New Tribe – Norman Music Festival

With fill in the blank with verdant sounds, New Tribe answers ten questions in this Norman Music Festival performer question and answer session to get to know them before the festival. New Tribe will perform at the Fowler Automotive Main Stage on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at 5:00 pm.

1. To get people to know you, how would you describe yourself and your music?

Eric: “New Tribe is a broader collective of people with the band as one of the catalysts of that collective, a force that helps bring people together in a shared experience of music. The music is meant to serve that goal, and as such is oriented towards helping the players and the listeners return to or more fully inhabit their bodies. As you might expect, our music emphasizes rhythms and grooves, but the melodies and harmonies are also intended to move and resonate with the body. Contra the view of musicians or songwriters as authors, we think about ourselves more as conduits of earthly and cosmic forces. With all of this said, the music is not particularly heady or abstract — we start with our particular take on various threads of American music (r&b, jazz, funk, etc) and use that established frames as starting points into more molecular and open-ended explorations — decompositions, you might say.”

Wally: “We play honest music, we try to be honest people. Our conversations are long and take many turns, both onstage and off. I’m the newest guy, so I have a perspective that’s fresh, but I can honestly see the love these guys have for each other. The hazing has been verging on traumatic, at times.”

2. What song would you like a person who hasn’t heard your music listen to first?

Wally: “Well, obviously, I’m a new fan myself, so when I got the offer for the gig, I just went to Spotify and heard Light One Candle. The decision was easy after that. But I really can’t wait for people to hear the new stuff, Blue Glasses is a perfect Summer song.”

3. What’s your song writing process?

Eric: “We take different approaches all the time, but in general, following from the above answer about seeing ourselves as conduits, we tend to think about writing as a matter of opening ourselves up to inspiration through laboring at composition. That is, you never know where ideas are coming from, but it takes work for them to flow easily. Occasionally, a song emerges sort of fully formed, but in our experience, that too is a product of a longer term process of laboring.”

Wally: “Tea and Time.”

4. What are your thoughts on the Norman Music Festival?

Wally: “I went to high school here in the 90’s with the rest of these guys, but then I left, so it’s surreal for me. I see so many familiar faces onstage and in the crowd every time I come back.”

5. In general, what inspires you?

Wally: “Kindness, honesty.”

6. You’ve just been offered an all expenses paid trip. Where would you go?

Eric: “Ortigia, Sicily, hands down. Probably the most beautiful place I’ve been, and one of the most powerful places, in terms of its history and energy.”

Wally: “England. I’m obsessed with Roman Era London. Nerdy history stuff.”

7. Any plans while you’re in the Norman area?

Wally: “Jaeger Fries at Das Boot Camp. That will be a cheat day.”

8. What else you want the public to know about you?

Adam: “The music of the cosmos is the message and we try to listen and transmit. You can dance to it or just float.” 

9. What do you think should be the Twelfth Wonder of the World?

Wally: “Trump’s Invisible Wall”

Gomez: “What were 9 through 11?”

10. What was the most extreme adventure you’ve had?

Adam: “Hitchhiking from Norman to Seattle and back in ’96. An extreme adventure for sure.”

Gomez: “I survived 3 days in New Orleans through a black out. It was a lot like the Wizard of Oz”


Eric Sarmiento – Guitar, vocals, percussion, keys
Chris Gomez – Keys, vocals, percussion
Wally Tarkington – Bass, vocals, percussion
Adam Sarmiento – Drums, vocals, percussion, keys, guitar


The twelfth Norman Music Festival is on April 25, 26, and 27, 2019. Read more interviews from performers in the festival -present and past- through here. To learn more about the festival, check out Uncovering Oklahoma’s NMF page.

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Dennis Spielman

I'm Dennis Spielman, the Producer of Uncovering Oklahoma, which I started in 2009 as a way to show that Oklahoma isn't boring. As for about myself, I’m a creative person that writes imaginative stories. I also run The Show Starts Now Studios, which is my umbrella organization for all of my shows I create. Come join me on Patreon as I create content that adds adventure and wonder to peoples' lives. More about my stories and projects are at DennisSpielman.com

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