It’s 11 p.m. on a Sunday night as I meet up with Tare, a fairly new “remedial math/space emo” quartet comprised of Josh Campbell (guitar), Zachary Meredith (guitar/vocals), Ian Paine- Jesam (drums), and Dustin Poelker (bass). Zach leads the way into the Maze, a 24-hour rehearsal space that looks very dull and rundown from the outside. Upon entering a labyrinth of hallways, I am instantly drawn in by the colorful walls that have been vandalized with writing and stickers. I feel like I’m inside the pages of an angsty punk diary! We head into their practice room, which is cozy with Christmas lights strung along the walls, more vandalism, and a suspicious looking bottle of Crown Russe vodka atop an unstable shelf. There is just enough room to fit all of their gear, while also leaving sufficient space for the guys to move about and play. I chill for a bit while the band practices and works through a new song. Even in these first few minutes of observing them, I already know that these dudes have their shit together. They’ve developed a comfortable, creative environment where they can bounce ideas off of one another and share praises, as well as differing opinions and reservations. Having a tight group of like-minded individuals is mission critical for any band that wants to thrive beyond the “hey let’s jam and see what happens” phase.
Since beginning their collaboration in March of 2014, Tare has been writing, recording, and touring as often as their busy schedules with school, work, and other bands will allow (Zack is in New Lands, Josh is also in New Lands and All people, Ian is in Woozy, and Dustin is in Boat Shows). In July they released an 8 track EP entitled “By Proxy.” Josh describes their sound as “thoughtful guitar music with (sometimes) crazy rhythms.” The music has so many different elements and nuances to it. On one hand it’s very relaxed and pretty, with the gentle, dreamlike vocals and technical, lulling guitar and bass riffs. On the other hand, the softer instrumentation combats louder, heavier drums, dueling guitars, and a full and fuzzy sounding bass.
The song that perfectly conveys this is, a collective favorite of the band, the almost five-minute “S. Adams.” This song is a perfect combination of calm and chaos and the vibe vacillates between subtle and explosively loud. This loudness is on a whole different level when you hear them play live, but the guys promise that there is careful calculation behind all of the noise. They aren’t loud for the sake of being loud. Zack notes, “I always want to make music that will hit you hard but at the same time envelop you. We’re not a band that just tries to play one chord really loudly, we want to fill the space and maintain interest.” Dustin and Ian stress how while they want the crowd to have a great time, their music is meant to make people feel a spectrum of things; “It’s not a one feeling band that’s just straight punk where everyone is running around the entire time trying to destroy each other.”
The recording process for Tare is pretty straightforward. Josh recorded “By Proxy” in a friend’s basement with a simple Logic setup. The only thing mildly complex about Tare’s recording sessions is the extensive list of gear, particularly the pedals. On lead guitar, Josh plays his Gibson Les Paul Standard Doublecut through a Musicman HD130 amp, while rhythm guitarist Zack plays his Fender American Vintage Reissue ‘62 Jazzmaster through a Morgan AC40. Dustin plays a Fender P-Bass. As for pedals, Josh prefers a more raw sound, relying most heavily on the combination of his Ibanez TS 808 and EHX Nano LPB-1 Booster. Most of Zack’s sounds come from a combination of the EHX POG2 (usually for octave up sounds), the Strymon El Capistan (for a dual delay that gives warbled modulation and fills out the sound), the Caroline Guitar Co. Icarus (for clean boosts), and the Caroline Guitar Co. Haymaker (for super responsive and versatile overdrive). Dustin keeps it simple with an EHX Russian Big Muff for a huge, fuzzy bass tone. All in all, it probably only took about ten hours of tracking, with minimal overdubbing, followed by ten hours of mixing to complete the EP. Says Josh, “When you’re live tracking you have to think ahead of time of how you want your recording to sound, like swells and the fullness of the song.” As for mixing, Josh adds, “It’s not the best space that we record in, so of course there are the usual dynamics and that kind of thing, but I don’t really add many effects to the mix. It’s not heavily edited.”
Right now the band is practicing, performing, and touring as much as possible. They take touring as an opportunity to fix mistakes, and they use their good communication skills to adapt to any situation easily. Zack mentions, “I love how I get to travel the country with some of my best friends, and I can pay for it by doing something I love.” The next step is to hopefully travel as far west as possible. The band also has an upcoming Southeast tour with Lions, and are opening for Caddywhompus at One Eyed Jack’s on December 6th. Check them out on Facebook (tarenottear), Bandcamp (tarenottear.bandcamp.com), and their new online store (tare.storenvy.com).