Canadian metal band TRIBUNE were kind enough to answer my questions. Interview with Ryan O’Shea – Bass. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Tribune is a pretty good name for a metal band. How hard was it to come up with it and what does it represent to you?
-The name Tribune was easily agreed upon once our drummer Jason Brown suggested it… It seemed like a fair representation of what we would like to achieve with our music. The “Tribune” was a Roman political position that was considered to be the representative, or defender of the common people. At that time Rome needed a voice for the masses because the plebeian people were ruled, and abused by their aristocracy. We feel that our band Tribune is a unified expression of the interests, and ideologies of our members. A voice of the people if you will.

To my ears you play a rather modern form of metal. How much do you look to the past for inspiration? How much do you draw from present day “trends”?
-We’ve drawn much inspiration from heavy music throughout our lives, and those influences have definitely colored our sound. However; we also strive to break the rules of heavy Metal, and be progressive with our music. Not only do we as people love Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Pink Floyd, but we also love Lamb Of God, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Gojira.

Something I noticed listening to your album is that you move smoothly between different genres. Do you have a problem with sticking to just one? Does more actually make it any better?
-Music is art, and we feel that our art should not be limited by genre, or media classifications. We don’t think about what genre a riff sounds like when we write. We just focus on creating diverse arrangements that appeal to us.

I gotta ask you guys about the album title “Elder Lore – The Dark Arts”. To me that is a strange title. What does it mean to you?
-Well this album is a culmination of material that was written over the past 7 years, part of which was written before the band had a second guitar player. This first generation material is what we are referring to with the title of “Elder Lore,” and “The Dark Arts” represents our newer arrangements since the song writing has changed with the inclusion of the second guitar.

How does the art work fit in with title and lyrics? Does the art work necessarily have to fit with the lyrics and music?
-Of course it’s not necessary to always have the art on an album represent the subject themes within its musical content, but albums that do have at least some thematically related artwork show a more unified creative vision. However; “Elder Lore/The Dark Arts” is somewhat unique in it’s design. It has artwork that is not only representative of its lyrical themes, but also pieces that are otherwise unlinked to the albums content.

When you are Canadian does it ever feel like you have to compete with American bands on the wrong terms and that people should support home grown more than just to go with the latest American stuff thinking that it must be better because it’s American?
-Music is universal. We’re not particularly interested in what country or culture the music that we enjoy comes from. We appreciate the music on its own terms.

What kind of support does the national metal scene have? Some pretty great metal bands have come from Canada?
-Support these days is fairly decentralized due to online promotion. If you play any given town a lot, you’re still going to build a scene, but you can now also build a scene on the internet. Waiting for industry support to come along and notice you is sort of a thing of the past, and it has become increasingly important for bands to take their careers into their own hands.

What kind of support are you gonna give the new album now that it is out? What kind of summer tours opportunities are there in Canada?
-We are about to embark on The Dark Arts Tour, starting in the U.S. and then continuing on into Canada. Here’s a link to our tour dates.

How hard is it really to tour Canada? You got paved roads and comfy mini vans. What with the distances being so great.
-Touring in Canada is really fun, not hard. The hard part is being able to afford to go on tour, though it must be said that in Canada we are able to get guaranties, whereas in the States we kind of just have to get out there and play and hope that we can break even. The distances between towns in Canada are certainly large, but in the past we have found that this is more than balanced out by all the great people we have met and the fun shows we’ve played.

Is there a future for Tribune?
-Absolutely, and it will be a future created on our own terms, with, of course, the help and support of all our fans across the world.

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