Tigers On Trains (Christian Van Deurs, Mason Maggio from The Republic Of Wolves) have released their second album, Foundry, and we’re glad to be teaming up with the band on PropertyOfZack to do a Track-By-Track feature on the record. Pre-order the record here and check out the Track-By-Track below by clicking “Read More!”
In The Atlas Cedars
This song was pretty much always intended to be the first track on the album. We really wanted to start with something catchy and exciting, mostly as a contrast to the slow crescendo of Grandfather’s opening track. The lyrics deal with being lost and confused for no discernible reason, and how trying to rationalize that sort of thing can only make it worse. It’s about how something as simple as your own identity becomes scarily complex once you really make an effort to understand it.
This was the first song written for the album, and it’s the most straightforward in terms of narrative. It’s basically a story about both the permanence and fragility of life, and how the people you love can never really be gone, even though that’s usually a tough thing to understand. The “chorus” parts of this song are purely instrumental, which we thought really complemented the linear narrative of the verses. It kind of lets the listener reflect on the words and draw their own conclusions. Our friend (and Republic of Wolves bandmate) Billy insisted on adding drums to the song, and he ended up doing a great job and making the song really come alive.
This is the first song we’ve done which was written exclusively by Christian. The song was always meant to be fairly humble and acoustic, but in the process of recording it felt like something was missing. We brought in our friend Natalie Kress to record violin, which filled that void better than we could imagine. The chords and strum patterns were influenced by “Right Away, Great Captain!” and the song is about a friend who happened to make a poor decision and is no longer with us.
This was a very late addition to the album, and was written after most of the other songs had already been fully recorded. We knew the album was missing something really simplistic and refreshing, and this song fit that niche so well. Billy did the percussion on this song as well, and also sings the lead during part of the chorus. The lyrics are about how time can make us feel helpless. As they say in Lost, “Whatever happened happened.”
There Is No Prize
This is another upbeat folky track, whose style kind of contrasts with the sad truth that the lyrics explore. I’d like to think the overall message is that in spite of all this impermanence, you have to count yourself lucky for being able to enjoy the beauty of life, no matter how fleeting it may be. Natalie Kress recorded the violin in this song, and once again did an amazing job. The ending is our “Sigur Ros” moment.
The style of this song is more stripped than most of the others, and it’s definitely one of our more lyrically-focused songs. The lyrics deal indirectly with death; they’re about how the passing of someone else changes you, whether you realize it or not. It’s an experience that becomes a part of you, something that you carry with you from that point on. This song was recorded in two different studios, over a period of about six months, which gave us a lot of time to reflect on what we wanted it to be.
Good to know.