Alternative rock band Tranqua Lite are definitely not your average Joe, run-of-the-mill rock band, far from it in fact. Hailing from Leeds, this quartet are eclectic, melodic and full of bold bass. Bringing this wonderful combination together to create a fantastic cocktail of sound, it’s new, exciting and absolutely delicious. They bring to the forefront their debut single ‘Tempered Tides’.
We caught up with this collective force, as they each gave us a piece to the puzzle that is Tranqua Lite.
Tranqua Lite has got to be one of the most interesting and quirky band names I’ve seen for a long time, how did this name come about?
Ben: It’s actually an old name that was coined a while ago now, but as a band we wanted to shoot for something original that at a glance would describe the vibe we get when we play our music. The word Tranqua Lite relates loosely to a sound that’s serene and idealistic, something we stumbled upon in a dojo somewhere in Japan. But as our music develops and changes so does our interpretation of the word!
What’s the story behind Tranqua Lite, how did this mesmerising melodic delight come about?
Jacob: First things first, if you guys didn’t already know, the internet is a wonderful thing. Me and Ben met on a certain musician finding website, and we spent a good six months working on our songs and trying to find other musicians to get the band to the line up we wanted. We met Toby in the same fashion as before… praise be internet and we really clicked on a different level. The songs sounded bigger, the harmonies sounded better, and we could finally get going as a band. Ben knew Mike from back home, and we’d been keeping him in the loop for ages about what we were getting up to musically, and again, the first time the four of us were in a room together we just clicked. It’s really interesting to see how we’ve developed over such a small time frame, gradually playing bigger gigs, gradually introducing more instrumentation. It’s something we’ve been visualising for a long time and it feels great to finally be on track.
How would you describe your sound to a drunk stranger?
Toby: That depends on how drunk said stranger is, to a tipsy person I’d say ‘an attempt to combine musicality, experimentation and ear worms into something palatable’. To a hammered Yorkshireman I’d simply say: ‘Different’. There’s a real call for change in music these days, new artists emerge every day with interesting ideas, some of which we have worked with and been inspired by. But ultimately, our aim is to break away from the obvious. You know that generic indie sound, singing about boys/girls and love? None of that, at least not in such an obvious manner. But I’d have to wait for the stranger to sober up before I could get into that…
If you gave us a little peek into the song writing life of Tranqua Lite, what would this look like? Does someone take the reigns with lyrics or music for example?
Jacob: We all bring a lot of different influences and ideas to our song writing process. Ben will usually start with lyrics or a guitar part, which I’ll then conceptualise the drums from. We get a demo recorded and then pour everyone’s ideas into the mix. This is when the song really starts to morph into Tranqua Lite shape, and it’ll never stop changing. We could have a solid song done in a week, and the next day one of us will be like “Lets add some synth here” or “Lets make this weird”. Our songs are always growing, which is exciting as a band because the creative juices never seem to stop flowing.
Now onto your debut single ‘Tempered Tides’, which was released only a few weeks ago. It’s definitely got an easy-going, upbeat, road-trip with your mates kind of vibe to it. Can you give us a little insight into the track?
Ben: Yeah it’s definitely got that feel good, us vs. them sort of thing going on. Essentially it’s a song calling out for change. We’ve always wanted to write from the perspective of a large group so that people felt included and motivated to take action or at least provoke some thought on certain topics buried in the lyrics. Like with much of our music we enjoy pushing the boundaries, bringing interesting time signatures and musical phrases into a pop context and in an attempt to contrast an upbeat melody against darker more serious topics of conversation, we feel like Tempered Tides does a good job.
How does it feel to unleash this song into the world?
Mike: It’s quite surreal if I’m being honest. I only re-joined the guys a few weeks ago and recorded the track in tight time constraints but the process was super smooth and relaxed. I feel like that comfortable vibe comes across in the recording really well. I’ve been in bands before where we released song upon song but I’ve never had a response like this. As a group I can really feel a sense of pride in what we’ve made and the reception from friends and the public has been crazy.
Ben: I think from the perspective of the band this single has been a great learning curve for us. We recorded, produced and released the song completely independently, from the first drum hit recorded in the studio at the end of the summer to the first single sale we made on the launch night. We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to bring into the world and of course we’re excited to be working on new projects that echo our debut single, so expect more like this!
Is there anything about the world of music today that you would like to change?
Mike: Wow, a nice easy question to answer. I guess for me it would be incredible if people could expand their taste more. There’s so many people who cling to one genre and don’t appreciate or experience any others. I think every genre has its own merit. Within the band the music we listen to is incredibly eclectic and that mashup of genres means we all have different ideas about songwriting. It’s always interesting writing a song in Tranqua Lite, hearing an initial idea, and knowing that in a week or so that song will be completely different and will sound better every time we play it.
What does the future hold for Tranqua Lite? Anything juicy you can tell us?
Toby: Well we can definitely say that we have a busy, long term plan prepared, full of things we are so excited to announce. But the best things always seem to pop up without warning, random emails or messages that come out of the blue, the things you can’t plan for. February 2018 is shaping up to be a very substantial month for us, so feel free to keep your eyes peeled at that point. However in general, we plan on announcing new tracks, gigs, ideas and opportunities effective immediately, it’s really constant a workshop between me, Ben, Jacob and Mike, everyone pitching in to their hearts desire, fortunately all sharing the same passion.