LET YOUR PSYCHO LOOSE.
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TETRARCH.
SICK AND SOUND is very excited to present to its readers an exclusive interview our editor-in-chief Alessandra had with guitarist Diamond Rowe from TETRARCH nu metalcore outfit from Atlanta and currently residing in Los Angeles.
We are catching up with the band after the release of their new full-length album FREAK last September 29th 2017. Our track by track review for FREAK by TETRARCH is available at: www.sickandsound.it/tetrarch-freak-quattro-tetrarchi-del-regno-dei-folli.
- TETRARCH has absorbed massive influences into its sound until the catchy and dark textures we enjoy today. Tell us more about your influences and how they have impacted your background as individual artists and your career as a band.
Diamond: To be honest, I think I can speak for everyone in this band in saying that we have all always been into the huge mass appeal metal and hard rock bands. While I love underground metal subgenres too like death metal, thrash metal etc, it’s those big arena metal bands that I always loved – the ones that had great songs with heavy hooks and catchy choruses. I think we kind of model ourselves off of that same idea. We grew up on bands like Korn, Slipknot, Lamb of God, Metallica, and all of those bands. So we want to create our own sound like those bands did and carve our way into being metal giants like they did.
- “In the darkness the strange becomes ordinary”. We would love to know the weirdest feature of each one of you, a curious stuff you would enjoy sharing with us, a freaky interest, some unusual manner.
Diamond: Woah, that’s a tough one! For me, I have this weird infatuation with the Columbine High School shooting. It was such a tragic and terrible event that happened when I was a kid, but I just find it really interesting that 2 high school kids could do such a thing. I read about it all the time and have read several books about it. I even did my high school senior thesis on it. So I guess that’s kind of weird. That also ties into my weird obsession with crime documentaries. I can literally watch them all day. Other than that I’m pretty much a walking contradiction haha. Just by looking at me you wouldn’t know that I love motocross, bass fishing and play guitar in a metal band so I guess that makes me a bit of a freak in a way. I’ve always been proud of the weird things about me though! Ha! I can’t necessarily speak for everyone else though haha. That’s kind of one of those questions that you don’t realize what’s weird about yourself until you’re actually doing that weird thing and you’re like wtf!? Who am I!? ha!
- Diamond Rowe. You’ve declared to be the very first African American female metal lead guitarist to be featured in press. We congratulate for such a terrific accomplishment. Talk us more about you and the key factors that have contributed to such a significant role as a guitarist and a part of TETRARCH.
Diamond: It’s a pretty insane accomplishment I must say. When I started playing guitar I just knew that I wanted to be a GUITAR PLAYER. I didn’t think anything about being the first, or about how I was different. I just loved heavy music and wanted to play it and that’s what I did. Its cool that people have taken notice though, I can’t complain!
- Diamond Rowe. What are the most challenging aspects you had to face being a female guitarist in a predominant male metal world?
Diamond: I hear so many horror stories from females in metal. They talk about how much it has really hurt them or stagnated their progress and it sucks. I can’t say that my story is the same though. I have had nothing but positive feedback from it since I began this journey. Sometimes people say they didn’t expect me to be good when they see me setting up on stage or they assume I am the roadie or something, but I love that. I use it as a opportunity to just blow their minds a little. I have confidence that I can deliver that every night on stage so I’m ok with the challenge haha!
- FREAK is your brand new full-length album following up other three EPs. In what measure has the songwriting process changed from very first Pravda EP in 2008 to Freak in 2017 and what new features are now to be found?
Diamond: Wow! I’m impressed that you dug up Pravda! Haha! That’s crazy! The main thing I can say has changed is probably just our mindset. When we wrote Pravda we were probably 16/17 years old. We knew we wanted to be in a band for a living but at that point we started just playing shows for fun and for the love of the music. Naturally, when you start to dabble in the music business side of things as your band progresses, things get a little more intense and a little more stressful. Sometimes its refreshing to think about writing that EP. So stress free haha! Also, we have definitely evolved quite a bit from then. Back then, we played fast and trashy 100% of the time. Since then we’ve really learned the value of a good chorus haha!
- What were the easiest aspects you faced working on this record and what about the most challenging ones?
Diamond: Working with our producer Dave Otero was pretty comfortable for this record. It was such a good environment for us to be creative and try things. Mainly, because with this record we just let it flow. We let the record flow as we were writing and were open to riffs that maybe in the past we would not have been. I’d say the most challenging aspect was probably vocals only because we really wanted to try some new things vocally with Josh on this record. We all knew that he was capable of more than what he had done in the past and I think with this record we touched the tip of the iceberg in opening up the possibilities of his voice.
- While reviewing FREAK we have come across and got fascinated by the lyrical themes chosen for the record. We see it as a call to arms to the ones who feel different in such a way they are depicted as weird and inadequate to society. It encourages the acceptance of weirdness as a special virtue that makes us unique. I loved that. We would love to go deeper into your approach to the lyrical and psychological themes in FREAK.
Diamond: I feel like everyone on the planet earth has something inside of them that they either keep a secret or consider out of the norm. We all do. We have all had a weird thought, or a weird sexual fantasy, lied, cheated, etc. It can be something extreme like that or something even as small as businessmen/women in suites being covered in tattoos underneath their nice clothes that no one ever knows. We really wanted to touch on that because THAT’S real life. Not what you portray to people but who you really are and what people really think and feel. Our society makes people feel so insecure at times and we wanted to create a record that made everyone feel comfortable with themselves. Fly that freak flag ya know?
- Talking about FREAK as the titletrack and opener for the record. What were the expectations prior it release and how was the reaction to such a consequent massive impact?
Diamond: Surprisingly FREAK was actually the last song written for the record. We had the barebones of the music for it but it didn’t all come together until the very end. We actually didn’t know what to expect with that track to be honest haha. Before Josh tracked vocals for it we really thought it could go either way. We were like this could be really cool or really shi*ty haha! Luckily, it came out really cool I think and people seem to really dig it.
- Talking about the closer track, TORN APART. This is an exclusive melodic piece and unusual closer track for an album opening with heavy riffing, dark groove and top notch energy. TORN APART is a track that goes beyond the heaviness and knows how to charm with its melancholic beauty. What was behind the songwriting process and choices leading to such a song?
Diamond: Torn Apart was kind of Josh’s baby on this record. To be honest, I didn’t even want it on the album at first. We had never done a slower song like that before and I wasn’t sure if that was the right one or if people would even be into that song but after some time Josh convinced me and I ended up really liking it and being glad that it’s on there. It definitely showed a different side of us and with the type of band we strive to be and the success we hope to have, songs like that are key for sure. Songs that tug your gut a little bit.
- TETRACH is a brilliant, clever band entirely independent in the songwriting and releasing, strong and extravagant. But mainly with high aspirations and goals. Talk us about this and about how do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Diamond: We definitely do have some big goals. Some people try to make us feel bad for having them which is pretty lame. The music industry can be a very jaded place and I hate being around guys who are always talking about what they hate about being in it, or why they hate this guy, or why they hate touring etc. That’s very toxic in my opinion and most of them don’t even realize it. Luckily, I’m surrounded by band members, friends and family that share the same goals for us. To be completely blunt, we want to be one of the biggest metal/hard rock bands in the world. We want to be a part of the next generation of giants for this genre. It’s needed – no one knows who that’s going to be yet, but I believe we will be a part of it for sure. In the next 5 years I hope that we are touring the world and have created a good solid foundation for that goal to continue to flourish. I don’t think anyone will be able to take that from us. We want to make the guys proud that started this thing for us all.
- The most memorable moment together as a band during a concert or a recording session you would love to share with us.
Diamond: I’m sure this answer would be different for everyone but for me it would be playing with Avenged Sevenfold, Alter Bridge and Seether at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta. That’s honestly next level experience that a lot of bands don’t ever get to do and a taste of what we want to be doing with our lives everyday. It was a great feeling.
- Can you reveal our readers some news on your forthcoming shows and projects? Any dates in Europe?
Diamond: I can’t say too much yet, but we have a couple of tours coming up later this spring here in the States as well as some summer dates. We are REALLLYY hoping to get to Europe at the end of this year some time, so definitely keep an eye out for that!
Thank you for your time and a massive good luck with your impressive work. We are thrilled for more music to be dropped from TETRARCH and very enthusiastic in supporting you into Europe!
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