Steel Tigers of Death
Lighten up or go see Godsmack
By Simon McCormack
It plots a course, cranks the speed to “skate-punk," finds the straightaway and drives. It's rowdy, trashy and nasty, but if you can't take a few wisecracks with your aggression, Seattle's Steel Tigers of Death says look elsewhere.
"We’re not looking for the kind of fans that want us to stand in front of a brick wall and scowl," says guitarist Morgan LaVigne ("El Tigre"). Guitarist Mike Grigg ("Michael Deth") adds, "Anyone who wants a band to stand up there and be serious should buy tickets to Godsmack."
The jokes trickle out between songs, and as far as the band's concerned, any laughter from the audience is icing. "We are 100 percent positive our jokes will completely fall flat," says LaVigne. "But they won't fall flat with us," bass player Brad Beshaw ("Bradley Of'") chimes in. "We’re having an awesome time, and the crowd should feel free to join us."
Steel Tigers began as a bass and drum duo with Grigg and drummer Jason Legat ("Remington Steel"). LaVigne was added and Beshaw quickly followed. The two new members knew each other from their stints in the Duke City in the ’90s when Beshaw played in Luxo Champ. Soon, as Beshaw explains, "Steel Tigers stopped messing around with shit and became a band."
LaVigne and Beshaw knew each other from their stints in the Duke City in the ’90s, when Beshaw played in Luxo Champ. Soon, as Beshaw explains, "Steel Tigers stopped messing around with shit and became a band."
Then it was off to the studio to record the Cockpuncher EP, released in 2006. Since then, the by-committee writing process has been given ultimate jurisdiction over the band's direction. Steel Tigers’ group-think is in full display on its first LP release, Steel Tigers of Death Proudly Present Steel Tigers of Death!, which dropped this month. "We've all been leaders of bands, and I was worried about whether I could collaborate at all," Beshaw says. "But it's been great, because there's no single leader and we don't have to feel responsible for every facet."
One of those aforementioned facets is wardrobe selection. Every night, the band clothes itself in matching outfits, be they ugly sweaters, bunny suits or other goofy getups. The answers about what the band would be wearing when it steps into Atomic Cantina on Wednesday, May 28, varied from "whatever smells the least," to "do you like tennis?" Whatever the getup, Steel Tigers remains determined to "return to Albuquerque in a blaze of glory and triumph."
"I used to love to go to shows when I was in Albuquerque," LaVigne says. "I remember I saw The Jesus Lizard, and it was one of the best shows I've ever been to. Now, we won't be as good or as naked as The Jesus Lizard, but people should still come out.”
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Sloan Armitage • acoustic, singer-