Wednesday, January 26, 2011

There's a new (and awesome) new band in town and they go by the name of Rival Tribes! Founded by Pete McHugh (aka Pete McAwesome) and Jesse Lafian and mostly instrumental in nature, it's nothing quite like anything else going on in Ithaca right now. Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine catches up with Pete to see where they're coming from and where they're going.

IU: How would you describe your sound to someone who is looking to come out to your show on Feb 11th?

Pete: Battle surf/knightly psych. Come ready to shake thy hips, stomp thy feet and ponder thy existence. I would encourage everyone to check out our EP on bandcamp. The whole thing is streaming for freeeeee!!!

IU: What tour plans do you have for 2011?

Pete: We're starting our tour with Porches (Aaron Maine of Space Ghost Cowboys) in Westchester, NY at the end of January. Then we'll swing back up to Ithaca on the 11th. We had planned to stay down south until it warms up, but Jesse is going to be filling in on drums for Summer People while they tour down to SXSW. We'll be getting back into town at the beginning of march. Anyone who has never been to Austin, go. It's magic.

Aaron will also be playing bass for us, so our sets are really one awesome party of a set.

IU: Any goals or purposes behind the band that we should know about?

Pete: We wanted to be in a fun band instead of a hard band. We've both done a lot of heavy music in the last few years and this was our foray into something a little more accessible. It came out a little twisted, but we think it works.

IU: What gear set up do you each use?

Pete: Generally I prefer manual, but I'm not sure if Jesse can drive stick so we'll be going automatic for this tour. So long as there are lights and knobs, I'm happy.

IU: I'm aware of each of your two bands immediately which immediately preceded Rival Tribes, Elemeno and Crime Pays - what other projects have you been involved in over the years?
Pete: Like I said before, we met back in high school playing in Models Models Models (Dorian Park, Ashton Boyer & Pete) and Elston Gunn (Keenan Murphy, Caleb Govostes, Pete Ives & Jesse)

Since then, it's mostly been Elemeno and Rival Tribes. I have a noise/performance art project called Date Tree that i started about a year ago while I was still at SUNY Purchase. I made interactive sound sculptures and orchestrated multimedia performance improvs (dance, video, sound, etc). Rival Tribes sort of threw a wrench in the works of getting anything official recorded for Date Tree though. I also did a freak folk EP in a gutted house a few summers ago called Pella Gago with Mike Amacio (Aaron's go to studio engineer), but it was strictly a studio project.

IU: Give us the details on your new EP!

Pete: We recorded live as a two piece with Hunter Davidson (onemanriot, Underground River) at business district studios in Johnson City at the end of November. We were really lucky to record to 8 track 1/2" tape and use all of Hunter's beautiful gear.

Then I fled to Tel Aviv for a month, Hunter went on tour in the UK and Jesse and Caleb wrote bass parts. Hunter came home, Caleb laid the tracks down, and Jesse fled to LA. We don't do so well in the cold.

We both came back after the new year and had it mixed and mastered by Phil Abbott over at Pyramid and now it's done!

IU: Anything else about where Rival Tribes has been and where you're going that we should know about?

Pete: We have in fact never played a show. We can play all of our songs (see - live recording), but have never played live. Porches first shows have been voice, guitar, and iPod cranked. We're really stoked to be playing shows and getting back on the road. Tour is like Christmas roulette. Santa might show, Santa might stay home. But when Santa shows, he really shows.

Don't miss Rival Tribes live at Waffle Frolic, Friday Feb 11th with Gull, Donna, and Plasma 36 - 8PM $5