Everyone in their mid-20s to 30s arguably carries a certain guilty pleasure for the pop-punk and pre-guyliner emo tunes of the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Brand New and Blink-182. Oklahoma City’s own Tiger Lily is more upfront about its appreciation.
Luckily, a new generation of bands, including The Wonder Years and The Story So Far (which Tiger Lily opens for in March), feel much the same, and after nearly a decade of floundering, pop-punk is once again coming to the forefront of American music.
“It’s the first stop in a lot of people’s music tastes,” said Jimmie Miles, Tiger Lily’s lead singer. “They start listening to it because it’s real and what we are feeling. It’s not bullshit we lay down because we think it’s cool. It’s what we are really feeling.”
Added guitarist Cale Horton, “Our songs are about the things that you go through in high school: girls breaking your heart, your friends having your back. It’s immature in ways, sure, but those are the things that most people feel well past their teenage years.”
While the band members may not share a hometown (although Horton and drummer Jordan Huckabaa grew up in Duncan, Miles hails from Florida, and bassist Seth Kellerman comes from Arkansas), the four shared a love of the straight-ahead, pop-punk sound that, for whatever reason, had fallen out of favor until — locally and increasingly regionally — fans clamored for acts to take up that torch.
“We’ve achieved so much more than we ever could have asked for,” Miles said. “We wanted to put out music just to see what people’s response to it would be, and we’ve got so many people who have our backs in any and everything we do.”
Added Kellerman, “In the bands we’ve been in before, we wrote music that we thought people would like. Now, we are striving to write things that we like. It’s more for us than anyone else … and it’s proven to be better than anything else.”
“It came together really easily,” Miles said. “We knew exactly what was going to happen and where it was always going to go. We’ve matured into the ability of writing together as a band, rather than just being four guys who play together on the same stage. No person has more ownership of this than another.”
After Saturday’s release show at The Conservatory, the group sets out on national tour in hopes of laying down tracks for a full-time career.
“This is the only thing any of us are good at,” Kellerman said. “We are all college dropouts. We have to do something to make us not feel like failures.”