Limelight: Good Tiger

“We broke up for the reason all bands break up that isn’t drugs or egos,” explains guitarist Derya ‘Dez’ Nagle of Good Tiger, speaking about his former band, cult genre-busting prog metallers The Safety Fire.

“The other guys wanted stable jobs. We’re all still friends, and we didn’t really know how to tell people.” A fan interrupts, leaning in to talk about how much he rates the new Good Tiger material and reveals he only just discovered that TSF had broken up. “Yeah,” Dez smiles, with just a hint of sadness in his voice, “We probably shouldn’t have announced we had broken up on April Fool’s.”

A few minutes before, in a slightly more secluded location, vocalist Elliot Coleman, formerly of TesseracT, and Dez are explaining how the band got started. “Dez was already a friend of mine, and I knew his work ethic, plus I was a fan of his,” Elliot explains. “When he hit me up to do this, before I even heard music I told him I was down. He said to make sure I wanted to do it, so sent me some tracks. I listened to 30 seconds and said again that I was down for it.” With members on opposite sides of the pond, their writing process is as efficient as possible. “Generally I’m bringing developed tracks to the table, in terms of recording and layering ideas,” Dez says. “It’s slightly difficult working together over Skype, so I flew over to finish the writing and recording process with Elliot.” Crowdfunding their debut album, A Head Full Of Moonlight, and hitting their target in “about 20 hours” was a pleasant but welcome surprise, with Dez elaborating: “The album was finished before the Crowdfunding began… we were like, what happens if it backfires and everyone hates us?”

When he hit me up to do this, before I even heard music I told him I was down.

Considering that Good Tiger also includes ex-The Faceless drummer Alex Rüdinger, Joaquin Ardiles on guitar who also happened to be in The Safety Fire, and bassist Morgan Sinclair who’s been on tour with Architects, the band could certainly be penned as a supergroup. But with Good Tiger, they’re starting afresh.

“We don’t have to constantly show off; when you’re younger you have an eagerness to impress on a technical level,” Dez explains, saying that at its heart, the ethos of this band is “trying to write music that will translate live, because one issue with writing complex music is it can easily get lost, making it somewhat pointless, I suppose.” Elliot, meanwhile, observes simply that, “This is the first actual band I’ve helped start. With projects I’ve been in before I’ve joined bands that were already touring and played their material; this is the first time I’ve written completely original material for myself.”

Several times, reference is made to their shared love of music and the band as a vehicle of creativity, and when asked what it is specifically they love about music, both Elliot and Dez have an answer. “The drive to create something has always been there”, gushes Elliot, “but music was the one place I felt I could do something that people responded to positively… it opens up such a genuine feeling of happiness.” He resumes drumming on his knees as Dez thinks for a second before answering, “Freedom of expression, in all forms. Either my creation or my listening, it’s something that can go potentially beyond words, in terms of an emotional interaction.”


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Elliot Coleman (Vocals), Derya ‘Dez’ Nagle (Lead Guitar), Joaquin Ardiles (Guitar), Morgan Sinclair (Bass), Alex Rüdinger (Drums)

sounds like

The Fall Of Troy, Jeff Buckley, Dillinger Escape Plan, The Mars Volta

current release

A Head Full Of Moonlight is out now (self-released)