It may have been just a little over a year since the release of their debut full-length - the jokily-titled ‘bubblegum emo’ (scroll down to read exactly what we mean - Ed) - but Swedish punk rock quartet Tribe Friday are already back with their brand new offering ‘Hemma’.
A significant move on from their previous offering, their second album manages to feel wider in scope, both sonically and lyrically, and - as the band’s Noah Deutschmann tells us - sees the band attempt to “make a proper album experience”. ‘Hemma’ also lives up to its name - with ‘hemma’ meaning ‘home’ in Swedish - and explores the quartet’s relationship with the places and scenarios in which they grew up, and how those “small Swedish towns” went on to shape their lives.
Now, with ‘Hemma’ out in the world and the band on tour alongside the ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ icons Wheatus, we caught up with the band’s vocalist / guitarist to discover what went in to making their new record, and what he learned through the process…
Your new album ‘Hemma’ is officially out now; how have you been feeling in the lead up to its release? What sort of emotions have you been going through?
Oh god, we can’t believe it’s release week already. I’m feeling nervous, as always, and excited, as always. This record is my little baby and although I try hard not to care about other people’s opinions, I do care about them, and I want my songs to do well. I have no other talents so I tie 95% of my self-worth into the music I make. If it performs poorly, so do I. That’s how I feel today, anyway! Most other days I’m way more zen.
You released your debut LP ‘bubblegum emo’ last year - what did you learn from making that album? Did you want to carry anything forward into your next project?
Ha, I still internally giggle a bit whenever I remember that it’s actually titled 'bubblegum emo'. The phrase started as a joke between us and our management and just sort of became our entire thing. It’s not inaccurate though; we do make bubblegum emo music. Making LP1 taught us a lot about the process of tying songs together and making music on a grander scale. It was a first attempt and, while still very good, definitely a learning experience. I’d say the main way it relates to 'Hemma' is in the way it contrasts it. We knew what we wanted to do differently the second time around, so 'Hemma' is a very different beast. We focused a lot on - for us - unusual song structures, big dynamic swings and conceptual through-lines when making it. Basically, we wanted to make a proper album experience, and we did.
Going into making this record, did you know what you wanted to explore? How was the process of writing and recording?
Yeah! Lyrically, I was pretty set on writing a record about home(s) - loosely based on my experiences growing up in alt circles in small Swedish towns, and all the trauma that usually comes with that. The rest of the band members grew up in different, but eerily similar, situations, so it felt like something we’d be able to portray musically, too. The first thing I did - even before the music started coming together - was to travel back to my hometown to write for two weeks. The rest of the writing and recording process was a big grey blur of long nights, whiskey and production mania.
Where did you record the album, and who with? What was the experience like?
We recorded it at home! Isak, our guitarist, and I live in a house in the woods, and when we moved in a few years back, the previous owners had erected a big shed for the purpose of drying mushrooms in (... don’t ask). Before recording the album, we remodelled that shed into a two-room studio with the help of friends and family. So not only did we record the album at home, we also built the damn studio with our own bare hands. How’s that for authenticity?
As for who worked on the record, it was a joint effort between all band members. I’ve done most of the production, with Isak and Zack, our drummer, helping out with engineering and overdubs at different times and locations. We’ve also gotten a great deal of help from Simon Paldanius, my producer-partner in crime who also mixed the record. It wouldn’t have sounded nearly as good without him.
“I wanted to write about my relationship to home, in part because I sorely needed it, and in part because I find it interesting.”
— Noah Deutschmann
The album’s called ‘Hemma’ and - in your own words - explores what home means to you; why did you want to explore this subject matter and what inspired this move?
I moved away from my hometown at 17 to pursue music and didn’t really come back before writing this record. There was a lot of stuff that happened during my formative years that I didn’t want to think about too much and that - along with the fact that I didn’t like the person I was back then - had led to my hometown being this big scary monster in the back of my mind. I think I wanted to write about my relationship to it, in part because I sorely needed it, and in part because I find it interesting. Because I still held so much love for that place and the people in it; sort of like the love you hold for an abusive parent or partner, or for yourself after fucking up one too many times. Although, after writing about it, I don’t think it’s that deep: it’s just a collection of buildings, really.
Do you have any fun anecdotes from making the album you can tell us?
I’m not far removed enough to remember any fun moments, but there were a lot of cathartic ones. And a lot of quiet, peaceful ones. I took a lot of bike rides and skinny dips in the lake between sessions. Those are the moments I remember the most. It was nice to write together with Aaron Gillespie, though - I was a big Underoath fan during my formative years and, considering that this album is a sort of regression into the mindset I had during said years, it was a neat little full circle moment to be in session with him. Oh and my mom also came in to play the trombone on a couple of songs. That was cool.
Do you have any particularly favourite tracks from the record? Are there any songs you’re really looking forward to playing live?
I really do love all of them equally, but I think my current favourites are 'Little Fish', 'Years', and '201'. We’ve already played the majority of the record on our most recent DE tour and I have to say 'Fish' was the highlight of each night for me. We can’t wait to play it on our upcoming UK run with Wheatus.
What would you like people to take away from the album?
The fact that bricks and scenery and pieces of wood have neither feelings nor memory. And that you’re probably overthinking things.
'Hemma' is out now via Icons Creating Evil Art. Tribe Friday are currently on tour with Wheatus, playing at The Garage in London on 20th October.