Ten Years Of Chasing Suns: Looking Back At The Supergroup Behind ‘Tiger And The Duke’


For the longest time my brother and I had pretty similar tastes in music. Eventually though, our tastes changed. I started getting into metal and screamo, while he continued to drift toward indie and alt-rock. Initially, The Sound Of Animals Fighting weren’t on my radar, but him and his best friend made me listen to their debut album on a car ride. After that, I became a fan. They were my connection to other bands like Circa Survive and RX Bandits.

2005 was a great year for music for me. I was in high school, and I was discovering a wide variety of bands like Kittie, Senses Fail and Finch. I remember going to small shows to catch some of these bands live – often with only 20 other people in the room. Nobody knew at the time that some of these groups would end up being as popular as they would become, but we didn’t care about that anyway.

Tiger And The Duke is a concept album that was dreamed up by a supergroup containing musicians who ended up becoming some of the biggest players in molding the alternative music scene. Members of RX Bandits, Circa Survive, Atreyu and Finch were some of the people who participated on this album. They brought their unique individual styles to the project and created something really special that’s still enjoyed today.

The album reminds me a bit of Chiodos’ All’s Well That Ends Well (even though Craig Owens did not contribute to this album). Specifically, the electronic effects and samples used throughout the album. It’s something that was done by a few artists during that time period, but since these albums came out in the same year I am always reminded of it. The specific combination of those samples and the over the top instrumentals are easily why fans still love them today.

“Act III: Modulate Back To The Tonic” is one of my top two favorite songs. Anthony Green’s vocals are raw and fierce. It’s a style that he doesn’t utilize as much in Circa Survive, but it fits perfectly here. My other favorite track is “Act I: Chasing Suns.” That is the song that got me hooked on this band.

I’ve seen all of the bands I loved as a teenager. Chiodos, Circa Survive, Senses Fail, Alesana – and the list goes on. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see TSOAF. I hear their live show is something else – clearly represented on their We Must Become the Change We Want to See DVD – but the fact that they’ve only performed as a group a handful of times has made it difficult for the majority of their fanbase to experience them in a live setting.

What exactly makes an album like this memorable? There were plenty of experimental rock outfits out there ten years ago but we aren’t talking about every single one of them. I believe one aspect is the fact that most of these musicians are still active in the music scene under different projects or ones they were still active in at that time. They are still influencing what we listen to today, and for those of us who listened to this album there is a little bit of nostalgia. It also breaks up the monotony of the music scene today. While I am a fan of metalcore, it is quite exhausting to hear a similar song structure over and over again.

Tiger And The Duke is, in part, a representation of the music scene in the early 2000s. Musicians experimented with their sound and created works that were unique and sometimes a little strange. This was a time when Hot Topic was at its peak and it played a major role in helping develop the music scene to make it what it is today.

I have to say, that even after a decade Tiger And The Duke is easily one of my favorite albums to listen to. It has so much going on from the talented minds of musicians and artists like Rich Balling, Anthony Green, Matt Embree, Chris Tsagakis and Chris Haynie. There aren’t a lot of bands out there who are making this sort of music at all nowadays. Supergroups don’t always turn out well, but The Sound Of Animals Fighting had, and continue to have, something special. It says a lot about their quality and influence that there are still thousands of people out there who absolutely adore their music. Based on the frenzy fans went into when the band announced their first shows in 7 years, which took place in March of last year, I think it’s safe to say that the interest and anticipation is still at an all-time high. Here’s hoping for more material and activity from TSOAF in the not too distant future.


‘Tiger and the Duke’ turned 10 years old on Sunday, February 15.

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