A Conversation with Indie pop band tri patterns

When I started listening to tri patterns, a local Indie-pop band, and watched their new music video, I figured the three guys in the group were probably in their mid twenties. When I sat down to interview them and, amongst fits of laughter, they told me about their high school and middle school band days, I figured they were finishing up college. It turns out that all three members of the band are under the age of 21 and not yet old enough to attend many of the venues in which they perform. Thanks to their musical skill, unique sound, and participation in the Indy music scene, they are making a name for themselves regardless.

Their new music video, “Blue” is now released and embedded below. Guitarists and vocalists Nathan Davis and Dawson Freeman, as well as drummer Logan Morrison, told us all about the music video and what it’s like to be in a band with your best friends.

Julia Bluhm: What are your musical backgrounds?

Nathan Davis: Dawson and I actually met at school– we played in a band together in middle school. We both played guitar. I originally taught myself guitar so I could play in this middle school worship band, but it quickly became my main thing.
Dawson Freeman: When I was about nine years old my parents got me a guitar for my birthday, and it kind of just went from there. I didn’t really ever think that I was going to be a songwriter or anything, but then I started experimenting with that kind of stuff about freshman or sophomore year of high school with Nathan.
Logan Morrison: I got started in music when I started taking lessons in the fifth grade, and the teacher was like “I kind of taught you everything I know.” So I started doing my own research. I really learned through YouTube. I don’t really have a musical family, so it was just trial and error. And then when I was in high school I realized this was something I could make a career out of.

JB: How and when did tri patterns form?

DF
: Nathan and I went to the same school from sixth grade through high school. By the end of freshman year and sophomore year we really started taking ourselves more seriously with music, and started messing around with writing. We were also taking an audio production class together and started doing projects for that. Then one time we were hanging out and we actually just wrote “What to Be,” which was our first song, and you can find it on the EP. It went from there. We actually named it “tri patterns” before Logan joined which is funny. We met Logan through our church during our senior year. He was about our age and we thought he was really, really good. We’re all best friends now.
ND: And we’re coming up on our second year as a band.

JB: How would you describe your music and your sound?

ND: Our sound has been evolving a lot recently. For example, a lot of our songs on our EP were written like three years ago. So our style has already changed somewhat.
LM: I feel like it’s Indie pop, but it’s a lot more melodically and lyrically positive than a lot of Indie pop songs. So I feel like the mission of this band, and the sound of this band, is to be a light to people who aren’t feeling so good, maybe.
DF: I think we have a lot of different influences, even if it’s in one single percussion layer or something. Some of it can be from jazz music, and some of it can be from rock and roll. We all have varied experiences with different kinds of music that we draw from.
LM: I also like to think that we’re kind of like paving our own path when it comes to our own unique sound. I don’t want it to be like, “that band tri patterns from Indianapolis sounds like this,” I want it to be like, “this, from a different band, sounds like tri patterns.”

JB: What was the process of making the music video for “Blue” like?

ND: We got to make that video with two of our best friends who are super talented, Tyler Sapp and Austin Petty. We kind of wanted to bring this EP cycle of sorts to a close with something really well thought-out that still continues what we did on the EP. We wanted to make a video that was funny, but also “Blue” is a song that’s basically just a story, so we wanted to do a twist on the story and the actual meaning of the words itself. There’s a super old fifties-type vibe, but also some super modern stuff of us playing. And there are funny parts where we’re dressed up as little kids, but also this really intense live show. We wanted to do something unexpected and funny that also really got the heart of the song to come through.
DF: It was a really exciting process to plan it all out and storyboard it, too. And it was great to do it with our best friends.
LM: It was great. And I actually have a kind of funny story about shooting. One of the places that we shot was Dawson’s parents’ land in southern Indiana. I kind of left without telling my parents because I was like, “I’m almost 18, I got this.” But we ended up going super late, it was like 2 or 3 in the morning. We’re in the middle of shooting the music video and my mom is blowing up my phone. She had no idea where I was. She could see on the Find my Friends app that I was out in the middle of the forest somewhere at 3 am. So she was pretty mad.

JB: How is it being a band in Indianapolis? Do you feel like there are opportunities and support here?

ND: It’s cool because I feel like Indianapolis is growing so much in so many different creative and cultural areas. I’ve seen a lot of people supporting each other and supporting new ideas, from coffee shops to music. We have a lot of big brothers so to speak, who have brought us into the music industry here. Like sometimes we’ll play a 21+ show and somebody that’s been around for a while will offer to run our merch for us because we can’t do it, we’re not 21. But yeah, there’s a lot of support.
LM: I think the coolest thing for me to experience was like when we played a show at the Hi-Fi. I didn’t realize the potential of what Indy audiences could bring. It was so amazing to see people respecting us onstage and giving us a chance. The amount of people that talked to us after, saying that they wanted to come to the show because we are a local Indy band, or saying “this is so cool that you guys are from Indy” was really great.

JB: Ok real quick for the last question– who are some of your favorite musical artists?

DF:
Death Cab for Cutie and Young the Giant.
ND: Hippo Campus and The Cars.
LM: Led Zeppelin and the 1975.

tri pattern’s new music video, “Blue” is now available on Youtube. You can follow tri patterns on their website or Instagram.