Silent Tiger: Back For The Attack
Silent Tiger: Back For The Attack
SILENT TIGER was formed in 2018 by guitarist Jean Funes and drummer Joel Mejia from Honduras and USA singer David Cagle (LastWorld) with the desire to make melodic hard rock music with influences like Def Leppard, Van Halen, Europe, Bon Jovi, Ratt, Dokken and Scorpions, with a modern touch. Twist Of Fate is their latest magnum opus, now available worldwide via Pride & Joy Music. A follow up to their Ready For Attack debut endeavor, Twist Of Fate by Silent Tiger features members of famed melodic rockers Degreed on the exciting new masterwork. Highwire Daze recently interviewed guitarist and founding member Jean Funes find out more about the almighty Silent Tiger, back for the attack and ready to rock! Read on…
How did you wind up signing with Pride & Joy Music?
I was working on the songs since 2020, and I was trying to get a deal because we released the first album with Melodic Rock Records where they changed to Melodic Rock Classic, so we were dropped, or something like that. So, we were trying to find a new home. I found out about Pride & Joy Music by listening to Midnite City and other music that I always check, which are the labels who all the work with the bands I like, and I saw that and contact them. So, when I send them the music, they liked it, and they signed us.
Is there any story behind the album title Twist of Fate?
Well, kind of, it’s because we were working on the second Hearts on Fire album. I don’t know if you had the first one. We were working on the follow-up, but we couldn’t do it. So, it was kind of like a change of direction to put all we had into Silent Tiger. So, it was a twist of faith per se. So now this is our main band. Silent Tiger was my second band back then in 2019 or 18, but now it’s my main band, so that’s why the name is coming from.
How did David Cagle from LastWorld become involved with Silent Tiger?
We were in the same label, Melodic Rock Records and Andreas proposed to form a project with him because he knows him, because he released the album that he made with. I don’t know the name of the project, but it was a project that was released in the same label. So, he said it would be cool that you guys talk and make a new project and introduce you to David Cagle. We get along and tried out with one song. We made one song, and that song was Tear Me Apart and he recorded the vocals, and we loved it, and we started a new project and we called it Silent Tiger. But like I told you, it was like a second project for me because I was working on Hearts on Fire music and stuff. But the direction changed and Silent Tiger became my main project and I’m glad it is that way. David is a great singer. We are actually friends now and it’s getting very cool, very easy to work with and new ideas, new music. He nailed all the songs like he knew what was in our minds when we sent him the songs. So, we were very happy.
What is the Melodic Rock scene like in Honduras, if there is one and have you and drummer Joel Mejia been in other bands together?
Yes, Joel and I were in a band called Codigo Eterno, a project that we had in Spanish. It was kind of an alternative rock and Melodic Rock fusion, and we recorded two albums and he was part of the live band back then. So that’s when we connected, and I saw his potential and we talked, and he talked about other music that he loved. So, we talked about creating a new project and we did Hearts on Fire, and we are the ones that made all the songs in Hearts on Fire. So, he was like the guy to pick for Silent Tiger. Well, in Honduras there’s very few bands in Melodic Rock scene. There’s a very extreme metal scene, there’s metal, trash metal, and even black metal. That’s what all the people are at. It’s probably three or four bands of Melodic Rock, but it’s very local. It’s not like an international scene or something. So, when I formed these projects, I thought about an international thing because in my country or on my local scene, it’s not going to succeed. So that’s why I made it in English. That’s why I reach out other ways to go outside in the World. That’s what we are aiming for, make this music as international as possible.
How did Andreas Passmark of Narnia and Royal Hunt wind up playing on the album?
Well, I know him from 15 years ago because in my past project Codigo Eterno, I was a huge fan of the Christian metal scene back in the day, Narnia, Divine Fire, Harmony, all these bands from Europe. So, my bass player got out of the band right when we were recording, so I was thinking maybe I’ll do it with a guest, bass player. So, I thought about him and contacted him on Facebook, and he answered. He said, okay, yeah, send me the songs, and I’m like wow. I was very excited to work with him and send him the songs. He recorded the first Codigo Eterno and the second Codigo Eterno album. He recorded the bass, so he became the guy to go to and recordings. We have a history. He recorded many albums we did.
Now you have not one, but two members of Degreed involved with this album: Mats Ericsson, who is mixing and Mikael Blanc on keyboards. How did those two become involved?
Well, I’m a huge fan of Degreed. I like that band a lot and Joel does too. Joel became obsessed with listening to what they did and he said once to me, ”Hey, why don’t we work with the guys of Degreed?” They have a studio and they mix. Oh, that’s cool. So we contacted Mats, and he was very interested in working with us back in 2020, I guess we recorded one song with them. It was the last song of the album, Remember Who You Are. So it was like a test and we loved it. Back then we were working on a possible new project called Starlight, and Mats made the mix too. Starlight was with an American singer, but didn’t work out because of her time, nd her involvement with other stuff. So, we couldn’t continue, but we love the mix that Mats did. So we thought, well, we’re going to keep him for Silent Tiger, for the next album, and also Mikael with the Keys. So, we love the new sound with them. I think it’s very interesting, very different, and it has a modern touch to it, so it’s perfect for us for this new season of the band.
Has Silent Tiger ever played live or is that something you’d like to do in the future in support of the new album?
Jean: Not yet, but yes, we are planning to do it. We’re in the talks for a possible mini tour, getting a booking agency. Probably we’re going to do it because we are going to put it all into this album. The merchandise, the promotion, we’re going to make a video and we’re going to play live too. That’s our desire.
If Silent Tiger could open for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
We would love to open to newer bands that are getting very popular these days, like H.E.A.T. or Eclipse, bands like that we admire, we follow. It’s the same scene of music, so it will be cool, and it will make sense to open for those bands. It’s harder to open to a bigger American act, like Bon Jovi – or something like that is very hard to get that spot. So, we are looking forward to open to these kinds of bands that probably are not that big here, but they are on the way to become the future bigger acts.
What is the Dennis Ward Camaro connection that you have?
He made the mix and mastering of the Hearts on Fire album and the first Silent Tiger album Ready for Attack. He was the one mixing and he recorded the keyboards as well on Ready For Attack. We were trying to work with him again because we are very happy with his work and he is a very kind person, a very well-known producer, but we were on our own financially and we had to pay all the production duties. So Mats offered a new better choice financially for us because we did not have the backup of any label back then, we were on our own. So that was before Pride and Joy, and so we had to make a choice and we choose to work with Mats, but worked out perfectly.
Were you actually on a Khymera record?
Yes. As a songwriter. Yes, I was on the Masters of Illusion album. I made two songs for Dennis. Dennis liked our songwriting, our songs, he liked it a lot and he said, ‘‘Hey, would you write two songs for me for album?’‘ Of course. So I made three songs for him, and he recorded two. Those songs are Master of Illusions, the song title and Victim of Your Love.
You got the title song! Very good!
Well, actually, the title of the album was chosen because of that song. I named the song Master of Illusions, and I said to Dennis as a joke, ”Hey, that will be a cool album title.” I sent the song and he liked it. He didn’t say anything, but my surprise was that the album was called the song, Master of Illusions. So hey, that’s great.
Did you work with Khymera keyboardist Eric Ragno?
Yeah, yeah. He was in this Hearts on Fire project. Yeah, Eric. Yeah, he recorded the keyboards. We talked and we liked what we did together and probably we’re going to make something in the future with him. Great musician.
When you look back on that first Silent Tiger album Ready for Attack, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
Well, I love it, but we were looking for a new sound back then because we wanted to make a different thing than Hearts on Fire. So we tried to make a different approach, probably harder approach, more hard rock approach without too much keys on it. No, I love that interaction of the keyboards in the music. So when I was writing for the new album, I thought, no, I want to make it more melodic, probably or more keyboards on it. So when I listen to it, I always think, oh, that will be better with my keyboards or something like that. I think about, well, I should have invited Eric or something because we were on a budget also, the label cut the budget off, so we had to do it as simple as possible, but that was the limitation. I wanted more keyboards on it, but at the same time a strong mix with guitars in front. So that’s the only thing I think I would change. I wish we invited more keyboard players on it.
Are you currently involved with any other bands or projects that we haven’t mentioned in this interview?
At the moment, no. Right now, I’m just putting all of me on Silent Tiger. I love to make songs. That’s what my passion is about, make new music, make new songs. I’m open to anything else, but right now I’m just trying to make Silent Tiger bigger and probably make a third album if it’s possible.
Do you have any messages for Silent Tiger fans here in the States who are reading this now, or for Melodic Rock fans who are reading this now?
Well, I hope you listen to the new album. I think it was a very inspired album from the songwriter point of view. It was like every song means something for me, and it’s a very real approach to the music manufactured. It’s not just put together music. It’s something that we made with all the hearts and passion. So, I’m happy with it because it’s real for me. It’s not just songs we worked on just to put something out. No, it is very unique for us. So give it a try. I hope you like it. Actually, I want to thank all the people that have been supporting us, writing to us, emailing us, because there’s a fan base that is growing, so we are happy for it. So, thank you for the support.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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