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Official writeup for 'Of The West'
A lot of indie bands feed so perfectly off the energy of their live audience that they have a hard time translating that magic onto disc. But with their explosive debut recording Of The West, Helena, Montana based powerhouse rock trio Tonight We Ride blasted through that barrier, no problem, so that the rest of the world has been able to experience the intense party they’ve been sharing with their devoted fans in Big Sky Country these past few years. The fact that it’s a smaller market works to their advantage as they’ve held court playing an average of four shows a month at a mix of cool dive bars and hotspots like Jester’s Bar and the Four O Six in Helena and The Filling Station and The Zebra Cocktail in Bozeman.

Dustin “Dub” Campbell (guitars and vocals), Greg Vivrette (bass, backing vocals) and Adam McDonald (drums) bring such strong chemistry and sonic quality to Of The West that the big story behind the album is that Tonight We Ride recorded it in one of their living rooms for what Dub says was “about free ninety nine.” They also love to say that they party, sometimes extremely hard, and write songs about three things: their friends (“Cain Station,” drinking (“Drink Myself Into Oblivion”) and 2012.

What’s the deal with that year? Conspiracy theorists are calling it the next “end of the world.” The band doesn’t buy it, but has fun exploring the idea on a few tracks from the current album (the gently rolling acoustic number “Other Side Of The Wall,” “Prelude To Hell On Earth”) that foreshadow their upcoming second collection (tentatively titled In Hell) that will be a whole concept recording devoted to the topic. A handful of tracks from Of The West have been played regularly on the Third Place Radio podcast that comes out of Kalispell, Montana, including the catchy, punky, high energy “Cain Station” and “Other Side of The Wall.” “Duke Of New York A #1” draws inspiration from the classic Isaac Hayes character in “Escape From New York” but is actually about the crazy adventures of pop singer Amy Winehouse.  

“We in no way believe that the world will end in 2012,” says Dub, “but we try to live like it is, so much that we thought it was worth devoting a whole project to songs that come at the idea from different angles. It’s more about the time leading up to the so called event than the event itself. But in the meantime, we love music and friends and almost everything actually. Most of us love big girls. We love Jameson whiskey. We enjoy writing songs that make the crowd scream with us and we love ‘whoas.’ We love soul music, pop music and hip hop as well as punk rock and all genres of metal. I quote Biggie Smalls regularly in my lyrics because I loved that dude!”

Tonight We Ride came together two years ago as a two piece unit, with Dub playing acoustic guitar and Greg playing standup bass; it was a far cry from the previous group they were in, Cage Match To the Death, a seven piece ambient hardcore band in which Dub played drums. They tore down a ton of shows as a duo, but knew they needed a consistent drummer to fill out their emerging sound. Adam had been in a few previous bands with Greg, so when he moved back from Wyoming after college, they asked him to join. Aside from emotional vocals and a natural chemistry driven by the seamless interaction between Dub’s guitar and Greg’s bass, what sets Tonight We Ride apart is the diversity of style in their songs and Greg’s ability to do it all—play electric bass, pluck the upright bass and also use a bow to create a string effect.  

“The best part of this for all of us is having people respond to the songs we play and seeing how they react to the new material as we roll it out,” says Dub. “Being an indie band means we get to play a pretty cool game, performing live, recording albums, selling them, learning about distribution and all that. But the coolest thing of all is getting out there and making new friends in the music community, both fans and other bands that are part of the scene in Montana that we love so much. Now it’s time to expand that scope and we would love nothing more than to be a band that is out there touring the country all the time.” - Jonathan Widran, Music Writer
Tonight We Ride
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