Interview by Jessica Klausing
Hailing from Atlanta, GA, Tetrarch is a thrash band like no other. The sound can best be described as an old school mix of Metallica with a newer twist of Bullet for my Valentine.
The style is similar to Disturbed in that the music has heavy riffs but doesn't over do it. Tetrarch formed in 2006 by Josh Fore (Vocals/Rythmn guitar), Diamond Rowe (Lead guitar), and Tyler Wesley (Drums).
Wesley was replaced by Jared Vann and Ryan Lerner (Bass) was later added to the line up.
Their first EP, The Will to Fight was released June 5, 2011. I'm usually not too big into the thrash scene but these guys are well worth the listen! They focus more on singing than the screaming aspect as opposed to the traditional death metal format. I also found the lyrics to be intense with profound underlying themes.
For example, one of my favorites is the title track, "The Will to Fight." The narrator sings of the human nature to fight for something to believe in. A never ending struggle in which we can all relate to. You can almost feel the intensity in Fore's voice.
Ryan Lerner and Diamond Rowe took time off in the studio to chat about their musical influences, songwriting and their new upcoming EP!
Tell me about the uniqueness of Tetrarch's style?
Diamond: Well I think today a lot of bands focus more on how heavy and "brutal" they can be, or how many breakdowns they can have. I feel like we are different because we try to focus as much as possible on writing great, memorable songs. We love to mix the heavy parts of modern metal with the structures and catchiness of older bands.
Ryan: I think we definitely stand out. We sound a mixture of the old school with the new school. We're not too extreme but we do have something for heavier listeners.
I recently read that you guys are releasing a new EP. What can you tell me about it?
Diamond: Yes! It's called Relentless and its going to be released early September We recorded our new EP atAudiohammer Studios in Sanford, FL with producers Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi. It is definitely something that we have wanted to do for a while now and it is great that we have finally gotten the chance to. The songs definitely sound different than anything we have ever done but they also have Tetrarch written all over them. We really wanted to focus more on song writting on this one. Really catering to the songs and trying to make people feel something more so then riffing out like we used to. There's still some great riffs on this EP but they are done really tastefully!
Ryan: The new stuff will be a bit heavier than our previous work but it'll be more singable. The theme deals more with wrath and angst. We draw our inspiration on experiences that have happened around us.
How do you approach the songwriting process?
Diamond: When it comes to songwriting, usually Josh and I will sit down together and look through some of the ideas that each of us have. One of us may have a riff that we want to build on or even a full song. Once the music is done, we try to ask ourselves "how is this going to make people feel something". Whether its the dynamics of the songs or the lyricsthe most important thing is that people feel an emotion while listening. That is the best way to connect with anyone.
Ryan: It's mainly a mixture of swapping/passing demos between each other. We try to figure out how we want them to sound before getting in practice. Josh and Diamond do most of the songwriting. Occasionally, Jared and I throw in suggestions. It can be a bit distracting to build a song when everyone's around. Josh is an independent songwriter and comes back to share what he's got then we all put together what we have each worked on. When I'm creating my bass lines, I listen carefully to the rhythm to emulate sounds that reflect the tempo.
Diamond, How do you approach writing your guitar parts?
Diamond: When writing guitar parts, neither me or Josh approach it as if we are super technical guitar
players. We like cool, intricate riffs, but riffs that you can sing back. We kind of compliment each other though because I always like things to be super heavy, and Josh is the complete opposite (laughs). So we generally meet in the middle.
Diamond, I know that on top of your duties as lead guitarist you have also pulled doing double duty as the band's publicist. What kind of responsibilities do you carry out for the band?
Diamond: Well, fortunately we just joined with a new Management. We are now with Outerloop Management so that is going to be GREAT! But I just try to get the bands name out there in anyway I can. That can be getting us interviews, posting things on our facebook page, spreading the word at shows etc. You really start to see the benefits from promoting and its very rewarding.
What are your musical inspirations?
Ryan: As a group we are inspired by Metallica and Bullet for My Valentine. I love Rush and Iron Maiden. Josh likes Green Day, Jared is a huge death metal fan and Diamond is more into the hardcore bands as well.
Ryan, Do you have a favorite song to play live?
Ryan: My favorite song would have to be "Set the Flames." We usually open up our shows with this song. It's a great song to get pumped.
Ryan, What kind of challenges did you guys face in the studio and on the road?
Ryan: Cramming everything into a time limit. Bass and rythmn guitar takes a couple of hours but vocals and drums take a while. As far as being on tour its mostly just learning to live in a van and how to be an entertainer.
You recently completed a mini tour last summer. Were there any memorable moments?
Ryan: It was a big turning point in our lives. We really came together as a live band. With our new drummer, Jared, our music has become tighter and flows more smoothly. Our goal is to tour a longtime and to take over the world!
Diamond: (Laughs). Well there are definitely a lot of memorable moments. We went on a thirty two day tour of the east coats. Basically the whole trip was amazing. We definitely learned a lot about each other and played a lot of fantastic shows. We cant wait to get back out there.