Black Tide Interview

Glasswerk's Mark Cooper stole a few moments with Miami Metal band Black tide at Liverpool's barfly, here's what happened…

Mark Cooper: Where was it last night?

Zachery Sandler: Birm-ing-ham.

Coop: Just got to get the accent right. The home of priest and Sabbath.

Gabriel Garcia: Yeah, but it sucked a bag of dicks, first night wasn’t so good, the next night was.

Coop: Same place?

Zach: Yeah, same place, two nights in a row.

Coop: Why was the second night better-crowd more into it?

Gabe: Yeah, bigger more excited a lot more people came back for night two. There was like ten people the first night.

Coop: Same set?

Gabe: Nah, we changed it up a bit.

Zach: We changed the order and some songs.

Coop: Where you going to do that before you went in or did some songs just not go down so well?

Zach: We actually liked the first set, but we wanted to change it up-for us.

Coop: Donnington was the last time you were here?

Gabe: We were here for Reading/Leeds, it was rad dude.

Coop: Do you think people get that kinda old school thing over here?

Zach: Oh definitely.

Coop: You went over to Tokyo-how was that?

Steven Spence: We had two shows there-Motley crue were headlining the show we were playing.

Zach: We were in Japan for the weekend.

Coop: What differs with the audiences?

Zach: I think the mosh pits are bigger, they tend to get a little hotter in the U.S.

Steve: The pits in America, just seem a bit more American-there just like more violent with each other-they push each other around more.

Zach: Here they are more courteous.

Gabe: It’s like ‘Oh I fell’, over there they might pick people up, or just go over them.

Steve: Weve had some cool crowds out here.

Coop: Your playing some gigs with Bleeding through, some with Bullet for my valentine…

Zach: Bullet for my valentine crowds are just bigger, that’s because Bullets just ridiculously huge over here.

Coop: How are Bullet going down in the states-is it kind of like the opposite of your situation?

Zach: Not really, they are huge over there as well.

Steve: Some of the fans can relate to our style of music to, so they enjoy it too.

Coop: Do you talk to them much, about where you are now, and what you want to do?

Steve: When ever we talk to Bullet, it’s never about business, they are really cool guys we’ve known them for a while now.

Coop: I’m thinking more of an advice thing?

Zach: They toured on their first album for two years.

Coop: Is that your plan?

Gabe: For shit yeah.

Coop: Are you still enjoying the songs, it can be tough night after night.

Zach: Well now were changing up the set it’s a little bit cooler.

Coop: I read someone’s first gig was Cheap trick and Meatloaf?

Zach: Yeah that was me, I was like three or four.

Coop: Someone took you to a gig when you were three?

Zach: My mom dude!

Coop: Couldn’t she get a babysitter?

Zach: No, I wanted to go!-Meatloaf is huge!

Steve: My first concert was Rod Stewart-I’m proud of it.

Gabe: I wanna say Priest.

Coop: Not to take anything away from Rod Stewart, the guys an icon, just surprising they were your first ones-have you met any of your icons, say at the Kerrang awards?

Gabe: Metallica…yeah we met Judas Priest a couple of times, played with Iron Maiden.

Coop: That must have been pretty special, there’s a lot of their stuff in what you do.

Zach: Oh yeah.

Coop: Were you star struck?

Zach: Not really.

Gabe: I got knocked down by the drummer of Judas priest though.

Coop: Scott Travis.

Zach: He’s a big dude!

Gabe: …and the drummer from Maiden, Nicko-we opened for them in Italy and I went up to him and asked him if it was cool if we played one of their songs.

Coop: What song?

Zach: Prowler.

Coop: How did you get introduced to metal?

Steve: The internet (Laughs.)

Gabe: My dad listened to a lot of Pearl jam, Metallica, stuff like that-he was really into hip hop, he gave me like a suicidal tendencies cassette. I was really young and I started listening to the heavy stuff. I just went backwards after ‘Black album’ and ‘Load/Reload’ I just went backwards I fell in love with ‘Kill em’ all‘, ‘Justice for all‘.

Coop: A lot of people get into someone and then go back and find out who influenced them.

Gabe: Exactly.

Zach: Going back to like Motorhead and Diamond head.

Coop: Do you get involved with the internet side of things?

Zach: Everything revolves around My space these days.

Coop: Do you get sick of the age thing?

Steve: Well you just brought it up! (Everyone laughs.)

Coop: I have to.

Steve: You make me sick to my stomach! (laughs.)

Coop: Rolling stone said you were the best ‘Rookies‘, is that a kind of back handed compliment?

Zach: Yeah, it’s like-”You guys are pretty good, for being like two years old”

Coop: “Your good” pat you on the head…

Gabe: I don’t think they meant it like that, they just meant we were a good new band.

Coop: ‘Rookie’s probably the wrong word.

Zach: Yeah ‘Rookies’ probably not the best word to use but-they were saying ‘Best new band’

Coop: You’ve played with lots of bands, Lamb of god, Static X-what did you get from them?

Zach: I think we learned a lot after each tour, especially in the beginning when we did Ozzfest-that tour was so tightly run, we just become much more professional after that.

Coop: Going back to the beginning, what were the first songs you guys played together-what was in the first set?

Steven: Yeah we played covers-we played ‘Sweet child o mine‘. (Hums opening riff.) We had like a four song set, and four originals.

Coop: Did any of those make it to the album?

Gabe: Two of em-’Shout’ & ‘live fast’.

Coop: They’ve been around for some time then?

Gabe: 4-5 years.

Coop: Have they changed much?

Zach: We changed up a bit of ‘Black abyss’ live…

Gabe: …and a little of ‘Warriors of time.’

Coop: Any plans to do a headlining tour.

Steven: Were just trying to scoop up the fans at the moment, after we’ve scooped up enough, maybe after that.

Coop: The album came out March 9th,whats been the reaction?

Steven: Kids usually love it, they tell us after the show how good the record is-which is pretty cool.

Coop: You now have Austin as the new guitarist, so what was the deal, with him joining the band and Alex Nunez leaving?

Zach: Basically creative differences.

Coop: It was incredibly mature what you issued as a statement, doing it now when you were just growing. You see other bands keep going with unhappy members, like Metallica.

Zach: Like Jason Newstead was in the band five years longer than he wanted to be, we didn’t want any of that.

Coop: Austin comes into the band-what changes?

Gabe: Feel like were stronger than ever.

Coop: You were saying you picked up the songs in like a few days.

Austin Diaz: Yeah, just a few days, my first practice was basically my first show-on mayhem opening night-it went pretty well.

Coop: Was that the moment you thought ‘Right decision’?

Gabe: Yeah.

Zach: Definitely.

Gabe: Soon as I saw that hair I knew it was the right decision. (Laughs.)

Steven: We’ve known Austin for a while-me and him go way back.

Coop: So the songs were not that unfamiliar?

Austin: I’d heard the songs before, but never kinda played them-but there’s definitely some riffs I figured out myself. When we were on the road I got showed a few riffs-’Black abyss’ was one of the first songs I learned. Then we were in an rv on the way to Seattle, and Gabe showed me the songs.

Gabe: We had like the full amplifiers in the back (Laughs.)

Steven: Instead of a headboard we had half stacks! (Laughs.)

Coop: Were you in a band before?

Austin: Yeah, I played in a band called ‘The panics’-that was just like thrash, punk rock.

Coop: What’s it like reading and then appearing in ‘Guitar world’?

Gabe: Awesome.

Zach: I still have my subscription.

Coop: Are we totally over the ‘No solo’s thing?

Zach: Oh yeah.

Gabe: That whole nu-metal thing, were it was just uncool to play guitar solos.

Steven: Were not talking about drum solos? (Laughs.)

Coop: Maybe in the seventies (Laughs.)

Zach: That whole eras done, I think Metallica was that big turning point, because when Metallica were saying ‘Were not going to play solos‘, it was like ‘Right there’s something fucking wrong here.’

Coop: Clearly your big Metallica fans-What do you think of the new album?

Gabe: It’s fucking great.

Zach: It’s well better than the other one.

Gabe: I’m still going to always be a fan of the first four albums,

Coop: Did you guys always want the twin guitar thing?

Gabe: For sure on the next record there’s going to be more of that. With one guitar you can be limited.

Coop: Do you feel as though your improving as musicians still?

Gabe: Oh yeah.

Coop: I know people always mention the ‘Hit the light’s' cover.

Steven: Or the Iron maiden one.

Coop: Are there any covers tonight?

Zach: Do you want there to be one?-we’ll try it. We wanna do Madonna-’Like a virgin’, I think we should do a new version of that. I think it would be awesome. (Everyone laughs.)

Coop: So how much of the songs are worked out before you go into the studio?

Steven: Some of them are totally written in the studio. Everything else was wrote over a five year period.

Coop: Johnny K worked with Disturbed and that, what did he bring to the table?

Steven: Direction.

Zach: Song structure.

Coop: Did you take stuff into the studio-as reference points?

Zach: Yeah, he’d be kind of ‘What records have you been listening to?’

Coop: Did you have a vision.

Zach: Just to make it sound good.

Steven: Hammered out the songs and put em on a disc.

Coop: Can you look at the album objectively now, did some parts work and others didn’t?

Gabe: Yeah, like if we re-recorded it would be better, we’ve been playing it for over a year now.

Coop: it gets tighter.

Gabe; You think up a few things, a few fills here and there and your like ‘Damn I wish that was on the record.

Coop: All those songs-coming out live, what’s going down well?

Collectively: ‘Warriors of time’

Coop: What do you open with?

Steven: Your just gonna have to wait and find out!

Coop: What’s the plan for Christmas?

Steven; Home for the holidays.

Zach: Back here in January.

Steven: Back here for the Kerrang tour.

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