Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Adrian Stout Of The Tiger Lillies

News: Live Online Gig To Launch The Tiger Lillies Album

Adrian Stout plays upright bass, accoustic guitar, musical saw, theramin, backing vocals and jaw harp for alternative cabaret artists The Tiger Lillies, whose new album. Covid-19 II follows up Covid-19 Part I, and was written and recorded in lockdown with Stout working from a home studio in Athens and songwriter and piano player Martyn Jacques working from a studio in Berlin.

The album takes a more serious tone than Covid-19 Part I, which came out on April 10, and featured songs such as ‘Cough’. ‘Keep Washing Your Hands’ and ‘Toilet Rolls Mummy.’
Singer and songwriter Martyn Jacques says: “The first part of the album is much funnier than the second. I thought the toilet roll thing was really funny. In the second it’s getting sadder because more people have died.”
The album will be released on Bandcamp on Friday, June 5 here.
Read an illuminating new interview with Stout below.

1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)?
Plaster my face with makeup and drink a quick glass of wine, then pull a few faces before entering the stage. 
2. What irritates you?
People who take videos during the show, they are fucking idiots and ruin the experience for the people around them, then have a crap shaky film that they will never watch again. Or people talking during a show. But those pale into insignificance when it comes to Brexit, Trump, Johnson and the whole fiasco of the UK government during the current crisis. They should all stand trial for what they have done.
3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
We played during a riot in the centre of Athens during protests against the government in 2011. We were invited to play a few songs to the protesters camping outside the Greek parliament who had been staging a demonstration for weeks, so there were thousands of people in Syntagma Square. When we arrived, the metro station had just been tear gassed due to an undercover policeman being discovered, captured and held hostage by the protesters , so he had to be rescued by cops which took tear gas. Then we played a few songs as hundreds of rioting protesters ran past throwing Molotov cocktails at the riot police and were in return shot at with tear gas and rubber bullets. We could hear the shots being fired and smell the gas a few hundred feet from the stage. At any minute I though we would all be fending off batons and dogs, or we would be shot and/or arrested.
4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?
I tried to light a sugar lump soaked in absinthe on fire while drunk to impress a girl, and I set my hand on fire in the process.
5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?
As we have always used a great deal of humour (mostly of the pitch black variety) in our work, we sometimes get audiences thinking we are a comedy band, when the intention is usually quite the opposite. We use comedy in a subversive way, in that it's used to deliver strong imagery and messages that people may recoil from if it was done ‘straight'. You have to sugar the medicine sometimes or not sound pompous. 
On the new album Covid II we have a songs called ‘Just a Flu’ and  ‘Don’t Swallow Bleach’ that mock the ignorance of some people about the cause and solutions to the pandemic, but we also write about the tragic death of a health worker on ‘Frank has gone away', so we like to go from the satirical and absurd to the emotional and serious. The funny songs can be serious, though sometimes they can just act as a release after the more serious subjects or people would be slitting their wrists after a while. 
Picture (c) Daniela Matejschek


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