Tribes: The JD interview
Before Tribes took to the stage as part of the Jack Daniels Birthday celebration, guitarist Dan White & bassist Jim Cratchley found time to talk to Artrocker’s Nathan Westley.
I heard that you got in from LA this morning? How are you, apart from being massively jet-lagged?
Dan: Tired, but we’re super psyched. We’ve just finished recording our second album yesterday in LA, so we’re super excited about that. We weren’t sure if we would be able to do this gig, but luckily we didn’t miss our flight, which we were very close to doing and we got here.
Jim: It’s lovely here
Dan: It’s beautiful.
It’s an interesting place to choose for a venue, it’s a bit different to what you are used to playing, isn’t it?
Dan: I feel a bit bad for the cave, do you know what I mean? All that loud music, it takes hundreds of thousands of years for the cave to form and all this loud music.
Jim: On our first tour with The Mystery Jets, it’s when we first met them. In Manchester Cathedral, every time the kick drum went, there would a split second later a shower of dust, so you would be covered in it by the end of the set.
Dan: It does have very strong Jurassic Park style vibes here.
I want to ask you a little more about your second album, you’ve said you finished it yesterday, but how long were you working on it for?
Dan: We recorded it over five weeks, we’ve been writing it for the past year while we’ve been on tour, in dressing rooms and on the bus. We were really keen to get a second album out, within a year. We saw a lot of bands, who came and then disappeared, we didn’t want to be one of those bands and we didn’t feel we needed to be either; we worked hard to get a lot of tracks together, then went out to LA to record it, not because of the glamour but because the right guy was there. We got to record in Sound City studios, where they did Nevermind and Rumours. We had an opportunity to be part of that history, so we thought we’ll go for it.
I suppose second time round, it’s good to go somewhere far away and detach yourself from your everyday mindset
Dan: Totally and it really affected us as well. Just the Radio alone, in LA you spend so much time in your car driving to and from the studio, the radio culture is so different then it is here. It’s quite frantic, everyone’s reaching for a playlist, but there, it is such an alternative radio culture that people are allowed to play what they like and its really nice. We got to listen to a lot of good music out there; it’s a bit more open to music, less of the trashy pop stuff. Obviously the club scene and getting to go and see bands; it’s nice to go out and experience the other side as well.
With this one, you were writing with an album in mind, I’m guessing that for the debut, you weren’t really thinking about making an album originally?
Dan: The first one, we formed the band, Johnny had a load of songs and we all kind of put them together to make them sound good, that was the first album. This time, we had clusters of songs that are of the same sort of vein; so we’ll be writing songs and then we’ll look and think we needed something more like this, to get some sort of diversity. We were writing with an album in mind, this time round. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people.
So, you’ve moved on musically?
Dan: It’s a departure, but not one in an experimental way. We feel like we’ve learnt how to make a record and being out there we worked with some really great guys. We invited other musicians in, we had Greg Leisz a famous lap-steel and slide player.
Jim: Brenda Holloway who was signed to Motown records and who is an incredible gospel singer.
Dan: We had kind of an open door policy; we didn’t just want to record the band, we wanted to make a record.
Jim: That was something that probably wouldn’t have happened if we had recorded it anywhere else; being in LA and around those kind of people was really important in it moving forward.
Dan: In today’s climate or whatever you want to call it, it’s never been more of a case, where the record and the live thing can be completely different. We wanted to make a brilliant record. We are not going to take all these people on tour with us, when we play them live they will be a reinterpretation, which I think is really cool.
Jim: I don’t enjoy seeing bands when they just play the record back, I think it’s just really dull. It’s exciting when they do something different.
Tribes as yet untitled sophomore album is due for release in January.