For their new album I Won’t Care How You Remember Me, Scranton punk outfit Tigers Jaw took a more collaborative approach than they have in the past, taking input from all of the band’s four touring members instead of putting the bulk of writing responsibilities on vocalists Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins. On the Will Yip-produced effort, they looked back to their early days playing in basements for inspiration, and the result is a dense and impressive work from one of the most consistent (and underrated) bands in the indie punk scene.
To celebrate the new album, Walsh sat down to talk Home Alone, Paul McCartney, and wanting to kill Santa Claus in the first of this year’s Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A holiday edition.
What’s the best holiday gift you’ve ever received?
I got an acoustic guitar and Saves the Day’s In Reverie CD from my parents when I was 14. More recently, my partner got me Phillies opening day tickets, which although the pandemic cancelled baseball, it was still such a nice gift because I’ve always wanted to go to opening day.
What is your earliest holiday memory?
Hitting my younger brother in the face with a snowball while at a christmas tree farm and worrying Santa wasn’t coming.
What’s on your wish list for this year?
Just to hopefully safely spend some time with loved ones.
What holiday song can you not resist singing along to?
What’s the holiday song you wish you could zap out of existence?
I might get some hate for this, but “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney can disappear from my brain forever.
What is your strangest holiday tradition?
The last few years, we’ve watched all the Christmas episodes of The Office on Christmas, in true Scranton tradition.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Thoughts on snow?
Big fan. I grew up near a great sledding hill.
What holiday movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Home Alone 2 is my favorite.
Marry, F*ck, Kill: Santa, Thanksgiving Turkey, Hannukah Harry.
Based on The Santa Clause logic, I think if I kill Santa I can become the next one. So kill Santa, f*ck HH, and marry the turkey I guess.
What’s the one food you need on your Thanksgiving table?
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve ever spent the holidays?
Took a short trip to Cabo last year with my partner around the holidays because my birthday is in late December.
You decide to blow off the holidays and travel instead. Where are you going?
A cabin in the woods in Maine, or maybe Australia to escape the cold. One extreme or the other.
If the holidays are a time for giving, what’s the charity you’d like to big up for the season?
Pathways to Housing does great work in Philadelphia to assist the houseless. This is important work year round, but especially in the harsh winter months.
What’s your favorite holiday drink?
Nothing beats a hot cup of coffee this time of year.
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
How early is too early to decorate for the holiday season?
Life is a highway, live your truth, and decorate when you want to.
What’s your ideal way to spend New Years Eve?
There’s usually cool shows on NYE, so probably seeing a band I love.
As the year ends, how are you going to remember 2020?
A very challenging year, where the high points required a lot more work than usual.
The ball is dropping. What are you wishing for in the new year?
For a true acknowledgment of the changes that need to happen that 2020 highlighted with social injustice, the need for universal healthcare, and the insanity of the wealth gap. On a lighter note, I would LOVE to play some rock shows in 2021.
I Won’t Care How You Remember Me is out March 21. Pre-order the album here.