Interview with Diamond and Josh of Tetrarch – Portland, Oregon

By |2018-07-17T01:27:44+00:00December 9th, 2017|Written Interviews|Comments Off on Interview with Diamond and Josh of Tetrarch – Portland, Oregon

Early on Tetrarch was classified as thrash metal, and now as nu metalcore.  What was it that altered the course with regard to genre for Tetrarch?

Diamond: honestly, we have never really loved being called thrash metal. In the beginning our main influences were bands like Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, etc so we kind of just accepted being thrash but our music has evolved immensely since then and thrash just isn’t the mold we fit anymore.

Josh: we have always just played the music we love. When we started out,  playing fast came natural to us. There has never been a conscious effort to get away from that but we are always evolving and always pushing ourselves to still remain Tetrarch while bringing in some of our other more diverse influences.

What is the difference to you between nu metalcore and melodic metalcore?

Diamond: I don’t really know haha. I’m terrible at sub genres. Sometimes people add the nu in there because on our new material we have a lot of those dark tones and FX that you hear a lot of early 2000s Nu metal bands use but we honestly just like to classify ourselves as metal

Originally from Atlanta, now residing in California – was the move for the good of the band’s career or was it for some other reason?

Diamond: Moving to LA just really took us out of our comfort zone. It gave us a lot of new inspiration and on top of that it is much easier to network with the people that we need to and get a lot of work done. 

Josh: It was good for us to get out to LA and force ourselves to be even better. There are a lot of creative people both inside and outside of music here and it inspires us to be our best self as a band. 

“Freak” will be the band’s first full-length release.  What specifically made you want to do a full-length instead of an EP as the prior three releases have been?  (more material, backing, etc.)

Diamond: we wanted to try our hand at more material for sure. It’s kind of hard to express everything you want to on a 4 song EP and have a ton of versatility like you canon a full album. A lot of people say that full lengths aren’t necessary for bands of our size to do but we do what we want and that’s what we wanted to do haha. 

Josh: I have always liked the idea of us doing a full length but now just seemed like the right time to do it. We were writing a lot of different styles and types of songs and “Freak” was a good chance to show people the diversity of Tetrarch.

“Freak” will be released on September 27. What are your expectations for this first full-length release?

Diamond: It actually comes out sept. 29th! We’re really looking for great things to come with this record. We’re hoping to reach a lot more people then we have with any other release. I think it has the potential to do something great.

Josh: we are definitely very excited for the release of “Freak.” There is a little something for everyone on the album and we really believe this can help take our band to another level and broaden our reach.

Your prior three self-released EPS have had some good marks, with singles making an appearance on the Top 40 and Top 100, respectively.  How important are those types of accolades going to be for the new release?  

Diamond: For any band making an appearance like those are really important. It seems so silly, but those numbers basically establish the worth of your band to the industry. We hope FREAK does well and I think it will. We definitely have specific goals that we hope to reach with it too so fingers crossed. 

Can we expect videos for “Freak”?
 
Diamond: Oh yeah, definitely. We are looking to release at least 3 of them! 
Josh: you can definitely expect a bunch of videos for “Freak” me and Diamond are constantly shooting video ideas at eachother some of which are super creepy. Ha maybe we’ll even do a one for all of them!

Of the three prior EPS, which is your favorite, and why?

Diamond: I’d honestly have to go with “The Will to Fight.” That EP was a lot of fun to make and I feel like that EP is when we really started to make a name for ourselves. There are also some bangin riffs on that EP! I still listen to this day and think we were kicking ass haha.

Josh: “Pravda” takes the cake for sentimental value on an EP. We came out of the gate swinging with a lot of attitude and fast riffs. We honed our live show playing the songs from “Pravda” and maybe one day we will bring a couple of those songs back. I know that make our families happy haha 

Tetrarch is incredibly good at promoting other bands on Facebook.  I want to ask you to put the following elements in order, from most important to least important for Tetrarch’s success:
·       Social media presence
·       Interviews
·       Live Shows
·       New releases
·       Word of mouth/promotion by others
·       Videos
·       Airplay

Diamond: Live Shows, Social Media Presence, New Releases, Videos, word of mouth/promotion brothers, Interviews, airplay. As of RIGHT NOW this would be the order I would pick for us but it obviously fluctuates a lot with what’s going on and where the band is seeing growth. 

You had some early turnover with bass players and a significant amount with drummers.  What do you attribute that to?

Diamond: We love doing this and music is our life – but it’s hard. I feel like a lot of guys like the idea of being in a band more then they like the hard work and being thrust into a situation with 3 people that are already 100% committed and all in is hard for some guys to handle. I’m not upset with them for being true to themselves though, in the long run it was for the best.

Josh: we are thankful for every member we have had over the years, but as Diamond said sometimes it just isn’t the right click or thy may realize that their passion lies elsewhere. 

When you need a new drummer, for instance, how do you go about finding one?  (e.g., musicians in your circle, posting, etc.)

Diamond: most of them have been friends of friends that have recommended them to us but a couple we found on YouTube! Good drummers are hard to come
By though but we’ve been pretty lucky to play with a few great ones!

Josh: we find drummers from either mutual friends or from Diamond being able to scour the internet to find people on YouTube, Facebook, etc. 

Josh and Diamond are two of the original founders of Tetrarch.  Please describe their early relationship.  Was it school, the scene, love of music, etc.?

Diamond: Josh and I met in middle school! When I started playing guitar and getting into heavy music he was one of the few people at our private school that I knew actually liked rock music too so I befriended him and he became my best friend. We formed Tetrarch together and haven’t looked back since! 

Josh: my first memory of Diamond was in 7th grade when she pulled a table away as I was leaning back in my chair. I started falling and she thought it was hilarious. We then became friends and eventually started jamming as she got more and more serious about guitar. To this day we still argue about who it was that actually said, “Tetrarch would make a great metal name.” Spoiler alert! It was me!

Is Tetrarch a dictatorship or a democracy?  I’m really asking, is there one boss or decision-maker?

Diamond: While me and josh started this band and ultimately are always working on the business aspect of things, we do realize that Tetrarch is nothing without the other 2 parts (ryan and ruben) therefore everyone’s opinion always matters. We try to keep it as open as possible.

I am familiar with how Diamond learned to play guitar from a prior interview.  Tell me when you knew you had the talent?  

Diamond: I feel like I never really had an awkward guitar stage. It always felt relatively natural to me. Even when I wasn’t good, I never felt uncomfortable. I would sit there and practice 10 hours a day just because I loved it so much. 

Josh: I started playing guitar when I was around 9 or 10 and started realizing I may not be half bad when I played at my 5th grade talent show and everyone thought my effects pedal was really just playing a pre-made track. 

What made you pick up the instrument?

Diamond: To be honest, I have NO idea haha! I was in the car one day with my mom and I had a random fleeting thought that I wanted to play guitar and I told her about it. So she bought me a little cheap guitar and I never turned back. I feel like it was almost just meant to happen!

Josh: my family has always been really big on listening to music and watching live music. I was introduced to bands like Metallica at an early age. Even before I could really play well I would mime every live Metallica song from my VHS tapes. I always saw guitar as a tool I could use to help entertain people which is something I always strive to do. 

As part of songwriting process, are clean and dirty vocals within a song a given, or does the song dictate via feel which type of vocal style will be used?

Diamond: Definitely the song! Some songs have all cleans, some all screams. It really just depends on the direction of the song and what we’re trying to portray in the process. 

Josh: it always depends on what feels right in the moment. I’ll have times where I am dead set against screaming in a song but then as soon as I hear I certain riff I know I have to scream it and get then I get super stoked on it. 

Who are the main writers in the band?

Diamond: Josh and I are the primary writers of Tetrarch. 

Josh: me and Diamond do the majority of the writing but we are always open to input from Ryan and Ruben and definitely encourage them to express themselves in their parts. 

I want to talk about inspiration and passion. What do you attribute to your passion for music?  When does your inspiration come from in writing material both musically and vocally?

Diamond: My passion honestly just comes from my love for heavy music and performing. I am a fan first and foremost and playing is just a way that I can give back to the scene that made me feel a part of something and that made me feel like me when I didn’t know who me was. If I can give off that vibe in our songs and make another kid feel exactly what I did I have done what I’ve set out to do. 

Josh: my love and passion for music starts with my family. From my parents to grandparents, aunts and uncles everyone either plays an instrument, can sing or are huge music lovers. As I said earlier music is a way to express myself and I love the opportunity I get to entertain people and bring joy to their lives. 

If you weren’t in a successful touring band, what would you be doing?

Diamond: I would probably be in school to be a surgeon. The only other career path I found interesting was medicine. Pretty extreme difference! Haha.
 
Josh: Definitely would still be doing something with music. I have a fascination for live sound and making things sound huge but at the end of the day I much prefer to be on stage performing. I can’t imagine anything else really. 
 
How important is image in today’s music scene?

Diamond: I feel like it’s just as important as it’s ever been, but very dependent on the band. Cattle Decapitation isn’t concerned about how pretty they look when they hit the stage but for some artist that’s a crucial aspect of their success that they have to maintain.

How did you come to be on the bill with DevilDriver and 36 Crazyfists.  Was it something you fought for, or was it brought to you?  Tell me how you felt when you found out?

Diamond: Our PR company is wonderful and they actually came to us with the opportunity and of course we had to take it! It was super exciting once it was confirmed, were going to be spending 5 weeks touring with some amazing heavy bands!

What does it take to prepare for tour?  What is the hardest part? (e.g., leaving family, packing, travel, nerves?)

Diamond: It’s a lot of work. You have to make sure your gear is working appropriately and functional, that you have everything you need to get through a long time away from home successfully. The hardest part is always leaving family and loved ones though. It never gets easier. Ever.

Josh: for me the hardest part of leaving for tour is trying to remember everything I need to pack. I am a procrastinator and literally throw my stuff in a suitcase 10 min before we are supposed to leave so I always feel like I am missing some essentials. 

Fans like to know who your inspirations are and who you are listening to now?  

Diamond: There are certain bands that I just always have on rotation: Korn, Slipknot, Gojira, Metallica, Lamb of God – and the list goes on. You just can’t go wrong with those guys and they all single handedly are the reason I play heavy music.

Josh: for me my influences ranged from Metallica and Slipknot to Green Day and Pearl Jam. I honestly love all genres of music and feel as though I can draw something from them all. 

Can you tell me some of your early inspirations or heroes, and who you are liking now?

Josh: early inspirations were definitely James Hetfield of Metallica and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. Those dudes inspired and still inspire me to be the best front man I can be.

Do you see live music as a fan still when you aren’t on tour?

Diamond: yes and no. I will always be a fan and I love going to shows and hanging out listening to my favorite bands but it’s also almost like going to school. I’m always studying what they’re doing and what I like and disliked about different details of their sets, etc. It takes a lot for me to be able to just turn that off and just watch the show as a straight fan again. 

What band will you never miss seeing?

Diamond: Metallica. I will never miss a show in my city. 

Josh: Metallica and Green Day. I have seen each 6 times and will never miss them. 

Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?   
 
Diamond: Well, today we start tour with Devildriver so if it comes to a city near you definitely come out and hang with us! Also, FREAK comes out sept 29 so grab a preorder if you can!

Josh: I would just say thank you to all the fans for all the support. Come see us on the road with Devildriver and pick up your copy of “Freak” when it come out Sep 29th!!

About the Author:

Lover of music. Lover of writing. Music is the audible form of emotion, and I have a deep need to find out what it takes to make a song, an album...a band. When a musician says, "No one has ever asked me that before," or "That was the best interview I've ever done," I know I've done my job right.