In the local Eugene area, there is a band that is gaining a lot of popularity in the scene, and their name is Tribal Spectrum. If you haven’ heard of them yet, its only a matter of time before you do. Their low-key jammy, funky vibe, and their ability to render human movement from an eclectic array of musical backgrounds sets this talented young trio of producers a step above your average musician. Over this past weekend Tribal Spectrum released their newest album, Omni Cultural which features ten new tracks which all draw their musical influence from different cultures around the world. After listening to the Omni Culture, I was incredibly impressed by the versatile sound that each song has. Many artists struggle with finding their own sound, but Tribal Spectrum has one, solidified their sound and two, grown past it to be able to incorporate many different types of music with in it. We were lucky enough to be able to sit down with the men of Tribal Spectrum and discuss their music.
Where did the name come from?
Sam: The spectrum part came from the fact we knew that we were going to have a very diverse sound and such so we wanted to have something leading towards how all people are people.
Greg: We listen to a bunch of ethnic music and we love the sounds of acoustic instruments and stuff we knew we wanted to make electronic music but not over do the electronic part of it. Back to the roots of real music.
Sam: And the spectrum just means the spectrum of all people.
How did Tribal Spectrum come to be?
Greg: Well Sam and I met up sophomore year and we were both making beats and decided to collaborate. We started doing live jams together…
Sam: Just like fucking around, fucking with two computers trying to combine both of our sounds. We wanted to make something out of it because it started sounding better and better, started collaging beats.
Greg: We did a few shows and house parties. Then we got sick of DJ’s, and just wounded up doing the same thing over and over and we wanted to do something different.
What are each of your musical backgrounds?
Greg: I was a punk drummer for 6 years, a punk rock group, I was really into death metal drums. Then I was really into electroinc music towards the end of high school and then I started DJing.
Sam: Since I was 14 I was making crappy hip hop beats. Started a few groups with my friends back in the day. Did that for about 4-5 years. And then I got sick of dealing with MC’s because they are all kinda high maintenence and annoying. Then I said fuck it and wanted to make some cool beats that are not revolved around being the back up for a rapper talking. I moved to making beats that are interesting even with out vocals on them.
Max: I just started producing electronic music, or even being involved with music that has been based on a computer within the last year or two years. I mostly grew up playing acoustic guitar and piano. Playing like death metal, not with Greg but I could have been.
Greg: Then you became a hippy.
Max: (laughing) Then I became a hippy and started listening to the grateful dead and electronic music.
Can you tell us about the process of writing the new album?
Sam: Very random, typically with started out with a sample or a little something we put together and show it to another one. Usually Greg and I will start with a beat or Max will lay down a guitar or piano part. And then we build off of that one little part with all of usually until it develops into a track.
Greg: Once it gets laid out we usually all sit around and mix and master it all together. Listen to what could be better, maybe a transition wise. This is the first album we have ever tried to master anything. So we taught ourselves how to master, and really tried to up the production quality from the last album.
Sam: We don’t want every song to have an electronic sound or every sound to have a Latin sound. We try to cover a different type of music with each song on our album. If you went through the songs on our new album you would see that each song represents a different culture. Irish, Spanish Gypsy, but all with an electronic backgrpund too it.
Can you talk about some pre/post show traditions?
Sam: (Laughs) I don’t think we can talk about that.
Max: Are you a cop? Nah just kidding. We usually cheers and toast each other. And then we put on cloaks and sacrifice a sheep, and then we eat it after the show.
You have just played your biggest show down in Santa Barbra, Lucidity. What was your favorite part? How was playing your first festival?
Greg: Our favorite part was probably getting out of the area, being able to travel go out that far of a distance for a show and being part of such a massive line up.
Max: It was just cool to be apart of something that had people that I looked up too as musicians and being able to contribute to it other then appreciating their music.
Sam: It was really a big opportunity and Lucidity was an awesome time. We had a lot of people enjoy our stuff.
Grag: We had really good feedback it was a good bridge between the solid electronic stages and the live stages. The live stages were rock, but never electronic and the electronic stages were just straight whomps the whole time.
If you could share a drink with someone from the past, present or future, who would it be and what would you drink?
Max: Probably Richard Nixon because I would like to ask him some questions about shit I don’t understand. And I would probably drink whiskey, because that’s what I drink usually. Wait No!! Jerry Garcia, sorry your turn.
Sam: I would drink with future Jesus and I would make him drink Tequila. Or I would drink with the first human like being with opposable thumbs and drink with him.
Who is your super smash bro. character and what is your strategy?
Max: Samus. I usually just get the big blue thing and shoot them with it.
Sam: I am Samus as well, and I just keep jumping up and down and dropping those bomb things.
Greg: I am usually DK and I charge up with my punch and wait to knock these fools out.
How are you preparing for the zombie apocalypse?
Max: Currently I am working on zombie liaison so I can join ranks with them with out actually becoming one.