Many things are happening in the
camp of the ancient
representatives of the New Wave
of British heavy metal Tygers Of
Pan Tang. It is not even a year
since the band came up with the
new album "Ritual" and have
already announced the reissue of
the eight-year-old album
"Ambush", as well as confirming
the surprising departure of
guitarist Michael Crystal. In
addition, they are currently
working on another new record.
These were also the reasons for
interviewing the guitarist and
founding member of the band,
Robb Weir. This is a typical
example of an English gentleman
who, at the very beginning of
the interview, was interested in
what the situation with the
coronavirus pandemic looks like
in the Czech Republic and what
the mood is in society at all.
However, the following interview
is not on this topic, because
both the present and the past at
Tygers Of Pan Tang are so
interesting that there was no
need to waste time analysing the
social and political situation.
What is the current situation
with Tygers Of Pan Tang since
guitarist Michael Crystal left,
do you already have a
replacement for it?
When Michael left the band,
we had a replacement, but
unfortunately it didn't work
out. So, we held an audition
which hundreds of people applied
for. We now have an amazing
replacement for Michael, but
it's not time to announce the
name yet. But it will happen
You are currently
re-releasing the eight-year-old
album "Ambush". Why did you
choose this particular album?
"Ambush" could no longer be
bought and was out of license.
But our record company Target
Records wanted to license the
record, as well as our other old
albums, which will be released
again. "Ambush" is the first of
them, the first of many to come
out with a new booklet and bonus
What is the difference
between the original release of
"Ambush" and its new version?
The new version of "Ambush"
has been remastered and sounds
much better, it has a new
booklet with all the original
drawings for each separate song
and four bonus tracks, so that's
quite a lot. We will release a
limited number in orange vinyl.
Did guitarist Dean Robertson,
who played the original version,
work with you on the new
No, but I think he's pleased
that people can now get the
record again after it no longer
Your last album "Ritual" was
released last year. Are you
currently writing material for
the next record?
Of course, we're dedicated!
During the quarantine, I wrote
more than twenty-five ideas for
a new album, and on those we
will work with the band and, of
course, with our new guitarist.
Do you think "Ritual" met
expectations or would you change
something on this record?
I think "Ritual" is a great
record and I'd like to thank
Mick (Crystal) for his hard work
in shaping the sound. It gave
rise to the real Tygers hard
Let's take a look at the long
career of Tygers Of Pan Tang. Do
you still feel belonging to the
New Wave of British Heavy Metal,
to which you originally
We belong to everyone who
wants to listen to us. NWOBHM is
still largely part of our
history, that's where we came
from. But time goes on, as does
music. There are new
technologies that you need to
use as best you can to suit the
path of the music industry. I
think the Tygers are doing very
well and our music is getting
better and better. Wait until
you hear new things.
When you released your debut
"Wild Cat" in 1980, you had the
same position as Iron Maiden or
Def Leppard, but you soon
changed singers. Why did Jess
Jess suddenly saw an opportunity
to do other things in the music
industry, so he wanted to jump
on that wave. But we replaced
him with the fantastic Jon
Deverill, who had a huge vocal
range and gave us a whole new
After "Wild Cat" you started
to change your style a bit and
your sound was more hard rock.
Did the new singer Jon Deverill
Not just him. When Jon
joined our band, as did
guitarist John Sykes, our
songwriting started to move in a
slightly different direction. As
such the Tygers hard rock n`roll
You had the greatest success
with the album "The Cage", which
was already very much focused on
hard rock or pop metal. Did you
want to conquer the American
market with the songs "Paris By
Air", "Lonely At The Top" or
"Letter From L.A."?
I think that was the plan of our
record company. That's what they
do. But to be honest, I hated
doing cover versions or playing
songs by other authors when we
had proven our own stuff in our
own style, which we created on
"Wild Cat" and "Spellbound".
Was that the reason you left
the band after "The Cage"?
Not even that. At the end of
1982, our management believed
that it could no longer move us
to success, so it all fell
apart. It was a big blow for us,
from which we never recovered.
We tried to get another
management company, but in the
end it didn't happen. In 1983,
therefore, the band disbanded
for the first time.
But Tygers Of Pan Tang then
again from 1985 to 1987
functioned as a glam metal band.
Why weren't you part of it then?
That really wasn't my thing
anymore! At that time, I left
the music industry, I was
disappointed with everything. I
even sold my equipment and tried
to forget about rock n` roll.
But I couldn't!
And what about the 1990s,
when Tygers Of Pan Tang didn't
work, did you play somewhere at
No, I completely left the
music industry ...
Why was there a comeback at
the Wacken Open Air Festival in
At that time, Jess called me
and asked if I would be
interested in putting Tygers
back together for the festival.
Jess knew the Promoters who
asked him if the Tygers would
reform for this one show. In
about a second, I shouted, "Yes,
let's do it!" And hung up! The
problem was that I had to buy
amps and guitars again (laughs).
After the comeback, the
singer Jess Cox did not stay in
the band again. Why did he leave
this time, and why wasn't Jon
Deverill part of the reunion?
Everything was coordinated
by Jess. He told me that he had
asked both Jon Deverill and
Rocky Laws, Brian Dick and John
Sykes, but they all had other
responsibilities that kept them
out of rehearsals.
Didn't you want to address
other former members of the band
yourself, such as the
aforementioned bassist Rocky
Laws, drummer Brian Dick,
guitarist Fred Purser or even
I originally thought that
everyone would be there, I was
convinced of that and of what
I'd understood. But when I came
to the rehearsal, it was just me
and Jess and three hired
musicians. The guys were
fantastic musicians, but I
thought the original band would
Do you think that Tygers Of
Pan Tang albums in the new
millennium are closer to the
period of "Wild Cat" or the
times of hard rock albums?
No, it's not… Our new albums are
still the old Tygers, but with a
modern touch, more production
experience and very good music
In the reissues, you
mentioned the albums "Wild Cat",
"Spellbound", "Crazy Nights" and
currently also "Ambush". Why
hasn't "The Cage" come up yet?
There just wasn't time for that.
But next year we are going to
record "Cage Sessions", which
will be an EP with five or six
songs, in the same format as the
previous three reissues.
Your singer Jacopo Meille is
currently a member of the band
Sainted Sinners. Will it not
affect his work in Tygers Of Pan
Definitely not. Tygers is a
clear priority for Jack, and I'm
very happy about that. Because
he is the jewel on the tiger
Can you imagine if some of
the older band members would
ever meet on stage again? Which
could it be?
Unfortunately, this will
definitely never happen. But for
example, John Sykes promised
that he would stop by us in the
future and we would be
interested. Fred Purser played
with us recently when he
recorded a solo for "Don't Touch
Me There", which is the B side
of the single "White Lines" from