New Minneapolis band, Tact, comprised of purebred rockers

The band formed last November when the Sam Schild posted on Facebook looking for a bassist.

Tact poses for a photograph outside on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 in Minneapolis. The band released a single and have started playing live.

Image by Easton Green

Tact poses for a photograph outside on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 in Minneapolis. The band released a single and have started playing live.

by Joe Cristo

Creating a social media presence and learning how to foster a band’s brand is the modern version of cool album art. But curating that image can be difficult.

That’s why the well-developed online persona of new Minneapolis art-rock trio, Tact, is surprising.

“It feels like it’s been a while,” bassist Theo Pupillo said. “We waited until everything was completely ready to release our first single.”

The band is one of extremes: Pupillo is a Midwestern kvetch-rock veteran while singer and guitarist Danny Peterson has never played in a proper band before. Their atonal guitar and talk-singing diatribes are typically punctuated with brief pop hooks and choruses.

“We always try to play really short and really fast,” Pupillo said. “I don’t know if anyone wants to see that, but it’s what we do.”

Up until recently, the group’s songs were primarily written by Peterson. Now the process is more collaborative.

“They’re a lot more open about it if I write something shitty or bad,” Peterson said. “And they help me come up with something to replace any bad ideas.”

Tact formed last November when drummer Sam Schild posted on a local Facebook page that he was seeking a bassist. Pupillo and Peterson go to school together at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and have been trying to work on a project together since last year.

“We all met, and it felt really positive,” Schild said. “And we’re all pretty open about what we like so it’s clear.”

That positive nature extends to the ethos behind their music as well. The members of Tact are not exactly political but are reliably progressive in a scene that is constantly progressing further.

“[President Donald Trump] did change the direction of the songwriting,” Peterson said. “We aren’t behind that pseudo-progressivism thing that passes as modern day liberalism. The truth is that being just against Trump isn’t enough.”

There has been a surge in benefit shows played by local bands since Trump’s inauguration. Bands offer live performance for donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood or NoDAPL-based groups.

“We’ve been looking to organize more shows where we give the money away,” Pupillo said.

Since releasing their first single, they have played with popular local bands like Sass and Distant Husband. Along with honing their live performances, there are plans to get back to recording.

“We’re trying to put a 12-inch out before the end of the year,” Peterson said. “We would like to maybe do some spotty Midwest touring.”

For now, the group is appropriately low-key about their ambitions. Like their music, they sort of subvert any prodding.

“I always think the way we make music is not constructive but deconstructive,” Schild said. “Or maybe destructive. Whichever works better.”