If you are into bands such as Maylene and The Sons Of Disaster or Memphis May Fire, then The Tug Fork River Band is destined to become your new best friends. Their debut record Catch For Us The Metal is filled with dirty groovin’ metal that would do even Molly Hatchet proud. Highwire Daze decided to catch for us the Tug Fork, and here is what we found out…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Tug Fork River Band, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Justin and I play guitar in the band. We have been together for about 3 years now I think. I have a poor memory though so I might be wrong.
Where is the band from and how has where you live influenced your music?
We are from Indianapolis, IN. Haste the Day are from our town and they pretty much got all of us involved in the heavier music scene, especially in regards to Christian metal/hardcore. They were a huge influence in getting all of us to start a ministry-oriented band.
For those who have not seen the previous interview, where exactly is the Tug Fork River and why did you name your band after it?
It is on the border of West Virginia and Kentucky. It was the separating line for the big Hatfield and McCoy feud. We had some elaborate explanation for it, but in reality we picked it because it was really Southern sounding.
How long did it take to record Catch For Us The Metal and who produced the album?
It took us a few weeks to get everything finished. I think we spent a whole week working on just drums alone. We also spent a decent amount of time on getting the tones we wanted and just getting the overall sound we were looking for. Bone from Threshold Studios in Indianapolis produced the album and we just love working with him. He is also in a band called Amarna Reign. Be on the lookout for them. They are touring with Haste the Day in late October and early November.
Where do you get the ideas for your lyrics? Please cite two songs from the new CD and what they are about.
I’m going to pass it over to our singer Aaron for this one because he writes all the lyrics. The first song I’ll talk about is ‘Gravedigger‘. The idea for that came from how death metal always talks about death all the time, so for me it was writing my own version of it, but going deeper than the usual and go for more of death in its true self. After writing through the song I thought it would cool to show that although death can be cool to sing about, that it was overcome by Jesus, so it ends up bringing death to the foot of the Cross. For ‘A Cry to All Nations’ I was listening to the radio on the way home and there was a story about a girl who was raised under Muslin beliefs. She had searched online about Christianity and eventually gave her heart to God. Her parents found out about it and there were certain Muslim beliefs that state that there is a process that must happen in order to convert and if the person dies before the process is carried out then they remain a Muslim, so her own father took her life. I was so angered by the story that I decided to write about it and basically write my feelings on the matter. I wrote about how converting is not a process it is a choice and that the song pretty much encompasses the band’s belief that if you choose to live your life for God that you will spend eternity with him.
Any chance of your band doing some touring and showing up here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
One of my dreams is to make it out to that area. We have had so many troubles with booking agents that it’s ridiculous. We were supposed to have gone on multiple tours now, but all of these agents have completely screwed us over, either by just not booking our tour or straight up taking our down payment and running. Hopefully we’ll make it out there someday though!
Has Tug Fork ever played or been to the Cornerstone Festival? If so, what was the experience like?
We have played at Cornerstone for the past three years now. The first year we just did little generator stages and the last two years we have played the Encore 2 stage. We absolutely love it there. It is my favorite part of the year by far. The music is amazing and the people you get to meet there are even better. It is such a great time of music and fellowship and you just feel at home there. If I could I would stay there year round.
Why do you think there are so many Christian metal bands on the scene these days?
I think part of it is that the bands that started doing in a few years ago like Haste the Day, Underoath, and The Devil Wears Prada are so huge now. It has shown that you can still proclaim your beliefs and be successful in the metal world.
Do you consider Tug Fork a ministry band at all? Why or why not?
Absolutely. What we do is first and foremost for God. We all feel called to proclaim His love and His word everywhere we can. If people like our music that is always a plus, but our mission is spreading the love of God to as many people as possible.
Tug Fork is invited to appear on a Dimebag Darrell tribute CD. You could cover any Pantera or Damageplan song, what song would you cover and why?
I think I would have to go with Pantera’s I’m Broken. Aaron (our singer), my brother, and I used to blast that song in our minivan on the way to high school all the time. It’s basically the first song I ever heard that had that southern groove to it.
Which member of Tug Fork would you say is on Myspace and Facebook WAAAAYYYY too much?
Haha that’s a tough call. Brian used to say that Myspace saved his life. Him and I both spend way too much time on Facebook playing Mafia Wars too.
Which member of Tug Fork is most likely to have some good old-fashioned country music on his IPOD?
Either Aaron or myself. Neither of us really like the newer poppy country stuff, but we can definitely get down with some old school outlaw country. We’re probably both going to go see Hank III when he’s in town here soon.
What’s up next for Tug Fork River Band?
Right now we’re still working on promoting our debut album Catch For Us The Metal that is out now on Wounded Records. We’ve been getting a lot of really positive reviews on it and are pretty stoked on that. A couple of us are in school right now so we’ve just been playing some local and regional shows. We have also started practicing with a new drummer because David will be leaving soon to pursue graduate school.
Any final words of wisdom?
Uh…live long and prosper? We love you guys at Highwire Daze and thank you so much for another interview opportunity. God bless. (Kenneth Morton)
Tug Fork Myspace
Wounded Records Myspace