Early years (1986-1990)
Part of the nascent glam metal scene in the late 1980s, Tigertailz first line-up issued debut album Young And Crazy in 1987. The album featured vocalist Steevi Jaimz, guitarist Jay Pepper, bassist Pepsi Tate (Huw Justin Smith (1965-2007)) and drummer Ace Finchum. The debut created interest in the band and spawned the anthemic single Livin’ Without You.
As the band toured the album it became clear that vocalist Steevi Jaimz was not as committed to the band as might be hoped, and several instances of fighting due to the influence of drink were recorded. The band felt they had no choice but to part company with Jaimz in order to progress. They recruited Kim Hooker to replace Jaimz in time for follow-up album ‘Bezerk’ which was eventually released to great critical acclaim in 1990 on the Music For Nations label.
Commercial success (1990-1995)
Hooker’s vocals and stage presence took the band to a new commercial level. Prior to the release of Bezerk, the band re-recorded Livin Without’ You with Hooker and released it as a single. Bezerk saw the band breakthrough as a headline act, selling out medium sized venues and delivering three singles, Love Bomb Baby, Noise Level Critical and Heaven. The album itself made it into the UK Top 40 and Tigertailz frequently found themselves on the cover of leading rock magazines.
Due to a series of deals gone wrong and the onset of grunge, Tigertailz were effectively on ice for many years. They did, however, release Banzai!, a collection of B-sides and re-recorded tracks, in 1991 in Japan. They also put out Wazbones in 1995, by which time the classic Hooker-Pepper-Tate-Finchum line-up had fragmented. Touring proved successful but there was insufficient long term record company interest to sustain the band.
In 2005 the band reformed their classic line-up, with the addition of former City Kidds drummer Matt Blakout who replaced Ace Finchum. The band won a court order winning ownership of the Tigertailz name from a spin-off band fronted by Steevi Jaimz, with Finchum on drums. Some fans had been confused by the appearance of the Jaimz-fronted Tigertailz, a band that in no way represented the classic Bezerk era. This problem resolved, the real Tigertailz were able to work on the long awaited Bezerk 2.0, recapturing the larger-than-life style that originally made them famous, and featuring a suitably over-the-top, bombastic production.
They completed a short reunion tour of the UK, culminating in some festival dates in Sweden and Spain, playing to over 70,000 people with bands of the caliber of Whitesnake and Twisted Sister. Kerrang! magazine wrote in praise of the reunion - journalist Steve Beebee describing it as “persistently entertaining, with monstrous melodies that reach delirious peaks”.
Bezerk 2.0 was released through Demolition Records on 7 August 2006.
In recent times, bass player Pepsi Tate had been fighting pancreatic cancer. The band signed a new record deal with Sanctuary Records and released new album Thrill Pistol on 27 August 2007, barely a year after their previous album release. This release is in fact a double CD packaged with the original 1992 version of the Wazbones album that was never officially released. Steve Beebee again wrote in praise of the new album in Kerrang!, calling on fans to “kindly hail this rejuvenated band for the time-defying devils they are.”
The album release was overshadowed though, as Pepsi Tate lost his cancer battle and died September 18, 2007, less than a month after its release.
The band continued to fulfill their show commitments with a replacement bassist, with some uncertainty as to whether they would continue. It was only months later they decided to continue with a new bassist.
Future plans are to finish and release a DVD started by Pepsi before his death, and they are contemplating a new album.
Edited by HairMetalAddict on 15 Jul 2009, 21:03
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