Tribes Don’t Play French Metal


Written by Yusuf Laher
31 Monday 31st January 2011

How many bands to watch in 2011 lists did you make?

DW: We're on a couple but I find lists like that a bit misleading, to be honest.      
JC: They’re all very different.   
DW: And you seem to be able to buy your way on 'em. Everyone that seems to have a massive record deal’s on there.
JL: We were on the NME one, that’s the one that counts.
JC: Because they actually listen to the music.

Dan White, Miguel Demelo, Jim Cratchley, Johnny Lloyd

What do you think of hype lists like that when they come out, as music fans?  

JL: Well that’s what they are: hype. Like Dan said, most of the bands have got big deals. So it’s more of an industry hype. The bands that we’re into in Camden aren’t ever going to be on that list, ‘cos they haven’t got deals.

Bands like?

JL: Bones, Turbogeist... Yeah, but we’re still happy to be a part of it.

Online, you guys are harder to research than I thought. You don’t even have your own Wikipedia page. You know you don’t exist unless you’re on Wikipedia?

JL: We just keep it MySpace.
DW: We don’t think it’s that important. We don’t want to ram anything down anyone’s throat or try and sell what we do. We just want to do what we do and let people discover it if they’re into it.
JC: Someone asked me to Like our Facebook page the other day, which I didn’t even know existed.
JL: We both found our Facebook page on the same day. I think Margherita (Visconti – Urok Management) did it. It’s banging man! Ha ha...

Have you listened to any of the other Tribes bands out there?

DW: Oh, there’s a French, Quebecy metal band.
JC: And there’s an Australian hardcore band.
JL: I don’t know if that’s, like, a cool thing to do, research your own band name?
DW: They have no relevance to us.
JL: We don’t really care. There’s no other Tribes doing the music we’re doing. If there’s a French metal band, that’s fine, you know?
DW: We don’t play French metal.

One online account I did find mentioned that you had one sound then re-emerged from your bedroom with a new demo and a whole new sound?

JL: Yeah. We went back and started more of a song writing basis than, like, a gang of us sort of jamming.
DW: We started Tribes and this is the methodology. Johnny writes songs, demos them in his bedroom and brings them to the band for us to expand on.
JL: We just jam ‘em out. It’s usually pretty instant.

© Martin Zahringer

That van I’ve seen you posing in front of, is that your actual tour van?

JL: It belongs to some friends of ours. We just got lent it for the last tour.   
MD: We’ve become quite attached to it.
DW: Shirley! Sharon?
MD: Sheila!

And playing with the Pixies, how did that happen?

JL: They got one of our demos, from our agent. It fell into the hands of their manager, who asked us to do it. A couple of the guys in the band, hopefully Frank, agreed.
JC: Kim Deal watched the gig from the side of the stage.
MD: It was Frank. I spoke to him afterwards.  
JL: They did seem really excited about it.

Must have been pretty surreal?

JL: It was the best day of our lives, ‘cos it was only our sixth gig.  So it was amazing.

Are you surprised by how quickly things have happened for you?

JL: Yeah, but we kind of feel we’re doing it naturally, ‘cos we’re building in an area, not out of a record deal. We play in Camden and build a buzz that way. Everybody that’ll be here tonight - which has just sold out - will be people who’ve seen us before. It won’t just be industry people and A&R guys.

And maybe a few people that read NME?

JL: Yeah, course. But it’s more word of mouth.
DW: I think it becomes surprising when someone else is doing the hard work for you. And you’re like, “Oh fuck, I’m playing an arena”. And you haven’t quite earned that place yet.
JC: You haven’t played your way there.  
JL: We played a lot of shows last year. It was our first year, but we hammered it.  

Okay, 'Nightdriving (Useless God)', I heard you playing it at soundcheck, quite a heavy topic. Were you good friends with Charles Haddon?

JL: Yeah, me and Jimmy grew up with him. It’s just a song I was writing during his death and I wanted to pay tribute to him.

Any negative responses?

JL: I don’t think that many people have heard it. And if you’re a Christian groupie and you’ve got a problem with it, good.

What was it like hearing Mystery Jets cover 'We Were Children'?

JL: It was mad. We hadn’t met ‘em before that. They called us up. I was at Dan’s mum’s house typing the lyrics to send to Blaine (Harrison). Then they did it and it was amazing.

Any crazy nights out touring around the UK with Mystery Jets last year?

DW: A lot!
JL: Pretty much every night.  
JC: Leeds was messy. There was a point where we were lying down over the bar with people pouring Jägermeister, Coke and Red Bull down our necks.
JL: We went to the bar and there was a guy that went, “Right, everything’s free for you”.
JC: Then we went back to the guy that invited us there’s house and Johnny accused him of stealing all of our stuff.
JL: I did.

Plans for the rest of the year?

DW: Do the record. Lots of touring.
JL: Sign a deal. We’re starting the album in April.
DW: Should we mention Beirut?  
JL: There’s a guy that sent us an email saying he’s really digging our stuff. He works out of a little record shop in Beirut and he’s pushing the stuff in Lebanon. Which is great! We could go there and do a show.

Tribes play the NME Awards Show at Shepherds Bush Empire 9 February with Mystery Jets. For more info, look them up on Facebook and MySpace.

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