Montreal Electronic Trio, Black Tiger Sex Machine, have blossomed into one of the strongest pack of wolves in the game by staying true to their vision and creating a multidimensional musical world that is entirely their own. Dishing out high-energy performances and creating massive productions while sporting their signature Tiger helmets is the name of their game which has led to the conception of a boundless universe of creativity. In celebration of the upcoming release of the ‘New Worlds’, I caught up with the guys to discuss their creative process, the BTSM Church, Kannibalen Records, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the upcoming release of ‘New Worlds’. Tell us about the direction that you guys took with this release and the creative process this time around.
We started bouncing around ideas for different tracks back when our creative process for this release started about a year ago while we were on tour. We started our record label, Kannibalen Records, a long time ago with the idea of creating a family, and for this release, we really wanted to have that feeling. We worked a lot with the guys on our record label who were also on tour with us. It’s been a lot of creating on the road which was very inspiring!
We’ve always been inspired by Sci-Fi. We have this whole universe that we have created around Black Tiger Sex Machine and this album is another chapter in the entire backstory behind Black Tiger Sex Machine and the Sci-Fi story that we have created. Our first album, ‘Welcome To Our Church’, came out two years ago and this ‘New Worlds’ release is the next chapter. We have created this world where zombies have taken over the planet and overrun all of society. Black Tiger Sex Machine is basically this team of freedom fighters who wear tiger helmets; they’ve disappeared so this new group of people have to find them and explore the wilderness that’s taken over by zombies, artificial intelligence and power. There is this whole story that goes into it and we tell it through the music. We tell it through our music videos. We tell it through our artwork. It’s really a total concept.
Totally. Black Tiger Sex Machine is so multidimensional. Your productions are out of this world. It seems as though you have never been afraid to take risks as a group both visually and within your music. What has led you guys toward reaching this place and toward the desire to create your own rules?
It comes back to when we started our project nine years ago. We were three dudes who loved Electronic Music and just wanted to have fun and have a good time, so we started to build both Black Tiger Sex Machine and our label. At first, there was a lot of resistance; people didn’t really believe that we could do it. We decided to adopt a DIY approach and knew that we were going to be confident in bringing our vision to life while knowing that it was going to pay off if we stayed true to ourselves. We have always been fearless when it comes to going against industry rules and norms. We create very intense and enigmatic music with a Sci-Fi component. We play really intense shows with a lot of production, and a very intense Black Tiger Sex Machine story and brand that we have created.
Incredible. The BTSM Church is very powerful and real. They are behind you throughout every release. Tell us about your unique connection with your fans and what it means to you.
It has been such a blessing. It’s a group of people that are always the first messengers of our vision. The BTSM Church supports us 100%! The term came about from a fan talking about ‘The BTSM Church. At first, we were using the tagline, “Music Is Our Religion”. We spotted ‘The BTSM Church’ on social media and the private facebook group that was really led by the fans and has served us so well. They are such a cool group of individuals. They are passionate and very diverse in their interests. They come from all over the world and it just keeps growing. There are a lot of familiar faces that keep coming back and travel to see us. The BTSM Church is the best!
It’s very all-inclusive as well. You have created such a unique narrative and visual representation behind Black Tiger Sex Machine, yet you guys really welcome every and all walks of life into The BTSM Church.
Exactly. We think that music is really about getting together and enjoying art as a group. We think that music is about going beyond boundaries and that is the philosophy behind The BTSM Church. It’s about being inclusive and accepting of other people. We are really happy that people have come on board with that.
I bet. Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the tattoo artists that you worked with to bring them to life.
Actually, we don’t have any tattoos! Most of the time, people are surprised when we say that because when they look at our branding, our music and the edge that comes with it. Therefore, people expect for us to have tattoos.
That is totally cool, you’re a blank canvas. I’m sure that you guys have seen so many unique pieces tattooed on fans while touring the world.
You know, the three of us had different jobs prior to creating our label and Black Tiger Sex Machine. I studied in Law School, Marc in Business and Pat studied Finance. I think that within the worlds that we lived in before Electronic Music, tattoos are not always welcomed. In our world now, people usually think that we have tattoos because tattoos really do fit well with music. It’s a way to express yourself. I think that it is a big decision to get a tattoo and it’s an incredible experience for people because it comes from a vision and an artistic place that they cannot really explain. I’m sure some people get tattoos that they regret, but from our experience through connecting with so many people on the road, most people are really into tattoos. There are so many artists and fellow musicians that are getting tattoos on the road in the cities that they are playing in. I think that it’s really cool because you’re traveling and collecting different stories. At some point, we might change our minds and get tattoos but for now, we think that it’s such a cool way for people to express themselves. People are literally walking pieces of art expressing what they feel inside.
Super unique and incredible perspective. What are some words of wisdom that you have collected from others that you can can share with fellow musicians who are just breaking into the world of music?
Back when we started our Kannibalen parties in Montreal, we were doing side-events at the same venue, Le Belmont sur le Boulevard, that we were playing at as well. We were able to bring in artists that we wanted to play the venue. Our friend, Jillionaire, who is a part of Major Lazer, was making music for Mad Decent Records at the time and also touring as a solo act. We booked Jillionaire at a party and we asked him if he had any advice for us because at that time, we were wondering if we were going to be able to make it as artists in Montreal. At that time, Electronic music was just beginning to gain ground in Montreal, but it was already very popular in LA and New York. We were curious as to if we were in the right city. Jillionaire told us that we had already built a great following in Montreal and that we should never forget that. You know, we took that to heart and we realized that we love Montreal so much. We love our fans from Montreal so much. We decided to build the label and our first events around the fanbase that we have in Montreal and that helped us give life to our city and also give us opportunities within the international scene.
You’re lacing in pieces of your roots. I’m sure that you guys have influence from family, loved ones and memories in Montreal that leak into your artistry. You guys have quite a few artists signed onto Kannibalen Records now. Are there any releases coming out in 2018 that you’re really excited about?
Yes! Tomorrow, Kai Wachi’s new track, “Mud”, comes out and it’s going to be a very surprising track that integrates Hip-Hop and classic Kai Wachi style. After that, we have a new EP coming out from Apashe that is a tribute to Mozart, but he worked with some rappers and violinists on the release as well. It’s crazy. And our album, ‘New Worlds’, drops on March 2nd! We have so many other releases to come.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
Make sure to listen to the album once it drops. We worked so hard on it and we are so happy with the final result. The past year has been the best year of our careers and we are ready to take the album on the road with the craziest tour that we have put together! We are already beginning to plan the production, the lighting and the visuals and it’s going to be twice as good as any show that we’ve done before!
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