With a residency at Pianos on the Lower East Side, and having opened at SXSW for Incubus, Tribe Society is truly on the up and up in terms of bands to know. Their epic rock sound punctuated by a tasteful blend of synth and flute make them both completely unique and an easy add on to your favorite rock playlist. When we went to take in their Piano’s set, one fan described them as the perfect mix between Passion Pit and Imagine Dragons. It was their soulful lyrics and blended melodies are truly what captivated our attention.
The five-piece band released their EP Lucid Dreams this past June with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Huffington Post called the band “powerful, intoxicating even,” while their EP’s single “Kings” reached number 2 on the Hype Machine’s “Popular Chart.” When we sat down with the bands front man, lead singer, Gavin McDevitt and synth/flute master Seth Hachen, we got some insight into their otherworldly sound and their visceral creative process.
McDevitt and Hachen see the music industry as largely polarized by hip-hop, sighting that the most famous hip-hop artists are millennium versions of rock stars. Tribe Society pulls inspiration from these new age rock stars, as well as the band’s favorite rock stars from the past. They call the diverse sounds of Aesop Rock, Kid Cudi, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead their influences; and it’s easy to see how the band has built such a dynamic sound when looking up to such an array of artists.
When asked about their creative process, the band notes that it is extremely collaborative. They are all such close friends, and though a song may be inspired by one member’s experience, it is built upon with each member’s input. “The music always comes first,” McDevitt notes, with his hoodie pulled over a cap in a very 90’s meets hip-hop kind of way, “Production is first. Sonic melodies inspire our vibe, inspire the lyrics.”
The soulful and often emotional lyrics begged further investigation. When asked where they come from, McDevitt and Hachen again sight the collaborative effort of all the band’s musicians. However, they note that the lyrics can come from anywhere. Even an iPhone note that McDevitt had on his phone for over a year provided the basis for one of their first singles.
Tribe Society’s sound is a tribute to new and old musical styles as well as a sound all their own. When asked about what they love and want for their music, their answer was simple, yet ambitious.
“We want to contribute to music and art that shifts culture. We want to have danger in our art, and leave an impact.” It was abundantly clear to us that they are well on their way.