Focus: Tuska

7th October 2016

Fresh from a recent move to London are psychedelic-rock heroes Tuska, putting out their first official single, Da Da Da, which is a trippy and atmospheric banger, kept grounded by an addictive hook and some truly fantastic drumming. We caught up with them for a quick chat and to see what really makes Tuska so instantly likeable.

Afternoon lads! So just for those who aren't clued in, who are Tuska, and who does what?
Hello! Right, so I'm Rich and there's Rob. We're both two halves of Tuska and we play everything between us when we write and record but if you catch us live I'll be on lead vocals and guitar and Rob plays lead guitar and mumbles down the microphone every now and then.
Da Da Da is totally irresistible, how was it written?
I believe I came up with the initial idea for this one; I had just a couple chords and the words. Rob told me it sounded like jazz when I first showed him, so I sat at my kit for weeks drumming the hell out of it till it sounded less so. Then we both sat together and finished it all off.

As for the rest of your tracks, is it usually a collaborative effort or do you take turns ‘leading' a track so to speak, and then bounce off each other?
I'd say it's always a team effort. Either one of us will start with an idea and I'll sit with it and write drum parts and the vocals. Once we get to that point we're usually both on the same page with where we want to take it. Then it's a case of sitting in a room with Cubase and writing the tune. Recording is a big part of our writing and Robbie's got so good at mixing now that production has become part of how we write. I spend a lot of time telling him to, “Make it do this” and make some sort of movement with my hands – he usually knows what I mean.

Have you had any trouble transferring the massive sounds of the studio recording into live shows?
Yeah I mean there's been some hurdles definitely. Luckily we've got a seriously good group of lads who play with us, they make it so much easier. I see recording and live shows as two completely different things, it's like we have to do our own interpretations of our own music. We get told our live set is a lot more rocky and gritty, which I like and that's also affected how we write now.

What's next for you guys, an album, a tour?
We've got some things in the pipeline, we're always writing so there's new music on the way in some form. I'd love to go on tour soon, it'll be sweet to spend some time with the boys and have a good old laugh at shows. I'm really loving playing live at the minute and showing people that other side to Tuska.
If you had the chance to collaborate with any musician – who would be your dream pick?
I imagine you're expecting me to say someone famous but I think I'll go for our drummer, Jay Bone. He's a class drummer but he also plays guitar and sings like a bloody angel. I definitely respect him as a writer. I think I'll go and ask him now actually…

Words by Morton Piercewright

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