Tetrarch: Rocking The Freaks on The Sunset Strip
Tetrarch made their way back to the Los Angeles area, ready to present what would be an absolutely raging set at the world famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. On tour in support of their recent Freaks magnum opus, Tetrarch is breaking out in nothing short of an epic way. Their title track Freaks has been seeing a massive amount of radio airplay all across the nation, and their live shows present a band at their most rock solid, inspired and imaginative. We caught up with lead guitarist Diamond Rowe and vocalist / rhythm guitarist Josh Fore right in front of The Whisky to discuss the almigthy Freak, touring with DevilDriver, favorite female guitarists, hard rocking donuts, and other topics of intrigue. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Tetrarch.
Diamond: My name is Diamond. I play lead guitar.
Josh: I’m Josh, and I do vocals and guitar.
Where are you guys from and what is your local music scene like there?
Josh: Originally, we’re from Atlanta. Moved out to Los Angeles about two and a half, almost three years ago. And to be honest, we’re not really super in touch with the current scene in the city in Atlanta. We’ve just been doing mostly tours around the country right now. But it was good like coming up. Everyone was like super into each other and it was definitely a good place for us to grow as a bad.
Diamond: Exactly and it was a good place to start and to grow. I feel like just in general the local scene of metal and rock there has probably like died down a little bit. I wouldn’t change where we started, and it was good for a start.
And now you’re here in Los Angeles, what do you think of being out here?
Josh: It’s, I think it’s great, just in terms of there’s so many different genres and creative people in LA. Just so many talented people. And then I’ll obviously get to all the great rock and metal shows that come through, so, you can’t beat that.
Diamond: Yeah, and like I said, now that we’re here, we don’t like just play in LA a lot. We tour a lot now. So, it’s like we don’t really have like a home town base here, I guess, per se. But for the shows we have played and everything, it’s been a lot of fun, here in LA.
How has this tour been going and what have been some of the highlights?
Diamond: It’s definitely been a really good tour. We have our single Freak that’s playing on a lot of radio stations right now. So, it’s been cool to see a lot of people come out to shows, a lot of new faces that heard us on the radio, in States we’ve never played in. So, just seeing that growth and seeing that pay-off has been positive for me.
Josh: Yeah, I would just echo that – we played some places in the middle of the country in the mid-west that we’ve never gone to before. And having people coming in there singing the words to Freak. It’s pretty crazy. It’s cool.
And your album is called Freak, is there any overall story or concept behind that title?
Josh: It’s not necessarily like one story, but every song is kind of a different version of what somebody may call a Freak. Like maybe it’s a sex freak or something like that. And then the single and title track is just kind of everybody’s got something about themselves that’s different. And it’s about embracing that and not hiding it.
Select two songs from Freak and what inspired the lyrics?
Josh: Let’s see, I would say, besides Freak, “Oddity” was one of the singles that we released. That song is just, it’s has kind of like a rebellious tinge to it. Just not following any set of rules. Just doing things for yourself. Not really caring about a normal standard. And that’s something that we do as a band. We’re always pushed to do things that maybe people say we can’t or say it’s super hard. We love to push boundaries and break through. And that’s kind of like the idea for that song. Another one, I would say “Spit” – that song is like kind of like a sex freak almost like BDSM. Just embracing that side of yourself and knowing that it might be weird, but that’s okay, you know. Like different stuff.
Who produced the album and what was it like working with them?
Diamond: We went with a producer, Dave Otero in Denver. He had mixed a previous EP we had done. And we always said we kind of wanted to go with him and work with him at some point and do a full record. So, we finally went with him for this record. And it was great. He gave a great comfortable environment to work in. For me recording’s like super stressful. Like it’s a high stress time. So, it’s like, to have an environment where it’s really chill and you just take your time with things are nice. And so, with Dave, that’s kind of what we had.
What can one expect from a live Tetrarch show?
Josh: It’s as high energy level as possible. We love to not just sit there and play our notes. We like to entertain and like to get the crowd involved. Just put everything we can into the show. And just have fun. That’s our biggest thing – we want our crowds having fun with us.
Diamond: Yeah, like our favorite bands definitely were bands that put on shows or like entertained us first and foremost and not just musicians. So, that’s kind of how we are. We like to put on a show for people, so they can have something good visually to see and listen to.
What was that experience like touring with DevilDriver and did you get to hang out with them at all?
Josh: Yeah, it’s a great experience anytime you go out with somebody who’s been doing it for so long. You just watch how they work on their day to day, and you know it helps you find your own groove. And pushes you to be better every single night. Cause you want to hang with those bands. You know, you don’t want everyone to be like, “Oh, DevilDriver is great,” and they’re not talking about Tetrarch. You want them talking about Tetrarch. So, it’s cool being with them, learning from them. They were super cool dudes. And they’re just a fun time for sure.
Diamond: I agree. It’s one of those things about being the opening band on the tour and stuff. We’re very anal and picky about how we play. We always want to be like, I don’t care if we’re playing with freakin Korn. We want people to leave talking about Tetrarch. It was fun touring with DevilDriver because they were really cool dudes. They came out and hung out, Neil and Mike the guitar players came out and hung with us. We learned a lot from them, just talking to them and made friends. It was definitely a good experience.
If your band could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Josh: Metallica, that’s our favorite band. Other than that, I’d love to play with Slipknot as I’m sure you would.
Diamond: Definitely KORN for me. We’re that nu-metal era, we came up in that era of Slipknot, KORN and Mudvayne. They’re all cool. Maybe even a newer band out of that realm, like Gojira.
Who are some of your favorite female guitar players?
Diamond: It’s bad, I don’t have any. For a while I said, I gotta come up with something. But growing up and being into Metal and guitar player, it was Slash and Mike from Lamb Of God. The dudes in Trivium. I like a lot of guys, I didn’t have any female influences. There are some like Nina Strauss out there who are doing cool things, but as far as influences are concerned, I don’t really have any. That sounds shitty, but they’re all guys. I definitely respect the ladies and admire what they’re doing. I hope to do the same.
Josh: It’s funny too because I remember growing up, going to middle school together. I remember when she picked up a guitar and started playing. It was all Slash, Kirk Hammet, Nirvana and everything like that. She always strived to be like that. She never wants to just be considered a girl guitar player, she wants to be a guitar player first and I think she does an amazing job of doing that. It is breaking boundaries, but she does it first and foremost as a performer and I think that’s pretty cool.
If your music could be a donut, what flavor would it be and why?
Josh: I’d say like, maybe jelly filled. It’s got a few different layers to it, I think. On the outside it’s I don’t know, I’d say Jelly filled because we’re a blend of all kinds of different things. You got sweet, some tart –
Diamond: And he’s a donut lover! I was just going to say a glazed donut because it’s like, we have a little something for everybody. There’s not many people that hate a glazed donut. I don’t like jelly filled donuts.
What’s up next?
Josh: We are still working on some more tours for the rest of the year. I’m sure we’ll be writing. definitely doing around hitting up some radio.
Diamond: Definitely pushing “Freak” our single, it’s slowly getting added to radio stations all across the country. We’re doing station appearances, some festivals coming up so definitely just a lot of push behind the record…
Diamond Rowe – lead guitar
Ryan Lerner – bass
Ruben Limas – drums
(Interview by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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