Orlando forest creature and psychedelic beat looper Tiger Fawn recently relocated to Portugal. After living in Orlando for 10 years and performing around the city for the last four, it was hard goodbye. As a parting gift TF—government name Danielle Lacerda—left us her debut project The Adventures Of Space Tom. Produced entirely by Dani herself, the project weaved in and out of genres, fusing ukulele folk with art pop, psychedelia, and dance music—one song even featured Tiger Fawn performing in Portuguese. I drove Dani to the airport on her way out of Orlando. We chatted about her growth living here and our relationship as friends and collaborators. This is an emotional one.
Matthew Warhol: My biggest [qualm] about doing this in the car is that people are going to hear my belt squeak and how shitty my car is. I’m a fraud. It makes me a completely fraud.
Tiger Fawn: You know … funny story. People will always associate things like that with how you’re doing in life and that’s not necessarily the case. I remember I dated this one kid who gave me such shit about my belt because it was squeaky and I was like, “It’s on my list of things to do.” And I felt like it was a judgement of my life. It wasn’t until after we ended I fixed it myself.
Matthew Warhol: Sucks that you’re moving. You could fix my belt.
Tiger Fawn: The mechanic fixed my belt.
Matthew Warhol: I think I wanted to start off …
Tiger Fawn: I’m going to delete this and start over.
Matthew Warhol: No, no, no. Don’t. No deleting. I wanted to start off by letting everyone know .. I interview a lot of people who are my friends or who I have personal connections with, but with you it’s something completely different. To get it out there … I’m the manager of Tiger Fawn. I, you know, have been with you, worked with you, so I feel like I know your work on a different level then anyone else. This is is some shit. I’m driving her to the airport. She’s moving to Portugal.
Tiger Fawn: *hyperventilates* You’re taking me to the airport to leave Orlando, my home.
Matthew Warhol: And that is so … it’s all full circle.
Tiger Fawn: Leaving Miami will be a thing of itself, but this is truly my exit.
Matthew Warhol: So let’s start where we met. It was 2014 at [the first show I booked]. I knew of you before—this is when you were performing with Russell and … what’s the girls name?
Tiger Fawn: Amy.
Matthew Warhol: Russell and Amy. [laughs] I’m going to leave that in. Russell approached me to do an album review. I did the album review. What did you think of that?
Tiger Fawn: I loved it. Mostly because—and as we’ll get into this people will understand more and more how I operate—I’m the weirdo in my room making the music. Then I get onstage and I’m extra weird because I’m in front of people. And Russell was really great at contacting people.
Matthew Warhol: He was kind of the manager at the time.
Tiger Fawn: Exactly, the drummer and the organizational unit. So for someone to take the time to listen to Tiger Fawn and write a review, I was so stoked.
Matthew Warhol: But our first time meeting … oh, The Space. I approached you to give me a quote about The Space. I wrote an article about how The Space was an important thing. Fast forward, I’m putting on my first show and I get Tiger Fawn to play that. And you guys fucking were killer. I remember liking you from the beginning. It was my mom’s birthday that night and she came and you sang “Happy Birthday” to her. I think I welled up.
Tiger Fawn: Tammy!!!!
Matthew Warhol: That meant a lot to me. What happened next? Shortly after that was when Russell moved and Amy left so you kind of went solo. When did you approach me about the music video?
Tiger Fawn: I know that Russell had mentioned your interest in working with any band. You wanted to expand The Vinyl Warhol, you wanted to be in the creative process, a creative producer if you will. That was something on our to-do list. Alright, cool. We’ll make a music video and then we’ll reach out to you. Russell got into school. 100% happy for him. I’m in a similar situation now, but I was very sad to see him go. He was one of the few people that understood Tiger Fawn and what she was trying to do.
Matthew Warhol: He was a brilliant drummer.
Tiger Fawn: Brilliant.
Matthew Warhol: For those who don’t know. He would set up tribal drums, a series of tribal drums, and make rhythms along with your music.
Tiger Fawn: He started on the full drum set. At the time, my looping was—I would say—a tad rusty so my measure would be 7.5 seconds.
Matthew Warhol: He would adapt to it.
Tiger Fawn: Instead of playing to the drummers tempo, he would play to the loops tempo. We realized the drum set was too big so we started hodgepodging all these weird little drum sets so he could make all the sounds he wanted to and still hear me. That was more his idea and he made it into something way greater than I thought it could ever be.
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Matthew Warhol: So once the two of them left, how were you feeling about Tiger Fawn?
Tiger Fawn: I felt incredibly alone and terrified. I took a little time to step back and freak the fuck out.
Matthew Warhol: You stopped for a while.
Tiger Fawn: I did. Just to freak the fuck out and reassemble myself. I got a bass at the time, my little Speed Racer. She is a beauty. I had to refigure my setup and I think that’s something I’ve been doing over the last four years.
Matthew Warhol: And then you approached me and said you wanted to do a music video. This is so funny. We did the music video in 2015. We released the music video. And then we took the video down and rereleased earlier this year, like two months ago.
Tiger Fawn: *sucking sounds*
Matthew Warhol: She’s hitting a vape, just so you know. Weed. Not vape juice.
Tiger Fawn: I don’t fucking vape. Fuckin’ vape contests. Blowing rings. Blowing smoke rings up your ass. Right. So. Just keeping it real on a tasty morsel then reeling it back. [She’s talking about the video. idfk u guys lol.] Because we had to release The Adventures of Space Tom. We’ll get there. Had a freak out by myself. Redo my shit. Pull myself up by my bootstraps and then, Matt, we ended up chatting and working on this music video together. Through the whole process of storyboarding, figuring out costumes, props, casting, our friend Johnny B who is a phenomenal videogrphaer—through the process of getting it together … in post production we would go to Matt’s house and Tammy Weller(!) would cook us a delicious meal.
Matthew Warhol: We would work on the video all together.
Tiger Fawn: Frame by frame.
Matthew Warhol: Through that, my goal was to become your friend. I was like, “It’s so cool that we’re doing this together. I love the music that she makes. I just want to be her friend. I don’t care if do anything else after.” I couldn’t imagine it would have led to this.
Tiger Fawn: I couldn’t have foreseen how close we would have gotten either.
Matthew Warhol: And the thing about the video too is that I met so many of my friends. Me and Hannah got really close through that. Alison. Kate. I can’t thank you enough for reaching out to me. It’s like a domino effect.
Tiger Fawn: In life, generally speaking, people are where they need to be. You met me. We became friends. We collaborated …
Matthew Warhol: If you see signs for the airport. Let me know.
Tiger Fawn: For sure. Navigator extraordinaire over here. Oh my god, I did my first police report on Waze today and I felt like such a part of the community … We started to work together professionally and we gelled so well. You really understood my communication skills and style, the message I was trying to convey. I respected you and the way you worked. Your ability to bring everything together. You are phenomenal at it. And then I wanted to do a tour. You thought it would be a good piece for The Vinyl Warhol. I was like, “Oh my god, help me learn.”
Matthew Warhol: I want to know, what is your favorite memory from the tour?
Tiger Fawn: Oh God … there are so many. But I have to say one of my fondest memories was the show we played in St Pete. The bar will remain nameless. I don’t think it was the best setup for Tiger Fawn.
Matthew Warhol: OH MY GOD. Fuck that place. 507 Pub, fuck you!
Tiger Fawn: That’s not the name.
Matthew Warhol: It was called Number, Number, Number Pub in St Pete. You are a piece of shit. You should never throw shows there. Oh my God. You tell the story.
Tiger Fawn: Things were unorganized from the beginning. The person that booked our show didn’t work there anymore. The openers were too punk, so they got cut off after two songs. The guy just said, “It’s done.” He said, “Turn it down.” Then they played one more song and he cut it off. He played two songs and they left. These were the locals and they got kicked off after two songs. So I’m setting my stuff up and they said, “Hey, we’re going to need you to wait 20 minutes because someone put $5 in the jukebox.”
Matthew Warhol: OH MY GOD! Fuck this.
Tiger Fawn: And then afterwards, a bridal party showed up and they said, “Hey, we’re going to need to you wait because this bachelorette party showed up.” And they were like, “CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRSSSSS, you’re getting married.” So it’s fine. Whatever. I started to play and I guess at one point the someone goes to the bartender and says it’s a little weird. They call the owner and he’s like, “After the next song, cut her off.”
Matthew Warhol: They said you were too weird.
Tiger Fawn: To be fair, some random old dude came up to me and said “Thank you for what you do.” Frankly, one of my favorite demographics is old weird dudes who come up to me and love my shit, call my Stevie Knicks and shit.
Matthew Warhol: They need to front that money.
Tiger Fawn: They cut us off. They didn’t even let our friend Renee play who is amazing. Honestly, she was my big sister/mom through this thing because she wasn’t taking any shit.
Matthew Warhol: We both learned a lot. And I’m not a confrontational person so to have her there, I learned so much. That was almost three years ago.
Tiger Fawn: I’m still mad at that.
Matthew Warhol: And then she played a song outside on the accordion.
Tiger Fawn: And that’s my favorite memory, next to the dumpster.
Matthew Warhol: Something that I’ll never forget that you said—and I’ve used it for myself and I’ve said it in other interviews—I remember asking you about your looping. Everything you do has to be very exact or the song falls apart. I asked you how you do that? How do you maintain composure being the only person on stage? Do you remember what you said.
Tiger Fawn: Very carefully.
Matthew Warhol: No, you said, “I’m clenching the whole time.”
Tiger Fawn: I’m clenching the whole time. Butthole is fully clenched. Clenched butthole and beads of sweat. Over time, it’s become muscle memory and I’ve learned myself and how I play music.
Matthew Warhol: You’ve improved as a performer so much since I met you.
Tiger Fawn: Thank you. That means so much.
Matthew Warhol: To go from some of the shows on that tour to your last show on Will’s Pub, it’s phenomenal.
Tiger Fawn: Best show I’ve ever paid.
Matthew Warhol: So let’s dive into The Adventure’s of Space Tom. You sent me the album and I was surprised. Being someone who has heard these songs independently hearing them in the sequence they were and mastered, you wouldn’t be able to tell that it was just one person doing everything. Good job.
Tiger Fawn: Thank you. In the very, very beginning, I would attribute Tiger Fawn’s success to my friends …
Matthew Warhol: [laughs] You’re being very diplomatic with your answer. “I would like to tell you…”
Tiger Fawn: No but seriously, I am where I am because of my friends. I would like to give a small shoutout to Yogurt Smoothness. My first ever time playing in front of people was a open mic at Austin’s Coffee. One day, they came up to me and they asked me to open for them. And I did and someone there asked me to open up at their show. And I’m like “okay.” And someone else asked me to open for them. And it snowballed into what it is now. It was just me and a mic and ukulele and this little dingy looper. And even then they believed in me, so thanks guys. You’re really cool.
Matthew Warhol: They were an early supporter of me too. I was a 19-year-old kid.
Tiger Fawn: I would like to thank them. Also, my friend Dave Hanson.
Matthew Warhol: Are his recordings on the album?
Tiger Fawn: He helped with “Little Birdie” and the entire concept of the album started when I was recording with Dave. I had this one tom and I couldn’t the sound on this tom right and I was like, “I need it spacey-er! Give me more space!” So this tom sound became this personification of Space Tom. “Give me Space Tom.” Space Tom became this person and I sort of, in my own head, put Space Tom on this path parallel to my own, I think.
Matthew Warhol: Without a doubt. So the Bowie reference is just coincidental?
Tiger Fawn: Yeah.
Matthew Warhol: Really? Okay, cool. I didn’t know that. I’ve always thought that you are Space Tom. With the songs, you sort of give me bits and pieces of you personified through this character.
Tiger Fawn: I am Space Tom. And that was the thing. When you think about thoughts, thoughts aren’t linear. They’re more like spiderwebs. Space Tom—this thought, this concept—is just a spacey ass tom. But as the album progressed and what I wanted to make progressed, Space Tom became me. The journey of crash landing on a planet because life is not always easy. Life is not always a straight and narrow path. Sometimes it means not going back to where you were and not being the same. The plot line is that he lands on this planet and ends up falling in love with the planet and the creatures on the planet. And he decides to stay and venture into the great unknown.
Matthew Warhol: So “King Mallard” what does that mean? Where does that fall in the story?
Tiger Fawn: It plays a point and it doesn’t.
Matthew Warhol: It’s a perfect final song.
Tiger Fawn: I’ve ebbed and flowed with bandmates. So before Tiger Fawn, there was King Mallard & The Tiger Fawn. King Mallard was the first person that I played music with. Phenomenal musician, but I had the voice. At the time I didn’t fuck with the looper. I was just singing. And I learned so much from him.
Matthew Warhol: So not really related to the concept of the album.
Tiger Fawn: In a way, yes it is. Space Tom is a character and King Mallard is a character. Space Tom is replying to King Mallard from his home planet and he’s saying, “I’m sorry, I’m going to stay on this new planet. And I miss you. I miss you like the dew misses the mother atmosphere.”
Matthew Warhol: Aw, that fits perfectly because I’m going to miss you like that.
Tiger Fawn: No, no, no. I’m not crying.
Matthew Warhol: No, let’s talk about that now.
Tiger Fawn: Oh my God, we’re turning.
Matthew Warhol: Yeah, we’re pulling into the terminal.
Tiger Fawn: Yeah, to some it up, I was making music with King Mallard but he had to move New York. I have to move to Portugal and I have to grow. And I think I’m going to exponentially grown through this experience. But I will always miss you.
Matthew Warhol: And we’ll talk. And we’re still releasing music. This isn’t the end of Tiger Fawn. It isn’t the end of us.
Tiger Fawn: It’s the end of the beginning.
Matthew Warhol: What are you thinking musically? I know things are changing because you don’t have your bass or your ukulele. How do you think it’s going to change?
Tiger Fawn: For the umpteenth time I have to reconfigure my setup. I’m bringing my PC that has Ableton Live and I’m bringing my midi.
Matthew Warhol: How do think it’s going to change sonically?
Tiger Fawn: I think it’ll push me into a more electronic style. I’ll still be making tribal ass beats.
Matthew Warhol: Do you think you’ll be singing?
Tiger Fawn: Absolutely!
Matthew Warhol: Well, I just know that when you’re on more beat driven stuff … you know I love when you rap. If you haven’t heard, go listen to the song Dani has with FIONA where she raps in Portuguese. I love that.
Tiger Fawn: I definitely want to expand myself and what I do. I think I’ll be doing that by moving…
Matthew Warhol: Wait, where are we?
Tiger Fawn: Are any of these Spirit? Oh, here! I would love to tell you what the next step for Tiger Fawn is, but fuck if I know. I’m tripping.
Matthew Warhol: We’re at the gate right now. I don’t know man. I want to tell you for real. I’m going to miss you so much. I love you. You’ve become one of my best friends. And I think, something about Orlando, is that people spread out from here. And people look at that as a bad thing, but I think it’s a good thing because you’re taking Orlando with you. And I have a friend in Portugal that I can come see.
Tiger Fawn: Definitely, and I will always be your swamp girl. And Matt, I have to tell you, you’ve become one of my best friends. And you’ve become someone I can come to for emotional support which has been paramount to Tiger Fawn. And I truly appreciate you. Tiger Fawn would not be without you. I would not be without you. Thank you.
Matthew Warhol: Knowing you has made me a better person. And that’s the kind of people I like to have in my life.
Tiger Fawn: This is the end of the beginning and everything is going to be great.
Matthew Warhol: Okay, let me come give you a hug.
[car door dings.]
Tiger Fawn: Truly though, this has been one hell of an experience.
[car door slams.]
[car door opens.]
Tiger Fawn: And I love each and every one of you.
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