Catching Up With…
Good Tiger’s Alex Rüdinger
by Ben Meyer
“There might be a misperception online that this is a one-off side project for us,” the tech-metal marvel says of his new all-star project, “but it’s very much our full-time gig.”
Since kicking down the door to the metal world with his jaw-dropping YouTube play-along videos more than six years ago, twenty-four-year-old journeyman Alex Rüdinger has filled in on tours with Monuments and Revocation and recorded and toured with his still-breathing side project Conquering Dystopia. He also did a stint as a member of the L.A. death metal act the Faceless. After leaving that band in 2014, Rüdinger joined some highly experienced playmates in Good Tiger, which became the first act signed to Metal Blade Records’ Blacklight Media imprint earlier this year.
Including former members of some of tech metal’s most popular acts—Safety Fire guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles, Tesseract vocalist Elliot Coleman, and Architects guitarist Morgan Sinclair on bass—Good Tiger has allowed Rüdinger a refreshing shot at being a founding member of a band and playing on its debut release, a privilege that had eluded him in his other recent projects, apart from Conquering Dystopia. “My main focus is just on this band at the moment,” the drummer says.
On his decision to jump into the van and make a go of it with Good Tiger, a move that some may see as lateral, if not backward, given his distinguished résumé, Rüdinger says, “Good Tiger is a very healthy situation. I decided to do this over other offers that some people might think would’ve made more sense for me stylistically, given what I’d done before. But part of the reason I did this is because it is a very different direction—and, most of all, a direction I wanted to go in musically.”
Rüdinger tracked drums for Good Tiger’s debut album, A Head Full of Moonlight, with the aid of acclaimed producer and bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood of Periphery. “Nolly coproduced the album, engineered the drum session, and mixed the whole album,” Alex explains. “I’d worked with him before on some things just as friends, but it was really exciting working with him on this album. Just the time that went into the engineering of it was insane. We were trying to go for a very consistent sound. It was pretty next-level, and I feel like it paid off. I feel like it holds up next to a lot of modern albums with really high-end production, except that the drums are one hundred percent real. There are no samples in it anywhere.”
With their debut single, “Where Are the Birds,” meeting critical acclaim, and with their first North American tour, with August Burns Red and Between the Buried and Me, in the books, Rüdinger and his Good Tiger bandmates are already happily at work writing the follow-up to A Head Full of Moonlight. “This is something I wanted to play every day on tour,” Rüdinger says. “I wanted to do something more musical, and to be in a band where I’m writing. Above everything, the guys in this band are the greatest dudes. That’s become very important to me.”
Photo by Ray Duker