Montreal’s TARBOX are ready to lead the grunge & alt-rock revival

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Tarbox band

After several years of working on different projects and touring across Canada, Tony, Simon, Deiz and Jack decided to form Tarbox. Through their post-grunge and alternative vibe, the Montreal band manages to give groove and a new flavour to these somewhat forgotten styles. 

Formed back in 2016, they changed the band name from Empty Minds to Tarbox after a European EDM producer started releasing music under the same name, leading to potential confusion on streaming platforms. As the worldwide pandemic took over, the foursome chose to take the time to rebrand and add new elements to their sound.

With the help of Dave Traina from The Damn Truth, Tarbox recently produced and recorded their debut album as a band at The FreqShop studio (The Franklin Electric, We Are Monroe, John Jacob Magistery), in Montreal. With a heavy and emotional meaning behind it, this new album, Saviors, offers a wide range of intensity and dynamics. Tony & Jack from the band say their new sound mixes old influences as well as newer ones.

A lot of our inspiration comes from grunge and modern bands like Billy Talent, for example. And I think we just had an evolution of our old sound and mixed up some new influences. Yeah. Maybe like a little bit of new wave sometimes or Deftones-ish influences. What we did before was way more nineties, Pearl Jam, like softer kind of grunge music. We felt like we were we wanted to go more with a modern sound, try to add some more ambient stuff within this heavier and kind of darker sound.”

Saviors represents the journey from the band they were to the band they wish to become, but also acts as a tribute to some family members that passed away in recent times.

“There’s a lot of emotions cause we went through some really hard situations last year. We lost some family members and we kinda wrote the album for them and some of the lyrics and are dedicated to them. So we tried not to make it a downer or like an album that’s too dark, but it’s definitely I would say emotionally charged.”

The grunge and alternative rock scene was huge in the 90s but is there an audience for the music in 2021? Tarbox think the world is ready for something different again. We ask them if any other Montreal bands are playing a similar sound.

There’s a few, like we have Tugawar that is going to be our first act on the release show. They’re really kind of Pearl jam-ish. We have a good friend of ours playing in Mooch. It’s more stoner. I would say eighties influenced, but it’s like a stoner desert rock. We had a good show with them like two years ago when we got a tour with The Jins from Vancouver. Really awesome dudes. Really cool. We partied with them a lot. The Jins are like Nirvana, even the singer looks like Kurt Cobain, but they have a really cool sound”

The record-release show sold out in 6 days and will take place at Petit Campus in Montreal on September 17. The album, Saviors will be out two days earlier on September 15. A second show on September 25 has now been added.

Watch the interview with TARBOX in full below:

Saviors is out September 15 2021 on all streaming platforms.

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