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Interviews : Black Tide (Gabriel Garcia) – 29/04/2009

By on April 30, 2009

Black Tide is an American metal band from Miami, Florida. Formed in 2004. They’ve been around for a few years, spreading the word about their style of metal heavily influenced by the likes Metallica, Guns’n’roses, and Iron Maiden. Yet at 16, guitarist and main song writer Gabriel Garcia wasn’t around to see those bands in their hay day.

Its a Wednesday, a week before Black Tide leave on tour with Trivium that heads to Japan and Australia. How have the band been using the break from touring? “We just got out of the studio, recording some of the demos for the new album. Beside that we’re just home, just hanging out.” I’ve always wondered what it must be like writing on tour. Surely a lot of the time is spent between driving, playing metal, and drinking? Gabriel agrees; “Its always so hard to write on tour, we really just like playing the shows and focusing on that… this was kind of like to show our label and management where our sounds at right now. We’ve got some touring left on this album, then we’re gonna go in and record.”

Being in a band with all members under the legal drinking age, this must cause some problems. For example Rolo Tomassi, a UK mathcore band, have had band members perform from outside the venue as they were too young to be inside the venue. Any wild Stories from black Tide? Gabriel laughs. “not quite like that, but I mean when we first started touring we weren’t even allowed to play the Ozzfest second stage as its sponsored by Jagermeister, so we’ve had problems like that, but nothing too crazy ya know.” I was surprised that if age was to be a problem, the people behind ozzfest wouldn’t look into something like age before signing bands on. “Yeah, well, that’s what we thought as well. But we got to play the main stage so it all worked out.” Gabriel continues “I think it was mainly that they didn’t wanna be like, ‘Oh they were too young’, so they were just like, ‘You guys can play the main stage’. We only played the last week and a half, two weeks of the tour, so it was just like, just do it, see what happens.” Even so, Ozzfest main stage at only 14, and touring on only a single.. not a bad effort at all.

Black Tide released their debut, Lights from Above, nearly a year ago. The album entered the charts at #73 selling nearly 12,000 copies in its first week. This would had to have come as a surprise to Gabriel? “Yeah, definitely ya know. Although we’d been touring for a while, and we had all these people into us, it was still a big surprise.”

Having Metallica as such a big influence on the band, it may come as no surprise having a Metallica cover on the album, but Gabriel doesn’t quite agree with that. A bonus track, yeah, but on the main album? No. “From what I thought, we were just recording the cover as a bonus track. That’s what I thought at first. But the label thought it was good and wanted it on the record, and we were just ‘whatever’. Honestly, if there was another track that I actually wanted on there, I’d rather it on there instead of that, I like a cover and all this, but I’d rather have my own songs on the CD. I wasn’t really too happy about that.

Bands like Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, and Pearl Jam have all ended their major label contracts and are looking at ways of releasing music without the major label. Gabriel doesn’t quite see it the same when it comes to smaller bands. “We were on a demo deal for like 6 months, and they just didn’t do anything, they werent moving forward or anything. So we just kept looking for labels, and all these people were just dragging stuff out, and it wasnt where we wanted to be. We wanted to do things quickly. Plus they (Interscope) are an amazing label, they support us and all that.” Having a label that’ll release videos for you also has to help? “Yeah, they can push you so far so quick.” concludes Gabriel.

For the first record the label was just sending us some names, we were sending names back and forth for who we thought was gonna be good.” The man they closed in on was Johnny K, a producer from Chicago best known for his work with Disturbed and Machine head. “We flew johnny out, he checked us out, and he had all these great ideas, we were like ‘this guys cool’ he has his own studio in East Chicago, it all just worked out. We got to stay there for a long time just chilling.

For being so young, the band has a fair history in terms of touring achievements, member changes, and name changes. The band had to change their from Radio, to Black Tide at the request of their record label. “We were just kind of tired off the name, we’d been that for a while, like 3 years or something. Its still, the name doesn’t really matter to us, its the music that makes a name. I still don’t care about names and all that. I don’t give a fuck what the name is, its all about the music. It could be shit cock fuck for all I care [laughs].” Well, I wish they went with that!

So whats next for Black Tide. A tour with Trivium is hitting the country mid may, followed by a month long break before jumping on the lengthy Warped tour. “Yeah, I think we’re gonna make the cd after that. And then more touring.” Short but sweet. “Come check us out, we’re gonna be playing with Trivium, its gonna be awesome.

You can catch Trivium in the country soon with Heaven shall burn in support, with Black Tide opening.

Band: Black Tide
Date: 29/04/2009

Interviewer: Scott Boelsen
Interviewee: Gabriel Garcia

Tickets on sale now!

WEDNESDAY 13 MAY BRISBANE, THE TIVOLI – All Ages 132 849, Rockinghorse Records & Kill The Music

THURSDAY 14 MAY SYDNEY, UNSW ROUNDHOUSE – Licensed A/A 132 849 & Utopia

FRIDAY 15 MAY MELBOURNE, PALACE THEATRE – 18+ 132 849 & Missing Link

SUNDAY 17 MAY ADELAIDE, HQ – Licensed All Ages 132 849 &

TUESDAY 19 MAY PERTH, CAPITOL – 18+,, 78 Records, Mills Records & Planet


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