Taking us from the East Bay to the fog-veiled breakers of the Pacific are Oakland’s The Tambo Rays, with the premiere of their new song, “Oceans”. Fresh from an adventurous journey to the redwoods at The Peg House in Leggett, CA for Hickey Fest (curated by the Bay’s own, Ash Reiter), siblings Brian and Sara Damert, Greg Sellin, and Bob Jakubs are preparing to bring their summer soaked sounds to Phono Del Sol, July 12 in San Francisco at the Potrero Del Sol skate park. If the outdoor air and sunny spirit of “Take That” accompanies and compliments patio grilling gatherings, then The Tambo Rays about to crash one of their greatest waves on your head like the contents of an Igloo punch cooler dumped over your person in a celebratory fashion with “Oceans”.
“Oceans” is not just a song for docked bodies of sea, nor for the land-locked continents and countries of earth alone. The places of sea and land are rather part of a electric magnetism that is drawn up in a force field between surface and infinite pressures of inertia exerted by outer space. The rhythm of the “Oceans” runs quicker than water and the flight of clouds that dart about the hazy sky. The percussion motivates the song along it’s motorik route, driving swiftly across the freeways of 880, 580, to I-80 westbound to the coast’s edges that provide a panoramic view of a big world.
In what became an online AOL chat session between the band and Impose, we got to hear all the wild stories from Hickey Fest, the inside scoop about the recording of “Oceans”, Phono Del Sol projections, and more.
What have you all been enjoying lately in the Oakland sector of scenes?
Sara: The other day I went to my friend’s warehouse/gallery space where they had an Art Party, everything was $5 or less, there was a dude who would draw you as a Simpson’s Character. Also I keep finding myself raving at an old church in West Oakland…
Bob: I’ve been enjoying DJ Blackblood requests-encouraged set at Radio on Monday nights. Also Alameda Flea Market is only fifty cents on weekdays, I got Goonies on VHS for a quarter.
Brian: Bicycle Coffee has free coffee on Friday’s and the dumpster’s next door has a lot of good food in it too.
Top 5 favorite moments from Ash Reiter’s Hickey Fest?
Brian: The ‘security’ ‘making’ Justin do a beer bong of his Anchor Steam during the slacker grunge set from bleached out Tomorrows Tulips.
Greg: We were hanging out on Eel River and these guys and gal dove off a 60 foot cliff into the river…it was kind of intense.
Sara: My favorite moment was about an hour after I dosed the champagne…
Brian: meeting Mad Alchemy (Lance Gordon) who did live visuals Saturday Night. For the last 30 years he’s been using multiple overhead projectors set up with plates of different colored oil. It creates these movement filled, multi-dimensional visuals.
Sara: On Saturday morning I went to Showga, which is actually an Oakland based live music w/ yoga class. Foxtail Brigade was playing an acoustic set and I can’t balance for shit but the music was so beautiful and elegant that I literally went into Namaste mode. And had the most awakening yoga sesh of my life, even though I was using a sleeping bag as a mat…
Bob: Yeah I went too, but smoked a cigarette and listened to the music, it was chill.
“Oceans” is such a vast track that unwraps the seven seas with the ease of really crisp guitar notes, and those windy breeze vocals. What was the recording sessions like, and how did Dave Schiffman contribute to this beach ghost vibe?
Sra: After we recorded drums at Different Fur Studios and got the files back to our home studio that my brother and I had just finished setting up. We basically had free range to lose our minds in any part of the song.
Brian: By accident I hit a button on my computer and some other music started playing that just happened to be in the exact same key as “Oceans”. It created this soft wave of distant cohesive sound, and we were like “holy shit did you just hear that!?” So we tried to figure out what we heard and added that in. Once we sorted that out, Dave Shiffman got his hands on it and used his experience to give the song an encompassing sound and really brought Sara’s vocals out nicely.
I also love the honesty and real genuine glimmer of song from The Tambo Rays, like “Take That”. What is the song writing secret between you all?
Bob: Weed helps.
Brian: The main vision in the songwriting process is in the hands of me and my sister. Take That came together at practice while the rhythm section was out getting some air and Sara was messing around on the mic and keys. It happens a lot like that, it’s really simple and fun, no secrets really.
Sara: Also Brian or I will just write a song at the house on our own then we try working it out at practice. That’s when Bob and Greg come in and lay something sweet to go along.
What are you all the most excited about for Phono Del Sol?
Brian: White Fence, been listening to Tim Presley since he played in Nerve Agents.
Sara: And he was in Darker My Love <3333!! But for real excited to see Wye Oak live!
Other recordings and releases that are on decks and loading docks?
Greg: Looking to put out our EP… A/S/L holler at me wid a pix.
Sara: We are busy recording at our home studio, but yes what Greg said…
Favorite must-hear Bay Area artists?
Bob: Annie Girl and the Flight
Brian: Silver Shadows.
Sara: Metal Mother
Greg: Meat Market.
Must hear artists not from the Bay that you all love?
Greg: Jesus Sons.
Sara: Michael Vidal.