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Jumping up out of the vibrant arts scenes in the Bay Area, The Tambo Rays craft ebullient, kaleidoscopic laser beams of pop-rock. The band recently announced a new EP, Recharged, which is led by an animated video for single “Get It Right Now.”
The track is a summer ready jam as The Tambo Rays pair sugary melodies with Sara DaMert’s infectious vocals. Think Blondie in 2017.
Check out our interview with The Tambo Rays while watching “Get It Right Now” below and look for Recharged out July 17th via OIM Records.
Hello! This is Sara, the singer of The Tambo Rays. The band started as a bedroom solo project by my brother, Brian DaMert in 2012. Once he got a live band up and running I started crashing their practices looking to join in on the fun, I never played in a band before but was really interested in making music which I was already doing on my computer. Brian, Greg and Bob taught me how to play drums, keys, and guitar. But most importantly the band gave me a welcoming space to explore my voice and build up my confidence to sing.
What’s your songwriting process like? Who are some of your biggest influences?
Our songwriting totally varies depending on each song. Sometimes Brian or I will bring in a demo that we adapt live with the band, or other times we just start from scratch at the practice studio and let things naturally evolve.
On our forthcoming EP, Recharge, we had the opportunity to experience a totally different approach, and that was songwriting in a recording studio without a time constraint. This was a game-changer for us in terms of exploring and reworking arrangements, taking our time getting the best sounds for each song. Brian really let his inner-perfectionist shine, although it drove me fucking nuts, the outcome we got made it all worth the takes.
As for influences, musically speaking, we were raised on Fleetwood Mac (I’m named after their song ‘Sara’) and Ace of Base. For our live show we do a cover of ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads, so yah, 80’s pop rock is kinda in our DNA. Right now, for the band, our biggest musical influence is one song, on repeat, for hours, “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus.
Other major influences are sunsets, the ocean’s mist, the smell of the forest, jumping into a lake, popping bottles of champagne, dancing in a basement somewhere in Oakland, soft kisses, riding bikes on warm nights. Our musical inspiration comes from the beauty that which surrounds us, sometimes it is pleasant, sometimes it is not, and in our music, we try and make sense of these feelings.
What are some of the larger themes at play on the EP? What sort of headspace where you in when writing it?
The EP was written in an emotional whirlwind, our dad was very sick and had recently passed away. It was the holiday times when we started recording, so we were dealing with death, love and the rollercoaster of grief that comes with loss. But the thing is, our dad was the world’s most positive person ever and our number one fan, even when sick he had a smile on his face, and always carried an optimist outlook on life. So although we were really weighted down with sadness, we were filled with an uplifting energetic contrast of our immense love that’s released is this EP. Lyrically the EP is about overcoming sorrow, finding peace within pain, appreciating the preciousness of life, being their for one another, finding passion and opening the heart to love more.
If money were no object, what would your dream live performance look like?
I’ve recently got into making clothes and I’d love to make everyone outfits and have outfit changes throughout the show. I’d love to get my friends who make art create jumbo size versions of their pieces with different stage themes for different parts of the set. A giant rainbow projector would be rad too.
Any new artists/venues/purveyors of the arts in your local scenes you could turn our readers on to?
Oakland & SF Bay Area is a radical, artistic stronghold with a beautiful devotion to community arts and creativeness.
Music: Wax Idols, dot Vom, Queens Dlight, Healers, Marbled Eye, Hot Flash Heat Wave
Art: Laura Rokas @laurarokas, Lena Gustafson @lena__gustafson, Shayna Yasuhara @shaynaface, Muzae Sesay @muzae, Unity Mart @unitymart, Not Your Baby @noturbabyyy, Press Play Zines @pressplayzines.
Where can we follow you and any shows coming up?
Instagram.com/thetamborays we are going to be releasing a music video soon for our song “Yes and No”
We are planning an EP release show for mid-July and we will be playing in LA in July as well!
Any parting thoughts? Open platform!
Writing music helps me confront and make sense of challenges in my life, being in a band has taught me how to motivate, express and explore myself in ways I never thought possible. It’s given me a place to acknowledge pain and holds a space to care and nurture. Singing has truly opened up my heart and mind to an untouched level of empathy and grounded-ness. So thank you music for being such a great therapist!