Contributor’s Note: To say Tula Vera is a great band is reductive. They’re songs have all the catchiness of radio pop hits and all the charm of your favorite artists basement demo tapes. They’re Pink Floyd meets Foxygen, they’re The Flaming Lips meets the Strokes, they’re Tula Vera, and I’d expect that we’re all going to be hearing a lot more about them in the next few years.
What’s your songwriting process like? You have multiple lead singers yet the songs feel like they come from a similar voice.
Our songwriting process varies. Sometimes Dylan will bring in a guitar line and Claire will write vocal parts/lyrics. But sometimes Dylan will bring in a song he’s written vocals and guitar lines for, or Claire will do the same. We have a google drive with all the songs we work on, and Margaret will listen to them there and come up with drum parts. And then we experiment in rehearsal and see what we like best.
What’s is like being a band outside of a big city like New York or Philly? Do you feel temptation to move the band to a bigger market? What are the benefits and drawbacks of being in a more suburban area?
We feel really fortunate to live where we do. There are so many great bands around us that we are thankful to call our friends. It’s great being near Montclair because there are Diy venues like the Meatlocker and Boontunes, that isn’t just pay to play. Although being near New York and Philly is really great because that expands where we can play and who we can play with. We hope to get out there more in the future.
As a guitar player myself I can’t help but notice the variety of influences on the guitar work on your most recent album, ‘Tula Vera.’ Can you tell me a little about the specific people or styles you tried to emulate on this album?
Both of us love a wide variety of guitarists and styles. I think through our compositions we borrow certain techniques to better recreate the “vibe” we’re going for. For example, the guitar playing on our song “Goldfish” is more Jimmy Page inspired than other songs. Borrowing chords from folk and jazz is another thing that we think helps differentiate our songs from some other rock stuff out there, like the second chord in the song “Sunspot.” We hope to incorporate even more styles and techniques on our next album (slide, fingerpicking, funk, feedback, etc.)
How did you guys all meet? What was the genesis of the band?
Dylan, Claire and Margaret met at School of Rock where we took lessons. And Joe was Dylan’s roommate at William Paterson, and we needed a bassist so Dylan asked him to join. We have gone through a couple of members in Tula Vera, but Dylan and Claire started the band.
What’s next for you guys? Are you planning on going back into the studio anytime soon?
We have a lot of things in the works currently. We are hoping to get back into the studio this summer for our second full length album. We are also trying to get some weekender short tours together to spread our wings and play somewhere new.
How is your music changing? What do you think we can expect from you musically in the future?
The next record definitely has some different things in store. Dylan will be singing a lot more, and Claire will be playing some more guitar. The way the songs are written is also a lot more varied because we can write second guitar parts, and Dylan is singing more. Some of the songs on our last record we also wrote when the band was a three piece without bass. So now that we have more permanent members. Things are a lot more open for experimentation songwriting wise.
And there you have it! Fans can check out Tula Vera at the following locations: