TIGERTAILZ guitarist Jay Pepper has admitted to Classic Rock magazine that it may be time to “bring the curtain down” on the Welsh glam rock outfit following the recent second departure of original drummer Ace Finchum, who called the organization a “bloody mess.”
Asked what happened with Ace, Jay said: “I wasn’t aware of any problems as such, but it seems Ace based his decision to quit on lies our ex-singer Kim Hooker was feeding him about us getting previous drummer Matt Blakout back in. That’s untrue — but Ace, love him, is very gullible. He swallowed it. He thought he’d jump before he was pushed. He also seems to be banging on about contracts and how many records we sold 25 years ago. All I would say is, take it up with Universal Records… and good luck with that.”
He continued: “I’ve never had a problem with Ace — he’s a nice enough guy and not a bad person, and I do have a laugh with him. But he can barely tie his own shoelaces and he’s constantly kicking off about something or other. It gets to the point where you’ve got him ready for school, then out come the toys from the pram again. All this from someone who’s never written one song for this band in over 25 years!! As I’ve said many times, the people who cause the most grief are the people who contribute the least.
“When we reformed in 2004 me and Pepsi [Tate, late TIGERTAILZ bassist] said we just didn’t need all that grief again, hence the reason we used other drummers. But once Pepsi passed away, I was alone in my thinking, and Kim was doing his usual underworld dealings with Satan to get Ace back in the band. Eventually he got his way. I was quite happy with the Matt Blakout on drums — if Pepsi had still been alive the change would have never happened.”
Regarding whether there was a moment he knew it had all gone wrong again, Jay said: When we finished the last tour with the new lineup at the end of last year. The band sounded great — better than we had in years. But as soon as that tour finished, everyone was looking to me to get stuff going. None of them were really working the band as much as they could: writing songs, booking shows etc.
“I’ve seen it so many times where people think they’re joining KISS with this band. They expect everything to fall at their feet. And that’s just not the way it works in the 21st century. Everyone looks at me as if to say, ‘So what’s happening now?’ rather than being empowered to go out there and exploit the TIGERTAILZ name as members of the band.”
On the topic of TIGERTAILZ‘ legacy, Jay said: “I think we’ve released some really good albums and played some absolutely amazing shows on some of the biggest stages. I’m very proud of the fact that we managed to pull Thrill Pistol together in the space of six weeks when Pepsi was ill. He would literally get his missus to sneak him out of hospital just to get to the studio to be involved. It was against all odds but we managed to do it.
“I’m also extremely proud that we helped launch the Amser Justin Time charity with Pepsi‘s wife Shan. I Believe, the track we recorded with Bryn Terfel and Shan, is one of the best things we’ve ever done. The Amser charity has since gone on to raise over £150,000+ and helps provide services to the cancer unit in the University Hospital of Wales. So if TIGERTAILZ does nothing else, that’s something to be very proud of and worth continuing with.”