In Boston, where students live in apartments stacked on top of each other, cops bust parties all the time. Everyone gets kicked out and goes on their ways. It happens.
But when you’re on a rooftop in the middle of the city filming a music video with the only access point being a jimmy-rigged ladder attached to the building’s fire escape—and just twenty minutes to capture the sunset—getting caught is not an option. With a five-man film and lighting crew, three sound engineers, three backup vocalists, and a friend who spray-painted the band’s name as a backdrop, Berklee blues-rock band The Max Tribe pulled it off, and they even made a few friends in the process.
“We saw people dancing along on neighborhood roofs and peering through windows,” said Austin Max, lead singer and guitarist. “The impression of the cops busting the party was in the back of our minds, so we knew we only had a few takes. We’re so psyched with how great the sound and video turned out. We didn’t expect to get the best sound atop a roof; it’s a pretty daring task.”
“Sweet Reality” is The Max Tribe’s second release; the first—”Tape Machine”—Sound of Boston premiered in May. In the time since then, the band has been busy recording their debut album, which is due out in early 2017. They’ve also been playing live shows, and have an upcoming tour along the East Coast with Cherry Mellow in January. “We just want to establish our sound, make great records, and play music for people—lots of people,” said Max.
Bands often take their time with first albums to make sure they come out exactly how they want them to, and that’s what The Max Tribe has done. “We’re working with producers that we feel bring out our originality and the vibe of our music,” Max said. “We had some really amazing sessions over the summer at 1867 in East Boston with James Bridges behind the board. James was awesome to work with and so creative with sounds in the studio. We loved working with him from the start.”
As well as selecting the people they want to work with, The Max Tribe is also shaping their sound through the place they’ve chosen to record. “The Masons built the temple in 1867, it’s got mad high ceilings that gave our sound a dark tint and has this real eerie, mysterious feel that we think translated into something unique,” Max said. “There are so many cool vintage and funky instruments of every style in there and we loved taking advantage of it all.”
Whether they’re playing on a rooftop or inside a Masonic temple, The Max Tribe’s blues-rock sounds both vintage and distinctly their own. We’ll be watching these guys closely—that is, if we can track them down.