it's the fans that make or break bands

Tribes – Interview


A band that ever since releasing their début album ‘Baby‘ have been on an extreme journey, Tribes are now renowned for supporting some of the indie culture’s most prestigious acts and now they are making their own history. Accompanied with a  huge stamp across Britain’s, and now America’s music scene. Taking pride in their music and letting others take part in their experience, most notably since Leeds Festival in 2010, they took the time to share their thoughts and feelings upon their recent actions…

So you’ve recorded your latest album in Sound City, LA, who’s idea was it to record there?

We just kinda’ fell into it. The opportunity came up and it’s obviously a place with a lot of history and it’s a great studio so we jumped on it y’know? We couldn’t think of a better place to record and make a record and we had a great time doing it.

So how did the opportunity arise to record there?

We met a man at a club in New York, he was a friend of the manager so it went from there and he ended up being the owner of Sound City. We then took it from there, we went and done some demos last August, then came back and did the record.

Were you aware of the history of Sound City? Do you take any inspirations from there?

Of course, you can’t help but be inspired by them, some of those bands we grew up listening to!

Obviously apart from the weather, what was it like recording there as opposed to the first album here in Liverpool?

The main difference is the impression the building has on you more than anything. You walk into the Live Room and it hasn’t changed in thirty-odd years, the same room The Doors and Fleetwood Mac and even Nirvana have walked in there and you feel part of that history and feel that you have to step up your game because you’re going to continue that legacy. It’s and impressive place and it really does leave an impression upon you.

So in the recording of the new album, were all the songs you wrote written with the intention of playing live? Or were there any you just wanted to put on there?

It was probably, kinda 75%/25%. I mean we’ve always got an ear to what we think is going to work live and we really pushed ourselves. Songs like ‘Wrapped Up in Carpet’ and ‘It Never Ends’ are definitely the songs that have taken us to our limits in the studio.

Do any of the new songs particularly go down well with the crowds?

Yeah, actually, they all seem to. That’s always been our first point of reference as to how our beloved fans respond to our new song. First of all it’s in rehearsal to see if it works amongst us, if it does, we’ll take it to the next step.

Were there many influences behind the writing of the new songs?

Yeah, it was generally a happier time, it all came from a much happier experience. We were touring the world and it was just a whole lot of fun. We wrote them while we were away. Yeah, for me it was much for the sense of sending out a message of positivity.

The album cover for the new album seems pretty exotic, where was it taken?

The actual photograph was taken next to where we were staying in California just down the road from the studio by the beach. But then a good friend of ours, a designer and artist from London, he took the photo and tried to re-contextualize and make it a lot more interesting than just a straight shot. We didn’t want it to just be a holiday snap from America.

So you’re playing Liverpool tonight, how do the audiences compare across the country?

Northern crowds are always a bit, I don’t know, less cynical? Yeah, I mean London’s great, I always love playing down in London. It always seems to be a more welcoming undercurrent to the gigs up North.

Do you have any preferences regarding cities?

Well we stayed in Liverpool for quite a long time during our first album so it’s sort of like a second home to us. We recorded our album which was based down on Lark Lane.

You’re renowned for supporting some big named bands, have any of them helped you out on the way, or made an influence to you?

Yeah, for instance Mystery Jets gave us a leg-up at the start as they have done with many other bands, but you can’t help but be influenced by people you respect in the industry. I don’t know if they’ve had direct influences on the music but definitely as people. The thing is, bands like the Jets [Mystery Jets] and The Kooks, they wanted to give us a leg-up and that’s something we’ve tried to carry forward with our own support bands. We’ve met lots of great young bands and we’ve tried to drop their names in interviews and give them as many support slots as we can.

Apart from the upcoming tour, have you got any plans for the rest of the year?

Yeah, we’ve got all the festivals coming up and we have a pretty solid festival line-up. We always like Reading and Leeds, it’s been like a staple for us and I always feel like the band really broke in at the 2010 festival, it was the first time we had the crowd singing back to us. I remember when we were doing Glastonbury for the first time and Wilderness and Longitude and its going to be a good summer. We’re looking forward to supporting The Stones [Rolling Stones] at Hyde Park, so that’s all going to be good.

Obviously throughout the UK, there are hundreds and hundreds of bands trying to make it to even the stage that you’re at, do you have any advice for them?

No. I always say that everybody’s journey is different. We get asked and a lot of people give us demos and I don’t know, you can’t really give anybody advice, you can just write the best songs you can and build it up in your local area.

So lastly, do you have any superstitions or nerves before each gig?

Excited I think. Erm, yeah, I don’t think we ever get nervous, there’s a different kind of apprehension when you know that a gig is important, but some are just, I don’t know, we just love playing live.

Well that concludes the interview, thanks for your time and looking forward to tonight!

No, thank you! Nice to meet you, hope you enjoy it!

Tribes were talking to at Bar Fly in Liverpool ahead of headlining for Beck’s Live.  Kate Nash headlines next month at BarFly in Camden.  For tickets follow go to


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