Tribes were made for festivals. Thanks to their can’t fail formula for simple and catchy rock ‘n’ roll songs, they have established themselves as one of the most exciting live bands around through blurred choruses of drunken chanting. Topman caught up with frontman Johnny Lloyd and the rest of the band to discuss their new record ‘Wish To Scream’, working with Jamie T on his new material, weird festival moments and…erm…wheatgrass.
Did you feel the pressure going into album number two? A lot of bands don’t necessarily make it that far...
Johnny: Yeah massively, we didn’t really think about it until it came out and the press hammered us for making it in America. That’s when we felt the pressure of the second record, but when we were making it it was good times. It is the best stuff we’ve recorded. A lot of people have said it’s too Americana but; a lot of people think Tribes as an English underground rock ‘n’ roll band. We couldn’t make Baby 2...nothing was underground about Baby, it went top 20 and we played arenas.
How will you approach the next record?
Johnny: We feel like we have to survive as well as being creative. It might be more ear to the ground. The songs have always came from a simple rock format, and we’ll continue that.
What are your festival essentials?
Johnny: I travel pretty light. I couldn’t survive without my guitar...and the other three.
What’s been your best festival moment?
Johnny: Probably 2010 Reading, it was the first time we seen a crowd come for us and the first time everyone sang along. I was really taken back by it. That was my most defining moment.
What’s been your worst festival moment?
Johnny: Been some weird ones in Germany. I haven’t had a bad moment, but a lot of foreign crowds are tricky. It’s just a different...aggressive atmosphere.
Miguel: Remember when you got kicked out of the motorhead gig in germany because you were the most drunk person?
Johnny: I had an alarm on my phone to make sure we hadn’t puked ourselves to death.
What’s been our weirdest fan moment?
Jimmy: Something happened recently...but I don’t think I should say it.
*After much convincing, we get him to speak.
Jimmy: A photo has gone up of you on Instagram and a girl said she wants to go to bed....erm…looking at it.
Johnny: At a Shepherds Bush show there was a Japanese lady that met my Nan in the toilet and she kept following her around all the time. Every time I see this girl now, who’s already kind of creepy, she says ‘how’s your Nan?’ I’m like...it’s a member of my family. We got a cake once too.
What are you looking forward to this summer?
Johnny: I think the most exciting thing this summer is the Horrors finishing their fourth album, which I heard a glimpse of. It’s kind of more Primary Colours than Skying, more bass driven than synth. Faris is singing so well. The Kooks four as well. My favourite new band is Palma Violets.
Any special collaboration plans?
Johnny: I’m playing with Jamie T at the moment. He’s finishing his new album. I occasionally guest on stuff, but I want to be in control. Jamie’s record is great, it’s really slow, angry punk. He’s a classic character. I know if I walked down Denmark Street now he’d be in the pub.
What are Tribes’ plans for after festival s eason?
Johnny: It depends. We might make a new record in September or go on tour in September. We survive better in a live climate. We need to get together and decide what moves to make!
What are your festival hangover cures?
Johnny: Yeah, it oxidizes your blood. Maybe a bloody mary?
Miguel: You could probably suck on a horse’s arse and it’d do the same thing.
Catch Tribes at Leeds & Reading in August.