Saturday, June 22, 2013


If I remember rightly, I’d have to say it was the summer of ought-’welve. I had probably finished up a sweaty shift as a jack-of-all-trades at the local Old Person’s Restaurant, and drove home in the oven that is most any automobile on a broiling Montana summer afternoon to relax for a couple hours before going out for the night’s festivities. My guess is that something came up; like my dog threw up on the carpet or my in-laws had an emergency that I had to help out with for some reason, so whatever down-time I was looking forward to was eaten up pretty quickly. Instead of making a quality meal, all I had time for was some leftover beans and rice that tasted more like pellets and glue, and hurried out the door to head to a garage show a few blocks away.
Upon arriving, I said hi to a few guys I knew and likely admired the bravery of one of them who was so out of his mind that he had shaved off one of his eyebrows. Then I found out that someone had done it to him because he passed out on the front lawn or something. ...It’s still a move that takes at least a small amount of courage to walk around like that afterward. Anyway, I had heard some well-played heaviness coming from the garage, and decided I should poke my head in and check out what was going on inside. I opened the door to the garage and stepped in to find it fifteen degrees hotter and stinking of the odor of unwashed adolescent male. Not to insult the guys, and hopefully they don’t take it as such, but that’s the kind of metal these dudes play! ...I mean, it was too loud to make out lyrical content and, of course, there wasn’t any real time to analyze the tunes, but, standing in the back corner of the room watching them shred through a number of high-speed rockers, sweating profusely and hamming it up with the crowd, in those moments, they seemed gleefully young and male. Ah, to be a teenage midwestern American band: rhythm pounding, heads banging (seriously good technique on the short guy!), pit circling with skin and bravado, and a one-eyebrowed guy with a backpack full of booze yelling at the top of his lungs and crashing into your side. Here’s a short q&a session with that very same band, Billings’s Tribe:

Who you are, what you do:
We are Tribe!

How did you learn to rock so hard?
From our idols, ranging from Maiden to Pantera, and from the people we look up to in local bands (Assnyne, Shangri-La).

What are you focused on, concerning the band?
Doing what we like doing. If someone else digs it, then we dig them.

A lot of metal bands house guys that enjoy the gory, strange, and fantastic. Take your pick and tell us why: Sci-Fi, fantasy, or horror?
Probably sci- fi. Many of us are actually really terrified of the idea of extraterrestrial life, but at the same time really pulled towards anything that has to do with the subject. And one of our songs is based on a Alien abduction film!

TRIBE (l-r): Ryan Buening, Billy Zahn, Ron Bray, Forest Woodrow Squirrelhouse the third,
Riley Madsen, Curtis Harris

If you were to name your own shade of black, what would it be called?

Is there a particular venue in town that you enjoy playing at?
Manny's, the Railyard, the Shrine, the F.O.E., our friend Colt's basement ... we're really not too picky. As long as we get to rock out to at least one person who's into us, we're set.

What do you do when not wailing on your instruments?
Work, sleep, eat, drink, smoke, and spread diseases.

Describe your band using only onomatopoeia:

Short and sweet, sucka! Thanks to Tribe for participating and thanks for reading. Keep on the lookout; there’s more interviews to come. 

See you at Dreyfest!

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