Back in the late 1980s, Blue Tiger made a name for themselves touring the eastern seaboard. They opened for national acts and were offered recording contracts. Then the bottom fell out of the music industry, and Blue Tiger disbanded. Almost two decades later, the power of the Internet has helped Blue Tiger land a record deal. Bring Back Glam! recently spoke with Blue Tiger guitarist Vince Ciampi about the band's new CD Untamed Spirit and the glam hey-day of the 1980s. Transcription follows.
Bring Back Glam! Blue Tiger has a new album named Untamed Spirit due any second.
Vince Ciampi: Any day now!
BBG: Why a new Blue Tiger album now?
Vince: This is what happened. From 1987 to 1991, Blue Tiger backed up Warrant, Kix and Extreme (before they toured with Aerosmith). We headlined every club in New England from Boston, Massachusetts to New York to Rhode Island, Connecticut, everywhere. We were pretty big. Pretty popular. Great White was trying to get us a record deal through Capitol Records. It was a very bad deal. They wanted to own all our songs! We should have turned them down in a very abrupt manner, but we were coy about and we thanked Great White for all their help. Atlantic Records almost immediately jumped on our bandwagon…but we were recording so much and playing with Warrant and stuff that we never followed through. Then 1991, and we all know what happened in ’91 with the death of Metal as we know it, so it was the death of Blue Tiger too. That was the beginning. Then fast forward to November of last year. Someone decides they want to build a tribute website to Blue Tiger (a Myspace tribute). Then they invite all of us. Next thing you know, we were putting up music. I had thousands of pictures from live shows to put up. Then people started getting interested in us. Next thing, I know friends of ours, MASS, were re-issuing their album New Birth on Retrospect Records. The owner of Retrospect went to the MASS website and he saw Blue Tiger there. He visited the website, and liked the music. Sam McKinney of Retrospect contacted us and asked how many songs we had recorded and ready to go. We had 14. So, Retrospect Records offered us a worldwide record deal to distribute our new CD.
BBG: Why do you think there’s a burgeoning interest in 80s glam rock these days?
Vince: That’s easy. Let’s face it, the 90s were depressing. When you haven’t had any party rock in a long time…people want fun. People of our generation…anyone between the ages of 35 and 50 miss what they had. They had a good time. The younger generation like listening to this music, and enjoying it. They like people having a good time.
BBG: Who are some of your influences?
Vince: The Babys big time. I saw them when I was a little kid and I knew I wanted to be a musician. One of my biggest influences, for real, is like Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow and Alice Cooper for his stage show. All of us come from different influences. If you would ask Sean ( Ciasiera, bassist) his influences are Iron Maiden and stuff like that. If you ask Arthur (Dauwer, vocalist) his influences are punk rock. Pat (Moynihan, original bassist) was more into “glam glam.”
BBG: You are working on new music now. What’s the sound like?
Vince: It’s all based on the past. The 80s sound. Even the record company even said we’re glamish, but we have an individual sound. It’s something that seems like it could be toward today’s music. It’s not really a throwback. It’s just Blue Tiger.
BBG: Are you planning a little tour to support your album?
Vince: Actually, we’ve been invited to tour Italy, Germany, England, Las Vegas…tours except New England. No one offers us to tour our hometown! A tour is secondary to finishing another CD…we want to go back in the studio and finish that first. We also have an animated video where a Hanna Barbera artist and a few other Internet celebrity artists are actually working on a full animation that is supposed to be something like a cross between Cool World and Scooby-Doo and that would be a video for our first song “Stop Playing Games.” It’s supposed to be done soon. We’re going to submit to VH1...and see if they play it on any of their We Are the 80s shows. We’ll see what happens. If the album gets out there, it gets out there. If all those beautiful Metal friends and fans appreciate it and like it…that’s even better.
Listen to Blue Tiger at www.myspace.com/bluetiger1