Tribune's Jay Talks About the Dark Arts of Music



Tribune is a progressive metal/thrash/death band based out of Vancouver. Formed in 2004, has played over shows wherever it takes them. Now that they have released their newest album, "Elder Lore/The Dark Arts", these guys have survived the apocalypse and will be providing their music as the official soundtrack to the daily lives of people from all around the world. Drummer Jay Brown discusses the band's history, current release, and plans for this current year.


1. Where did the band's name Tribune come from?

Jay: I was reading the dictionary out of boredom and came across the word and thought its meaning represented us well. The rest of the guys agreed and it stuck.

2. What type of band are you?

Jay: We are a mixed genre of metal. We try to incorporate many styles we enjoy to listen to into our music from thrash, death, speed, and progressive metal as well as aspects of blues, rock, jazz and classical.

3. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Jay: The 4 piece band started in Campbell River (Vancouver Island) by drummer Jay Brown and guitarist Terrence Anderson in 2004. Assisted by long time friend Jess (DJ Nick Soapdish) on bass, he was replaced
in 2005 by Ryan O’Shea. The band moved to Vancouver in 2006 and added a second guitarist Shawn Culley, a long time friend of vocalist Bryan Baker. All the members in the band grew up together and have known  each other for over 14 years.

4. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Jay: All the songs vary in their lyrical structure. We have songs about media corruption, nuclear war, being
in a mosh pit, the beauty of women, being a target of bullying, however; we are all really into books so
quite a few songs have been written about things that have been read. We have a few songs based on
H.P. Lovecraft stories, and even one about Allan Moore’s “The Swamp Thing” which we have titled
“It Came From The Swamps”.

5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Jay: We have adjusted how we write songs a few times over the past 8 years. Our first album “Home Sweet Hell” was written primarily by myself (Jay), and Terrence. Vocals written have always been added by Baker at the  end with rare occurrences of his addition during the beginning stages. Baker attends the writing sessions  to keep ideas fresh and to be fully involved. Our Rotting Core E.P. and Elderlore/The Dark Arts album was  mostly Shawn and Terrence collaborating on riff ideas to create the song structure, followed by percussion and bass to fill out the sound. For our next album (which is almost complete), all the members have been fully involved from the beginning stages, creating faster writing and a more diverse overall sound.

6. Who are your musical influences?

Jay: We all have so many. This question could never have a finished answer. We listen to and appreciate music dating back to the 40’s. But for the genre in question, metal bands that we grew up with include Metallica, Slayer, Black Dahlia Murder, Pantera, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Arch Enemy, Clutch, Down, Fear Factory, Rush, White Zombie, Nile, COC, Meshuggah, Opeth, Sepultura (80-90’s). The list goes on and on.

7. Where did album title come from and is it a concept release?

Jay: Home Sweet Hell was given the title from a sign that got put on the entrance of our first band house.
The Rotting Core E.P., Rotting Core was the title track and the single off that. Elder Lore/The Dark Arts  was sort of a concept album. Three songs on that album were written before Shawn joined the band. That is the “Elder Lore” part of the album, our history. The Dark Arts was a display of the technical progress  we became a 5 piece. Our next album is a full concept album, but details will have to wait until recording is complete in May 2013.

8. How would you describe the overall sound of it?

Jay: We went for a raw sound for Elder Lore/The Dark Arts. We wanted it to have the jam space feel to it. There are some things that we would have done differently, but the overall album turned out how we wanted it. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have released it.

9. Does this release differ from your previous releases?

Jay: Considering our first album was recorded in a shed on a small island, and our E.P. was our first look into professional recording, we had a better understanding of sound quality and what we expected to get out of an album. We went on a 2 month US/Canada tour the same year as the release so we invested more into that project than previous albums.

10. Can you go into one or two tracks on the album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Jay: I made a drum tutorial on one of my favorites, “Man on the Outside” and put it on our YouTube channel. It has elements of rock, thrash, and death metal throughout the song. I am sure most people could relate to the lyrics behind it. It is basically about growing up as an outsider to the popular social circles and
being a target of bullying or not fitting in, overcoming it and surviving. I also like “We the Black”.
It is heavy and flows well. I can only describe it as heavy metal. The song is about being part of the scene,
wearing black shirts and listening to heavy metal.

11. What are your expectations for the album?

Jay: Since the release of this album in March 2012 and our 2 month North American tour to promote it, it basically helped us get our name out there on an international level. We have had reviews for it throughout the USA and  Canada. Even in some parts of Europe. The album pretty much got us into a new market and gave us the exposure needed to get people interested and eager for more.

12. What are your upcoming tour plans and plans for this year?

Jay: We are planning to hit the recording studio this spring, and a Canada tour in the summer.  There was talk about a west coast USA tour as well, but we have put it off for now to invest more time and money into recording and writing. We have played a few new songs which will be on that album at shows around British  Columbia and the reaction is much more intense and welcoming.

13. Any last words?

Jay: We will be doing extensive tours world wide within the next few years, so keep the ears and eyes open for us. And we plan to hit up the USA again very soon!  To follow, book and support us, or shop at our online store, please check out our website.  www.tribunemetal.com or tribunemetal on any social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). Our glasses are raised to everyone that has given heavy music a chance.

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