Musicscan: give our readers a short briefing about the 12 Tribes, please. what do
we have to know about your band in 2004?
Twelve Tribes: we just released our debut on Ferret Records / Roadrunner Records
entitled "the Rebirth of Tragedy". thats really exiting for us because we have gone
through a bit of hiatus since the summer of 2001. we have a lot of touring
planned for the remainder of the year. we just did a 2 month trek with Zao,
Remembering Never, Scarlet and Misery Signals which was excellent. We
leave next week for a tour with Kittie, Candiria, and 36 Crazyfists. that should
be amazing, seeing that Candiria is one of our all time favorite bands.
we're really exited to be able to share the stage with them night after
night. After that we do a month with Soulfly and Ill Nino in the states.
Finally we'll make out way over to Europe in Oct. with (tentatively)
Eighteen Visions and 36 Crazyfists.
Musicscan: many of todays heavy bands seem to miss originality and passion. your
band has tons of both and i'm impressed every time i listen to your songs. is
it just a question of the right attitude towards music? what do you miss
within the heavy music today?
Twelve Tribes: yes, i think you phrased that very well. its a question of the right attitude. people have this idea that "hey, if we put iron maiden riffs, pop punky singing and breakdowns together, EVERYONE will like it and we'll be huge". i mean, i cant blame people for wanting their bands to succeed, but the end result is a fomulated mess thats taken over the underground hard music scene. what i miss is bands who sang about issues. most bands that are popular now sing about getting their heart broken, or just . . . crap basically, killing girls, being jealous, being crazy, weird poetry stuff.
I guess it might be a backlash to the 90's when every band sang about veganism, or straightedge, or politics, but i liked those times, and I miss those bands.
Musicscan: could you imagine another way to get rid of your frustration and aggression besides being in an extreme metal-hc outfit?
Twelve Tribes: beating adam (our singer) at NBA Live 2004 for the playstation 2 feels pretty good, but i dont think anything could beat playing in a band.
Musicscan: your sound is really powerfull and sometimes chaotic as well, but also has a lot of emotional parts. was it your intention to create that particular sound or did it just happen? do you like to challenge your listeners?
Twelve Tribes: I wouldnt say it just happened, because we worked really hard on the record and were super critical on what riffs, rythems ect to keep. But through that hard work, we formed a unique chemistry musically and thatÂ’s what came out. we didnÂ’t intend to create a particular sound. but we all see eye to eye on what we like and dislike, and what we think as corny, or played out. we'd like to challenge our listeners for sure. Kids are just waiting for the next breakdown you know? or the next riff to put their hands in the air and do that dumb little metal hand thing everyone does, ha ha.
So a lot of times, the first time kids see us live they dont really get it. We want them to get the full picture of what we're doing, get the full spectrum and not just enjoy a couple heavy parts.
Musicscan: What is the thing you guys feel especially proud of (whether compositionally, lyrically,...) about the new record?
Twelve Tribes: the fact that it came out. i know thats an easy answer, but we had some of those songs written for years and no one would touch us. we recorded locally and sold demos for a while, just to get the new stuff out to people any way we could. we all had serious doubts about the future of the band, we were all digging deep into our own pockets to play shows, pay for equitment, record ect. so after all that struggle, to put out the record alone is > acomplishment enough.
Musicscan: when you produce a record, do you only think about the NOW or is it
important to you what you yourself will think about it in a couple of years?
Twelve Tribes: IÂ’d say go for now. things will change and go out of style regardless. maybe thats not the right decision, but its what we happened to do on this cd.
Musicscan: what are the feelings you get out of your music and is there something you want the people to leave with?
Twelve Tribes: we just want to be a breath of fresh air. we want to stand out from the moshcore and metalcore and emocore or whatever everyones into these days. those labels dont really even matter to me, im just using them because everyone will know what im trying to say, because those terms are so frequently used. i think a lot of kids dont want to hear that, or feel left out because they arent the cool ones at the shows, or dont wear the right clothes. i want THOSE kids to dig us , because we're kind of the same way in terms of bands. we arent doing what everyone else is, and we dont quite fit in.
Musicscan: what's your self-understanding of 12 Tribes? what does your band stands for? what are goals you are reaching for?
Twelve Tribes: it means a ton to me personally. i mean . . . 12 Tribes has been my youth. I didnt go to college or anything, I've always just played in this band, and grown up in this band. Some people go to college and classes and get jobs and thats how they grow up. Some people have babies and settle down and start famillies young and thats how they grow up. I traveled around the country and met people and dealt with different personalities and created music. thats how i grew up. thats how im still growing.
Musicscan: What do 12 Tribes offer their listeners? Why should someone pick up your cd or come to your shows? What is the thing that is different about your band that separates you from others?
Twelve Tribes: I think the way we write songs seperates us. I think adams vocal style is the most obvious way we differ from popular bands now a days. People should come to our shows and buy our cd, because we're real. we're not trying to fool anyone with gimmicks, or trends or bullshit like that. we're people who love to play music. we quit our jobs and rearranged our lives so that we could do that full time.
Musicscan: It took a longer time to release this new full length out on Ferret/Roadrunner. What has been the reason for it? What did you do after the last MCD came out?
Twelve Tribes: we had a lot of member changes after "intruments" came out in 2000. Adam and I are the only 2 orignal members left. we went on a long summer tour with Poison the Well, had some problems with transportation and just started loosing members after that. people would come in and out of the band, and we'd have to teach everyone old songs, which took time away from writing new material, and forming any kind of chemistry. It was definently a stuggle, but we have the right people now.
Musicscan: What are your feelings about the eulogy releases from todays point of view?
Twelve Tribes: its kind of hard for me personally to listen to them. its just like seeing old pictures of yourself, going through stages when you thought you were really cool. we were all very young when those records came out and had a different appreciation and understanding of music.
Musicscan: Oh, how did it happen that you got signed to Ferret? I didn't know it, until i found the record within my letter box..
Twelve Tribes: we met the guys at Ferret years ago, from playing shows with their band Nora. Portland, their guitar player helped us out a lot through the years with web design. when we demo'd the new material, we sent him a copy, he in tern played it for Carl, who enjoyed it and signed us a few months later.
Musicscan: what are your thoughts on how this whole punk/chaos/hardcore is getting more big-time these days?
Twelve Tribes: it baffles me. i never would have imagned it 5 years ago. it beats kids listening to nu metal, but at the same time, im sad that something i held dear when i was a kid, is eventually going to get exploited and run down.
I think thats beginning to happen already.
Musicscan: do you feel hardcore/punk is losing it's edge by having more and more bands with no real political or social stance? is "more rock, less talk" a real viable idea in the punk movement?
Twelve Tribes: no, i think that aspect of it is bullshit. kids are lazy, they dont want to think about anything. they just want to look cool and mosh. now, so I dont sound like a total hater . . . back when i started going to shows, I wanted to look cool and fit in and mosh too. thats just nature, i think everyone at one point has been through that phase, but the bands at the time (Earth Crisis, Abnegation, Chokehold ect) had messages that i picked up
on, that i still find relevent today. i wonder if kids will still put on their cd's 5 years from now.
Musicscan: what lessons have you learned from being involved with punk/chaos/hardcore? What has it done for you?
Twelve Tribes: it taught me, dont take the easy route. look behind face value for the real meaning of things. thats very important today, in terms of choices we make everyday. where and what we eat, what we buy, who we give our money to, and for what, who we vote for ect. a few of us are vegetarian, adam is straightedge. both are things we picked up in the hardcore/punk scene, that still make perfect sense today.
Musicscan: something you would like to mention at the end? just do it.
Twelve Tribes: i would just like to say thanks for the interview . I'd urge people to pick up the new cd, even if you didnt like the other 2 . and id ask everyone who likes it to please come out and say hi when we're in Europe. We honestly cant wait.