Six Questions With The Tambo RaysSix Questions With The Tambo Rays

Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.

Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.

We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.

Next in the hot seat is Oakland-based indie pop-rock band The Tambo Rays. We have had the privilege of  featuring The Tambo Rays here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. If you’re not familiar with them, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.

For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?

The Tambo Rays are based out of Oakland, California, our music is bittersweet, pop rock. Probably the biggest compliment I’ve received was someone saying we are ‘the Blondie of 2017.’ We write music to help digest the pain we feel, to heal and sing the truth that comes from a place that is nameless.

My brother, Brian has been playing guitar his whole life and has always been very musical, I always watched from a far as he held band practice in the garage when we were in high school. I loved performing but in my bedroom with the doors locked.

As a child, I was very caught up in proving myself as a tomboy, so I played a lot of sports and even went to college to play soccer. But I always wanted to learn how to make music on my computer. I finally got Ableton in college and became entranced. It was a way I could be endlessly creative and silly, and it sounded like machines dying for a while. But once I started playing with Brian, Greg and Bob they taught me how to actually play instruments, and play in a band. It took me a while to find my voice but once I started fronting the band I knew that my voice was my instrument.

As an artist, how do you define success?

Financial stability in healing the soul’s wounds through song and dance.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

I didn’t go to school for business, hell I didn’t even go to school for music. I just started playing music because it felt really fucking good. I am a Cali girl who is very laid back and everyone in the band is the same way. I guess the biggest struggle is understanding that after a certain level, music becomes a business, being in a band becomes a business and that took me a really long to time to understand and accept.

I am at the point in my life where I am straddling the line of ‘being a musician for musician’s sake and being a music industry business person who is a musician. It used to feel when I put on that business suit it’d suffocate me as a musician. But sometimes being uncomfortable and challenging yourself is the most revealing way to grow as a person.

It can all feel a bit disenchanting, but I just try to not get caught up in the existential stresses of capitalism and patriarchal oppression of being a woman in a male dominated industry/world. Instead, I put on my business suit and be a boss bitch who kills with kindness because you only get what you give in this wild world we live in.

If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?

“Wrong Turn” cuz it makes us want to dance, even in the firey pits of earworm-song-repeating hell, we at least can dance together.

Who do you consider your greatest influences?

My brother and I, who write the songs, grew up in a house in the Redwood forests of North San Francisco Bay. Our parents worshiped Fleetwood Mac, I remember car rides to beach towns like Stinson and Santa Cruz listening to Ace of Base, Steely Dan, The Go-Go’s, Blondie, Toots and The Maytals, Peter Gabriel. The pop of the 80’s and early 90s really is ingrained in our DNA and we truly have our parents to thank for that.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

As In our youth, we weren’t allowed to watch TV, and computers were slow and made funny sounds. We were outside like Calvin & Hobbes. Nature, the wonder and awe of its vast beauty, is a major inspiration and our imagination was always encouraged to run free. Camping, being surrounded by friends and having good times in nature feels so right, river floating, late night sing-a-longs give us endless smiles and inspiration.

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Kelly Murphy
Owner, writer, and editor of Indie Minded; Social Media Marketing & Relationship Consulting via Indie Minded Media; Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @IndieMurphy or @IndieMindedMedia