London: 19th June: Camden heroes TRIBES are back with another bang in new single ‘Medicine’ with an accompanying music video, from their first album in 10 years, Rabbit Head, out 18th August – via Downtown Music.
Listen to Medicine here / Watch music video here / Pre-order Rabbit Head here
Medicine oozes with energy. Charmingly flirting between punk and garage-esque rock, the new track encapsulates TRIBES running riot and is peppered with their signature sound. It’s only fitting that it’s paired with a retro-style music video of them causing mayhem outdoors. The release of Medicine follows a show-stopping return in single ‘Hard Pill’, which debuted on Steve Lamacq’s BBC6 Music show in March and has since been added to the BBC 6Music C-list.
TRIBES have also recently announced a mammoth homecoming headline show at the legendary Roundhouse on 30th September, 2023 – pre-order here. In April, TRIBES performed a sold-out surprise show at Camden’s Dublin Castle offering a taste of what’s to come, and also played a string of UK dates supporting the DMAs, including Wembley’s OVO Arena.
Commenting on Medicine, singer Johnny said: “Medicine was one of the last songs we recorded for ‘Rabbit Head’ and was just a wave of energy exploding out onto tape. It’s about being in our band and being out on the road together. ‘They had it good in the 70’s, I’ve never even seen a limousine”
On the trials and tribulations of touring as a band, guitarist Dan White penned this passage:
”Turn it up! Windows down, heading straight back out of town at ten to miss the traffic. Service station, Travelodge, last night’s rider, water and cider rattling around at the lights. M1 M6 congestion charge. Aux cable, toothpaste, iphone charger, pants. Tube screamer, turbo rat, tuner mayonnaise. Picks. Louder! Alright lads. Load in round the back by the bins. Got any guest list? No. What time we on? Louder! What’s that buzz? Play the old stuff. Play the new stuff. Plenty of signed T-shirts in a broken cardboard box. Love the band, love the crew. And no one gets paid.”
Back with their boldest record yet, Rabbit Head captures both how TRIBES got here and where they’re heading next. They might have taken the long way round but the album feels like the one TRIBES were always destined to make. They are a band revitalised.
The Camden quartet, comprised of singer/guitarist Johnny Lloyd, guitarist Dan White, bassist Jim Cratchley and drummer Miguel Demelo, embarked on an indefinite hiatus following the release and extensive touring of sophomore album ‘Wish To Scream’ in 2013. Following a choice encounter between the four at a Dinosaur Pile-Up – Cratchly’s band since TRIBES – show in 2020, they were reminded of what they had lost and are now back, bigger and better than ever!
After this, and with the ten-year anniversary of ‘Baby’ – their moment capturing debut album – approaching, it was Lloyd who suggested they should do a reunion show in aid of the Choose Love charity. Originally scheduled for December 2020 at London’s Lafayette, it was pushed back due to Covid and upscaled to the Forum due to demand. It was an evening that made the band realise their fans were still there, hankering for a return. Lloyd reflects: “It sold out in 10 seconds! The crowd sounded like a football match, the whole place was on their feet, a huge amount of love was coming over and the passion of the crowd was so alarming.”
It was during lockdown that TRIBES realised they didn’t just want to look back, that there could be a future in a return as well as a celebration of the past. White relocated from London to a cottage round the corner from Lloyd in Dorset and the two got to work on what would become TRIBES’ third album.
“We went from not speaking to each other for eight years to living next door to each other in the middle of nowhere!” laughs White, who has handled production duties on the new record. “As the producer, I really want to understand what this means to everyone. What is the core of this band? This new chapter is about trying to capture that and use that to navigate this thing rather than ego or anything like that.” “Dan producing has been really important, it’s let us work it out as a band without another person behind there. We got into the core of what we were doing way more and Dan guided the ship.” says Lloyd. Working more as a songwriting partnership than previously, a new route emerged, one that melded both the band’s way with an epic hook and more intricate melodic interplay.
Lyrically, ‘Rabbit Head’ finds TRIBES older and a little more reflective than their younger selves. “There’s a lot more sincerity to the lyrics,” says Lloyd. “It’s a bit more open emotionally, subjects I wouldn’t have encroached upon in my early twenties, a bit more honesty.”
‘Rabbit Head’ is an album where TRIBES sound more assured than they ever have, a band totally in tune with themselves. It opens with the crunching rocker ‘Hard Pill’, placed up top because it was the song that kick-started everything. “It was the first song I’d written since the band split up, it feels like the end and the start of the band at the same time, it’s about the rebuilding of relationships.”
Johnny Lloyd, Dan White, Jim Cratchley and Miguel Demelo have learned that you can give yourself a second chance. TRIBES are back in business.