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Fall 2006
Spanish flag
Progression Magazine
(USA)
by John Colinge, Editor
Progression Summer/Fall 2006

Three, The Hard Way
New York's TriPod stubbornly clings to a proud progressive ethic.

It's like the childhood slogan, "Look mom - no hands!" Only with a progressive rock spin: "Look folks - no guitars or keyboards!" Such is the unique rallying cry of New York band, TriPod. So what do they play, and what do they sound like? TriPod - once dubbed "that 21st century schizoid power trio from the Big Apple" - is Clint Bahr on bass and vocals, Steve Romano on drums and percussion, and Keith Gurland on saxophones, clarinet, flute and electronic effects. Stylistically they cover a lot of ground, but "progressive rock jazz-jam funk metal fusion" points you in the right general direction.

Above all else, TriPod is an audacious rock band with a passionate perspective on life as well as music. The trio is very "activist oriented," very political, posting links on its website to numerous charitable causes - breast cancer research, various environmental benefit groups, child health, world hunger, animal rescue and welfare, literacy, Native American rights, etc. In the late 1960s when music and social activism went hand in hand, TriPod would have felt right at home.

These days, however, being a politically charged progressive band in New York City is as challenging as it gets. "Really bad clubs, and bad bands, playing bad music" is how Romano assesses the current music climate in one of the world's great cultural meccas.

"Quite frankly, it is pretty dismal," Bahr concurs. "Only when touring acts come through town will you see talent and inspiration. I would say TriPod's music is completely unrelated to the current music scene here, which is actually a good thing."

Many of the clubs where TriPod used to play are gone - Wetlands, CBGB's, etc. "Most clubs that have bands do so not through any love of music or desire to present it properly, but rather to scam as many people as possible on any given night," notes Gurland, who is not given to mincing words. "And it's a buyer's market for bands willing to be scammed. We exist despite this climate, not because of it."

Keith in Croatia

Consequently, TriPod has cast a wider net in search of receptive audiences. The band was a hit at the annual Baja Prog Festival in 2005, and this summer toured Europe, including appearances at the prestigious Zappanale and Burg Hertzberg festivals in Germany.

TriPod has one album to its credit, an eponymous debut released as a promotional demo released in 2003 on MoonJune Records and reissued with new artwork this year. A live DVD is forthcoming late this year including footage from Baja Prog '05 plus shows in Boston, New York and Europe, along with interviews and behind-the-scenes rehearsal bits.

The band's roots date back to the late 1990s and a chance meeting in New York's Riverside Park, referred to by Gurland as "my open-air practice space." That is where he and Bahr first came together.

"Upon hearing the faint sounds of a saxophone, I was led to a sole figure practicing in the park. I made myself known and invited him to a session. That "someone" happened to be Keith," Bahr recalls.

Says Gurland, "After determining that he meant no harm, I agreed to a session at his Brooklyn rehearsal space. This studio - sadly, now part of a mattress factory - I don't think they have a plaque on the wall or anything) became the laboratory where we grew this beast we call The 'Pod."

Gurland sat in on a jam/improv session that included Bahr, a guitarist, and original TriPod drummer Billy Ficca. They played, chatted, and Gurland eventually suggested to Bahr that a bass-drums-sax trio would be fun to explore.

"Well we did, and haven't looked back since," says Bahr. "That was the moment we became TriPod."

TriPod in Studio in NYC

The band played club dates in and around Manhattan, later renting time at the famed CBGB's club one afternoon to record a live three-song demo disc. Between takes a woman approached the stage and asked if they were signed to a label. The woman was rock veteran Genya Ravan, perhaps best known as singer for 70s rock band Ten Wheel Drive. She ended up producing TriPod's first recorded work.

Ficca was replaced, and for a time the only constant was an ever changing roster of drummers. Ex-Gong drummer Pierre Moerlen joined briefly; he was planning a move from Europe to New York, but never made the transition. "I still have music that we wrote together and exchanged via e-mail," says Bahr. "So we ended up auditioning over 50 people, finally finding the illustrious Steve Romano."

"We found our third leg, so to speak, in Steve," Gurland says.

Steve in Croatia

As noted earlier, TriPod is a rock band first and foremost - a rock band whose raw power and energy might be considered rare for a progressive act.

"Our "style" is a collection of experiences - musical, personal and social," Bahr says. "It is something that is organic, not forced or contrived. I feel it's an honest extension of our personalities through song."

Gurland is a focal point of the band's live performances, stalking the stage and wailing away on sax with wild abandon. Bahr also commands ample spotlight time with his athletic bass work and expressive vocals.

TriPod pours a lot of energy into its shows. With only three players, extra effort is required to project with power while maintaining a technically demanding progressive edge.

So what makes TriPod"progressive", says Gurland, "We exercise freedom; freedom to change tempo, meter, key, dynamics, whatever. As long as nobody's trying to do the foxtrot, that freedom is there, and progressive bands aren't afraid to use it."

"Everything we do is anything but mainstream," says Romano. "Right there, it's progressive. The obvious odd time changes, musicianship, instrumentation, and experimentation helps as well."

In Bahr's estimation much of it boils down to denying conformity, no matter how tempting it might be to round off some of those proggy edges for wider audiences. "I would say by not compromising for the sake of being popular, but by pleasing ourselves with the music first," he says. "That's what makes us progressive. And if people enjoy it, then we've done our job."

TriPod in Croatia

Of course, the band's unique instrumentation would seem to automatically place TriPod in the progressive camp once it becomes obvious they're not a jazz combo. People still have a difficult time understanding how the band can muster such a full sound without guitars and keyboards; as Bahr points out, "It's all in the way you approach and orchestrate it."

"None of us are "anti" those instruments at all," he says. "In fact, I play and compose on guitar and keys, it's just that we choose not to incorporate them into TriPod. But I will stress that those and many other instruments will be on future recordings, and played by the band."

The band's liberal use of electronic effects certainly expands its sound, lending harmonic breadth. Gurland takes the musical concept further: "There's a common misconception about "rhythm" parts, that you have always to spell out whatever the chord is at any given time. When Clint plays a G on his 12-string bass, that's three G's. I think we all get the idea "G" without six other G's coming in from other quarters. Play melodic ideas and the harmony is implied. You don't need a wall of sound clogging up the midrange, smothering overtones and stifling harmonic freedom."

The word "freedom," the concept of freedom, continually course their way through TriPod's dialogue: Freedom of expression as progressive musicians…Freedom from the tyranny of popular culture…Freedom as Americans and all it entails.

The latter hit home, literally, in a significant way five years ago. As residents of New York City, the 9/11 terrorist attack and subsequent events affected Bahr, Romano and Gurland personally, and has filtered down to their music.

TriPod in NYC

Romano says it caused him to write "with a little more attitude" and bring "anarchistic elements to the table." Says Gurland, "I'll forever carry the memory of that burning smell in my nostrils. Doesn't make me want to sing about pixies and flowers, if you catch my drift."

Which brings us, naturally, to the band's politics and Bahr's role as lyricist. Gurland stresses that TriPod's collective world view is "progressive" just like the music, but that the trio takes pains to avoid using the stage as a bully pulpit.

Bahr explains: "We're not overtly political as a band, but there is an undercurrent lyrically. In fact, our next CD release is entitled "Incident", its theme being the current state of the world."

"I write the lyrics for TriPod, but it's not an easy task for me," he says. "I find it much harder than composing music, it's a real process. But being the singer, I much prefer singing what comes from my head and heart. If you're lucky enough to convey anything meaningful to an audience, if you make that connection, that's a wonderful feeling, be it lyrically or musically. That's what its all about for me."

Going forward, the members of TriPod relish opportunities to play their eclectic music to audiences that understand what they're doing. They cherish their gig at Baja Prog 2005 as that rare event involving, as Gurland puts it, "a roomful of happy prog fans, musical liberals, most of them. These are our people, and we loved putting on a show for them. We don't play in front of potentially hostile crowds every two weeks like we used to in the clubs. At Baja the crowd was anything but hostile."

TriPod in Germany

The shows in Europe this summer were and experiment for the band, its first ever taste of performing on another continent. Afterward comes more work on the home front - putting finishing touches on the forthcoming Incident album, and the DVD.

Beyond that, expect to hear more from this band on the domestic tour circuit.

"One of our aspirations is to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show…when we're 70," Gurland jokes. "Seriously, we hope to entertain as many people as possible with our live shows. We also want everyone to have TriPod in their iPod."

"Apple, feel free to contact us!"


June 2006
Spanish flag
Eclipsed
(Germany)
by Carsten Agthe

TriPod offers listeners breath-robbing intensity. Their CD was produced in 2003, but since it received barely the attention which it deserved, we want this interview to call it again to memory and warmly recommend its purchase. The trio gets along nicely without guitars and keyboards and has as its configuration bass/percussion/saxophone a formidable mixturee of jazz and rock.

Tell us some things about the band which are not so serious. What is TriPod about?

Clint: Well, we're not your everyday kind of band, that's for sure!

Keith: We are three primates who, in answer to a primal directive, have taken up the tools at their disposal to raise a great howl, casting unto the void a cry: "We are men. Admire our cleverness. Feel our might." So, in other words, show biz.

Steve: I would think that the instrumentation that we use is unique. We are certainly not a typical jazz trio or prog rock trio. But we push out a sound that is as large as a 15 piece band.

What's more important for the band - John Zorn, Frank Zappa or the 21st Century Schizoid man?

Keith: Note that all contain the letter "Z". Hmmm.

Steve: Well, the band is a very Schizoid band, so I'd have to say Schizoid man!

Clint: I like to think every kind of music is important, (whether you like it or not). Every music has something to offer, if you keep your eyes, ears and mind open.

Do you find yourself more in the Jazz or more in the Rock vein?

Keith: Whatever frightens fewer people away.

Steve: I think we have a good blend of both but we are really a Rock Band.

Your songs, are they more compositions or more improvisations?

Steve: Most of the songs are composed with some open spaces for a little improvisation. But we also incorporate entire improvisational pieces in our live show.

What's more important - to be perfect or to have a lot of fun?

Steve: Fun!!! Why else would we play?...and perfection is boring.

Clint: I don't know anything that's "perfect", especially me! So, yes...it's to have fun. We certainly need it these days.

Magazine coverMagazine cover


July 2005

Planet Bass
(UK)
by Chris Dale and Matthew Cohen

Clint Bahr is a very versitile bassist who mostly brings his talent to the band TriPod, a trio consisting of drums, bass and saxophone- no guitarists or keyboard players here!

What inspired you to first pick up a bass and what were your first attempts at playing it like?

The Beatles (like most everyone) inspired me to pick-up a guitar...then over time I heard those lovely low's of the bass. I also fell for the look of the Hofner violin bass and Vox amps.
My first attempts were horrid in retrospect...but I joined a band and never looked back.


Who were your early influences and what did you learn from them?

Early influences were Paul McCartney, John Entwistle, Jack Bruce, etc... the usual suspects. But later that grew to include myriad bassists of both the rock & jazz worlds.

Did you take lessons or are you self-taught?

I'm completely self taught. I learned by listening and playing to records. I totally recommend that to anyone just starting...along with proper lessons (if that's your desire). It really helped my ears.

What’s the most important bit of advice you were given by another musician?

To be honest, I can't think of anything. But there's always been support with warmth & encouragement from my friends, family and mentors. That's really a wonderful thing.

What’s the most important bit of advice you could give to new bassists?

Be yourself and listen to every kind of music.

Where do you stand on the old fingers vs. plectrums debate and why?

No debate for me, as I use both styles...they've each a lot to offer.

Do you play 4, 5 or 6 string basses mainly? Fretted or unfretted?

I play 12-String Bass (fretted). Also 8-String, Chapman Stick, 4-String etc...
I've played 5-String at sessions but don't feel very comfortable on them. I've never played a 6-String Bass for professional reasons.
I have played upright bass and fretless electric basses in the past and I love them.


How would you define your style of playing?

QUITE eclectic...I would say.

Tell us a little about the artists and bands you have worked with, and how/if you adapted to playing with each of them?

I've played with pretty much all styles of bands (except Classical)...you adapt to the situation and make the best of it, have fun.

Of the artists and bands you've played with who was the most inspirational and why?

I would say my current band TriPod...simply because of the demands on me, there's NO GUITARS or KEYBOARDS in the trio and I'm also singing & playing bass pedals, etc...it's quite a tap dance!

Do you warm up before a concert and if so how?

Yes, both instrumentally & vocally. On bass it's a lot of whole tone scales and running through the complex lines, etc...Vocally, it's everything from relaxed humming to screaming.

Do you have any other last minute rituals or habits before a concert?

To loosen the shoulders & neck with a quick massage prior to going on stage...it helps, due to the weight of the 12-String.
 

What do you drink onstage?

Water.

Have you ever played while drunk or under the influence of drugs?

Yes, a loooooooog time ago...when it was fab.

What’s the biggest disaster you’ve ever had onstage, and how did you cope with it?

I remember one very important show when my entire sound shut-down. It was terrible for me (and band), but most of all our intrepid roadie, who soon fixed the problem. But those times can be the worst...just grin & bear it.

What’s the biggest disaster you’ve ever had in the studio, and how did you cope with it?

Never had a disaster...but we did have quite a perplexing problem on our last recording. We used Pro-Tools, and for some reason the vocal tracking didn't sync with the instrumental tracks properly. Everything was in A-440...but the lead vocal was tracking at a higher pitch (yet in tune), finally after a few days a surgeon was called in and found the problem. He said it was a first in all his experience...I still don't know what was wrong, but that's electronics for you.

What’s been your proudest playing moment?

Many...but most recently playing The Baja International Rock Festival (Mexico). TriPod received two standing ovations and an encore...it was a great night for the band.

What’s been the most fun playing moment, and why?

Most likely my very first gig...aside from the nerves, it's the beginning of a new adventure.

What’s been the least fun playing moment, and why?

Being fired. Having to deal with out-of-control egos.

What equipment do you use live and in the studio and why?

I use a very extensive HiWatt amplifier set-up with Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, FX pedalboad etc.

Are you fairly flexible about the equipment you use or must you always play with the same gear?

I'm totally flexible...if it's someone else's session.

What one piece of equipment would you advise all bass players to own?

A tuner.

Do you read music?

No...but I do read chord charts.

Do you play any other instruments, and how well?

Guitar, Keyboards, Mandolin (for composing, recording)...not a vituoso.

Do you write or co-write songs and if so do you write on the bass?

Yes, I write & co-write. I'll write on anything that happens to be around...sometimes it all comes to me without an instrument. Those are the magical moments.

Do you ever play cover versions, and if so how do you learn the originals note for note or do you improvise you own parts?

No...unless it's for fun, at a party for instance.

Do you sing? Do you feel it is important?

Yes, I'm the lead vocalist in TriPod and have been in quite a few other acts. I feel it's incredibly important to sing, to learn the different levels of harmony is fascinating...but playing bass and singing is totally contrapuntal and can be hard at first, but once you get it, you're off...it becomes second nature.

If you could nominate one song that you’ve recorded to sum up your playing style and feel which one would it be?

"Dance of the Kabuki" on TriPod's most recent CD...MP3 are on our website.

What have you been doing recently?

We've been on the road, currently rehearsing & writing new material.


January 2004
Radionotte

(Italy)

by Gabriele Desole

Are you completely satisfied with this CD?

Steve - Yes, I think it turned out great. It's a good representation of what we sound like.

Keith - Satisfied, yes, but never completely.
Clint - In retrospect there are always little things you wish you could have done better or differently.

What are the most important inspirations for doing this new album?

Clint - Keith & Steve are my inspirations on this album....they are simply two of the finest musicians I've ever worked with. Also, our producer Ron Allaire was an inspiration and he did a wonderful job.

Keith - We tried to make a cohesive statement as opposed to a collection of songs.

Steve - It's a culmination of our efforts as a collective unit, and as individual musicians. We finally found a project that lets us express our ideas, emotions and musicianship.

Are there some others artists that you think would be important to recommend to us?

Steve - Too many to mention.

Clint - Nobody that you aren't already familiar with.

Keith - Our points of reference tend not to be too recent; better to go directly to the source than get it secondhand and watered down.

Are there some others projects in your future?

Keith - We've got lots of ideas. We're ready to record our third album. Skip the second and just move right on to the third.

Clint - We've got some tracks leftover from our recording session that will be used on the next CD release, plus a plethora of new material. We look to keep our formula the same, yet change from record to record.

Steve - I don't know what's in the future, right now
TriPod is all I have time for.
Is there something in your album that you're not satisfied with?

Clint - No......I'm quite happy with the outcome.

Steve - THE COVER!!!!

Keith - The cover could stand revision. Also, bars 124-127 of track 12 are somewhat problematic.


Clint - I also want to say thank you Gabrielle for your very kind words and support concerning
TriPod....Cheers from NYC!


Keith - Long life to
TriPod!!!



November 2003
Hairless Heart Herald

(UK)

by Jem Jedrzejewski

When we reviewed TriPod’s album back in September 2003, we were itching to delve a little further into the background of the unique music Clint Bahr, Steve Romano and Keith Gurland purvey. Too late to get tickets on Concorde’s last flight to New York to meet the guys, we persuaded them to break with tradition and use keyboards (computer keyboards that is) to ‘speak’ to The Hairless Heart Herald…

Warning: This article, like all others on this site is © The Hairless Heart Herald 2003 and must not be reproduced in any form without our express permission (and/or an obscene amount of money).

I'm sure you have been asked this many times before but just how conscious was the decision not to make use of guitar or keyboards?

Keith: Or accordions or banjos, for that matter.

Steve: As I understand it, they tried a guitarist and felt no need for it. The style of the bass and sax left only room for percussion.

Clint: It wasn't a conscious decision at first. We started sessions in the very beginning with a guitarist, but I remember Keith suggesting it as a trio.

Keith: We decided to remain a trio because we're more manoeuvrable that way; better able to hear one another and to really play together.

Clint: So from that moment on, "TriPod was on track and we haven't looked back"!

So was it a deliberate attempt to conjure up something completely new in the world of progressive rock and fusion, by using wind instruments in place of strings (Chapman Stick excepted)?

Steve: No ...it just happened that way.

Clint: No, it wasn't deliberate to use woodwinds, Keith just happens to play all those instruments.

Keith: It's something I had always felt would work. You need strings, Clint has 12 of them on his bass.

Clint: The whole formation of TriPod came about by chance and in a very organic nature. One afternoon my wife and I took a walk in New York's Riverside Park and I happened to hear this fabulous horn playing, so I introduced myself and the rest is history. You know when someone's a good musician within the first few seconds and both Keith & Steve were apparent immediately.

Steve:: It jelled the moment we started jamming (as a three piece). We make enough noise by ourselves!

I would imagine that it is not easy performing your music live, especially considering that there are only three in the band. How do you go about it?

Steve: Actually it's better live than in the studio! All we need is our equipment and we're ready to go!

Clint: TriPod is a LIVE band and is at its best on stage. There's no problem whatsoever in re-creating our sound in concert, in fact it's better!
All our music is written and arranged with performance in mind, and amongst the three of us is quite an array of sonic options to choose from.
But I must say we are VERY busy when we play………no slacker's in
TriPod!

Keith: It's an athletic event - the TriPod -athalon.

When it comes to composing, do you individually come up with ideas and develop it by means of jam sessions or is it more a case of one of you presenting the 'finished' work to the others? And do you make use of keyboards at the composing stage?

Clint: A little bit of both really.

Steve: Composing comes in many forms, some jams, some pre-written. But whenever a tune is brought into the band, it takes on a new life. Each member brings his unique personality to the song. I personally compose on electronics (drums, mallets, computer).

Keith: Basically, someone brings a piece to the band and the other two guys twist it beyond recognition. It becomes TriPod -ized. Some of the material might be composed on a guitar or piano initially, but we don't present it to one another that way

Clint: Normally a song is brought in with a somewhat completed format and goes through the arranging process until we're happy with it. We all write, so there's no lack of material and we also have the improvisations/jams. As for what instruments I use for composing, whatever happens to be around at the moment of inspiration…….. guitar, piano, mellotron, stick, bass etc…have all been used.Also, there have been many times songs or ideas for songs, lyrics and arrangements have been composed without instruments at all - in my head.

Will your next album follow similar lines to the self-titled debut or will it have a totally different tack, maybe with the introduction of instruments not used on the first album?

Clint: TriPod is a rock band that follows no guidelines, so we could veer off in any direction.

Steve:
The core of this band is bass, drums & sax...that will always be.....But we do experiment all the time so you never can tell.

Keith: We have a few new toys: electronics, effects, theremins... no extra personnel, though.

Clint: The Chapman Stick will be used with TriPod. There's also a considerable amount of music to choose from for the next album, some of it is already recorded.

When can we expect the next album and have you got a title for it yet?

Clint: There are no plans for recording a new album at the moment...........things are in the process for our current CD to be marketed worldwide and then we'll tour this music.

Steve: Well, we need to get this one exposed to the world and tour to support it. The next album I would hope in about a year.

Keith: At the moment we have no idea what the next record will be called.

Have you played any dates in Europe so far and have you any plans to do so in the near future?

Clint: TriPod hasn't toured Europe yet, but we are looking forward to it in the very near future.......it'll be a gas!

Keith: We'll be in Europe once the booking and album details are completed.

Steve: Not yet but we are working on it...we can't wait! We're all ready to RIP IT UP!

And we can’t wait either! Many thanks for the informative and entertaining answers. Until next time…

-Jem Jedrzejewski
Hairless Heart Hearald



September 2003

Nucleus
Argentina  Flag
(Argentina)
by Sergio Vilar

"A World Of Surprises!"
"Welcome to the new experience
of the progressive yankee.
Welcome to a world of extreme sensations.

TriPod has arrived!
Probably one of the big revelations of the year."

Could TriPod present themselves to our readers?

Keith: Yes.

Clint: Hello Nucleus readers. Greetings from New York City.

Steve: "Yo!" I'm Steve Romano bred in Brooklyn: drums, acoustic and electronic percussion.

Please, tell me a little about the album that you have just produced...

Steve: The new CD is a unique blend of our collective musicianship. It shows the extreme range and cultural influences of our personalities.

Clint: It's is a combination of many things…composing, rehearsing, improvising. I'm very happy with the outcome.

Keith: It's just the tip of a very big iceberg, but one needs start somewhere.

How long did it take you in total the recording?

Clint: The CD was recorded Spring, 2003 with producer/engineer Ron Allaire at the board.

Steve: The recording took about six months because of scheduling, but if you count only the studio time we could have made it in two months. The CD has many first takes as well as some jams!

Keith: A weekend to lay down the basic tracks. Mixing started slow, finished fast.

Musically, how would you compare TriPod in relation to other bands of the style? What is it that is different from the rest?

Steve: There is really no comparison. We are unique in our line up, our choice of music and even our live shows. What you hear on the CD is nothing compared to us live. We bring a much needed kick in the ass to the entire music scene.

Keith: TriPod is about three distinct personalities combining to create a distinct sound; replace any one of us and that sound would be totally different.

Clint: I feel TriPod is a band that comfortably sits within any genre of music. One thing that distinguishes TriPod from the pack is that we're a trio without the usual instrumentation.

How you like other bands? It doesn't care if they are not of the same style as you...

Keith: The Beatles were pretty good.

Steve: All music influences me…..sometimes good, sometimes bad. As for drummers Weckl, Chambers, Bozzio, Bonham.

Clint: I love music, all different styles: I really listen to a very diverse assortment of musics. The list is long.

I should say them that you fear like "Dance Of The Kabuki", "Fuzz" and "As The Sun" I found really excellent. Full with being able to and imagination. Do you consider that they are these the topics that better they represent your music?

Clint: Thank you Sergio.

Keith: Absolutely.

Clint: Yes, we're very happy with those songs. "Fuzz" is a studio improvisation, a total off the cuff live recording. We went in and just played. No conversation, just played. By the way, "Ghosts" and "Smoke & Mirrors" are also live studio improvs.

Steve: We are not the type of band to get locked into doing a certain kind or style of music. (Personally, I would get too bored.) Our mood, feelings, surroundings, and political state will convey our emotional response within our music.

Which is the thematic one that you approach in your lyrics?

Clint: Writing music is very easy for me, BUT to write a melody you hope someone can whistle or a lyric they might relate to is a whole different story.

Keith: Good lyrics leave something to the imagination. Something for the listener to interpret subjectively.

Clint: It might be a train of thought, an expression, something I read, something I saw on TV, witnessed or heard in the street that sparks my lyrics. You know New York City is full of so many cultures and dialects. It's very inspirational and can be quite humorous as well.

With the disk already published, now the moment of the release comes. How do you get ready for this stage?

Keith: We need good folks like you to help spread the word.

Clint: TriPod is ready to take its music on tour internationally. Things are in process for touring as we speak. We look forward to going to Argentina to meet the people and share your culture. That will be great.

Steve: We are ready for the stage!....We are caged animals awaiting the feast!

Which are your plans for the rest of the year? Will there be a lot of activity in relation to the shows?

Clint: Yes. Lots of activity.

Keith: The whole point of this enterprise is to play to as many people as we can. So, yes. Watch the Web site.

How today is the progressive scene in New York? Are there interesting proposals among the new bands?

Steve: If you pay attention you can find some great music and musicians. The music scene in NY is quite large…but as I have said before, there are a lot of bad bands, in bad clubs, playing bad music.

Clint: NYC doesn't have much of a "prog" scene, or any scene per se. It's a market for touring acts.

Steve: What "prog" scene?

Keith: New York has more bands than it has an audience for. It is hard to be heard above the din.

Thank you. Do you have some final message?

Keith: The music is the message (Whoa!).

Clint- Thank you, Sergio, and best of luck with this magazine. It's been a pleasure to speak with you and your readers. Cheers from NYC.

Steve: Please check the website for updates - and support independent music.

www.TriPod-theband.com



September 2003
DME
Isarel flag
(Israel)
by Dmitry Epstein

"Rarely is a new band exciting and enticing enough to incite an interest and a desire to ask the musicians some questions. Yet, TriPod's music does raise questions, and the release of the New York trio's debut album gives a good opportunity to tickle bassist Clint Bahr, reedsman Keith Gurland and percussonist Steve Romano". a

Do you consider TriPod's work experimental or everything's planned and accounted for?


Clint: TriPod's music is a little bit of both elements. We like to keep as many doors open to creativity as possible.

Keith: There is room in all of our songs for improvisation. That is the spirit in which we like to play, to allow for surprise.

Steve: We experiment all the time when we rehearse. As for in the studio, we go in with structured well planned songs. We also leave some room for total improvisational jams. Most times the outcome is surprising.

Where would you place the band on the "rock - fusion" scale?

Keith: Somewhere around the flatted fifth. We're a rock band.

Clint: TriPod is a rock band that has the capability of going in any direction it chooses.

Steve: We lean toward the rock side!

Clint: We plan a few surprises for future recordings.

Why does your music sound so nervous?

Clint: Nervous???

Steve: Nervous! Don't you mean PSYCHOTIC!

Keith: Some people say we've got a lot of nerve.

Was the combination of saxes and heavy riffs inspired by KING CRIMSON?

Keith: Not a huge influence for me.

Clint: No. TriPod's music is not inspired by Crimson, but I must say I have always loved the band in all its incarnations. They've always had great players.

Steve: Our inspiration comes from all our collective backgrounds. Crimson is just one of a million bands, musicians, poets, writers, artists, etc., that influence us.

Who was your inspiration as a bassist? \

Keith: Paul Chambers.

Clint: There are so many Dmitry, that there's not enough room to name them all.....for me, anyone of substance.

Are vocals important to the music you do? They seem quite auxiliary, supporting the melody...

Steve: Vocals are very important ...they enhance the music and at times are the driving melody.

Clint: Yes, vocals are very important to our music, it's the human connection. They are not "auxillary" in any sense.

Keith: We like to weave voices into the music so that they share a more or less equal footing with everything else that's going on - as opposed to having the other instruments take a backseat.

Is it hard to reproduce your sound live without losing any intensity?

Keith: On the contrary, it's hard to capture the intensity of our live sound in the studio.

Steve: No, not at all...in fact the sound is much grander and you can only feel the true intensity of the band at out live shows.

Clint: TriPod is a LIVE band that functions at it's best on stage.

Aknowledgments list of the "TriPod" album includes the name of Jonathan Mover. What was the contribution of this renowned drummer?

Steve: Jon is a friend and we choose his studio to record our album.

Keith: He lent us a drum set at one point... oh, and he provided us with a world-class studio in which to record.

Clint: He co-owns Skyline Studios with our producer/engineer Ron Allaire.

Cheers from NYC to all the DME readers!
Clint Bahr
Keith Gurland
Steve Romano

www.TriPod-theband.com


TriPod Photo
February 2003
Sea of Tranquility
USA Flag
(USA)
by Pete Pardo

New York's very own TriPod, a band that almost defies classification with their brand of jazz/metal/prog/funk chops, gets set to release their first official CD after a very successful demo that had the progressive community taking notice. Pete Pardo had a chance to catch up with Clint Bahr, Keith Gurland, and Steve Romano and talk about the many things that make up this unique trio.

SoT: Can you give us a little history on yourselves and the band.

Clint: I was raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and began my musical career there. I got fed up with the "music scene" in the States and moved to London, England while still a teenager. I was fortunate enough to work with some excellent musicians and play some great gigs. It was quite an education and many of these people are still good friends of mine.

Keith: I used to have an open-air practice space in Riverside Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side. On my final visit to this space (known as "The Grassy Knoll") I was approached by Clint who, instead of requesting money or silence, suggested we play some music together.

Clint: He was outstanding, so I introduced myself and the rest is history. Unfortunately, TriPodhad the "exploding drummer syndrome" for quite a while.

Keith: Last year we auditioned Brooklynite Steve and, after retrieving our collective jaw from the ground, demanded that he join the band."

Clint: With Steve on board, it's a different and finer working music machine. He's fabulous!

Steve: Well, I'll leave the band history to Clint & Keith. As for me, I was born and raised in Brooklyn and answered the ad for
TriPod after checking out their website. I found their music to be unlike anything I'd heard before. I then made it a point to get into the project!

You can hear lot's of influences in your music, from progressive rock, to jazz, and even a little metal. What are some of the bands that you all grew up on?

Keith: Metal is a naturally occurring element on Long Island, where I grew up. In addition to bands like Yes and Tull, I would go see Blue Oyster Cult.

Steve: Zeppelin, Sabbath, Rush, Yes, ELP, UK, Crimson, Brand X, etc...I would also follow drummers as they progressed into other bands. (example: Terry Bozzio)

Clint: I love most all music styles; there's always something to be found if you care to delve….BUT the writing and performance must be up to par. The bands I grew up listening to would be much too long to list here. However, The Beatles were, are, and will forever be the best. They pretty much covered all the musical bases. Brilliant!

TriPodfeatures no guitar, but lots of heavy bass riffs and scorching woodwinds. What made you decide to go with a guitar-less line-up?
Clint: We first tried improvisation/jam sessions that included guitar but soon realized the "guitar-less" trio configuration was stronger.

Keith: Guitar can muddy up the sonic landscape. Clint's bass triples every note. How many Gs do you need to hear? We have the bass pedals should more become necessary.

Steve: After hearing the Sax with the 12-string Bass there was no need for it. At times this three piece unit can pump out an orchestral thickness.

What are some of the band's favorite songs on the promo CD, and why?

Steve: "Trip the Light" because of the intense groove and Zappa-ish bridge. And I really dig the new material that we have just recorded.

Keith: Each song aspires to take you on a journey (or Trip, if you prefer). There are good versions of "Incident" and "As the Sun" on there. Both of those pieces sound quite different now, so we've re-recorded them.

Clint: "Jerome's Spotlight", "Incident", "Trip the Light", and "As The Sun" are among my personal favorites. These tracks are included on our upcoming official release.
How is the music scene in New York? Do you get to play live at all?

Steve: I'm not a big fan of the music scene in the NYC area. There are some places to see some great music and musicians. But they're hard to find. For the most part, you are bombarded with an onslaught of bad music, played by bad musicians, in bad clubs.

Keith: It's a buyer's market for live rock'n'roll, so nobody pays you and everybody treats you like crap. So, like Rodney Dangerfield...

Clint: The music scene is great when you play New York City on a proper tour in proper venues. But God help you if you're just starting out. It can be demoralizing for a new band.

What are the plans for an official CD release? Are you writing and recording new tunes?

Keith: We have lots of new material in the can. We're thinking of taking some of it out of the can and selling it.

Steve: Yes! We are in the process of mixing our new CD and continue to work on new material.

Clint: We have a wealth of new tunes, some of which are on the new TriPodCD being produced by Ray Bennett of FLASH.

Steve: When we get to touring we'll have enough material to keep every show fresh. Every show will be a new experience for the audience.

Clint: And a new audience for the experience.

Are there any plans to expand the line-up, or is the future of the band as the name implies, a trio?
Clint: TriPoddefinitely stays a trio, but we will eventually expand our personal instrumentation.

Keith: We will go out as a trio only until the London Symphony Orchestra starts taking our calls.

Steve: As of now no plans. Maybe a guest or two in a recording and you'll never know what will happen live!

Clint, Keith, & Steve: Thank you Peter: and keep up the great work with Sea of Tranquility.



April 2002

Metal Force Magazine

(Italy)
by Igor Italiani

MF: Hi Clint and Keith…first of all you've told me that TriPod has recently changed one of its members. Can you introduce the new guy sitting behind the drums to the audience?

Clint & Keith: Absolutely! Ladies and Gentlemen, here's our new percussionist, Steve Romano. (Hooray!)


Steve:
Hi! I'm Steve Romano, a native of Brooklyn N.Y., playing drums, percussion and electronic drums.

Your band hails from New York. Can you tell me the pros and cons of living and playing in a big city like this one?

Clint: Obviously, these days there are many cons to living in New York City, but I can't think of one! I love this town.

Keith:
The pros are evident in that we three all found one another here. The cons are many, foremost among them being expensiveness.

Steve:
I guess it is easier to find musicians to jam with but it's still hard to find the right project. I don't think I would have found this band living in Kansas (No offense, Kansas). I personally feel there is not a good music scene in N.Y. There are no clubs or radio stations willing to put forth the effort to support underground, experimental or progressive music genres.

Can you recount to the web surfers how TriPod started?

Keith: The seeds were sown on a grassy knoll in Manhattan's Riverside Park, where Clint invaded my al fresco practice space. And we two began a collaboration that quickly took the form of TriPod.

Clint: And Steve came to us via a posted advertisement. Of over 50 candidates, he was the one.

I think that your combination of instruments is unique…do you believe this is really an advantage in a society that looks way too conventional in my opinion?

Clint: Yes.

Keith: People who hear us live in concert and on CD remember this band.

Steve: When I first heard
TriPod on their website I was blown away by their sound, musicianship and uniqueness. I think it's all about originality, the ability to create (as a team) your own type of music. Example: ELP, Rush, Yes, TriPod.

The only band I can refer to you is Primus, and even this is a farfetched comparison. Is there a band you would like yourself to be linked to? What are your influences?

Steve: Pretty much every thing I hear musically influences me ...some times good, some times bad, some times really bad. I wouldn't like to be linked to any other band...We are our own entity, so to speak.

Clint: My influences are too numerous to mention and very varied. I'd like to think TriPodis the musical missing link.

Keith: You can see our image in Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Frank Zappa.

Now a more technical question. You use a 12-string bass…why do you prefer it?

Clint: I've always played chordally on the bass and used multi-string basses and the Chapman Stick, etc…It's just my nature and it works beautifully with . For more info on this unique instrument see http://www.12stringbass.com.

Do you think that the web is the future for music or not?

Steve: Not the whole future but it will be a big part of music and I embrace it.

Keith: The web can introduce a band to an audience it would otherwise be unable to access. Here we are using it.

You proudly state that TriPod doesn't include guitars or keyboards. But if you could choose a musician to fill these spots in an hypothetical expanded Tripod formation, who would you choose and why?

Clint: Nobody!

Keith: John McLaughlin is certainly welcome to sit in. He's succeeded in so many formats.

Steve: There are a number of unknown musicians that I personally know that would work well. But as for persons the public knows, it would be cats from the 70's like Steve Howe, Eddie Jobson, the monster players I grew up with.

Are you already working on the follow-up to your self-titled debut or not?

Steve: Since I've filled the drum seat we've been working on all new material.

Keith: We could record it tomorrow.

Clint: We have enough material for 3 more CDs.


Are you searching for a capable label to support you or you think you'll continue as an independent outlet?

Keith: Capable is the key word here. Do it right, or we'll do it ourselves.

Clint: We will always be "independent." And certainly TriPod will find the correct label.

Time's up. There is something else you would like to say to the audience?

Keith: Ciao.

Steve: Look for us! Check our website for updates! We will be in your "hood" (remember I am from Brooklyn) soon enough and it's gonna be amazing!
www.TriPod-theband.com

So thank you for the sweet talk. Bye and good luck for the future!

Clint: Thank you, Igor. Cheers from New York City!


October 2001
Eclectic Magazine

(Hungary)
by Attila Torok

EM: How did you get the idea to make rock music without guitars and keyboards?

Clint: It was Keith's idea to have no guitars. It really opens up the harmonic possibilities not being tied down to the typical chord progressions.

Keith: Sax/bass/drums is a configuration much explored by jazz musicians. If it succeeds in rock music it does so for the same reasons, i.e., greater freedom afforded by the absence of oft-redundant chording instrument.

Doesn't it make problems performing live? Isn't it too thin sounding?

Clint: It's better live. The sound is HUGE live, not thin at all.

Keith: One inherent challenge of this trio format is to vary the texture, and if that texture feels thin in places, we can add notes and different sounds with our feet (sometimes it's a real tap-dance), always live, always "real time."

If I know well, you're working on the new album. Please tell us some words about the forthcoming new material!

Keith: The new material is as varied as the old, but we've picked up some new weapons (Musicvox 12-string basses, Morley effects), so we might sound a little "meaner."

Clint: Well, we're in the process of replacing the drummer, but the new music is really wild and very heavy.

How do you compose your music? For example who brings the ideas, etc?

Clint: Both Keith and myself write ALL the music and lyrics.

Keith: The Bahr/Gurland synergy is responsible for most of it, but everyone brings in tunes and everyone then messes about with them.

Although TriPodis not too old a band, but seeing your photos and hearing your music, I think that you're not teenagers. What musical past do you have besides TriPod?

Keith: Was it the lack of pimples that tipped you off? We've been around the block a few times with this one and that one, but that isn't who we are. This is who we are.

Clint: I've worked in all kinds of musical atmospheres: rock, jazz, folk, etc.

Won't you be angry, if I tell you that I heard many jazz elements in TriPod's music?

Clint: Not at all, it's a compliment. People hear a sax and immediately think jazz, but we're a ROCK trio.

Keith: Jazz gave us some of our greatest inspiration, we improvise and we swing, but we're loud and we use a lot of triads, so: in a certain sense a jazzy bunch of cats, in another sense definitely not.


Photo by Alex Solca

EM: What kind of music do you listen to generally?

Clint: Everything.

Keith: No rap, hip-hop, country, ska, rockabilly, disco, house, techno, "smooth jazz," industrial, trance, drum n' bass or "adult contemporary." Everything else.

Is there hard or easy to succeed in New York with this kind of music? Because there are plenty of good and interesting bands.

Clint: It's hard whenever you try to do something different.

Keith: New York doesn't care about its bands, interesting or not. Playing original music here is not going to pay the ridiculously high rents here.

How do you see the future of TriPod? What would you like to reach with this band?

Keith: We intend to get a label behind us that will give us the initial tour support that will enable us to establish an international following, which we plan to cultivate by playing as many shows as we can (more fun than being in a recording studio).

Clint: TriPodis a LIVE band. That is our forte.

Is there any chance to meet you on a live show somewhere in Europe in the future?

Clint: Yes. For tour dates please check the official website
http://www.TriPod-theband.com

All tour dates will be posted there.

Keith: We're coming to your town. We'll help you party it down. We're an American band.

Finally, please tell us some parting words for the Eclectic readers!

Clint: We look forward to meeting you on the road. To get to know us better, our CD can be purchased: the information is on our website.

All the best and thanks Attila for a great magazine.



12-string bass page logo
T12SBP Interview
Clint Bahr of TriPod
by Low-End Monster
Clint with 12 string

Canada's flag

Webmaster's note

This interview was conducted prior to

TriPod
endorsing MusicVox and Morley.

MusicVox President, Matt Eichen, presented Clint with a
SEA FOAM GREEN
Limited Edition MusicVox 12-String Bass.

LEM:

Clint Bahr was kind enough to grant this interview (via telephone) late December 2000. The versatile 12ver bassist of the unique band TriPodputs his 12ver through its paces in an environment it was originally conceived for. The three-piece band. With no guitar or keyboards in the band, the 12ver dominates like a T-Rex in the Jurassic period. Nowhere else is the 12ver more showcased as when it is employed in this fashion. Clint makes good use of rig and effects arsenal to push the 12ver to its unexplored and uncharted limits. TriPodis definitely a great example of prime 12ver territory.

To learn more about TriPodvisit their site at the TriPod Homepage.

LEM: What made you decide to get a 12-string bass guitar?

Well I have been playing multi-string bass guitars for many, many years starting with the Hagstrom 8-string in the old days. But you couldn’t really play it above the 5th fret without the intonation going all crazy on one of those. When Tom Petersson came out with the 12-string, it was a very logical extension to the 8-string format and, of course, he made it famous. It was a natural evolution for me to go from the 8- to the 12-string bass.

I used 8-strings and Chapman Sticks until March 2000 when I purchased my first 12-string. A Musicvox Space Cadet. It was a breeze to go from one to the other really. The body is not too big but the neck is elongated at the stock. I thought it would come with an option to buy a hardshell case, but it came with a very good gig bag but it is really not sufficient for touring with respect to protection. So I will have a case custom made for it, which is really a pain in the ass. The headstock has a cosmetic wedge extension on the end/ top of it, which makes the Space Cadet longer and consequently it does not allow it to fit in a standard bass case so I will have flight case built for it.

As I visited the TriPodwebsite I saw the picture of you with your Musicvox Space Cadet 12-string bass. Is that the only 12ver you own at this time?

Yes. I love it. I think the construction of it is fabulous. To be honest however, I think the electronics and pickups could be a lot hotter. What I want to do is get a Chandler like yours and Tom’s. I really like the fact that it has graphite in the neck.

It wasn’t until I saw the photos of your Royale on T12SBP, that I found out that the Chandler was available in a mono version. I was very pleased to learn that. I want to get a mono version because my bass is already being miked, DI’d and with the sound off the stage in the mix as well it (the sound) is split up enough. I prefer the wall of sound as opposed weakening the sound by splitting it up especially in a band like TriPod (a 3 piece band with no keyboard or guitars) it really needs to be a solid sound coming off the stage and in the studio too.

Clint with T-shirt

What is your equipment/ rig setup like and how do you process your signal?

I use a pedal board that encompasses an old Morley Power Wah Fuzz pedal to an old MXR 10 band EQ to a Bass Whammy pedal and from there to an original vintage ElectroHarmonix Bass Synthesizer and old Korg PME pedal board which has a phaser, a compressor, analog delay and a chorus. I always keep the compressor on in order to boost the highs on the instrument so its really chimey sounding.

From there it goes into a Boss Bass Overdrive and a Boss Analog delay and that signal gets fed into a DI box which is split and goes to the PA system and the whole Amp system is DI’d and miked. I also use two original Moog Taurus Bass pedals synthesizers that were used back in the 70’s by UK, RUSH and Genesis. Even Tom Petersson used one during the Dream Police Tour.

My rig consists of four 100 Custom Hi Watts from the 70’s, they were hand built by Dave Reeves in London who was the originator of Sound City and Hi Watt. I have three Hi Watt 4x12 enclosures and one Acoustic Bass Reflex cabinet, which has an 18” speaker in it.

As far as instruments go I have a ‘62 Fender (Reissue) Jazz Bass, Ibanez Musician 8-string bass, Fernandes 8-string bass, 10-string Chapman Stick and my Musicvox Space Cadet, which is very heavy! It is built like a brick shit house.

What kind of tone / sound do you strive for when using your 12ver with this rig?

My overall tone I would describe as a harpsichord, low–end of a Steinway (piano) clarity. It’s very, very bright with a good bottom to it. The settings on my Hi Watts are cranked up full except for the volumes. I pull back on the bass at around the 8 or 9 setting, but everything else is maxed out at 10! Then I use whatever effect I need to for each piece we play.

What is your 12-string bass playing style like? Do you play the octaves a lot as accents or do you chord a lot?

I developed a chord style with my 4 –string which then progressed to the 8-string, the stick and finally the 12-string bass. It is really a personal style (that I am not alone in) I have adapted via a more “guitaristic” approach to the bass than a standard bass technique or style. I play a lot of chords within the context of TriPod because our music requires it. I use everything from finger picking and strumming styles to E-BOW’s and effects to help me make a very unique sound. Anything goes in this group.

Tell me about TriPodand your future plans.

The band has been together for about threes years now. We all live here in NYC now. TriPod is really a rock group, but a very experimental one in that there is no guitar or keyboards. When people hear the band they can’t believe it. Keith Gurland who is the multi-horn player (he plays woodwinds, flutes, clarinets and things) has processing for his electric horns as well as Roland Bass pedals. So we throw out a lot of sound.

The band is unique. A reviewer said that if your took a dash of early King Crimson, Cheap Trick and John Coltrane and threw them in a blender you’d get TriPod. That’s just a very general idea of our sound.

We have one CD currently available self-titled “TriPod” and we are in the process of recording our second CD. We just got back from L.A. where we finished mixing our current CD and did photo shoots, etc. and our manager will be pitching it as he works to get us signed by a label.

As it stands right now we are supposedly going to tour the Festival circuit this spring and summer in the US and Canada. If we get signed that may change. There’s a good buzz happening around the band, but as always it is hurry up and wait.

© 2001 Low End Monster Production

Link to 12-String Bass Website



May 2000

Prog Visions
Spain's flag
(Spain)
by Jaume Pujol

PV: Could you say something about the history of the band? How did TriPod's members contact each other?

Clint: All by chance: Keith while practicing outdoors and the drummer via an advert.

Keith: I used to practice outdoors by the Hudson River. Clint heard me one day and invited me over to jam at his new rehearsal space. This space quickly became the laboratory where we grew this monster that calls itself TriPod, which chewed up and spat out several drummers until it found Kevin.

How would you describe your music to people who haven't heard it yet?

Keith: It's rock and roll. It's energy. It's a violent chemical reaction amongst three strong musical personalities.

Clint: A challenging mix of genres, but always rock.

It's been labeled "Millennium Fusion."

What do you want to transmit with your music? Has the band a kind of internal philosophy?

Keith: We want to transmit ourselves, our humanity, our sweat, our tears, our bite.

Clint: Energy, power, brains and beauty. The band has no boundaries.

How do you compose your music? Is it a collective work?

Keith: Lately, we are finding less and less distinction between composing and arranging. We all compose our own parts, so the end result is very much a collective effort.

Your music has multiple influences. Could you give some details? What kind of music do you listen to normally?

Keith: Whether it's "jazz," "rock," or "classical" (and I've gone through phases with each), I respond to the genuine, uncompromised, visionaries: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Richard Wagner, Bach. The imitated, not the imitators. The pure, not the watered-down.

Clint: I listen to everything, but I need to hear melody in music. I listen to Beatles, Bartok, Crimson, Shankar, Sinatra, and avant jazz. Lyrically, Lennon/ McCartney, Buddy Feyne, Richard Palmer-James, Pete Townshend and Cole Porter.

LA - Don't touch our settings!

Your CD was produced by Genya Ravan, of Ten Wheel Drive, how did it happen?

Keith: Genya heard us recording a live album at CBGBs. She walked up to the stage and told us we were "the real deal." She understands music in a visceral way: it's in her blood.

Clint: She has since become a very good friend. She's great!
Your CD was produced by Genya Ravan, of Ten Wheel Drive, how did it happen?
Keith: Genya heard us recording a live album at CBGBs. She walked up to the stage and told us we were "the real deal." She understands music in a visceral way: it's in her blood.

Clint: She has since become a very good friend. She's great!

The music included on your first album has a lot of different progressive ambiance. How did you get that variety? Was it intentional?

Keith: The music happens very organically. If anything, our intention is that it should come into being without a whole lot of self-consciousness.

Clint: With dynamics, careful arrangements and a sense of humor.

Currently, you are experimenting a lot with instruments and new structures and developments of your compositions.

Could you explain more about it? It seems very interesting.

Clint: The music is getting harder and more aggressive. Keith has just bought new FX pedals for his woodwinds. We are also developing several new instrumental works and I am using 12-string basses so the sound is huge.

Plans for the future. I know that you are preparing new compositions and you will do some gigs. Could you say more about that?

Clint: Concerts, recording and securing an international recording deal.

What is progressive rock to you?

Clint: Music that pushes the envelope forward, NOT BACKWARD.

Some words for ProgVisions e-zine visitors?

Clint: Please take some time to listen to TriPod
and check our web site at www.TriPod-theband.com
Our e-mail address is ClintBahr@gmail.com


Keith: TriPod Rules.

Thank you, Jaume! Keep up the great work with ProgVisions.

All our best,

Clint and Keith