Getting to know... Two Tribes | Dork
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July 2020
Feature

Getting to know... Two Tribes

The London-based bunch nod to industrial krautrock, post-punk and Balearic psychedelia.
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Published: 10:59 am, February 20, 2020 Photos: Alex Waespi.
Getting to know... Two Tribes

London foursome Two Tribes are kicking off their summer with a bunch of April tour dates, including not one, but TWO shows with us here at Dork. The first - announced earlier this week - will take place at Voodoo Daddy's Showroom in Norwich on 22nd April, and the second - announced today - at the Moth Club in London on 14th April.

"We're excited that by the time people are reading this that our headline at Moth Club is finally announced," say the band, when we hit them up to introduce themselves. "It's definitely the biggest show we've ever done, and we've been sitting on it for a while, so kinda relieved, but also shitting ourselves (in a good way)."

Here's more from Patrick Smith (vox, guitars) and Kim Engelhardt (bass).

When did you decide you wanted to pursue making music, have you always wanted to be musicians?

Patrick:
I think when I was 8 years old, I wanted to be either a Power Ranger or Robbie Williams. After I realised neither were going to happen, I started messing around with my dad's guitars and 80s compilation tapes and pretty much never considered doing anything else.
Kim:
I've always had a passion for music and going to gigs, but I never thought I would ever make music when I was younger, back then I thought I wanted to be a ballet dancer. I'd only just picked up the bass guitar before I met Patrick and the others and (long story short) haven't stopped since. Two Tribes is the first band I've played in, and well, it's been bloody good fun.

Did you guys grow up in London, or did you move in from elsewhere? How did you get together?

Kim:
The two boys are Brits from Reading and North Wales, and me and Anna are Team EU, originally from Germany and Italy, so none of us are from London really, but that's where we all met and started the band. The Shacklewell Arms is the central hub where we all first connected together (although Patrick and Al had played in bands together before).

Can you remember the first song you wrote together, has your songwriting process developed much since then?
Kim:
There were a couple of songs and ideas already formed before we started the band, but the first song we wrote all together was our last single 'Videodrone'. I can recall the writing process quite vividly because it was the first time I added my own bassline and everyone else added their own parts, so everyone's strengths really shone through, and the result was just a unique creative collaboration that we are all very proud of. We've enjoyed jamming in rehearsals as well, which is how the extended part of the song came together. Since then though the band has evolved way beyond that. It's exciting because it feels like the band is constantly moving, improving and changing while we are also developing quite a distinctive style.

"When I was 8 years old, I wanted to be either a Power Ranger or Robbie Williams"
Patrick Smith

What do you most enjoy writing about?
Patrick:
Well, we tend to focus on music and vocal sounds before lyrics, like sometimes it's really interesting the way some random words sound together, how they can sound like music just by themselves, and gain meaning later in the writing process. I'd say we go for the "non-lyrics" approach first in the hope that it'll lead us to something cool later. That's not to say lyrics are an afterthought or aren't important to us though, we're actually really meticulous when it comes to committing words to paper. I couldn't really point out one subject that we enjoy writing about the most, but certain words or imagery do reoccur like I'm obsessed with our connection to technology and how it's integrated so strongly into everyday life, so I quite often find myself referencing things like wires as body parts or the feeling that I'm plugged in somehow, maybe I just watched The Matrix too many times as a kid.

What are you working on at the mo? Do you have many songs waiting for release?
Kim:
We're always working on new tunes at home, playing around with sounds, samples etc., but we also try and come up with new elements to implement into our live performances, like interesting visuals and projections, or lighting to make the stage our own. Ideally, we'd never want to play the same headline show twice, and so far we've managed to keep one upping ourselves.
Patrick: We've got a new single recorded and ready to release that we'll be dropping ahead of the Moth Club show, it's weird though because by the time you're about to release a track you're already thinking ahead to the next one. We've got quite a lot of material now, but we're trying to be selective about what to put out.

You're touring soon - have you guys spent much time on the road yet, do you have a favourite story from your travels?
Patrick:
We haven't actually been on tour before so we're pretty excited to be heading to loads of new places. We actually did a one-off gig in Hull which went kinda wrong, and it was definitely my fault.
Kim:
I can't wait for all the ban(d)ter, 80s tunes in the car, or coach, or just to be on the right coach. Right, Pat?
Patrick: Basically, I'd booked us a coach to get up there from London but got the stations muddled up and led everyone to the wrong pick up point, so we missed our coach, then our train connection, and ended up turning a 4-5 hour journey into a 10 hour one arriving just before our stage time. Wasn't much fun, although the venue and people there are great.

Will you be at many festivals over the summer?
Kim:
We'll be attending Wide Awake Festival in London for sure, the lineup for that looks amazing.
Patrick:
I really wanted to go to this metal festival Roadburn in the Netherlands because it looks mental, but it looks like we'll be touring around that time now so might have to give it a miss this year.

Are there any acts you're hoping to catch at festivals this year?
Patrick:
Crack Cloud, Boy Harsher and Girl Band at Wide Awake Fest. If any of them clash, I'll be very sad and will sit-down-cry in the shower.

Anything else we should know?
Kim:
We stayed up late to write this, so I hope it makes sense.
Patrick:
It's our managers birthday today, Happy birthday, Jack!

Friends Serene & Dork presents: Two Tribes will take place at the Moth Club in London on 14th April. Pick up your tickets here.

Getting to know... Two Tribes
Getting to know... Two Tribes

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