Discover Tri-City Fanfare
Interview + Single Feature
Introducing Tri-City Fanfare, a ferocious two-piece with this intoxicating energy, their innovative creations are set to mesmerize and this duo are destined to be your new favourite outift.
Tri-City Fanfare are a fairly new outfit consisting of musicians Shane Dixon & Martin Whittiker, the pair have been working together for some time but formed the band in the midst of a global pandemic. From their debut arrangements, it’s clear that this outfit are carving the road for their own authenticity. In just a brief introduction you understand that these musicians are creating meaningful compositions which are effortlessly engaging and will leave some impression.
Think of the early raw Queens of the Stone Age sound, mixed with this injection of contemporary tones like that of Parcels.
Back in December, the pair unveiled their new single “Rewind” and it’s accompanying video, watch below.
“Rewind” delves straight into the rough textures and the warm tone. Capturing this rich essence of 60s/early 70s rock, where the raw inflictions create this essential connection from their sound to their audience.
Tri-City Fanfare eclectically thread influences far and wide and challenge those inspirations to produce something they can call their own and something that delivers such soul. The tapestry of twisting tones and intensity that cascade throughout this 4-minute track will utterly captivate. The integral drum beat and shimmering cymbals keep the momentum until the beats break out into this fierce drum fill. The garage rock-esque chorus chugs through and projects this vintage vibrance. The pair craft this fuzzed-filled expansive soundscape and continue to layer these rolling rhythms with a human touch. The fragility found in the vocal harmonies soar through the cozy atmosphere, whilst the lyrics deliver a subtle nostalgic nod and enthrall.
We had the pleasure of chatting to Tri-City Fanfare to discover more about their work, their influences, material, and more…
Before we get to the details of your music, especially “Rewind”, which you’ve just unveiled to the world, we want to get to know more on you- Firstly introduce yourselves, how you both met and your role within Tri-City Fanfare?
Hello! I’m Mart, the other half of the band is Shane and we’ve known each other since we were kids. Because I went to school with Shane’s older brother, Shane was always that annoying younger kid who was always hanging around, but we became close friends later on. About two years ago we shared a flat, bought some recording gear, started recording ideas and it slowly grew from there. We don’t really have roles in the band – we share everything between the two us and try to not stick to any specific instruments to keep it interesting.
You’re quite a young and extremely promising outfit but how long has the band been established and where did the name come from?
We’ve been slowly working on things for about two years now. The flat we shared had a really outdated kitchen, and the band name comes from an absolute relic we found in there. I’m fairly sure it’s the last working one of these things on the planet. The name is kind of a secret, but you could easily find out what it’s all about if you wanted to.
What was that one single album or track that transformed your life?(leading to you to where you are now)
Shane’s picked Gaz Coombes’ World’s Strongest Man album as a big influence on production and writing. I’ll go with Lonerism by Tame Impala – that was a big one for me in every way.
There’s this certain organic warmth found in your vision, you embrace this warmth + lo-fi ties with a nod to classic rock whilst your lyrics bring their own nostalgia into the mix. But we want to know what are your collective influences that shine through in your work?
We’ve got different music tastes, but there’s a big overlap in the middle somewhere around Flaming Lips and Tame Impala. Those two are a big influence that I think come through. We’ve never tried to sound like anyone, but I think you can hear some obvious influences if you pick it apart.
How would you describe your own sound?
I find it hard to describe without just naming other bands, but everyone seems to call it lo-fi and psychedelic. Someone also said it sounds ‘old and warped’, which I really liked. I think it was a compliment!
Who is behind the songwriting and what drives you to capture that connection between lyrics and with your distinct tone?
The initial idea usually comes from Shane, then we get together, pull it to pieces and put it back together again. We never had an aim as to what anything should sound like, but the more we recorded, the more it started to sound like it all belonged together. The lyrics all have a theme of different perceptions, dreams and questioning reality, which was never the plan; that’s just what came out and seemed to fit the music.
You recently released your single “Rewind” into the world, alongside a music video to accompany the track, where did the influence come from for this single?
‘Rewind’ started with some weird, Queens of the Stone Age-sounding chords that Shane came up with. We were going to keep it quite empty and sparse – but then we recorded it, and now it’s this kind of jam-packed suitcase of sounds. I think we threw everything we had at it. I don’t think it really sounds like any one particular thing now, so we’re happy with it.
Secondly, how did the video come about and what does it mean to you?
There was no plan to ever release anything, so we just thought making a video would be fun, and a good way of getting a song out there. It’s the first thing people will see or hear of Tri-City Fanfare, so we wanted it to be a bit like an introduction to the band. Just like with the music, there are some cool little accidents in there – like, Shane managed to pull off a Hitchcock-type zoom while we were driving around. It’s got a bit of everything. Even Macey, Shane’s dog, got in there. We’re pretty happy with how it turned out – it’s like a holiday video for us.
We’ve love to know how you both have managed to get to the point of releasing and recording during the last year of complex restrictions. How have you managed to work together throughout the current chaos and then can you describe your writing process together/recording process and how you’ve managed to get to the point of this notable single release?
During the first lockdown we had to send each other ideas, record our parts and then send them back over email. But after the lockdown ended, we had a couple of weeks where we could get together at Shane’s place in Cardiff to finally finish recording and mixing. There were a few long days and nights of mixing before Cardiff went into another lockdown and we had to leave it. It’s probably a good thing it happened, otherwise we’d still be mixing it.
Where can we find that release ?
‘Rewind’ is on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.
You recently shared a really special, intimate Winter Solstice live performance on your social media, how did this live film come about?
We were going to get together and do a live version, but lockdown killed that idea – so we just had to do it separately and piece it together. ‘Whirlwind’ is definitely the most festive sounding song on the album, so we thought a stripped back version for the winter solstice would be a nice change from all the noise. Shane said no to the sleigh bells, though.
Regarding your creative process, are you sat on a bank of material?
Yeah, we’ve got a load of stuff we’re working on, so we’ll probably release something new when we can get together again.
What’s next for you both to follow up “Rewind”?
We’ve got some ideas for videos, which we’ll get to work on soon – but it would be great to start thinking about playing it live. It’s a case of waiting for things to get to whatever kind of ‘normal’ is coming next.
Any forthcoming firm Tri-City Fanfare plans on the horizon?
We’ll carry on writing and thinking about videos, but the dream is definitely getting out and playing live.
Regarding the music you’re releasing into the world, is there a goal for a certain physical format that you’d like to see your must published on? If so, what and why is that important to you.
Some mad-coloured or splatter vinyl would be a dream come true. I love that stuff, I think it looks great. We’d both be extremely happy if it ever made it to vinyl. I’d also really like tapes, but Shane never had a skateboard and a Walkman so he doesn’t get it.
When you’re able to take the band on the road, who would you love to tour with?
We really don’t mind – we’ll play with anyone! At the moment, the idea of meeting other bands and geeking out over guitars and synths is the most exciting thing ever. I think when gigs start up again, they’re going to be the most euphoric events imaginable. It’s going to mean so much more to be together with other people, enjoying music again. Can’t wait – it’s gonna be magic!
When you’re able to and comfortable to get on the gig circuit, what do you hope your live shows will capture and is there any venue you’re desperate to play?
I really like the idea of there being a lot of visual stuff going on. If we could somehow get across the decay, distortion and confusion of it all, that would be pretty cool. But before we get working on any of that, we’ve got to learn how to play the songs! Fingers crossed it’s all not too far in the future though. We’re desperate to play anywhere, but I’d like our first gig to be more of a massive party where a band happens to be playing.
Finally, any last words?
This is the first time we’ve talked about this stuff, so thanks a lot for asking!
Thank you Mart and Shane!! So excited to see what’s next for you both