Tundra, comprised of Elliott Rodger-Brown (drums), Elliot Booth (bass/vocals) and Caitilin Pegley (guitar/vocals), are a surf-punk band who burst on to the bustling Bury St Edmunds scene in 2016 and since then have been on a non-stop mission of infectious grunge-pop domination.
They describe their sound as “for those who want a bit of Punky, Surfy, Australian, Bitter taste of fun” and claim their loves as “gherkins, card games, making noise and crashing around on stage”.
The band released their Life’s A Beach EP in April 2018 and a single in 2019, and played support to the likes of Marmozets, Milk Teeth and Desperate Journalist, won the Bury Sound competition 2017, and played at a host of festivals including The Cambridge Strawberry Fair, SwanFest and BNatural alongside Superglu and Dingus Khan.
We spoke with them to see how things have been going over the past year…
Firstly, give us an introduction – tell us a bit about yourselves and your music…
C: Caitilin, I play the guitar badly and sing.
ERB: Semi-Professional tub smasher, fully professional stick breaker.
EB: I am a retired, middle aged man who isn’t being allowed back into Spain AND I’M FURIOUS!
Has music always been in your life, and what inspired you to get into music?
C: Yeah music was a big part of my childhood, I grew up watching my family singing songs together and playing instruments around the kitchen table. My family harmonises happy birthday, so you can imagine!
ERB: I was always the annoying fidgety kid sitting at the back of the class tapping and banging on anything I could make a rhythm out of. There was always a huge variety of music playing in my house growing up, which i feel very privileged to have experienced.
We know it’s been a really hard year for musicians, but what have you been doing to keep busy?
C: We’ve been writing A LOT of songs, some that will never see the light of day and some that we’re really excited about!
ERB: I really wish I could say I’ve done something cool like learn to juggle, but I don’t have the patience for that. Basically I’ve just been grinding and trying not mentally implode (which has been semi successful).
EB: Working my life away!
What do you love or have missed most about live gigs?
C: I miss the atmosphere of a big local gig, where everyone knows everyone and you just have the best time with some great bands!
ERB: I miss playing music to a room full of people I don’t know and then having them come up to us and say that they think we would be much better if we “didn’t play so loud” and “got an extra guitarist and keyboard player”.
EB: Performing, getting on a stage, disgusting toilets and the drunkest person in the venue loudly expressing how shit/good they think you are.
We saw your post about the #NotAtMyGig project last month – for those who might not have seen it, what is it and why is this campaign important to you?
C: I saw the campaign on instagram, and really wanted to get involved. we’ve seen our share of inappropriate behaviour at gigs, and wanted to make a statement to show that we have no tolerance for any kind of abuse and that we’re always there to help at a gig.
ERB: I think it’s very important that some people realise they can’t take advantage of a crowded place anymore and that we do see you and we will call you out and hold you accountable for your actions
EB: People can be utter arseholes, it’s our responsibility that at our gigs, we make sure that that space, is a safe one.
How have you found the move to digital – have you done many virtual gigs, and do you think its positive thing for the industry?
C: We haven’t actually done any virtual gigs, but we filmed a pre-recorded live stream with The Smokehouse, Ipswich for ‘LOCK EAST’, which was really fun!
ERB: As a musician that loves to feed off the energy of an audience, I find it quite difficult when I’ve only got these two chumps jumping around in front of me. I do however, love the effort being put in by everyone in the entertainment industry in such a tough time. It has been great to be able to watch bands play!
EB: As a musician, I don’t think there’s anything about virtual gigs that’s better than real gigs.
What is your hope for the future of the music industry going forward?
C: I reckon there will be a nice mix of both digital and live shows from now on. Its a win-win for both venues/promoters and bands, to be able to reach a larger audience online; but nothing beats a sweaty, sticky live show in my opinion.
ERB: Ditto to both.
EB: That future governments respect and support the entertainment industry and the venues that we have left. Venues are few and far between as it is.
While we await the return of gigs, what would you advise music fans can do to keep supporting the music industry and independent artists like yourselves in these times?
C: Follow local artists on social media and engage with them as much as you can!
ERB: Go on whichever music platform you use and stick your friends music on, and let it play throughout the day.
EB: I want to put that meme where Scooby-Doo takes the mask off the dude, and it goes from saying ‘going’ to ‘interested’ in answer to this question.
Any other projects or news you wish to share?
C: We have some upcoming gigs!
EB: Like everyone we’ve had a small amount of time to work on some songs and they may make an appearance at some point in the future, however, when is secret.
As a fun one to end on: who would you love to work with?
ERB: Bring me Kanye West, and the world won’t know what hit it.
EB: I’d love to do a full collab with our lovely friends Fightmilk. They are amazing songwriters and amazing people too!
Thank you to Tundra for their time and witty responses!
Tundra will be performing at the Washing Machine 10th Birthday Bonanza at
The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 30th October 2021. For information and tickets visit: musicglue.com/tundraband/events.