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Interview: Tree and Ray

Tree and Ray Aug 2016

Upcoming Brisbane 4-piece Tree and Ray have had a lot going on so far this year, but thankfully they took some time out of their busy schedule to chat with us! We were introduced to their new bass player Kai Grant and talked about their upcoming single, future musical experiments, and how cool it would to be a Drop Bear.

Firstly, if you could be any kind of tree what would you be?

Kirby: That’s a really good question, at the moment I’m thinking…well Wattles, because their blooming at the moment and their beautiful. Classic Aussie!

Nick: Aww man, well that’s a hard question, I recently went Mt. Cootha and the Botanical Gardens, just yesterday actually, so I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment! There’s too much of a choice but I do love a good Gumtree, grow some gum. (laughs)

Tylor: I’d love to be a big Banyan tree, with all their roots ‘cause you could house communities and animals. I could help everyone if I were one of those!

Everyone: (Laughing)

Tylor: Their very well respected trees!

Nick: Great answer (laughs). 

What’s your favourite animal that lives in the trees and would you ever want to be that animal?

Tylor: Oh, a gorilla!

Nick: Aww yeah…Harambe.

Kirby: If only he he’d stayed in a tree…

-Moment of silence for Harambe-

Kirby: I’d love to be a Koala, they’ve got the life. They’re pretty out of it all day and their just so chill. It’d be a good life to lead I think.

Nick: I was watching David Attenborough last night and eagles…eagles are pretty damn cool.

Kirby: (laughs) Very noble.

Nick: It was so good and crazy, ‘cause this guy went up see this eagle and he fell out the tree and broke both his legs!

Kirby: Wait, they actually showed that?

If trees were able to produce more than just oxygen, what would you want them to produce?

Tylor: Money trees, like Kendrick?

Nick: Good song!

Kirby: That is so good but wait, can it be in our backyard?

Nick: They already give us so much. I would feel bad if we took more from them.

Tylor: I think it would be cool if you could grow little animals. Just little things that grow into cute animals.

Nick: Wait, like tree animals or normal animals?

Kirby: Nah, just little trees running around that grow into big ones.


Kirby: Yeah, we’ll go with that one! 

Alright! Seriously, we are so excited for your upcoming single dropping in early September, can you give us some hints as to what we can expect?

Kirby: Hmm, it’s a bit of a journey. It’s the first song we wrote together. This song we’ve been playing it for about a year live and it’s super energetic when we do play it live, it’s a really great single.

Nick: It’s very guitar driven and it excites the crowd.

Kirby: We’ve been loving playing it because it’s something different from our previous sound, so we’re glad that the crowd are loving it.

How come you guys decided to change up your sound? Do you plan to experiment more?

Kirby: We’ve always just been happy to experiment, we’ve never really had an idea of what our sound really was in our heads and we’re open to a lot of stuff. So, when this came up and starting experimenting with the guitar pedals, I was able to play more riffs.

Nick: It always seems to add up to the music we’re listening to at the time, it always sneaks it way in especially when we’re jamming. We tend to use it as a method of song writing, like Kirby said, when we jam we’re not really restricted and we go from what we’re listening to at the time or whatever gets us stoked to play. Like at the time we were listening to a lot of krautrock and there were a few side influences as well, just in the end something with a lot of energy.

Kirby: By the time we get in there, I’ll start mucking around with a little riff and I love to write as well so –

Nick: So yeah, we’re trying to find and add new sounds that we haven’t listened to before, like adding a cool flavour or characteristic to the song, just something unique. We just want to experiment and not be pigeon-holed into any certain type of sound.

Kirby: And as a fairly new band we’re happy to do so, I don’t think it’s that bad to not have found a sound to call ourselves. We’re very open and it all comes together live in the end and even though it’s very different from the other songs. It’s super exciting for us and for the people who come to the shows and have been listening.

The post you made about the upcoming single, what happened to that CD!?

Nick: Aww, Kirby only knows that one!

Kirby: Aww well basically, I burnt the song onto it and it just exploded because it’s just so good!


Kirby: No no, my girlfriend is doing an art degree at uni. So, she was just mucking around and burning CD’s where someone had a lighter on a CD and blew a bubble on it. It didn’t work but that happened.

Tylor: Sounds a bit hectic.

Maybe we should go with the first story?

Kirby: Yeah, we should. It’s a true story, actually happened.


So, introduce us to your new bass player! How did he come to join Tree and Ray?

Kirby: Yeah, obviously our last bassist left and he was happy to focus more on his jazz studies, it wasn’t an issue at all. We were happy to find a new bass player because we wanted to keep the band going. His name is Kai Grant, he’s in a few other bands as well.

Nick: Shout out to Kai!

Tylor: Hey Kai! He’s not here right now –

Nick: Obviously! (Laughs) Nah, he was happy to let us do the interview without him though.

Kirby: We’ve had some really great practice sessions with him and it’s been great starting to write some other stuff. So, we met him last year after a promoter put us and his band, The Counterfeit Umbrellas together and from there he asked us to play a show a few months later. We’ve known him for a while and it was about two months ago he asked us to play another show with him and we told him “Sorry, our bassist just left, so we’re gonna be out of action for a while”, and then he (laughs) dropped a casual hint, “Aww you know, I’d be happy to audition”.

Nick: I mean, he learnt all the songs really quickly and he’s super enthusiastic to be with us in a band and, we thought “Why not?”.

Tylor: We’re super lucky to chose our first bassist and it’s awesome, it was almost sort of meant to be.

You’ve also got your next gig in late August, for the uninitiated how would you explain your live performances?

Kirby: Energetic!

Nick: Yeah, energetic that’s for sure. A very dynamic set that’s for sure, we like to make it an experience for a live show.

Kirby: We like to write different transitions between songs and changing things up even.

Tylor: We always have a new set list every time with new songs. We never play the same set twice, we always change up what we’re doing for every show. We try really hard to do so, especially for the people who come to our shows we can always give them something new and it helps keep it fresh. It’s a lot more fun and we get to write all different stuff and transitions, it’s great for everyone!

Make sure you head out to their next gig Saturday August 26th at the Milk Factory for only 5 whole dollars. But for now as we wait for their next single in early September, check out their titled track Spectrum from their latest EP ‘Spectrum’ below!

O.J Mengel, Tree and Ray, and Julia R. Anderson

The Milk Factory, Brisbane

Tickets at the Door