This week we take Inbox on a slightly different path as we check in in real time with Tiga during his recent visit to San Francisco. We got the scoop on his favorite venues, bits of fashion, and where to get a killer club sandwich. And check out tomorrow's episode of XLR8R TV to see the whole thing happen on the screen... and then some!
XLR8R: What's the worst live show experience you've had in the last few years?
Tiga: There was one outside of Venice maybe four or five years ago. I swear there were maybe 10 people there and an MC in an empty, big room screaming "Tiga! Tiga! Tiga!" in Italian. The Mediterranean clubs in Italy, Spain, and Greece, you have to be really careful of the time of year. If you get an indoor club and the weather's a little too nice, then no one is there.
What's your favorite venue to play?
I think for consistency over the years, it's a club in Barcelona called The Loft. I've played there at least twice a year for about eight years. The crowd really knows my stuff. They are really up for it. It's a rare combination of a place that is actually big—like about two or three thousand people—but it feels like a small club.
What's the weirdest story you've ever heard about yourself?
As a general rule, I really don't pay attention to stuff. I totally try to avoid Facebook and MySpace. Once you start, you can't help but be somewhat affected by what you read. When I was really young, living in Montreal, there were stories that I was a billionaire. I remember hearing stories that I was this scion of some mega-rich family.
Where's the best club sandwich in the world?
Okay, now we're talking. Finally a question I am interested in answering. I had a really good one in Paris once at the Park Hyatt Hotel. It was so expensive and such a piss-take and they made it so small. A club sandwich should generally have bulk, you know? This one was so delicious but then they made the little sections so small. It was really as if they were trying to say, "Fuck you, we know how good this tastes." It was bacon, avocado, and sun-dried tomatoes, which I don't normally like but it gave it a certain zest.
What band did you want to be in when you were 15?
Uh-oh, that can be embarrassing territory. I definitely know when I was 16, it was Depeche Mode. 15... Public Enemy? Are you allowed to go from Public Enemy to Depeche Mode? I wanted to be Ice-T because of his wife.
What's a Juno award and what was it like winning one?
A Juno award is, in theory and practice, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy, although it doesn't quite carry the same weight in the international music community. I won one for my first album and I have no recollection of it. I got an email saying I won a Juno. I think I got invited there. I think it was in Halifax, so there was no chance I was going. They would have had to have thrown in a very serious cash incentive.
Which pop star would you most like to work with?
Does Timbaland count as a pop star? I like his music, and that could be something that's interesting. Prince is kind of the holy grail, although I don't know exactly what I would do in the room.
What's the stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?
I can tell you the last stupid thing I did before that. I remember about 16 years ago I was in Paris. I was living with all these male models, and there was one male model that was always trying to reach this other male model, but for some reason he wasn't allowed to know where they were. I picked up the phone—and it had been going on for weeks, everybody was like, "If this guy calls you just say nobody is there." And he called—his name was Bobek. Because since then I've used the term Bobek. "Did you Bobek?" "I Bobek-ed." And he called and I said, "Oh, yeah, Kareem, he's here." That was my big stupid moment that stayed with me since that moment.
Do you practice singing?
No, never. I don't practice anything. I should practice. The only thing I practice is football. It's shocking how you get better if you practice. I've never done that with anything musical. I've always just relied on instinct.
Complete this sentence: In the future...
I swear to God the first thing that came to mind was, "I will be king," but that will come across wrong to your readers. In the future, sadly, I think there will be no more V-12 automobiles. I think the days of crazy-ass cars are on the way out.
What's one item of clothing you can't live without?
I've worn baseball caps since I was five years old. I had an army cap that I wore everyday in elementary school. I also wore leather pants in elementary school—which is a good look for a seven-year-old kid. I think they were actually pleather. I can't live without a watch. A few times I had not had a watch because I knew I was going to buy a new watch in Europe and I didn't want to bring two watches back across customs. So for that day or two while I'm waiting for my watch, I'm a fucking mess. Like, I can barely function.