The Local: Tigerwine

PULP talks touring, killer van names and that new J. Cole hotness with Colorado Springs very own Tigerwine.


I meet up with the members of Tigerwine at a decidedly hip joint called the Principal’s Office, somewhat ironic considering the baby-faced gentlemen comprising Tigerwine don’t look all that far removed from an admonishment in an actual principal’s office.

But looks, as the old saying goes, can be deceiving.

The music of Tigerwine conveys the seemingly endless no-mans land between adolescence and adulthood, the time in life where so many struggle between the push and pull of responsibility vs. freedom. And these boys do it well, almost wearing it like a badge of honor, with monster towering riffs, soaring melodies and lyrical hearts on metaphorical sleeves.

We caught up with them a couple days before they hit the road.


PULP: So are you guys excited for this upcoming tour?

Hayden (Trobee/guitar and vocals)  // We are super pumped.

Steve (Lichtenwalter/ drums) // We’re doing like 20 days. Gonna be so fun. Gonna go out the the (West) Coast. I’m real excited.

Sean (McKnight/ bass guitar) //  Oh, yeah. So excited. We’ve done a lot of week long tours, but never anything this long. No A/C in the van.

Hayden: We don’t need it.

Sean: In July, we drove out to Chicago for a show, and it was just 14 hours of the hottest weather ever. We were dying.

Steve: So now this tour we’re gonna drive through Arizona. Oh my God. It’ll be greeeeaat. (entire band laughs)

PULP: You have a cool name for the van?

Hayden: We haven’t even thought about it, have we?

Sean:  I like Van Akroyd a lot.

Hayden: Oh yeah! We have! Or Van Halen. There’s been a million of them though.

PULP: How long has Tigerwine been a band for?

Steve: This band has existed for 3 years, but before then we were a band for about a year called Eyes. But when our buddy left Eyes, we just decided to change it up. Keep going.

Sean: We were all real young. Just like 18, 19, something like that.

PULP: What does Tigerwine even mean?

Sean: Well, I don’t know necessarily what Tigerwine means, but it started when I read this article about people using tigers to make wine somehow. It’s a really messed up process, and it was frustrating to read about. Later on, Hayden and I were talking about it, and then we decided somehow that Tigerwine just sounded cool, even if it is messed up.

Hayden: Also, when we decided on it, we were 2 days from our first show and REALLY needed a name for the flyer.

PULP: So do you FEEL like Tigerwine now?

Sean: Yes. It took a while though.

Hayden: Oh yeah, definitely. We grew into it. At first it was a “just for now” thing, but it stuck. Steve hated it (laughs)

Steve: Ugh, I totally did. I just recently have begun to be okay with it.


TIGERMINE_by_Jacki Vitetta_3

PULP: As a band, you guys seem to defy a lot of music genre trappings. Different elements of different types of music. What do you think Tigerwines’ genre is?

Sean: I feel like we’re still trying to figure that out, actually.

Steve: And really, it’s just getting weirder all the time. Because sometimes we all have different ideas of what genres even are to begin with.What’s poppy or maybe sludgy to Sean may be totally different to me, or vice versa.

Hayden: Yeah. I’ve recently started to think is that I feel like we’re a love letter to all of our favorite bands. And I know that may sound really cheesy, but when it all started out, we’d all come together with these different ideas that were so similar to what we were listening to. And it kind of still is. Like a tribute to everything we’ve ever loved.

PULP: How do you feel about not just playing, but living in Colorado Springs?

Sean: Uh oh. Steve?

Steve: (Laughs) To be honest, I hated Springs growing up. and I was wrong. When I moved here from Castle Rock, I didn’t know there was a (music) scene here at all, but I guess I just wasn’t in the right places, because apparently these guys were involved. I always went to bigger shows at the Black Sheep, but I never knew there were awesome local shows too. And now the Black Sheep has been so welcoming to us and a big help.

Hayden: Now the Flux (Capacitor, CO Springs DIY venue) is open too, and they’re great. We love that place. Ostrows, we love you too!

Sean: I feel like we’re really lucky. I grew up in Salida, and from when I moved here 5 years ago, to what it is now, is amazing. It’s starting to get noticed. And there’s a lot of amazing musicians coming from here. Such amazing stuff is coming from here right now. and I feel real fortunate to be a part of it.

PULP: Do you feel the same way about Colorado in general?

Sean: It’s awesome. It always feels unique. When you tell someone you’re from Colorado, it pretty much always starts a conversation. It’s usually about pot, but whatever.

Hayden: There’s not a ton of bands in Colorado, as opposed to like LA or Nashville or whatever. We’re lucky to be from a place where there isn’t as much music going on all the time. If you’re doing something, it makes it a lot easier to get to know everyone, and to get to know the scene, and start touring and stuff. We are very lucky in that respect.

Steve: Plus, it’s really beautiful here.

PULP: Any plans to do any of the Colorado music festivals any time soon?

Sean: That would be amazing.

Steve: I’ve thought about it a hundred times before, but just never brought it up before. Good thing we’re talking about it right now. Thanks for making us talk about it!

PULP: Here’s some dumb questions; What was the last album you listened to?

Hayden: me and Sean are the same..(Sean and Hayden together) “Dark Sky Paradise” by Big Sean!

Steve: “Show Your Greed” from Axis. All day long today.

Hayden: But before that it was “2014 Forest Hills Drive’’ from J. Cole. I don’t know. We’ve been on a big hip hop kick lately. Oh! And for the millionth time have gone back to “Control” from Pedro the Lion. It’s a perfect album.

PULP: So I was listening to your newest album “Lull” on Spotify on the way over here. How do you guys feel about free streaming services?

Sean: I could give two dumps about it, to be honest, you know?

Steve: Seriously. At this level, you can only be grateful to have any way to get your music out to that many people.

Hayden: When I see bands that are at our same level complain about it, I think they miss the point, you know? The internet has made it so that bands like us can be able to do all the things we do. We’re just grateful when anyone wants to hear our stuff.

Steve: Plus, it pushes you to come up with cooler artwork and cooler shirts and stuff. Find new ways to make money, take it away from just putting out music and playing.

PULP: What do you like about being in a band?

Hayden: It’s a good excuse to hang out with your friends.

Sean: And to travel, too. I’d love to see all of the U.S.

Hayden: Definitely. I’ve always felt like you’re doing a huge disservice if you live here in America and don’t try to see everything we have here.

PULP: Where else would you like to go?

Hayden: I’m the most pumped for when the time comes to go to the East Coast. Maybe Europe. That’d be insane.

Sean: Anywhere? Then Europe for sure. But I’d love the East Coast too. Or Japan.

Steve: We’re going to Bremerton (Washington) on this tour, which is where (pop punk band) MXPX is from, so I’m pretty excited for that.

PULP: So big open ended question time; Why do you even play music?

Sean: Because it feels right. It’s just a passion.

Steve: I’m attracted to it because I feel like it’s something that can be done so right or so wrong. I’ve never felt that way about anything else. I’m attracted to navigating it I guess. It might be weird. I dunno.

Hayden: I’ve always felt like music is the only thing I’ve ever been good at.

Steve: He’s not wrong. (laughs)

Hayden: (laughs) And I feel too like it’s something that I could do for a long time and always be in it for the love of the game, you know? I come from a long line of just incredible musicians, and if I can be half of what they were, then I’ll die happy.

PULP: That’s what’s up. Thanks for talking to me, guys.

for lovers of// As Cities Burn • Converge • Taking Back Sunday

As of this writing, Tigerwine is crossing the country with fellow cool dudes Papertowns in support of their newest album “Lull”,  out now on Blood & Ink Records. Take a listen at tigerwinemusic.bandcamp.com and then order a copy for yourself at bloodandinkrecords.com

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