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Tribe Friday Discuss New Album, Tour With Wheatus, & More

tribe friday
[Photo by Miranda Fredriksson]

Sweden’s premier emo band, Tribe Friday, is bringing their sophomore album, Hemma, to every alternative fan who needs to feel a little closer to places that shaped them. In fact, “hemma” in Swedish translates directly to “home.” Noah Deutschmann (vocals/guitar), Zack Liljeberg (drums), Isak Gunnarsson (guitar), and Robin Hanberger Pérez (bass) all confronted how this word has morphed with maturity. Following up their shimmering and sonically sweet debut, the quartet are tuning into their true-to-from emo roots, pulling back the bright instrumentals slightly, but not sacrificing their signature ethereal vocal styling. With singles preceding Hemma such as “Swimsuit” and “Day One,” the brand-new album cycle was already off to an auspicious start. It’s sure to be a brilliant ride for the band, and far from the dreaded “sophomore slump.”

Deutschmann chatted with idobi Radio about how his definition of “home” has evolved, what Tribe Friday has learned in the process of creating their sophomore record, tour prep for supporting “Teenage Dirtbag” icons Wheatus in the UK, and more. Check out the full interview below, and listen to the raw record Hemma below. 

Throughout the writing of this record, how did the idea of “home”/“hemma” change?

It changed a lot for me. From moving away at 17 until writing this record, my hometown and the people in it had been this big scary monster in the back of my mind––someone to blame for me feeling the way I do and for the mistakes I’ve made. Coming back was weird because it was only a collection of buildings. So after writing, I felt bad for giving the place so much grief. I think I’m more accepting [of] past experiences now. I’ve realized that some stories don’t have a villain.

You had massive success with “bubblegum emo,” it was thrilling and dance-inducing––a great LP all-around. What lessons did you learn from writing your debut that you applied to the creation of your sophomore record?

Thanks! I’m glad you like it. bubblegum was our first attempt at writing/producing a full-length, and as most first attempts go, it was a learning experience. The songwriting on it was next-level for us at the time, but on Hemma, we wanted to strive for more extravagant dynamic swings and odd song structures—learning from the things we figured out on our debut. So in hindsight, bubblegum emo became a sort of stepping stone that enabled us to get to the level we are now. We wanted to make a proper album experience this time around, and we did.

This is an incredibly introspective album, obviously touching on themes of the past, grief, etc. What song(s) would you say was the most cathartic to write and why?

If I had to pick one it’d probably be “201” or “Salt Clouds.” They felt like acceptance and forgiveness respectively. But more than anything else, the preparations for writing the album were the most cathartic. I traveled home for the first time in a long time and just wrote for two weeks, walking around places I remember, but that no longer remember me. It was strange and tough and anxiety-inducing, but in the end, extremely cathartic. I’m glad I went through that process. After I came back to the house we live in, Isak [Gunnarsson] and I finished building the studio with the help from family and friends. More or less, the entire record is recorded in that studio,  so it’s really an album made with our hands, and with love.

What made “Swimsuit” the best single to release first for ushering fans into the ‘Hemma’ era?

Honestly, I think any of the songs could have worked. We chose “Swimsuit” because it was poppy and similar to our old stuff, while at the same time signaling a completely new direction. Plus we wanted to make our friend Matilda (not related to the character in the song) happy. Any fan of “bubblegum emo” will definitely like “Okay Sometimes,” though. If you enjoyed our debut I would encourage you to listen to that song.

How are you preparing for your run with Wheatus?

Oh, we’ve rehearsed a bunch, we’re playing a bunch of shows in Germany this week [before the tour kicks off], which will get us back in shape, and we’ve listened to “Teenage Dirtbag” on repeat. In contrast to what people think rock bands do, we’ve also bought new van insurance to cover the UK and checked up on tax and import laws. And I’ve handpainted all the stage decor. This really is a strange, varied line of work.

Anyway, we can’t wait to join Wheatus on the 17th. [Wheatus vocalist] Brendan [B. Brown] has really been a great friend and mentor over the past year. I feel like he’s really similar to me in that he seems to care about art more than anything, but a lot wiser than me, having gone through everything I’m striving towards. I’m excited to see the whole band on tour and to learn from them. We’re really grateful [to] Wheatus for letting us come along for the ride. Can’t wait to show the UK what Tribe Friday is all about.

If you’re in the UK, you’ll definitely want to check out Tribe Friday support Wheatus and share new tracks from their record on the live stage. Check out the dates below, and grab your tickets here

Tour Dates:

  • Oct. 17––Margate,UK @ Olby’s Creative Hub
  • Oct. 18––Southend-on-Sea @ Chinnerys
  • Oct. 19––Worthing @ The Factory
  • Oct. 20––London @ The Garage
  • Oct. 21––Guildford @ The Boileroom / SOLD OUT
  • Oct. 22––Swansea @ The Bunkhouse / SOLD OUT
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