WARRIOR TRIBES by Brian Santostefano Photography
WARRIOR TRIBES by Brian Santostefano Photography
New Music

Introducing: Chicago rowdy punks WARRIOR TRIBES

4 mins read

Fully active from 2012 – 2018, releasing a 7″, a cassette of outtakes from the 7″ session, a split tape with Distract (R.I.P.), a digital covers single, a few demos, oi punk infused hardcore band WARRIOR TRIBES are set to put out their debut full length this year and they’ve recently uploaded a three song promo, recorded it with David Wolf (Daylight Robbery/Endless Column), and mastered by Daniel Husayn over at North London Bomb Factory. Today, we’re giving it some space to introduce their, talk about new songs and their local hardcore scene of Chicago. Here-we-go!

We all had been friends for years from going to shows and parties but previous to Tribes hadn’t been in bands that had really gotten out of the practice space. We’d really been stretching our songwriting muscles on the batch of songs that make up this full length LP and I’m very proud of how far we were able to gnaw at the boundaries  of hardcore while still maintaining the required energy. Concurrently with Warrior Tribes we had people in the bands Rumores (who left behind a really ripping unreleased LP that hopefully comes out some day), Street Creature and Future Shock.

We recorded this session with the same team as our 7″, our old friend David Wolf (from Daylight Robbery and Endless Column) and had it mastered by Daniel Husayn over at North London Bomb Factory. David had moved his studio set up out of his basement and into a practice space so it was almost like a whole new experience, tracking for two days in the heat of the summer and getting 17 completed songs down.

Punk press mentions:

Fast hardcore in the style of bands like SICKOIDS but taking a ride through the influences of STATE and NEGATIVE APPROACH while staying true to their Chicago school with the grit of that city in the mix – Artcore #32

Ugly hardcore with a groove – Maximum Rocknroll #374

Continued below…

Warrior Tribes artwork

Is it weird to say I’m very proud of the artwork even though I didn’t do it? It’s done by our friend Arturo Fresan (who also plays bass in Street Creature and Future Shock with our drummer Dave) and once he showed me the rough layout I instantly fell in love. If you have a few minutes you should scroll through his Instagram account to see his other work. It’s well worth it.


This was one of the first songs we ever wrote back in 2012 and it never really got a full studio treatment so it was really fun to concretely hear the evolution of the song. From the first recording to the eventual LP version, it got so much faster that the song went from 1:14 long to 45 seconds!

“The Con”

This will be the title track of the LP and is one of my favorites. The bass line and structure of it came from one day when I made it into the practice space early and was riffing around before the other two guys arrived. Within about 45 minutes we’d more or less completed the song. Lyrically it’s about the largest, easiest target of all, Donald Trump. He’s an endless source of sour inspiration and as most of the songs for this album were written in the lead up to the 2016 US presidential election and the aftermath of his inauguration, it comes up a lot. Trump is such a drain on humanity that there really isn’t much else I can add; if you don’t already know how horrible everything that was previously slightly hidden that he’s allowed to bubble to the surface with is then nothing I say will change your mind. He’s a pox on humanity.

“Nameless Loathing”

This was a fun, more rock n roll style riff we had been messing around with for awhile before playing out, and at one point as a joke I began singing the lyrics to Johnny Thunders/Ramones “Chinese Rocks” over it. To my surprise they fit so well that it made writing new, real lyrics that much harder! Eventually some inspiration came from reading Stan Lee/John Buscema’s mid-60’s Silver Surfer run, where Norrin Radd just can’t comprehend why humans continue to obliterate each other over misunderstood fear and hate. Unfortunately that question of “why?” never seems to fall out of relevance so Stan’s overwrought text bubbles really hit home.

Plans for 2020

2020 we’re planning on getting the physical copies of the album out as well as getting it onto digital services. Sometimes at shows we’d go the Husker Du route and play sets completely made up of new, unrecorded songs so letting people finally put names to riffs is exciting. We haven’t completely ruled out playing more live shows at this point either, so there might be a record release show on the horizon, who knows.

Chicago hardcore scene

Chicago hardcore always rules, even in the dead cold middle of winter like we’re in now. Just this past weekend I went to a five band show where I hadn’t seen any of the groups before and came out smiling because of the energy and dedication needed to lug gear up three flights of stairs in the middle of a massive snowstorm. I’m 33 years old and I’ve definitely crossed the threshold into the “old man” side of things and that honestly is pretty exciting. One of the things I really love about going to DIY punk shows here is the range in ages can go from teenagers to folks in their 50s and past, with people cycling in and out at will. It always keeps things fresh, mixing in different perspectives and experiences. It’s such a large, well populated city that if you wanted to you could really pick and choose to only go to your preferred micro-scene but luckily most folks don’t seem to to do that. Those that do are missing out on a lot of fun. If you’re interested, I also like to take videos at shows and upload them to the band’s YouTube page, which you can check out here. It hits a pretty good cross section of the exciting bands happening in the city right now.

Some of favorite newer Chicago groups going right now:

Spirit Trap – Some real mean death rock sounds, with our recording maestro David Wolf on the bass.

Dog Flashback – Hardcore lifers from Chronic Seizure, Punch in the Face, The Repos, Manipulation, Los Crudos and a million others continue to rip.

Future Shock – Even if this band didn’t share members with Tribes and otherwise be composed of friends it would be on the list. Weird, sci-fi hardcore from the future.

Iron Years – When you want to sad dance your day away, these are the tunes to do it to.

Tzar Bomba – No need for a fancy description, just some extremely raw d-beat done very well.

Canadian Rifle – Alright there’s nothing new about a band that’s been around for 14+ years but they manage to keep getting better and better somehow with every single record and show. An absolute institution at this point.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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