we deliver the story in the form of a soundtrack to their lives. I’ve really pushed myself with this album to try and write the best lyrics I can. I’ve approached them as poems and stories, rather than lyrics to fit a song. We’ve all really pushed ourselves on this album as we all always want to better ourselves.

AH: When can we expect to hear ‘The Narrator’?
The People The Poet: Good things come to those who wait, but definitely 2012.

AH: You’ve recently released a song called ‘Sing’. What is the story behind the track and how did it come together?
The People The Poet: If you follow the link to our Tumblr, it gives the full story behind the track.

AH: In addition to the new name and record, you’re releasing ‘They Don’t Change Under The Moonlight’ on vinyl through Walnut Tree Records/Saint November. Who’s idea was it to release the record on vinyl?
The People The Poet: Tom (Beck) at Walnut Tree is very passionate about his label and bands, and he’s always trying to think of different types of releases to encourage people to buy music. A couple of months ago, after selling out of the ‘They Don’t Change Under Moonlight’ CD’s, he approached us to see what we thought of doing a vinyl release. It’s one thing to have your own CD, but to have a vinyl of music you’ve created in your hand is something that we’ve all dreamed about.It’s going to be amazing to place it up on the wall and think of all the good times under the name of Tiger Please and mainly the good times with a good honest man who believed in our music enough to put it on to vinyl.

AH: Are you big fans of the vinyl format itself?
The People The Poet: Our bass player, Jimmi, has recently started collecting vinyl, and we’re all going to join him soon. I’ve always bought CD’s as I love having something physical, but vinyl is great – because of the size – when you buy one you feel like your buying a piece of history or art.

AH: How much of a relief was it when you reached enough pre-orders for the vinyl to be made?
The People The Poet: It was a brilliant to know that people loved the release enough to want to buy it again, and it’s such a nice way to end the name with a piece of history we can all look back at.The artwork is also such a great piece of work to be blown up.

AH: Can fans expect anything different from the original release?
The People The Poet: The release is remastered and sounding better than ever.I also understand that there’s an updated version of the artwork to look forward too.

AH: How did you hook up with Saint November?
The People The Poet: That was through Tom at Walnut Tree. He’d been friends with the guys who run the label, and explained to us Saint November’s aim of combining music with art through their label, which we felt fitted the release perfectly.

AH: In March you’re supporting Charlie Simpson. What can we expect from these shows?
The People The Poet: A good honest show full of emotion.

AH: Can fans expect to hear some Tiger Please tracks at these shows?
The People The Poet: There’s a good chance that you will, but who knows? You’ll just have to turn up and see The People The Poet, and what that entails

AH: After that tour, what else do you have planned for the coming months?
The People The Poet: We’ll be undertaking more work on the album, and hopefully bringing you more of an insight to it all.

‘Thank You For Today’ by The People The Poet is available now on Bandcamp.

The People The Poet links: Facebook|Twitter|Tumblr|Soundcloud|Bandcamp

“They Don’t Change Under The Moonlight” by Tiger Please is available to order through Walnut Tree Records.

Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)

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