New York's very own TriPod, a band that almost defies classification with their brand of jazz/metal/prog/funk chops, gets set to release their first official CD after a very successful demo that had the progressive community taking notice. Pete Pardo had a chance to catch up with Clint Bahr, Keith Gurland, and Steve Romano and talk about the many things that make up this unique trio.
Sea of Tranquility: Can you give us a little history on yourselves and the band.
Clint: (Lead vocals, 12 string bass, bass pedals) I was raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and began my musical career there. I got fed up with the "music scene" in the States and moved to London, England while still a teenager. I was fortunate enough to work with some excellent musicians and play some great gigs. It was quite an education and many of these people are still good friends of mine.
Keith: (Clarinet, flute, alto & tenor sax, bass pedals, vocals) I used to have an open-air practice space in Riverside Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side. On my final visit to this space (known as "The Grassy Knoll") I was approached by Clint who, instead of requesting money or silence, suggested we play some music together.
Clint: He was outstanding, so I introduced myself and the rest is history. Unfortunately, TriPod had the "exploding drummer syndrome" for quite a while.
Keith: Last year we auditioned Brooklynite Steve and, after retrieving our collective jaw from the ground, demanded that he join the band.
Clint: With Steve on board, it's a different and finer working music machine. He's fabulous!
Steve: (drums, cymbals, percussion) Well, I'll leave the band history to Clint & Keith. As for me, I was born and raised in Brooklyn and answered the ad for TriPod after checking out their website. I found their music to be unlike anything I'd heard before. I then made it a point to get into the project!
Sea of Tranquility: You can hear lots of influences in your music, from progressive rock, to jazz, and even a little metal. What are some of the bands that you all grew up on?
Keith: Metal is a naturally occurring element on Long Island, where I grew up. In addition to bands like Yes and Tull, I would go see Blue Oyster Cult.
Steve: Zeppelin, Sabbath, Rush, Yes, ELP, UK, Crimson, Brand X, etc...I would also follow drummers as they progressed into other bands. (example: Terry Bozzio)
Clint: I love most all music styles; there's always something to be found if you care to delve….BUT the writing and performance must be up to par. The bands I grew up listening to would be much too long to list here. However, The Beatles were, are, and will forever be the best. They pretty much covered all the musical bases. Brilliant!
Sea of Tranquility: TriPod features no guitar, but lots of heavy bass riffs and scorching woodwinds. What made you decide to go with a guitar-less line-up?
Clint: We first tried improvisation/jam sessions that included guitar but soon realized the "guitar-less" trio configuration was stronger.
Keith: Guitar can muddy up the sonic landscape. Clint's bass triples every note. How many G's do you need to hear? We have the bass pedals should more become necessary.
Steve: After hearing the Sax with the 12-string Bass there was no need for it. At times this three piece unit can pump out an orchestral thickness.
Sea of Tranquility: What are some of the band's favorite songs on the demo CD, and why?
Steve: "Trip the Light" because of the intense groove and Zappa-ish bridge. And I really dig the new material that we have just recorded.
Keith: Each song aspires to take you on a journey (or Trip, if you prefer). There are good versions of "Incident " and "As the Sun" on there. Both of those pieces sound quite different now, so we've re-recorded them.
Clint: "Jerome's Spotlight" , "Incident", "Trip the Light", and "As The Sun" are among my personal favorites. These tracks are included on our upcoming official release.
Sea of Tranquility: How is the music scene in New York? Do you get to play live at all?
Steve: I'm not a big fan of the music scene in the NYC area. There are some places to see some great music and musicians. But they're hard to find. For the most part, you are bombarded with an onslaught of bad music, played by bad musicians, in bad clubs.
Sea of Tranquility: It's amazing how often I hear that these days...
Keith: It's a buyer's market for live rock'n'roll, so nobody pays you and everybody treats you like crap. So, like Rodney Dangerfield...
Clint: The music scene is great when you play New York City on a proper tour in proper venues. But God help you if you're just starting out. It can be demoralizing for a new band.
Sea of Tranquility: What are the plans for an official CD release? Are you writing and recording new tunes?
Keith: We have lots of new material in the can. We're thinking of taking some of it out of the can and selling it.
Steve: Yes! We are in the process of mixing our new CD and continue to work on new material.
Clint: There are a wealth of new tunes, some of which are on the new TriPod CD being produced by Ray Bennett of FLASH.
Steve: When we get to touring we'll have enough material to keep every show fresh. Every show will be a new experience for the audience.
Clint: And a new audience for the experience...
Sea of Tranquility: Are there any plans to expand the line-up, or is the future of the band as the name implies, a trio?
Clint: TriPod definitely stays a trio, but we will eventually expand our personal instrumentation.
Keith: We will go out as a trio only until the London Symphony Orchestra starts taking our calls!
Steve: Maybe a guest or two in a recording , and you'll never know what will happen live!