Interview mit Tribe Friday zur “Hemma”-Tour

Unmittelbar vor dem Start ihrer Deutschlandtour durften wir Noah über ihre letzte Platte “Hemma”, ihre Musik und die anstehende Tour befragen. Aber lest am besten selbst:


First of all, thank you for taking time to answer our questions.

Of course! Thanks for platforming the band – you are very much appreciated.

Let’s start with your record “Hemma”, which was released last autumn. First of all, some praise here too. I really like the record. You worked on the record together with Aaron Gillespie, Christo Bowman and Phil Gornell. How did that come about and how did this collaboration work?

Thanks so much! I’m incredibly happy with the record, too, which is rare for me. Yeah – all three collaborations (Chris, Phil and Aaron) have been different, both in time and in method. Phil and I met over the internet a few years ago and have written several songs together; he’s a stellar producer and someone I look up to quite a bit. We were supposed to meet up in LA last spring but missed each other by like, a day – he was on tour with 5SOS if I remember correctly. So we still haven’t met in person! For Aaron, I’m pretty sure his manager reached out to mine about writing a song together, after which we just hung out on Zoom for a few hours and sketched out “Comedown”. I’ve never met a person with more energy than Aaron, he’s certifiably crazy, but in a very sweet and wholesome way. Oh and the tune I wrote with Christo actually hasn’t come out yet; so I’ll tell you all about that another time.

How can we imagine you working on new songs? Do you have certain mechanisms for this? Please tell us something about the songwriting process as well as the recording of the record. (Anecdotes included, of course).

Oh, I’ve been asked this so many times, and I never really have a good answer, or if I do, it changes very quickly once I try to explain it. In some ways, especially right now, I’m sort of Bauhaus-ian – I don’t think you can teach or explain the making of good art – it seems to me that it always happens by accident, and then people try to claim they knew what they were doing after the fact. So everything I make is made differently almost every time. I can only practice getting better at my craft – playing guitar, finding words, turning knobs in studios, piecing arrangements together – so that’s what I do. And I can put myself in situations where I tend to get inspired – going to quiet places, traveling, subjecting myself to unpleasant stimuli – so that’s what I do. And then, if I’m lucky, songs start coming out. And the more I practice, and the more I put myself out there, the more often I get lucky. Does that make sense at all? I don’t think it does. What I’m trying to say is I don’t really know how songs happen in any meaningful way. I scribble words and press buttons, mostly.

I think making “Hemma” happened because of one single decision. I decided to travel to my hometown, the most depressing place I know, for the first time in years. Everything else happened by accident.

Do you put the lyrics first or a melody first?

Melody, I think. It usually matters more than the words to me. Except when it doesn’t, and then I’ll do it the other way around. Hemma was a more “words-first” sort of ordeal.

I love the album format and always enjoy listening to a record from start to finish.
How did your final tracklist come about? Did you know straight away which songs would make it onto the record?

Oh, so do I – that’s why I insist on making them, even when it’s bad business (or maybe especially when it’s bad business). No, everyone involved in the album had very different ideas on the order of the songs, and which songs should be included, and all that. And I went through a million different iterations, too. In the end I decided on putting them in “psycho-chronological” order – from the least accepting of loss, to the most accepting. I don’t think that makes sense without hearing the songs, but it’s how I tend to think about it.

Do you have a favourite song on “Hemma”?

Different one every week! Right now, it’s “201”.

And what’s your favourite song to play live?

Different one every week! Right now, it’s “Day One” – because we really figured out the harmonies on it the other day.

If I have understood correctly, you are both Noah & Isak Tribe Friday. But when you perform live, you are on stage as a band. Who are the others? How did you find each other as a band?

Correct! Isak and I run the band in terms of songwriting, recording, visuals, stuff like that. But we perform with “hired guns” on drums and bass, and/or any other instruments we can get our hands on. We decided to keep Tribe Friday as a duo rather than find new permanent members when we parted ways with our old drummer and bassist. We just realized we work better as a duo – it’s all more streamlined that way, especially since Isak and I share a lot of the same artistic values and attitudes. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, we perform live with Erik Lyding on bass and David Engquist on drums. We met both of them at uni, where they studied music production and songwriting together with us, and we’ve been good friends since then. We’ve also been at a lot of their shows with other bands, like their own project, Roseph. They’re phenomenal musicians. I think they play most of our songs better than we do. We also have plans to write together so, you know.. Time will tell.

You named your tour after your record „Hemma“. Where is your home right now?

Right now – it’s our little 2017 Renault Trafic. I spend more days in the back seat of that car than in my house, ha. But at a spiritual level, my home is in the northeast of Sweden, around the area known as the High Coast. It’s where I’ve had the most traumatic experiences, which makes it home to me.

Does your home influence your music?

Oh yes. Especially on this latest record.

Your German tour starts on Friday. Is there a city or a venue that you are particularly looking forward to?

We haven’t been to Hannover in a long time, so I’m really looking forward to that one. And Nürnberg! And Konstanz! And Berlin! And.. Can I say all of them? Also didn’t you guys just legalize weed? Yeah, all of them.

Do you have a favourite venue where you have to play some day?

Our favorite venue is a place called Cadillac in Oldenburg. Not because it’s the fanciest or anything, but because the people who run it are the sweetest in the entire world. Coming to Cadillac feels like coming home to a dysfunctional, but loving, family. Anyone who hasn’t been should go there as soon as they can.

In the last few years you’ve traveled a lot with your music. You’ve played Live At Heart, the Reeperbahn Festival and SXSW, among others. What have been your concert highlights so far?

The Scandinavian tour we did last week, opening for Mother Mother, has definitely been a highlight. I feel like their fans really understood what we were trying to do, so I had the time of my life performing for these 1500+ people crowds every night. SXSW in Austin was pretty sweet too – more than anything because there was so much good music everywhere. And because Texas has fucking incredible avocados.

While I was just mentioning festivals.
If you could curate your own festival: who gets to play?
And where would it take place?

Whoa, that’s a good one. My dream lineup would be something like… La Dispute, Model//Actriz and Cult Of Luna on a depressive and ugly cry-mosh-vibe stage, with Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst jamming deep cuts on a little side thingy. COBRAH and Kah-Lo taking turns in the rave tent all night. It’d take place in my backyard, or in a really nice old forest. Or in tunnels beneath the ground.

Do you play there yourself?

Hell no! I’d want to get drunk and catch nosebleeds in the pit.

And last but not least: what’s playing on your tour bus at the moment? What music is accompanying you at the moment?

A recording of our final rehearsal that we blast on repeat to pump ourselves up. I know that sounds insane but it’s like 80% of what we listen to, no joke. The other 20% is Allan Edwall and other Swedish songwriters, with a little sprinkle of classic emo when the sun starts setting. Look Allan up if you can speak our language, by the way. All the cool kids fuck with Allan Edwall.

We wish you a good start to the tour and are already looking forward to seeing you in Cologne on 15 April.
Thank you very much for the interview!

As a wise swede once said – tack och förlåt!


Wir freuen uns jedenfalls bereits unheimlich auf die Tour und vom Kölnkonzert werden wir hier auch etwas ausführlicher inklusive einiger Fotos berichten.

12.04.2024 Flensburg, Volksbad
13.04.2024 Oberhausen, Druckluft
14.04.2024 Langenberg, KGB
15.04.2024 Köln, Helios37
17.04.2024 Berlin, Badehaus
18.04.2024 Leipzig, Werk 2
19.04.2024 München, Kult 9
20.04.2024 Nürnberg, Stereo
23.04.2024 Konstanz, Kulturladen
24.04.2024 Kassel, Franz Ulrich
25.04.2024 Göttingen, Nörgelbuff
26.04.2024 Hannover, Kulturzentrum Faust
27.04.2024 Husum, Speicher

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Fotocredit: Miranda Fredriksson