Tigercub's Jamie Hall: "The lower the tuning, the bigger the riff!"

Jamie Hall
(Image credit: Andrew Benge/Redferns)

Jamie Hall grew up listening to everything from rave music to his father’s classic rock records, and on Tigercub’s new album As Blue As Indigo, he takes a heavy-handed approach to creating heavy-sounding riffs. As he puts it: “I hammer the living shit out of my instruments!”

What does the new record say about you as a player today?

“This new record is not afraid to be heavy metal and to have a bit more flair and flamboyance with the playing. The whole thing has been a reappraisal for me of who I am and what I’m about: I like heavy riffs and I like good guitar players – and there’s nothing wrong with that!”

For you, what makes a good riff?

“The lower the tuning, the bigger the riff! There’s also a relationship I have with 3/4 timing over 4/4. When you start to go into that area rhythmically, good riffs start to happen and when you drift in and out of those time signatures you get new-sounding, challenging patterns that don’t feel stock and out-of-the-box.”

How low are we talking with these tunings? 

“As low as it can possibly go – drop G# and really far down to G. I put really thick strings on – 13s or 14s – and that’s when the physicalities of the guitar start to change. When all the strings are dead slinky but really thick, there’s cool overtones and harmonics that happen.”

How key are pedals to your beefy sound?

“I fall in and out of love with them. Back in the day, my pedalboard was almost sentient – it had a soul! I always like to have a vibrato pedal at the end of the chain that’s just on all the time and I’ll split the signal between two amps. I’ve got a WEM Dominator MKII for cleans and I send all the punishment to a Hiwatt Custom 50, going through a 2x12. I put a reverb before fuzz so the fuzz pedal is affecting the reverb tail – so you get a hard, sausage-y waveform!”

What’s your axe of choice?

“I’ve got a Fender Jaguar which has two humbuckers, which is my workhorse. I hammer the living shit out of my instruments and I like it when they’re a bit difficult to play. The Jag needs taming – you have to dig deep to get the tones out of it, but they are there!”

  • As Blue As Indigo is out now (opens in new tab) via Blame Recordings.

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating from university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and GuitarWorld.com, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.